Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

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Glyn B
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Glyn B »

20 degrees feather is 10 degrees feather on one side and 10 degrees feather on the other, not 20 and 0.


I don't know where you buy your paddles but I'd change shop if I were you.

(It's worth noting that while the non-control blade is in the water, its angle in relation to the hand on that side, which is now gripping it of course, is exactly the same as it would be if it were the control hand - or indeed a 'zero feather' hand.) Feather is about difference between blades, *not* difference between hand and blade.
Which is exactly what I've been pointing out all the way through this post .

which means my right hand knuckles will have to point out to the left, when the most comfortable place for them would be to face backwards.
Really? How odd.

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MrJazz
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by MrJazz »

Unstabler wrote:If you imagine taking a totally vertical paddle stroke on the left side of the boat with a 0° feather - The power face of both blades will face the back of the boat, which means my right hand knuckles will have to point out to the left, when the most comfortable place for them would be to face backwards. In this scenario 90° feather would be best.
Why didn't anyone say this before? Now I think I understand Steve's activity.

I'd still argue that, if you are using your body (not just your arms) to paddle, then this wont be as relevant. Especially if you have a relaxed grip and switch control hands.

But everyone paddles differently.

P.S.

Tried Steve's broom-stick exercise with the trunk rotation I's use if I wanted efficient vertical strokes. No wrist roll. Zero feather for me!

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Steve B »

Spyder wrote:
(It's worth noting that while the non-control blade is in the water, its angle in relation to the hand on that side, which is now gripping it of course, is exactly the same as it would be if it were the control hand - or indeed a 'zero feather' hand.) Feather is about difference between blades, *not* difference between hand and blade.
Which is exactly what I've been pointing out all the way through this post .
Er, no it isn't.

(Edit: Or rather, you've been saying the obvious first bit, but not the crucial second bit.)
Steve Balcombe

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davebrads
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by davebrads »

I have been looking at Simon's page, and I think that he has got it all wrong. To my mind, you need to consider the angle the arm moves through as viewed from above. If I stick my right arm out to the side in the normal paddling position it is perhaps at about 10 degrees from the forward position (it doesn't make much difference if my trunk rotates or not, since I am measuring the angle from the line of forward travel to my arm), when I move it into the position for a vertical stroke on the left side, it is maybe at about 50 degrees. If I want my right wrist to remain neutral, then I will need to have a 60 degree feather on my paddle on the basis of my guessed figures. I am a slalom paddler, and therefore I have a higher stroke than most, but it is definately not vertical, my top hand doesn't actually pass very far over the centerline of the boat when I am paddling forwards, in which case my right arm only goes to about 30 degrees from the direction of forward travel, so actually I need a 40 degree feather. Of course, these angles change as the blade is moved throught the water, so nothing is exact, and some wrist roll is necesary. Playboaters are notorious for a having very poor forward stroke, :-), and it is quite possible that the arm maintains approximately the same angle to the forward direction when viewed from above, in which case they can handle a zero degree feather. I know that when I tried some zero feather paddles it felt dreadful, my wrist was being forced to turn the wrong way to get the purchase on the water.

So finally, I would suggest that if you find that zero feather works for you, it might be worth considering a bit of work on your forward stroke!

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Unstabler
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Unstabler »

Spyder wrote:
which means my right hand knuckles will have to point out to the left, when the most comfortable place for them would be to face backwards.
Really? How odd.
How is that odd?!? If you hold up your right hand like you are looking at your watch, your knuckles face bacwards. If you now roll your wrist over (in the same motion as letting off the throttle of a motorbike your knuckles start to face the left.
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Steve B »

davebrads wrote:I have been looking at Simon's page, and I think that he has got it all wrong. To my mind, you need to consider the angle the arm moves through as viewed from above.
You need to look along the axis of the paddle, which is not easy because it changes throughout the stroke of course. That's why I prefer to compare the two arms, rather than one arm at opposite ends of the stroke.
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davebrads
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by davebrads »

I agree that my view is a bit simplistic, and probably only works when you are dealing with a perfectly vertical stroke, after that things get more complicated. However, I don't really see why you need to look at the two arms; you only need to consider the control hand since the other hand is free to find it's own position on the shaft relative to the direction of pull.

