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  Paddling into wind
  Posted by: rjd9999 on Apr-07-13 10:57 AM (EST)

is a comparatively rare event for me. Most of my paddling is done in winds that are abeam (as, I believe is true for most paddling situations). Winds are varaible and gusts are truly unpredictable, so even when paddling into a headwind, I still paddle without a feather. This is due to experiences I've had while paddling in storm.

I do not grip my paddle, I rest it cradled in my fingers on the pull and between the thumb and finger on the push phase of the stroke. When paddling in a heavy beam wind, even from the front quarter) a feathered paddle cannot be controlled and can even be blow out of my hands (yeah, I should switch to a greenland paddle, but I'm cheap and don't replace things that aren't broken). When in heavy weather one day in Monterey, my paddle blade continued to catch wind and was blown from my hands. Actually gripping the paddle was worse since whenever the power side of the paddle was in the water, the other end of the blade grabbed enough air that I had to release my grip or capsize. I was effectively performing a high brace on the wind on the wrong side of the boat. Yeah, I could handle it, but it wasn't pleasant. I switched my paddle to unfeathered and that's the way it will stay.

For me, and the conditions I often paddle, feathering increases the risk of wrist injury as well as capsize.


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