Powerhouse vs sherpa

Inland paddling
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hamster86
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Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by hamster86 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:21 pm

Has anyone used both. I'm swaying towards the sherpa due to slightly smaller blades. Just need a little persuasion to which would be the better.

For light whitewater & playboating.
Thanks

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Steve Agar
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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by Steve Agar » Tue Apr 25, 2017 5:57 pm

Not used the Powerhouse but have no reservations about using the Sherpa for anything from flat water to grade 4/5. Smaller blade makes long days on the river less tiring (and less wearing on the wrists), I also suggest. I think there has been an increasing tendency towards larger blades, so would welcome some debate about the advantages, as I would have thought the majority of paddlers would lack the strength to get the most out of a large blade. Being able to accelerate a smaller blade through the water more quickly to adjust the stroke on the go seems to me logical for paddling on variable white water, but I'd love to know how people who've moved up to bigger blades feel about it. I wouldn't want a relative beginner to have to cope with controlling a bigger blade, put perhaps it's easier?

hamster86
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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by hamster86 » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:33 pm

Cheers Steve. I'm swayed towards the sherpa and I'm not that powerful and want something that would do well for all jobs. There seems to be a lot of powerhouses up for sale which makes me think maybe they are a bit of a struggle.
I'm currently using carbon lendal kinetic with n12 blades which are ok but need slightly shorter and slightly larger blades

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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by neonbowhawk » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:51 pm

I used sherpa paddles for over a year and was happy with them but changed to the small VE when I got a longer paddle. They are slightly larger surface area than the sherpa paddle, but not too large and I find them a much nicer paddle. When I go back to my Werner they feel horrible and under powered.

I never counted the powerhouse as I thought they were for big powerful paddlers ?

This is from a scrawny 5'8" 63 kgs

Dan Yates.
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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by Dan Yates. » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:41 pm

Simple way to decide:

Are you a girl? Yes - Sherpas
No - Powerhouse

I have used both, I switched to Sherpas when recovering from a shoulder op for a while, they were too small even then.

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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by Poke » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:36 am

Just buy yourself a well worn powerhouse.
You get it far cheaper than a new/newish Sherpa, and the blade area has been worn down to a similar size anyway.
The blades on my powerhouses are notably smaller than sherpas now.
It’s only an issue on stuff that is really pushy when I wish I had bigger blades.
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hamster86
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Re: RE: Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by hamster86 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:50 pm

Poke wrote:Just buy yourself a well worn powerhouse.
You get it far cheaper than a new/newish Sherpa, and the blade area has been worn down to a similar size anyway.
The blades on my powerhouses are notably smaller than sherpas now.
It’s only an issue on stuff that is really pushy when I wish I had bigger blades.
Your not the first to say buy a well worn one. Think I may go with my first choice of the robson paddle

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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by Ian Dallaway » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:47 am

My normal paddle is a Werner Stikine (foam core but similar power face size of the Sherpa). This is my preferred paddle but I do have a Powerhouse that I use on shallow rocky rivers where I don't want to abuse the Stikine's too much.

I definitely prefer the smaller blades as you have better acceleration and they feel more nimble than bigger blades.

The river has got to be pretty shallow for me to consider using the Powerhouse rather than the Stikine
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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by hamster86 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:54 am

Thanks.

I've just ordered a robson hells bells for playboating.

Think my best bet is to try a few different paddles for whitewater before I commit to buying one.

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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by Jim » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:02 pm

For slalom paddling I was finding that my quite large river running blades (Kinetic Xti) didn't seem to grip the water enough when trying to accelerate through and out of an upstream gate so after trying on the flat I bought slalom paddles with even bigger blades that allow me to really keep the boat moving and even get a little pop on the exit.
I then discovered that actually they are probably too big for me for paddling downstream (river running, WWR, playboating) and although I have pretty much grown into them, there was a period when I was struggling to control the large blade (it was fluttering) and I was getting occasional wrist problems, so I now only use them for slalom (where I still want the extra pop out of ups) and use smaller blades for everything else.

The problem with choosing blades that are too big for you is that there always must be some slight movement of the blade to generate lift which you pull against. With the right sized blade you may have a little more slippage than a larger blade, but you are able to control the blade angle in the water and maintain it so the blade mooves smoothly. When you switch a blade which is too big, it still needs to move but the twisting forces are too much for you to control so it tends to slip in a zig zag fashion one edge at a time (fluttering) which really affects your stability through the stroke, and causes you to do a lot more work with your control wrist to try and prevent the flutter.

So when you try out paddles, go on some still flat water and try paddling as hard as you can, if the blade feels stable at max power, it will be OK (you could test a larger one next, but keep this one on your list), if it starts to flutter, find a smaller one and discard this one from your list. People often associate flutter with blade shape, but it is usually just size, the same design in a smaller size might be fine for you.

There are other parameters which aggravate flutter, in particular my slalom blades have a lot of forward offset so a tiny amount of flutter is magnified from my wrist's perspective, but it is the blade size that causes the flutter not the offset.

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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by TechnoEngineer » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:33 pm

I would add that when demoing a paddle it's worth trying to slice the blade forward in water; it may feature some spooning which would cause the blade to steer itself under the kayak and possibly capsize. Obviously you don't want that to happen!
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Conor Buckboy
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Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by Conor Buckboy » Mon May 08, 2017 9:12 am

Had the powerhouse for nearly a year now. 6ft 3 quite well built so the bigger blade was obvious. For playboating it's great for lots of power and really makes its easier with double pumping, unless you get a flat(ish) feather though it's difficult to hold a stall (although same for all paddles). Way I see it is get a big blade, then get stronger and fitter using it, meanwhile it's getting worn down on whitewater as well.
Plus, red is better than orange, it makes you go faster right?

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Re: RE: Re: Powerhouse vs sherpa

Post by hamster86 » Mon May 08, 2017 10:27 am

Conor Buckboy wrote:Had the powerhouse for nearly a year now. 6ft 3 quite well built so the bigger blade was obvious. For playboating it's great for lots of power and really makes its easier with double pumping, unless you get a flat(ish) feather though it's difficult to hold a stall (although same for all paddles). Way I see it is get a big blade, then get stronger and fitter using it, meanwhile it's getting worn down on whitewater as well.
Plus, red is better than orange, it makes you go faster right?
I've bit the bullet and bought robson hells bells for playboating. Loads bigger blades than my other paddles. Not yet tried them out.
Going to wait to try some power house before I buy a set

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