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paddledragger
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by paddledragger »

davebrads wrote: So finally, I would suggest that if you find that zero feather works for you, it might be worth considering a bit of work on your forward stroke!
This may or may not be correct depending on your stroke! Without any technicalities because frankly I admit I am totally rubbish at that stuff ! Please don't assume folks that because you paddle with a zero feather your forward stroke DOES need work-it may do but it also may not. I have invested in professional coaching with top level coaches this year, (more than once) because I tend to lack confidence rather more than I would like and not because I am particularly concerned about my technical skills. I do not claim to be the best paddler in the world by any stretch of the imagination, however I am pleased that none of them have had to correct any of my strokes. I also took my level one coach back in April at the Calder trainining venue and chose to teach forward paddling both for the practice sessions and on the assessment and my assessor commented to me that not only was my demonstration spot on but my forward paddling was very good in general, and trust me this guy would have told me in no uncertain terms if it wasn't right I was left with no doubt about that. Certainly not blowing my own trumpet but also don't want folk reading this to start panicing that their forward paddling must be bad because they use a zero feather. Just paddle with what you find comfortable, keep practising and above all enjoy it!

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David Fairweather
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by David Fairweather »

Steve B wrote:You need to look along the axis of the paddle, which is not easy because it changes throughout the stroke of course. That's why I prefer to compare the two arms, rather than one arm at opposite ends of the stroke.
Why should one hand remain as the control hand all the time? If you get beyond this thinking of one hand being the control hand, then it is perfectly reasonable to look at each end of the stroke individually. It's a bit of a paradigm shift, but that is the different style of paddling that is required with o degree feather blades.

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NickB
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by NickB »

David Fairweather wrote:
Steve B wrote:You need to look along the axis of the paddle, which is not easy because it changes throughout the stroke of course. That's why I prefer to compare the two arms, rather than one arm at opposite ends of the stroke.
Why should one hand remain as the control hand all the time? If you get beyond this thinking of one hand being the control hand, then it is perfectly reasonable to look at each end of the stroke individually. It's a bit of a paradigm shift, but that is the different style of paddling that is required with o degree feather blades.
This leads rather neatly to the two control hands with an axial rotating joint in the centre of the paddle, just let both wrists take up their natural angle at all times for all stroke styles!! I wonder if its worth a try with a pair of unlocked splits?
Cheers
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davebrads
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by davebrads »

David Fairweather wrote:Why should one hand remain as the control hand all the time?
I agree with you, you should always be open to new concepts. I knew when I was writing it, that someone would pick up on it, but I didn't have another way of explaining what I was trying to say.

However, a lot of the discussion on this thread has been over maintaining a neutral wrist position in order to minimise strain on the joint. I don't know whether this does or doesn't have any bearing upon peoples wrist problems, but if we start from the principle of maintaining a neutral wrist position, zero degree paddles do not provide this, unless you paddle with a really horizontal paddle shaft. I guess that with zero degree paddles, you do not rotate your hand about the shaft, but maintain a grip with both hands, and in this case if you take a more vertical paddle stroke you are going to have to rotate the wrists in order to maintain the blade in the right positiion in the water.

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paddledragger
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by paddledragger »

David Fairweather wrote: It's a bit of a paradigm shift.
Now this I like!!! As I said above I am useless at the technicalities!! This is one of them phrases with a clever word in that I haven't a bl**dy clue about but I like the sound of it!! So I'm a bit thick!!! I chuck meself down moving water sat in a plastic thing I move around with a big stick and I occasionally fall out of it and smack my head on things - what do you expect! Hee Hee :-)

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Steve B »

Steve B wrote:
davebrads wrote:I have been looking at Simon's page, and I think that he has got it all wrong. To my mind, you need to consider the angle the arm moves through as viewed from above.
You need to look along the axis of the paddle, which is not easy because it changes throughout the stroke of course. That's why I prefer to compare the two arms, rather than one arm at opposite ends of the stroke.
Just to remind people of what I said, and what I was responding to. It's simply because you can look at both forearms at the same time which makes it easy to see the angle. Dave wants to measure the angle the arm moves through - I'm saying this is harder to see (because it happens over time) than the angle between the forearms (both visible together - a snapshot). But whichever you are happier with is ok, they're both the same angle.
Steve Balcombe

Glyn B
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Glyn B »

Zero feather can be used effectively, efficiently and with no evident strain on joints.
I have a high paddling style and paddle a playboat, creekboat and have occasionally been known to paddle marathon with no change in shaft angle other than that neccessary to accomodate the width of the boat.
I started using zeros a couple of years ago because it made sense to me anatomically (and mechanically) and in response to an apparently chronic case of medial epicondylitis.
This solved the problem and I have had no issues since.
If anyone wants to actually see this obviously controversial technique in action feel free to pm me. I'm in the North west and paddle most weekends and would welcome comments generated as a result.

