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Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:06 am
by Joseph:)
Looking at replacement paddle shafts and have seen some in Carbon/Kevlar and others in just carbon.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the two materials? Will one be stiffer/lighter/stronger?

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am
by Chris Bolton
Assuming the same weight, carbon will be stiffer and carbon kevlar might be more resistant to crushing damage. Some people think a stiffer paddle is good as it gives a more direct transfer of power to the blade, others think it's bad because you can overstress your body if you pull too hard. I doubt most paddlers who aren't racers will notice the difference.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:54 pm
by Jim
C/K are harder to break but usually slightly heavier.
I normally only use C/K for polo shafts now, have used it for river running in the past (and still have some C/K split shafts I might use sometimes) but most of mine are Carbon now, which is to say mostly a mix of carbon and glass depending on the stiffness. I use a soft/flexible shaft on my wings which will have a lower percentage of carbon to glass than the stiffer shafts I use on my slalom, river running and sea kayaking shafts, although I will probably use my wings in the sea kayak from now on - things change!

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:01 pm
by gp.girl
Chris Bolton wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am
Assuming the same weight, carbon will be stiffer and carbon kevlar might be more resistant to crushing damage. Some people think a stiffer paddle is good as it gives a more direct transfer of power to the blade, others think it's bad because you can overstress your body if you pull too hard. I doubt most paddlers who aren't racers will notice the difference.
Stiff all carbon blades can make long term injuries worse. Certainly I can't use them - my dodgy elbow will hurt before lunchtime compared to barely twinge with a glass blade :)

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:17 pm
by ike
I’m the same; my beautiful set of VE Voyagers with carbon blades and shaft are not useable for most trips as my wrist will flare up, whereas a spare set of glass paddles with a flexible shaft are so much more forgiving. I can understand the benefit of carbon paddles in whitewater but am not convinced by the need for long sea trips.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:16 pm
by Joseph:)
Thanks everyone for your help, I think I will stick with Carbon. Good enough for Werners after all..

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:30 am
by Jim
Not all that is black is carbon.
As far as I can tell most Werner whitewater shafts are fibreglass, not carbon. However, if this is what you are used to, it is probably what you should stick to unless you can get a reasonably long term demo of a carbon shaft.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:20 am
by Franky
I don't know the difference between carbon and carbon/kevlar in terms of feel, but I have a carbon-shafted, straight VE paddle, and have never had any problems with wrist strain. You can definitely feel the stiffness but I quite like the "crisp" sensation you get from that.

Carbon shafts are extremely light - I've never handled a paddle that's anywhere near as light as my VE. I'm actually starting to wonder if this is a good thing. It means you get little help from gravity when you plant them in the water, and given how much lighter than water the paddle is (the blades are air-core), it's quite possible you end up expending more energy paddling than you would with a heavier paddle.

My paddling is going through a rough patch right now (not getting on the water enough), so it's possible that that, more than paddle issues, is why paddling is hard work for me at the moment!

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:34 am
by Adrian Cooper
Indeed, Franky, one of the reasons I hate the Ainsworth RIM paddles is that they are so buoyant, you need to physically push them into the water