Child paddle length

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Robert Craig
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Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:42 pm

I'm looking to get a paddle for a nine-year old, height 142 cm. He'll be paddling a Dagger Dynamo.

I'm 175 cm tall, and my river paddle is 198 cm, so the paddle is 1.13 times my height.

So it would seem that the child's paddle should be 142 cm * 1.13 = 160 cm.

I've had advice to go for 185 cm .... seems very long. Any thoughts?

[To avoid any discussion of "he'll grow into it", he's actually 8 and 135 cm now. I think he'll be 142 cm in a year's time.]

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by gp.girl » Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:42 pm

I'm 152cm and use a 191 giving 1:1.26. Thats for WW too so it would be even shorter than a flat water or touring paddle.
I can roll :)

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:10 pm

Best bet is to get a split with length adjustment.

What people often overlook when sizing a complete paddle is that the blade length doesn't change (well a kids paddle compared to adult might because it should have a smaller blade, but if comparing different length paddles with the same blade it doesn't), you want the whole blade immersed so that part of the length remains constant and it is the bit in between which scales.

There is also a lot of personal preference involved.

I take it you are planning to teach him yourself?

If you think a club might be useful there are a couple in Glasgow that are happy to start kids that young. GKC youth do sprint and marathon and Pinkston Panthers do slalom and downriver racing, actually competing is optional with Panthers and what the kids learn is more relevant to general river running if thats what he is ultimately wanting to do. Feel free to drop by on a club night (Wednesdays 6-7) to see what we do, and what paddles the kids use (give them free choice and they will always pick the largest carbon slalom paddle in the hut!).

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Richard Moss » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:05 pm

I've just looked at a couple of old video clips of mine at that age (also paddling dynamo and inazone 212) with a 1.84m paddle. The paddle was maybe a touch long to start with but not for long as they soon grew into it and this has been fine - note that it had a reduced blade area and a narrower shaft diameter. They really didn't like my 'adult' paddles, with thicker shaft and larger blade area, which felt unwieldy with too much resistance through the water. The junior blades were Ainsworth Junior (with N90 nylon blades) but there are others like the streamlyte kidstix.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:40 am

Jim wrote:
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:10 pm
Best bet is to get a split with length adjustment.

What people often overlook when sizing a complete paddle is that the blade length doesn't change (well a kids paddle compared to adult might because it should have a smaller blade, but if comparing different length paddles with the same blade it doesn't), you want the whole blade immersed so that part of the length remains constant and it is the bit in between which scales.

There is also a lot of personal preference involved.

I take it you are planning to teach him yourself?

If you think a club might be useful there are a couple in Glasgow that are happy to start kids that young. GKC youth do sprint and marathon and Pinkston Panthers do slalom and downriver racing, actually competing is optional with Panthers and what the kids learn is more relevant to general river running if thats what he is ultimately wanting to do. Feel free to drop by on a club night (Wednesdays 6-7) to see what we do, and what paddles the kids use (give them free choice and they will always pick the largest carbon slalom paddle in the hut!).
JIm
Thanks
We're in Monklands Canoe Club - so in the summer we're at Pinkson from 7, immediately after the Panthers' session, though we don't use the WW course on that night. We had junior paddles, but these have been disappearing over the years, and I'd like to bottom out the length issue before recommending a size for the Club. The child in question is the smallest in the Club, so maybe not the person to choose Club paddles for. I had a look at the Pinkston Panthers junior paddles - they are Celtic Paddles Gremlins, and very nice they looked, though I didn't have the wit to measure length.

I agree with your point about shaft length rather than paddle length being what matters.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Jim » Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:13 pm

Hi Robert - I thought Monklands had a minimum age, great if they don't!

We also seem to have a problem with kit, particularly paddles, disappearing as well, but it always amazes me how often I find kids have put their paddle down at the opposite end of the site and forgotten about it so it may just be getting lost. Towards the end of every session the kids switch from paddling to jumping in - most of them are quite happy swimming all the way down the course on 2 pumps so it seems silly to discourage them when they might need that confidence later on, but I think that is where the kit ends up abandoned and lost track of.

Gremlins are pretty good, Celtic have another childs paddle now (I forget the name - may not be on the website/ebay, if you phone they usually have stuff that isn't listed) and they can also supply smaller diameter shafts to suit smaller hands which may also be worth looking at.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:33 am

Jim
We have a minimum size, based on the fact that the smallest boats we have are Dagger Dynamos. It's not exact - it's "does the child look as though it fits a Dynamo?"

Must have scout around to see whether I can acquire one of your abandoned Gremlins!

Incidentally, do you happen to know (or could you find out) what size your Gremlins are?

Incidentally, I think all Gremlins come with a small diameter shaft as standard. I agree with you on the importance of this.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:24 am

I had a poke about on the Web, looking for advice from manufactures.

Here's the recommendations from the Werner and Ainsworth websites, which seem to agree fairly well


https://www.dropbox.com/s/tiw09e1gcemp3 ... h.jpg?dl=0



I can't get my head around why the recommended paddle length isn't just proportional to height. The best fit line is paddle length = 0.3 * height + 144, all in centimetres. So a 1.5 metre paddler needs a paddle 1.26 times their height, and a 2 metre paddler needs a paddle 1.02 times their height.