Other than that, I've enjoyed the banter but have decided to bow out of this particular thread.

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paddledragger
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by paddledragger »

Spyder wrote: Other than that, I've enjoyed the banter but have decided to bow out of this particular thread.
Spoilsport!!! ;-)

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Randy Fandango
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Randy Fandango »

paddledragger wrote:
David Fairweather wrote: It's a bit of a paradigm shift.
.........This is one of them phrases with a clever word in that I haven't a bl**dy clue about but I like the sound of it!! .......
I'm sure Dave feels exactly the same way.
I suspect he only put it up as some sort of smoke-screen to hide the fact that he's a deviant left-hander who was forced to occasionaly paddle with zero degree paddles early on in his adventurous paddling career because the fool who put his paddles together for him didn't use enough glue -- leading to an interesting occasional bout of wandering feather, usually mid-rapid....
Giles

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paddledragger
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by paddledragger »

Randy Fandango wrote:- leading to an interesting occasional bout of wandering feather,
Giles
Oh really?! It's starting to sound like too much fun again - I can't cope!! Wandering feathers!!?? Woo hoo! ;-)

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MrJazz
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by MrJazz »

To be honest, I don't think any of you are making very much sense.
paddledragger wrote:
davebrads wrote: So finally, I would suggest that if you find that zero feather works for you, it might be worth considering a bit of work on your forward stroke!
This may or may not be correct depending on your stroke! Please don't assume folks that because you paddle with a zero feather your forward stroke DOES need work-it may do but it also may not.

I don't want folk reading this to start panicing that their forward paddling must be bad because they use a zero feather. Just paddle with what you find comfortable, keep practising and above all enjoy it!
However paddledragger's reply did come as a relief! :o)

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Mark R
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Mark R »

Myself, I'm just sitting here waiting for paddledragger to contribute something. Anything.

Woo hoo. Hee hee.
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paddledragger
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by paddledragger »

Mark R wrote:Myself, I'm just sitting here waiting for paddledragger to contribute something. Anything.

Woo hoo. Hee hee.

Paddledragger is just dreamily sorting through a drawer and considering adding something with feathers and wondering where those feathers might wander to!

Oh No!!! That's not kayak talk is it!!! Damn , caught out again!!!

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RichA
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by RichA »

Is this a bad time to bring up a question about cranked paddles?

I've got a set of cranks that aren't quite right, and in an ideal world I'd do this:

1) remove blades
2) split shaft in middle
3) align the 'feather' angle of the cranks on the shaft to suit me.
4) add the blades back on, and align the blades to the correct angle for me.


At the moment the crank angle is near enough ok. If I leave it as it is, when I plant my right blade it's fine. However when I plant my left blade, with the left crank aligned correctly to my wrist/arm, the blade doesn't hit the water squarely. It's as if it's not aligned to that end of the shaft.

Would my 4 steps above be the logical way of sorting it out, if I was going to, even though it would take time? I figured that the angle of each end of the shaft with respect to the other end/crank should be set first, and then the feather between the blades. Make sense?!

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Chris Bolton »

bod wrote:20 degrees feather is 10 degrees feather on one side and 10 degrees feather on the other, not 20 and 0.
I don't agree - if you have feather, you need to have a control hand - which means 0º and 20º.

Or, to look at it another way, if you don't have a control hand, zero is the only feasible feather. That's because feather must be either left or right, which means your paddle isn't symmetrical (even if you call it 10º + 10º it still has one side rotated forward and one back), so if you don't have a control hand the feather is effectively negative on one side.

As I wrote earlier, with zero my control hand is my bottom hand, ie, I always grip with the bottom hand and at the top hand I either rotate my wrist or let the shaft turn in my hand. The top hand doesn't have nearly the same load on it as the bottom hand. When I do rotate the shaft, I've never had a problem rotating back for the next stroke - it seems to be automatic. Maybe paddling C1 for years had some effect on the way I use a paddle?

