What feather for scouts paddles

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dpround
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What feather for scouts paddles

Post by dpround » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:00 pm

I was going to buy paddles from Ainsworth with a 45 degree feather. I have been offered some from another supplier and now have free choice of the feather angle. Do I go with 45 degrees as the trend seems to be for reducing the feather angle, or do I opt for a more standard 60 degree?

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David

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by edhunter » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:07 pm

From leaning about 8 years ago I learnt with 45 degree feather. I would say that 45 degree was the "norm" now. I'm no expert just commenting on my experiacnes of the last few years.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Dave Manby » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:21 pm

Ask Ken Dodd! :)

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:41 pm

dpround wrote:I...now have free choice of the feather angle
In that case I would go for unfeathered. It makes learning the basic stroke much simpler, avoids complications when scouts who write with their left hand think they need a left handed paddle, reduces wrist problems, makes paddles easier to store, reduces cross wind blade catches... and doesn't have a downside. Or if does, I've been using unfeathered paddles for 20 years without finding it - contrary to myth, it doesn't make paddling into the wind noticeably more difficult. (Nonetheless, I will now expect criticism from people who haven't tried it).

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by ruralweb » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:01 pm

I would say zero feather for exactly the reasons above - keep it simple for them
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by saturday seth » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:23 pm

I think 45 is the norm.

I strongly disagree with the zero degree comment. I think its counterintuitive, limits body rotation and will severely limit the paddlers LTPD which is ultimately the most important thing.

Just my 2 pence

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by paddletastic2 » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:29 pm

Zero feather is the way to go. Scouts unless they are very luck get out only a few times per year. They will getv the hang of zero feather very quickly - feathered paddles are a bit odd for a begineer and take some getting used to.

The aim is usually for the kids to have fun and the more simple the experience can be made the better.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Pat R » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:31 pm

A few years back I had severe wrist problems and was unable to paddle for over a year. When I was able to start gentle paddling again I borrowed a set of Streamlyte paddles with adjustable feather and length in order to find what feather angle gave the least wrist rotation in paddling. I played around with this for about three months and came to the conclusion that for me 42 degrees was right. So 60 degrees would mean too much rotation in one direction and zero feather too much in the other. Pete Howard made me a set of Streamlytes to 42 degrees and no problems since. Because scouts are smaller and so closer to the water I would recommend a smaller angle, say about 40 degrees, to minimise risk of tendon problems in the long term, ie when they are no longer scouts and are old experienced paddlers!

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Simon
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Simon » Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:38 pm

The theory of how paddle feather angle matches the boat that is paddled.

http://www.simondawson.com/artkcr1.htm

Choose the blade feather to match the boat. If you are using very short playboats go for about 20 degrees. If longer general purpose boats then go for 45.

Simon

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by davebrads » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:33 am

it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

dpround
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by dpround » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:37 am

So we have no votes for 60 degree at all, a few for forty five and at least two for zero! I must admit going for zero is tempting, but I think I will probably not be doing the scouts a favour there as the next time they go kayaking the chances are they will be presented with a feathered paddle.

It looks like 60+ dregrees is best for the wrists with a proper high-angle technique. Typically beginners technique is anything but high angle and so they would be fighting the feather, so I think something lower would be more practical. I am deliberatly buying short, junior paddles so that the scouts have a chance at a reasonable technique. At the moment I think 45 degrees is probably the best compromise.

I think I am going to go far all RH paddles. My reasoning is that they are by far the most common and so will most likely be what they get the next time they go kayaking. LH people may find this a little more difficult to start, but there is some evidence that using the wrong control hand gives a little extra performane in competetive paddling, so I am not going to feel too guilty there. Many strokes, such as draw strokes, are done with the feather controlled by the bottom hand regardless.

Many thanks for the advice.

David

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by paddletastic2 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:04 am

dpround wrote:So we have no votes for 60 degree at all, a few for forty five and at least two for zero! I must admit going for zero is tempting, but I think I will probably not be doing the scouts a favour there as the next time they go kayaking the chances are they will be presented with a feathered paddle.

It looks like 60+ dregrees is best for the wrists with a proper high-angle technique. Typically beginners technique is anything but high angle and so they would be fighting the feather, so I think something lower would be more practical. I am deliberatly buying short, junior paddles so that the scouts have a chance at a reasonable technique. At the moment I think 45 degrees is probably the best compromise.

