When I first started paddling, the blades were fixed in a feather position. Now paddles can be feathered or not. How do you decide how much to feather a paddle or not? Have seen paddles not feathered and some 90 degrees. I have mine at 45 degrees and trying to decide if I want to change. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks.
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
The Kayak Wing
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Focus on a good forward stroke|
Posted by: Celia on Oct-16-13 5:20 PM (EST)
And set the feather to whatever angle seems to most easily get you there. Really not much in the way of hard and fast rules at this point, just a lot of strongly held opinions. All of the opinions work well for the holder of said opinion.
Posted by: Seadddict on Oct-16-13 5:36 PM (EST)
with Celia. I originally feathered at 60 because that's what my paddle at that time did. I've since dropped to 45 and happy there.
Posted by: Peter-CA on Oct-16-13 6:52 PM (EST)
I also agree with what Celia said. Only thing to add would be to watch wrist cocking and whether that causes you any pain or issues. Some angles make you twist wrists more than others, which could become an issue.
Get Yourself a Greenland Paddle|
Posted by: Kudzu on Oct-16-13 6:47 PM (EST)
and you won't have to think about feathers.
Depends on what you want|
Posted by: Dr_Disco on Oct-16-13 7:18 PM (EST)
I use an unfeathered paddle because of the symmetry of strokes on each side. I don't have to learn to roll in one way on the right and another on the left. It is also easy to switch between greenland paddle and conventional paddle. Most of the arguments for having a paddle feathered for ordinary paddling have been discredited. None-the-less you can have a good stroke with either without strain. And if you really prefer a feathered paddle, go for it. Do note though that switching from one to the other takes time. What feels right is going to be what you are familiar with and what does not feel right is what you have not yet familiar with.
Posted by: Kocho on Oct-16-13 7:53 PM (EST)
I use a 30 degree|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-17-13 9:27 AM (EST)
It's not to minimize wind resistance though, it's so I can keep my wrists from moving. It has done wonders for my endurance.
But why not go all the way to 0?|
Posted by: Kocho on Oct-17-13 11:15 AM (EST)
Posted by: davejjj on Oct-17-13 11:37 AM (EST)
I use zero because I really prefer the equal symmetry in WW paddling. My bracing is exactly the same on both sides. For flatwater I sometimes change to 45 if there is an endless strong headwind but I doubt it helps all that much. Some people say zero is impossible but then bumblebees can fly too.
people are different, that's why|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-18-13 1:55 PM (EST)
It is nice to have it completely..|
Posted by: JackL on Oct-16-13 7:38 PM (EST)
Some instruction might help|
Posted by: FrankNC on Oct-16-13 10:26 PM (EST)
I recommend Scott at Sea Kayak Carolina near you. He gives a very good talk on this.
Posted by: zerbe on Oct-17-13 8:31 AM (EST)
Gordon Brown uses a crank shaft feathered paddle. It took him three years to learn to roll. I learned in 20 minutes with a Greenland paddle (no feather, symmetrical). What do you think?
I think Gordie was a bit slow|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-17-13 9:58 AM (EST)
Posted by: davejjj on Oct-17-13 11:41 AM (EST)
It wouldn't matter for your on-side roll because surely you can feel where the blade angle is. A feather might screw up your offside roll though.
Some people get rolling more slowly|
Posted by: Celia on Oct-17-13 10:21 AM (EST)
even if true, seems like an outlier|
Posted by: bignate on Oct-17-13 3:04 PM (EST)
I teach rolling to beginner WW paddlers with 30-45 degree offset paddles all the time. Many are rolling during the first lesson. Others take somewhat longer, but usually not much longer unless there are physical limitation/anxiety issues, and in that case, the paddle (much less the angle of feather) really isn't the culprit.
there is no one answer|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-17-13 9:28 AM (EST)
This ground has been plowed before|
Posted by: magooch on Oct-17-13 12:51 PM (EST)
But here goes again: If you paddle into a strong enough wind, you will soon understand what the feather is all about. If you use a strong feather all the time and paddle in a strong beam wind, you will soon discover why that doesn't work so well.
it's nice to have choices|
Posted by: slushpaddler on Oct-17-13 2:32 PM (EST)
I don't think I'll ever again own a paddle that isn't infinitely adjustable.
Posted by: Kudzu on Oct-17-13 4:50 PM (EST)
You could get yourself a Greenland paddle and forget about feathering.
Are you asking because of pain?|
Posted by: pikabike on Oct-17-13 5:40 PM (EST)
Started with 90. 75 is better |
Posted by: g2d on Oct-17-13 6:08 PM (EST)
I think zero might be too little. Some feather tends to break inefficient gripping and help with long use.
Have you tried a Greenland paddle?|
Posted by: rpg51 on Oct-17-13 10:30 PM (EST)
You might be surprised. I was hooked in 10 minutes.
Make a choice and stick to it|
Posted by: Bill_Stevenson on Oct-18-13 1:38 PM (EST)
The lady who was my instructor for an introductory class on kayaking showed both techniques and told us to try both and make a choice. Once that choice was made we should stick with it forever more. Her reason for telling us not to switch or change is that some day, some time when we least expect it, we are going to get in a situation where we must act quickly and without thinking. For example , BRACE NOW! If you always use the same technique, you will adapt and everything is automatic. I think that is good advice for you. Stick with whatever technique you have been using unless it is causing you harm.
Maybe for newbies|
Posted by: pikabike on Oct-19-13 2:37 PM (EST)
There ARE experienced paddlers who use feathered Euro or wing paddles as well as GP, and they switch back and forth.