Wing Paddle or Not^

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Phill2132
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 am

Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by Phill2132 »

Could anyone help please , am thinking of getting a Wing paddle and cannot decide wether to or not. Question is I paddle mainly on a lake and a little on the sea for fitness ,how much more speed would a Wing give me in mph ?
Thanks Paul

Aled
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:40 am
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 26 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Aled »

A wing paddle won't necessarily give you more speed - a lot of related factors need to combine to give you more speed.

I've been paddling for over 30 years, but only been 'playing around' with wings for the last 4 years or so, mainly to complement paddling my surfski and racing sea kayak. I train "competitively" twice a week and enter a couple of sea/estuary races per year, and am fortunate to be able to draw on the international competition experiences of my training partner. I've recorded and analysed all my training and racing data over the last 3+ years and have drawn these conclusions:

You can pull just as hard on a flat blade as you can on a wing to achieve a target heart rate.

The difference between the two blades becomes more apparent once you reach a consistent speed of approx 5+knots (10kph) or more. Touring sea kayaks will only achieve this speed for short sprints, where a racing sea kayak/surfski would consider this as a minimum speed. At this pace the faster boats will demand a minimum stroke rate of 80ish strokes per minute - these would be long reach full length strokes, not artificially shortened splashy ones, and require approx 80% heartrate effort. At the 5+knots pace, the wing paddle is in the water for a relatively short time as all the energy has to be delivered quickly - this is where the wings excel. Wings grab water very well, and remain stable in the water even when you're pulling as hard as you can. They can be "hammered" into the water and still behave respectfully. At this speed, flat blades splash, flutter and cavitate - this is a waste of energy as the paddler spends some effort in controlling the blade rather than just pulling hard.

In my short time with wings, I've come to the conclusion that it takes some time and effort to get used to them. I use them to achieve the best power transfer to the water in the shortest time so I may pull the boat through the water at max hull speed. It took me well over a year before they even started becoming 'second-nature', and I found all the strokes other than forward paddling very limiting, although I'm slowly getting more comfortable with them now. A ruddered boat helps a lot - my toes do the steering and every other bit of my body is used to drive the boat forwards. My joints ached when I started using a wing - the immediate power delivery is tough on the body, and I had to focus on strengthening up.

I suppose wings are good at making fast boats go fast - but I'm still a learner...

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

Aled with due respect to your kayaking skills did you find that the wing caused you to improve your paddling stroke as others apparently have. By this I mean very few recreational paddlers of sea kayaks use leg drive and trunk rotation, for their forward strokes using arms rather than leg and back to provide the power. If you did not then can you say what it was about the wing which took so long for you to feel comfortable as from what you say you do practice on a very regular basis.
Also how does the foot plate in the Epic skis compare in your opinion to the smart track system as I don't like my feet on pegs towards the side of the hull ?
I have changed to foam footplates instead of pegs to prevent the external rotation of my hips and strain on the knees, which I think with a full on leg drive can only make matters worse.
http://www.willyneumann.com/index.php?o ... &Itemid=90

At the bottom of the page linked to above is what looks like a far more comfortable arrangement although how they bond it securely enough is unknown to me

Phill2132
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 am

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Phill2132 »

Hi thanks for the info guys so what you are saying is if you do not have a fast kayak a wing would not improve your speed
Thanks Paul

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

Hi Paul, you say you paddle sea and flat water for fitness, may I ask what kayak you are using ? some further details might help with others being able to give a more helpful answer.
I like to use Greenland sticks, and euro blades are good for rock gardens IMO, but I am restarting to use a wing for several reasons including fitness but mostly as a tool with which to learn to improve the efficiency of my forward stroke, and I do find them interesting to use quiet enjoyable the little I have done so far. Over the long term my aim is to use the most efficient stroke I can learn to be comfortable not with speed as the aim but to reduce stress and strain on my body as far as I am possibly able to.
The impression I get on flat water so far is that the wing paddle does improve my speed but I think what Aled is alluding to and I have heard elsewhere is that if you paddle a barge for example it is just too much like hard work. You load the body and it would be akin to a work out with weights rather than one for cardio fitness. At the other end of the spectrum a light easily driven racing kayak with the exact same paddle would in relation to the barge, reduce the loading to the point where it is not a muscle building exercise but more of a cardio vascular one with a higher stroke rate.
Some say that for increased speed the greatest gains come from improving the efficiency of your forward paddling technique, and for this a coach is indeed a good idea, and there is a lot of information on the net as well, but for me the wing paddle I am using is like an on board coach as well as good fun.

