Do I need Wings?

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Mark R
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Do I need Wings?

Post by Mark R » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:29 pm

Currently focussing on trying to paddle more efficiently, to go faster and further - I am sure that I used to be able to do this, now I suspect I really am rather sloppy in technique (and that's before we talk about fitness/ strength...).

In the past, I've paddled thousands of miles using Lendal modified Wing paddles, on a crank shaft...I was never convinced they did anything especially different though, and they were surprisingly heavy...when I changed to carbon Werners, it was like dropping a scaffolding pole and picking up a feather...

Any reason I should consider using 'proper' Wings? Are the cheaper versions any good? Or am I better off just focusing on using my 'normal' paddle more efficiently?

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Chris Bolton
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Chris Bolton » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:19 pm

I've used wings a bit in downriver racing kayaks, but not on the sea. In my experience the blades plant themselves better as, if held loosely, they will rotate to the right angle. Then the lip on the outside edge holds the paddle in the water, while the inside edge spills a bit to prevent it stalling (the "aerofoil" lift is, in my opinion, a marketing fallacy). They encourage good rotation at the end of the stroke, but if you do the same rotation with traditional spooned blades, you will see most of the benefit. In my experience, again, bracing, draw strokes, etc, are more difficult with wings, but that may simply be that I haven't used them enough to develop the technique for those strokes - I don't anticipate that John Willacy has such problems.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Baldy-Old-Troll » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:32 pm

Mark, I also paddled with the kinetic wing for a year or so before I moved on to a full wing and I wish I had missed out the kinetic and went straight to the wing. The kinetic is neither fish nor fowl, the full wing I'm using is much more stable in the water allowing a more relaxed grip and showing no flutter at the blade no matter how hard I'm going, you won't need the cranks anymore. If you concentrate on a good catch and rotation the the blade will show you where to go, it feels so much better at the catch and the amount of support you get from the blade during the stroke is much better than with the kinetic. If you have been using the standard size kinetic please do yourself a favour and go for a smaller wing 700cm sq or smaller, you'll go faster for longer and on a windy day it will make a huge difference. If you can try as many different sizes and shapes of wings as possible, I bought mine blind on e- bay and have been lucky in that I absolutely love my Fenn 5 . If you're prepared to use a high angle, high rotation paddle stroke then the wing will make a difference, but it does need that bit of discipline to use.

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andyE
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by andyE » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:41 pm

Fitness and technique before the wing, wax on wax off !

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by flat earth sails » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:30 pm

Im a resent wing convert, for long days I find it rewording, thay also let you know when you get it wrong, I now cary both , a split flat cranked blade and a split small mid wing . When im in around the rocks I change to the crank to gain the benefit of being abel to youse a broad range of strokes which aren't available with the wing. My role is very rudimentary and i find the crank helps when its needed. The wing is really grate for kayak sailing delivering the best support through the stroke when the sail is already supplying some of the momentum.

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immunogirl
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by immunogirl » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:42 am

You can paddle a lendal wing paddle as a euro paddle, so they really aren't that great if you don't already have a good wing stroke.

The other wing paddles force you to adopt good technique, which makes you a better paddler with a better forward stroke. I'm lazy, so I needed gear that forced me to paddle better and rewarded me for it...

I use my epic small-mid wings all the time. And now that I've done that for a long time - I use a similar stroke whenever I use a euro or a greenland paddle.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by GregMiller » Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:36 pm

Hi Mark,
I'd agree with Mick and tend now to have both on my boat. The wings if we're doing a longer trip and swapping to the euro blades (Shuna carbons in my case) if there's manoeuvring, rock hopping etc. on the agenda.

I've had wings for about 2 years now and at the start I thought I'd only use them for long trips or 'training' but over the last year I find I take the wings first and only swap to the euros when really needed.

The big thing for me is that they feel more efficient that the euros, far better 'grip' on the water and transfer of power. I went for Jantex Gamma's 212-218 with a soft shaft after trying a few others and I've been really pleased.

You really need to 'Try before you buy'!
All wings are NOT the same and there's a great deal of difference between the blades and the shafts different manufacturers use. I've found the soft shaft option on the Jantex to be excellent. It really lets the blade lock at the catch and also doesn't pull the shoulders out of you when you're on a long trip or putting on the power. After I got mine I went back and tried some others and you could really notice the differences with other makes. Some wings are more 'Sprint' orientated and very rigid and others are more 'marathon' like and a bit more forgiving, so it's horses for courses depending on what you want to do.

