I truly believe that this is an example of "chicken/egg"
I taught a class with Ken Fink as well, my experiences are quite similar to yours.
Here is an article on K4 paddling - http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/sport/a/-/other/16543560/awesome-kayak-foursome-do-it-easy/
reading the article is optional, but a cursory examination of picture is mandatory. Additional attention is suggested for paddle blades out of the water.
Now, these are world class paddlers, probably even top world paddlers, even though they are from the bottom. Looking at the picture one could assume that all 4 are at the same phase in paddle stroke, since they are a highly synchronized and successful k4 team. It is safe to assume that all of the paddlers for k4 were chosen for their skills and not good looks. Then, attention is quickly drawn to the paddle that looks a little bit different form others - 3rd from the left. After some flight of fancy one could surmise that the blade appears to be at a different angle to the camera than other blades. Now, some angles can be realy strange when a picture is taken with a wide or ultra wide angle lens, but by geometry constraints a very narrow angle, or long focal range lens was used. Hence, the angle of the top blade is different, and not just by a fraction, and that paddler is good enough for a top k4 team.
Then one says WTF,I guess everything I ever learned on the internet about feather angles must be just plain wrong?
Oh yeah, just because everyone is doing it, doesn't mean it is the only right thing to do.
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