Logic for the spare
Posted by: Celia on Feb-15-13 9:26 AM (EST)
If you have to actually use it, you'll be very unhappy with a club. I ended up in this situation a couple of seasons ago. I got to the launch and had a last minute problem that meant I had to actually use my spare all day. By day's end I had resolved that I would not paddle with a spare that was any less pleasant to use than my usual main paddle - ie a few hundred dollars worth of lightweight. I was hurting for a couple of days due to the weight of the paddle and, because it wasn't as efficient as my normal, how high I had to run my cadence to keep up.
One argument I have heard for a heavier spare is in surf or rocks, for those worried about the fragility of foam core paddles. Heavier may be better there.
Another logical approach is to carry both a Euro and a GP, so aging bodies can take a rest by switching off the two paddling approaches. Of course that works better if you are already comfortable paddling with a GP...
I agree with one point above - having the spare any place that makes retrieval complicated is a risk, and a completely unnecessary one. Put the spares on the front deck so they are readily available. You can get or make a pair of Paddling Britches if needed to help anchor the splits, or modify the deck rigging.
One of the exercises that is a wonderful thing to practice is to capsize, lose the paddle, and grab a split off the front deck from upside down to help roll up. I have only been able to complete this process using a GP myself because I need something pretty major to grab. But we have friends who can do it with half of a regular Euro.