Seems that it's expected that small people will use a low-angle paddling style, big ones a high angle style - doesn't sound right.

Some of it might just be that it's assumed that smaller people will be in wider boats - but that's not always true.

Anybody understand what's going on?

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Jim » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:16 am

I'm not sure but I observed one of our smallest paddlers tonight who is too small even for the tiny kids slalom boats we have, she was using a low angle stroke and doing a great job of paddling straight lines when necessary. I suspect she would fail the size criteria, but with bigger brother and sister and sometimes mum all paddling how could we not have her join in if she is keen? High angle is especially useful for avoiding hitting gates, it won't be long before she is strong enough to adopt a higher angle style.

I didn't think to measure a paddle, I could have done that.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Hengle » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:14 pm

Hi Robert

Re the relationship between height and paddle angle, its seated height that's important rather than standing height, on the basis that the length of my legs does not affect the height of my shoulder over the water. Seat height also plays a part albeit less in a playboat than a WWR or racing boat.

One of the reasons that smaller paddlers paddle lower is the relative width of the boat against the height of the shoulder.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Garry » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:27 am

Don't underestimate the impact of blade size as well as length for young paddlers. My three sons all paddled dynamos from about age 7 or 8 and used Galasport slalom paddles in child sizes.(e.g. here:- https://www.coolbluecanoes.co.uk/produc ... ini-multi/ ) not only short shaft but also thinner shaft for small hands and small blades. A large blade on a short shaft can be like pedalling your bike in top gear all the time, very hard on the shoulders!

I still have a set in the garage I think, could try and measure them and repost dimensions if you are interested.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:42 am

Garry
Thanks
Completely agree about blade area and shaft diameter, though there is precious little choice around.

I'll follow up the link you're posted.

I'd be really interested in the length you chose, and what the ages or dimensions of your children were when they used them

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Jim » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:04 pm

Robert - there is not much choice of kids kit in the mainstream shops, but look at the specialised race manufacturers websites (Galasport, Vajda, Braca Sport etc.) and you will find they do cater well for smaller paddlers, but many of them will only have a single UK distributor to buy the kit through. The second hand market at races is often good too. Some people will think it is overkill to get a lightweight carbon paddle for a child, but who is it that needs a lightweight paddle the most :)
Of course they will outgrow it, that's why there is a healthy secondhand market, its just not always easy to tap into if you aren't interested in a racing discipline so don't know where to look.

If you do facebook the slalom buy and sell group is:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/canoeslalomswapshop/
Or the slalom website small ads:
http://www.canoeslalom.co.uk/info/smallads.htm
There is a surprising amount of larger kit for sale at the moment (possibly prem paddlers changing kit ready for next season), usually there is more smaller sized stuff there.

I'm sure other disciplines have their own buying and selling sites - I don't know what they are though.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:02 pm

Jim
Thanks - the FB site does have a paddle on offer which might be just right, though transport will be an issue (as it always is with paddles).

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by chriscw » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:26 am

Do look at loom thickness in relation to the child's hand size as well.
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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Fri Nov 03, 2017 11:24 am

Thanks to all who replied.

I've found that, if I look at slalom forums, and slalom paddle manufacturers (it was Jim who put me onto slalom), there is a wealth of information on paddles for children. Small shaft diameter and small blade area are recommended (as everyone recommends). Recommendation for a 135 cm child seems to be 170 - 175 cm, which seems to scale reasonably with adult paddle recommendations. Relevant suppliers seem to be Galasports and Celtic Paddles (they make Gremlin paddles).

I'll get one and report back as to how sensible it looks.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:07 am

Sadly, the Gremlin paddle is no more. Celtic Paddles do now make a rather nice children's paddle, the Cybi Bach. It's got lots of nice things, such as a narrow shaft and an ample choice of shaft length. It's available as a kit, which makes carriage of a single-part paddle much cheaper.

BUT, it's very much a flat water lochs-and-seas paddle, with a long narrow blade. It's quite a big-area blade for a junior paddle as well - more a small adult size, to my eye.

Their junior WW paddle has got an adult-size blade.

Anyone looking for a second-hand Gremlin needs to be aware that there are at least two, maybe three versions. There's the original Lendal Gremlin, aspect ration about 2.3:1, a later Lendal Gremlin (I guess post Johnston era), aspect ratio 2.8:1, and a Celtic Paddles Gremlin, also 2.8:1. This latter is very similar to the Celtic Paddles Cybi Bach ... might even be identical, though it looks a bit different in the detail of the shape.

I've tried to persuade Celtic Paddles that there is now a gap in the market for a medium-spec junior white water paddle - ie something like the original Lendal Gremlin.

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Adrian Cooper » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:09 pm

The website suggests you can have the option of a Kinetic 600 which would be a little smaller but this is the only reference to the Kinetic blade anywhere on the site?

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Re: Child paddle length

Post by Robert Craig » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:26 pm

Yes, I see what you mean. I think that the drop-down box is wrong, and what you get is a Classic 600, which is a sea touring blade. I think it's a bit bigger area than the Cybi Bach.

A junior-sized Mania would be rally nice ...

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