I think I am going to go far all RH paddles. My reasoning is that they are by far the most common and so will most likely be what they get the next time they go kayaking. LH people may find this a little more difficult to start, but there is some evidence that using the wrong control hand gives a little extra performane in competetive paddling, so I am not going to feel too guilty there. Many strokes, such as draw strokes, are done with the feather controlled by the bottom hand regardless.

Many thanks for the advice.

David

Another reason for zero feather is that left handed paddlers do not have an issue!!

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by davebrads » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:21 am

In my opinion 45 degrees is around the right feather for a good, high-angle forward stroke. As you say beginners don't paddle with a high angle so a lesser angle would make it easier. I can see that this is of benefit with coaching scouts when you are just giving them a taste of the sport, but if you are plannning to work with a group over a longer period then I would stick with 45 degrees to encourage a higher angle stroke.

I also agree with your plan of sticking with RH paddles. In my experience, the choice or RH or LH feather has little to do with handedness, but more to do with what paddle was given to the paddler at the start. I know right handed people (such as my sister) who paddle with LH feather, and vice-versa. It also makes things easier for the paddler if they progress - it's far more likely that retailers are going to have the paddle you want in stock if you go for a RH feather.
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by MikeB » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:07 am

Is there any reason why you cant get them as splits, set with 0 and 45 degrees?

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Simon
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Simon » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:40 am

davebrads wrote:In my opinion 45 degrees is around the right feather for a good, high-angle forward stroke. As you say beginners don't paddle with a high angle so a lesser angle would make it easier. I can see that this is of benefit with coaching scouts when you are just giving them a taste of the sport, but if you are plannning to work with a group over a longer period then I would stick with 45 degrees to encourage a higher angle stroke.
This was a really difficult issue to confront when I was researching paddle feather angle all those yeas ago. There seems to be a consensus that high paddle angle equals good, and low angle equals bad, because the slalomists and marathon racers all go really fast and have a high angle.

BUT - if you take lots of photos of all sorts of paddlers in all sorts of boats, it seems that paddlers in long fast racing boats have a high paddle angle, but paddlers in boats with a short waterline length have a low paddle angle. Importantly - even when you film really good playboat, creekboat, or any short waterline boat paddler, they mostly have a low paddle angle, except for the very occasional short burst of sprinting.

So can we ditch the old mantra of:

high paddle angle good, low paddle angle bad.

Instead have a new mantra:

long waterline racing boat - high paddle angle
short waterline playboat - low paddle angle.

But I agree with Dave - 45 degrees is an excellent compromise for a scout group who might want paddles to use in a wide variety of boats and situations.

Simon

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by twicezero » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:41 am

davebrads wrote: I also agree with your plan of sticking with RH paddles. In my experience, the choice or RH or LH feather has little to do with handedness, but more to do with what paddle was given to the paddler at the start. I know right handed people (such as my sister) who paddle with LH feather, and vice-versa. It also makes things easier for the paddler if they progress - it's far more likely that retailers are going to have the paddle you want in stock if you go for a RH feather.
I wish i had learnt RH feather, as the hassles of hiring / borrowing and the pain & cost of buying would have been so much simpler.
I would recommend any left handers only fall back on LH paddles if RH isn't working out.

Of course if you canoe all those problems go away :)

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by dpround » Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:30 pm

MikeB wrote:Is there any reason why you cant get them as splits, set with 0 and 45 degrees?
About £10 per paddle reason I am afraid :(

David

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Pickle Lily » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:30 pm

twicezero wrote:
davebrads wrote: I also agree with your plan of sticking with RH paddles. In my experience, the choice or RH or LH feather has little to do with handedness, but more to do with what paddle was given to the paddler at the start. I know right handed people (such as my sister) who paddle with LH feather, and vice-versa. It also makes things easier for the paddler if they progress - it's far more likely that retailers are going to have the paddle you want in stock if you go for a RH feather.
I wish I had learnt RH feather, as the hassles of hiring / borrowing and the pain & cost of buying would have been so much simpler.
I would recommend any left handers only fall back on LH paddles if RH isn't working out.

Of course if you canoe all those problems go away :)
Speaking as a lefty who paddles RH, I also wouldn't bother with LH paddles. RH was all that was available to me when I first started out, so I just got on with it. I expect that most lefties are fairly used to adapting to living in a right handed world in one way or another.
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Rdscott » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:31 pm

Firstly

As an active coach for a scout group, we have a selection of boats of different sizes and a different shapes,we also have a selection of paddles from 0 to 90 degrees, the scouts seem to always choose to go for the 45's when given the option. but aselection is always agood idea if aford able. We alsohave ifferent lengths as this makes a bigg differance too.
Chris Bolton wrote:
dpround wrote:I...now have free choice of the feather angle
In that case I would go for unfeathered. It makes learning the basic stroke much simpler, avoids complications when scouts who write with their left hand think they need a left handed paddle, reduces wrist problems, makes paddles easier to store, reduces cross wind blade catches... and doesn't have a downside. Or if does, I've been using unfeathered paddles for 20 years without finding it - contrary to myth, it doesn't make paddling into the wind noticeably more difficult. (Nonetheless, I will now expect criticism from people who haven't tried it).

