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  No control hand with feathered paddles
  Posted by: CapeFear on May-10-13 11:53 AM (EST)
 

You DO NOT want a control hand if you're using a feathered paddle. Not only is it unnecessary, it's counterproductive. For normal paddle strokes, all you need to do is hook the shaft with your pulling hand and push it with a loose upper hand. The blade will find it's own path through the water. It's only necessary to grip the paddle firmly when using specialty bracing/sculling/steering strokes that require precise blade angle control.

I was recently on vacation, and spent one day paddling with an unfeathered paddle, and the next with a feathered. For some reason I thought a bit about the whole control hand thing when I started using the feathered the next day, or really more about paying attention to my own mechanics. What I noticed was that the shaft was twisting in my left hand noticeably more than my right. (My hand or wrist wasn't twisting - the shaft was twisting within my hand.) I was doing as noted above with both hands - control hand didn't mean grip. When I analyzed why, I realized my stroke was not balanced. I was raising my right arm and elbow more, and leaving my left elbow in closer. No good reason other than poor habit. Sometimes a little self-analysis pays dividends.

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