So what I'm saying is - I'd definitely get a set of wings!
Put them in your armoury beside the euro blades and the Greenland stick (I know you have one lurking somewhere) and choose your weapon depending on the paddle for that day/month.

Happy paddling.
G

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by EK Sydney » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:32 am

In my opinion, based on a good few years now in nearly every single one of them that has been a successful design, most fast tourers are simply too fast to make a flat blade the right horse. You rate thorough the roof once you get them running, especially downwind, and the torque from even a big flat isn't punchy enough to sustain the pace unless your cadence goes miles above anything I'm comfy with.
There is a reason very single ocean ski paddler worth his or her salt uses a wing, they are way more stable once you start going fast, even in the sea. I can paddle my V10 anywhere with a wing, but feel way less stable if I'm silly enough to use a flat.
True you need to be very dedicated to do the twiddly strokes, but a well rehearsed plan for manouvring
to a rescue, combined with a good set of open water boat handling will make that a pretty small trade off for the savings in effort and extra efficiency a wing paddle delivers to a fast hull.
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Eliza Dolittle » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:55 pm

Is this another DW question by any chance?
I use wings for marathon, sea and wavehopper. I use flats for slalom, polo and my Burn. It takes me a few mins to adjust from wings to flats. Wings are very positive on the catch and don't flutter when pulling hard. When first learning with wings , they do not forgive a lazy, low technique where the paddle blade comes out well behind the bum with little rotation. It's like lifting a bucket of water and can have you in.
Some stuff on paddling technique here http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/media/p ... 20pack.pdf
My first set of wings came from Tim Middlehurst http://www.canoesport-paddles.co.uk/ and I replaced them after 9 when I decided they were getting worn. That included 3 DW attempts and regular Hasler racing and training. They are now my spare set.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Mark R » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:22 pm

Yes, thinking of the DW...but also other endurance paddling I have lined up, on the sea.

Some great advice here, thanks all. I will certainly be getting a pair ASAP.
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WillH
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by WillH » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:55 pm

Mark,

Have a look at the Legend Fusion : http://legendpaddles.co.nz/paddles/

I use the Small - a good power/endurance compromise. For me, the Medium would possibly place too much strain paddling a loaded boat on longer days.

Mike Webb/Rockpool imports.

Also Jantex as mentioned earlier:
http://www.jantex.sk/

I did not get on with the brands that are perhaps more commonly used in the sea kayak community, but felt very much at home with these.

Cheers,
Will

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by EK Sydney » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:45 pm

Agreed, both excellent designs.

Beware of the designated flat water wing paddles, they tend to be less forgiving of a water surface that isn't flat & can be a handful in moving water.

When in doubt, look at what the good ocean ski paddlers use, they're piloting 6m+, 45cm an narrower skis through bounce & rough water that most of us would find a handful in a barge.

Mark.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by flat earth sails » Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:30 am

Iv yoused the legend paddles , ther fusion is probably ther best , i found ther other paddles to big and hevy . As Mark mentioned folow what the ski paddlers are yousing.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Bards » Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:18 pm

Mark,

the local ski guys I know swear by Lettmann (I may be able to blag one for a borrow...?) but I believe they only come as one-piece, so not so easy to swap with a Euro on the water if going for rock gardening or whatever mid-workout... also hence fixed feather. Probably nothing wrong with a self-split DIY, but a shame to get out the hacksaw on a brand-spanker

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Mark R » Tue Jan 14, 2014 3:31 pm

Thanks Bards...I will hopefully be trying a pair of Jen's Epics at the weekend.
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Big Fish » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:08 pm

Have you tried Red Bull?

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by flat earth sails » Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:42 pm

I like the small mid from epic there a fear bit litter than others and the split is well constructed.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by lennart » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:07 pm

LIght is good
easy is good
not to big is good.
I still like my epic's mid wings still a lot , not cheap but great, some others do also well.