Chris
Now chris what about someone who paddles with both, or is critisisum from them not aloud.

On the river and lakei found very little differance however paddling into a head wind on the sea made around 1 notts worth of differance,i paddlewith 45's on the river and ajustable splits on the sea this is so i can change the feather on long trips so as not torepeat the same movement, and so when tiering i can have a change.

If i hold my paddle loosly whilst paddling forward with a45i find that i twist my wrist very little,with a 0 contray to belife i still have to twistmy wrist it is a slight different motion but deffinatly a moiton none the less.

ialsofind that when doing strokessuch as the stern rudder and low brace a featheris alot easier that 0 feather,but strokessuch as bow rudders become alot easier.

As someone who HAS paddled with both i find there is pro's and cons to each of them.

Thirdly doesnt the new BCU system suggest not giving them a right or left handed paddleand just letting them work out which is the best for them.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:54 pm

Rdscott wrote:Now chris what about someone who paddles with both
Anyone who's seriously tried it, fair enough and I'm interested in your experience. I'm surprised, though, that they cost you a knot into headwinds on the sea, as I don't see any difference between my speed and my paddling mates (who mostly use feathered Euroblades) going into wind or otherwise. I shall check more carefully. I'm also intrigued by Jim Snyder's thoughts (Jim being a man who has thought a lot about how boats and paddles work and has never been bound by convention). I don't recognise the pushing issue he mentions and I'll need to check next time I'm on the water. Perhaps it's just that pushing is not a major component of my stroke - I only push hard enough to keep the paddle in the right place - it's the pull that moves the boat forward.

Chris

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Scots_Charles_River » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:13 pm

Just to throw a spanner in the works.......

I teach/coach school kids at my school. Last year we had about 45 do tasters for two hours in canoe and kayak. And I now have a development group to build skills up.

I think that paddle shaft Length is more important than feather. Especially with smaller kids, their levers, for pulling after the catch phase, will be pretty small. If they struggle in the first ten minutes trying to forward paddle efficiently, they will get put off/frustrated pretty soon. Same argument as making sure they have got the foot rests correct before paddling (connectivity).

So shorter rather than longer. If GP/WW kayaks on flat water.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by GoldTopo » Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:46 pm

Give a first time paddler a 90 degree paddle & they will go round in circles.
Give them a zero degree & they will go in a straight line.
Does that answer your question?

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Rdscott » Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:46 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Rdscott wrote:Now chris what about someone who paddles with both
Anyone who's seriously tried it, fair enough and I'm interested in your experience. I'm surprised, though, that they cost you a knot into headwinds on the sea, as I don't see any difference between my speed and my paddling mates (who mostly use feathered Euroblades) going into wind or otherwise. I shall check more carefully. I'm also intrigued by Jim Snyder's thoughts (Jim being a man who has thought a lot about how boats and paddles work and has never been bound by convention). I don't recognise the pushing issue he mentions and I'll need to check next time I'm on the water. Perhaps it's just that pushing is not a major component of my stroke - I only push hard enough to keep the paddle in the right place - it's the pull that moves the boat forward.

Chris
Dont get me wrong chris im not saying you are wrong i was simply saying it effected me,i have been using it more regularly and the effects areshowing lessandlesshowever i do have to concentrait on what i am doing, After alleveryone is indavidual,are we truly going to ever know,iknow i unconciasly alter my speed to the group i am with and if i am on a lake solo i can cover much more ground then in a group. just like jimspushing affect imsure you will find you do it to some extent unconciously.

I am no expert though,

backon topic as has been said forlearning and scouts arange of sizes will probably be more usefull

Ruaridh

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by davebrads » Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:43 am

Chris Bolton wrote:I don't recognise the pushing issue he mentions and I'll need to check next time I'm on the water.
Actually Chris, after thinking about it more, I agree with you. In fact I'm not sure if the top hand actually pushes forward at all in a normal forward stroke, you are more pushing down the shaft, in which case the alignment of the wrist probably makes little difference. I'm more concerned about the alignment of the wrist on the bottom hand as that is definitely pulling, and I would have thought that it was a good thing to have your wrist aligned for this, and that is why I don't care for zero degree feather paddles.