Chris

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by paddledragger »

Mark R wrote:Myself, I'm just sitting here waiting for paddledragger to contribute something. Anything.

Woo hoo. Hee hee.

I definitely think I got my pastimes mixed up! What IS this kayaking business exactly?? ;-) All that talk of paddles, feathers, straight and bent shafts.........................turned my head!!!! Am I on the wrong site???

Woo Hoo again! Hee hee

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Adrian Cooper
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Chris Bolton wrote:As I wrote earlier, with zero my control hand is my bottom hand, ie, I always grip with the bottom hand and at the top hand I either rotate my wrist or let the shaft turn in my hand. The top hand doesn't have nearly the same load on it as the bottom hand. When I do rotate the shaft, I've never had a problem rotating back for the next stroke - it seems to be automatic.
This comment I find very interesting in the context of the discussion and various rejections of Steve's analysis. One would think that the beauty of having zero feather was that you never need to adjust your hold but Chris is saying that he does this anyway. I've never paddled with zero feather paddles but can't help thinking that there is something obtuse about removing the feather and then wrist rolling anyway and especially given some of the comments by advocates above.

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Simon
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Simon »

davebrads wrote:I have been looking at Simon's page, and I think that he has got it all wrong. To my mind, you need to consider the angle the arm moves through as viewed from above. snip
Dave,

Thanks for that.

My website picures show a side view of a paddle stroke, a two dimensional analysis of a three dimensional situation. It is a simplified approximation, but it comes up with some answers pretty close to what people find to be useful so I think it is valid.

It may well be that view from a different angle, such as a view from above like you suggest, could also come up with useful data.

It is not that one of us is wrong and one is right, but that two different views each give helpful but incomplete data.

What we actually need is a full three dimensional analysis, but after reading the above thread I'm not going there. Sorry. I value my sanity too much.

best wishes

Simon

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Chris Bolton »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Chris Bolton wrote:As I wrote earlier, with zero my control hand is my bottom hand, ie, I always grip with the bottom hand and at the top hand I either rotate my wrist or let the shaft turn in my hand. The top hand doesn't have nearly the same load on it as the bottom hand. When I do rotate the shaft, I've never had a problem rotating back for the next stroke - it seems to be automatic.
This comment I find very interesting in the context of the discussion and various rejections of Steve's analysis. One would think that the beauty of having zero feather was that you never need to adjust your hold but Chris is saying that he does this anyway. I've never paddled with zero feather paddles but can't help thinking that there is something obtuse about removing the feather and then wrist rolling anyway and especially given some of the comments by advocates above.
Fair point, Adrian. I've never consciously had to adjust my hold - all I do is control the blade in the water with the hand that holds it, and it feels very straightforward. But Steve's analysis has convinced me that I must be doing something with the other hand (unless my paddles remain horizontal, in which case they wouldn't reach the water). The thing I don't do is concentrate all the movement into one wrist, and particularly not to an awkward extent when doing braces and bow rudders on my non-control side.

C1 is much less complicated!

Chris

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Dave McCraw »

An interesting discussion which has made progressively less and less sense, until I calculated that the ideal feather for creeking is approximately 45 degrees.

Go figure! That's exactly what I've got :-)

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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by Steve B »

WetWestPaddlefest wrote:An interesting discussion which has made progressively less and less sense
Is there another kind?
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by SwamP »

Image

Funny that this little diddy ends the whiole conversation.

Like I said earlier...I'm at around 23degs
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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DanH
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Re: Zero Feather Paddles Campaign

Post by DanH »

OK... I have tried Steve's experiment and assuming you have a "control" hand (for a righty paddler this being the right hand and for a lefty paddler this being the left) results in a comfortably "natural" feather angle. I tried this with a right and left hand control hand and got very similar results (around 10-15° - I assume this will vary from person to person as Steve describes). I then repeated the experiment without having a "specific" control hand (i.e. the control hand cycles to the the blade in the water or the broom-end nearest the floor - the non-control hand becoming "loose" on the grip). In this experiment (in my case) the natural feather angle did reduce to ~0°.

So in conclusion, I believe if you want a specific control hand (as historically taught in kayaking) then you will need some degree of feather and this will probably vary from person to person. If you can sacrifice your control hand you should have no problems using a 0° feather paddle. I still believe there are benefits to the 0° feather way of thinking (as well as some disadvantages already pointed out), but I personally believe the pros out-weight the cons...

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