Do not do brasca 4 or 7. stay far away from the old rasmussen wings.
Propper Writing in English, how do you do that, with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language
sorry fore all the mistakes.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Jonathan. » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:55 pm

Does any manufacturer make wings that split?
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by flat earth sails » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:02 am

Jonathan. wrote:Does any manufacturer make wings that split?
Most do

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by lennart » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:30 am

spiltts:
knysna
lettmann
epic
jantex
zastera
gpower
brasca

So I think all of the mayor wing paddle brands do splits. All those splits make it possible to adjust lenghts and feather. A lot of racers are constant changing those to get it right for that day. a lot of surfskiguy change during their races. headwind down wind make a big difference.
Propper Writing in English, how do you do that, with dyslexia, bad hand eye coordination, ect. and in a foreign language
sorry fore all the mistakes.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by StoneWeasel » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:57 pm

Big Fish wrote:Have you tried Red Bull?
Nice!

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:40 pm

I have a 210cm Venom paddle which I'm keen to sell, it has a curved profile that scoops the water quite nicely.
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Carbonius » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:35 pm

I completely agree with "wax on, wax off" attitude. I started with Adventure Technology, Raab euroblade, then switched to Zastera wing (mid burton). Although, started to have problems with wrist and then switched to GP. Currently, paddling mostly greenland paddles and the problems are gone.

I think, if you want to go faster it is a meter of technique and the boat that you ride. Your efficiency will have its price, reflecting on you joints and tendons...depending on how often do you paddle.

Cheers

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Mark R » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:45 pm

TechnoEngineer wrote:I have a 210cm Venom paddle which I'm keen to sell, it has a curved profile that scoops the water quite nicely.
Too short for me I suspect? I'm 6'3".
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by flat earth sails » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:27 am

Mabe not, im 6'2" and youse 210 uros, and between 207 and 210 wings.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Mark R » Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:41 pm

This weekend I've tried a set of Epic Wings (the 'mid' size I think) for a couple of sessions...on the canal in a K2 and on some choppy swelly seas in my fast sea kayak. Really like them, they weren't hard to get used to and I will certainly continue with them. My aching lower back and screaming shoulder muscles suggest to me that they do indeed force you to paddle 'properly' and don't allow slouchy technique. I won't test out rolling etc with them until I've fitted out my boat more snugly...that's my excuse anyway...

I bought a used pair from a friend cheaply, but one of the blades has a worrying crack right across the neck...so I will be buying a new set in due course. Any idea where they might be available at a sane price?

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Matt P
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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Matt P » Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:05 pm

They are available at ultimatekayaks.co.uk, but price might not be sane (for you)

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by immunogirl » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:59 pm

Mark R wrote:This weekend I've tried a set of Epic Wings (the 'mid' size I think) for a couple of sessions...on the canal in a K2 and on some choppy swelly seas in my fast sea kayak. Really like them, they weren't hard to get used to and I will certainly continue with them. My aching lower back and screaming shoulder muscles suggest to me that they do indeed force you to paddle 'properly' and don't allow slouchy technique. I won't test out rolling etc with them until I've fitted out my boat more snugly...that's my excuse anyway...

I bought a used pair from a friend cheaply, but one of the blades has a worrying crack right across the neck...so I will be buying a new set in due course. Any idea where they might be available at a sane price?

Cheers,
Here's where I get them - http://baykayaking.com/

I don't know if Brian ships overseas, but it's worth an email to ask. When he's got a sale on, it's great.

Shoulder muscles screaming? are you using your shoulders to rotate instead of rotating from the waist? You should be able to put a paddle half through the back of your pfd and paddle with the wing - shoulders should just be going forward through rotation & not from movement.

Rolling with a wing is actually really easy, once you get the hang of putting the wing flat on the surface - it just throws you up out of the water. The epic wings oblong shape makes it easy to feel when the wing is flat.

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Re: Do I need Wings?

Post by Mark R » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:45 pm

immunogirl wrote:Shoulder muscles screaming? are you using your shoulders to rotate instead of rotating from the waist? You should be able to put a paddle half through the back of your pfd and paddle with the wing - shoulders should just be going forward through rotation & not from movement.
Shoulders were just unused to unfamiliar feather angle, it passed soon enough.

Sore back was because I'm used to slouching lazily in my sea kayak, not sitting upright in a K2 without support. Considering removing the backrest from my sea kayak to help me develop this aspect of core strength.
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