Can't you tell I just love these technical discussions!
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by dpround » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:09 am

Scots_Charles_River wrote:Just to throw a spanner in the works.......

I teach/coach school kids at my school. Last year we had about 45 do tasters for two hours in canoe and kayak. And I now have a development group to build skills up.

I think that paddle shaft Length is more important than feather. Especially with smaller kids, their levers, for pulling after the catch phase, will be pretty small. If they struggle in the first ten minutes trying to forward paddle efficiently, they will get put off/frustrated pretty soon. Same argument as making sure they have got the foot rests correct before paddling (connectivity).

So shorter rather than longer. If GP/WW kayaks on flat water.
I agree absolutely. With paddles that are too long kids will never get a sensible angle and so any feather is going to be a pain. The reason I am buying kids paddles is to get them the right length primarily, rather than just use the adult paddles I have which are too long, too heavy and have too big blades. With paddles that are the right length there is hope of a decent paddling angle, which gives a lot less torque for the thrust amongst its many other benefits, so hopefully they will be able to go forwards. As you have said, results are everything. If the kids can't make the boat do what they want, they get frustrated.

All the best

David

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by OwenBurson » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:51 pm

Rdscott wrote: however paddling into a head wind on the sea made around 1 notts worth of differance
With the greatest of respect, that is nonsense! I paddle most days on the sea with flat (0 feather) blades in all conditions and spend a lot of time working with paddlers to develop efficient and effective forward paddling. It does not make 1 knt of difference. It makes no difference in anything other than F6 or above, and then that is the least of your worries :-) as the blade is not 'catching' the air in the same way as it might catch the water.

For the record, I'd spend the extra £10 and go with splits so all can adjust to their particular style and needs.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Rdscott » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:07 pm

OwenBurson wrote:
Rdscott wrote: however paddling into a head wind on the sea made around 1 notts worth of differance
There is some irony of calling someones information nonse, A polite way of saying lies, asi said above this was my experiances and as i have further added it is becomeing lesswith practice.

I have backed up my oppinions with FACTS of when each paddle will benifit a user in strokes,and this is due to the movement of the wrist through the stroke.

And just foryourinformation i frequently paddle in demanding water,and winds ranging from F0 to F7.

Please addyour experiances and information to enifit and disagree wth information but blatantly calling nonses shows no respect.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by OwenBurson » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:03 pm

It's a subject that would certainly make a great study for someone. It's interesting that we train, test and benchmark our racing paddlers with the help of ergos that have zero feather.

Making such a blithe statement may be based on your experience but that doesn't make it fact. If you'd have said something like "in my experience I have felt that my stroke rate and/or power output was affected when paddling into a head wind using a 0 degree feather paddle" then it wouldn't have been nonsense, merely a personal opinion which would have been as valid as any other. In my experience zero degree feather has no effect against lighter winds and if it had an arbitrary 1 knt disadvantage into a headwind, then myself and many other sea kayakers who use zero's would have changed back years ago.

I genuinely didn't, and don't mean to disrespect you in any way and I offer my apologies for the apparent offence it has caused.
Last edited by OwenBurson on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by DaveBland » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:09 pm

Interesting about Lefties paddling with RH paddles these days. I'm a Rightie that paddles with LH paddles. No idea why, I learned with flat 90degree, blades so no bias there.

I think the pushing with the top arm thing comes from the old school way of paddling with 90 degree blades too.

As for the wind resistance thing, it's all a bit arbitrary – paddle into a headwind with 90 deg blades and it's easier, but get a strong side wind and it's well tricky. If there's not much wind either way, it makes no odds.

I'd vote for 0 degree for scouts as it's easy-ish to change later if not too set in your ways and it provides the easiest entry level in terms of not going round in circles.
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Re: What feather for scouts paddles

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:37 pm

Some left and some right, thats what my scout group had and it worked for us.

In those days it was always 90deg left or right until the flat K100s came out and made left/right irrelevant.

With less than 90 you may need left/right, I don't think 60 or 45 makes as big a difference as 90 or 60 does and I think most people could get on fine with either, except where left/right is an issue.

Another point is that there are lefties who paddle with rights because no one ever told them there was difference, and vice versa so if your scouts are not likely to be exposed to external influences who know about paddles, the southpaws might get on just fine with rights, or they might get annoyed because paddling is too hard and give up. Everyone is different!

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