Aled
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:40 am
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 26 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Aled »

Graham,
By picking up the wing paddle and applying myself to regular training and entering the odd race, I can safely say I've learnt way more about mechanics and the physiological side to paddling than I did in the previous 27ish years of touring/surfing/playboating. Quite a lot of credit also goes to JW who allowed me to join in his regular and focused training sessions.

I find there's a difference between the surfski and the racing sea kayak - mainly due to their different applications. The racing sea kayak (Pace18) has a typical sea kayak cockpit setup, and it can be paddled in quite rough and also moving water (the Swellies is the favoured training area). The thighbraces allow me to lock-in when I need the control, and the slightly wider than perfect foot and knee location is a bonus when it comes to edging. The downside is it restricts the full body rotation/knee pump enjoyed by more open cockpit boats like the surfski/K1.

The surfski lets me work towards proper leg drive rotation, great for flat water or "downhilling on the bumps", not so secure for the moving water stuff, even though a surprising amount of purchase can be gained from the sides of the cockpit.

I favour the kayak in winter, its warmer - the rudder also lifts when I hit rocks.

Phill,
I'm not dismissing the wing paddle for a touring sea kayak. A standard flat asymmetric will drive the touring boat to its max hull speed, but if you want to add the wing action you certainly can, but the boat is probably already going as fast as it can. If you want a really hard workout, get a wing and power the touring boat as high up its bow wave as you can, then keep it there for as long as possible!

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

Okay thanks Aled I had not thought you would need to be locked in for most of the time, but I guess you boys are out in some lumpy waters
A technical question to do with wing feather and stroke mechanics, are you keeping your wrists in a straight alignment at all times they have load on them ? I have been trying to visualise this and doing dry land drills to see how it works, and does your upper pushing hand cross the centerline of the kayak ?
Is the rotation overall a little less extreme than is seen in the racing kayaks ?.
Perhaps I should say I did a day of forward paddling technique at the SKC symposium last year with a UK flat water coach and learnt a lot, and I already have JW booked for some coaching soon, but the whole thing with the "control" wrist/feather bothers me as it is not clear/comfortable and the more I can learn and understand the better. I know real well perfect practice makes perfect and it is very easy to learn improper form in quick time so it has to be unlearnt and I would like to learn to get it right from the get go to avoid that, so any help appreciated

Phill2132
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 am

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Phill2132 »

Hi graham
I have just recently got an Eddyline Fathom which is a touring boat which is pretty quick for what it is.
Like I say I use it mostly on the lakes and the occasional time on the sea with a Werner coryvecan paddle (not too sure about the spelling).Like yourself I would like to improve my technique , speed without well putting too much strain on my oldish body

Aled
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:40 am
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 26 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Aled »

Graham,
I think my wrists are straight and rotation takes my top hand across the boat, but to be honest my approach has not been body focused. I'd seen people paddle wings and had a vague idea of what was good practice, but my focus has been to listen and feel the paddle in the water, keep an eye on the heart rate monitor and gps, and try to keep up with JW. Wings are wonderfully communicative paddles and give a lot of feedback - do something wrong and they tell you. It's also taken some time to strengthen up to be able to hold poise and turn on the power. After years of focusing on rough water boat handling, using wings is a long and immensly enjoyable learning curve - I'm in no rush for it to end, and expect it to take some time.

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

Thanks Aled I like to be self taught in most things, and to learn by feel and experience, and I love the feel of a wing through the water, but mentally I am hungry to understand the biomechanics perhaps professional interest and also to ensure my joints are now looked after to the best of my ability.
Like you it is a fun learning and has taken my mind in a whole new direction of what I might enjoy

Aled
Posts: 314
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:40 am
Location: North Wales
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 26 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Aled »

Phill,
Investment in technique is always a good use of time!
Kayak Designer at Tiderace

User avatar
Simongelder
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:52 pm
Location: Chester
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Simongelder »

I have been trying to convert to wings for over a year. For the time being I have given up using them in my sea kayak (a Nordkapp). Whilst they are fine in flat water I really struggle with steering whilst steady paddling in choppy waves and wind from the stern quarters. I recently moved from a stable Marathon K1 to a more unstable but supposedly much faster K1. The wings have helped immensely with stability. It has taken longer than I expected to generate higher average speeds although this is gradually coming. It has proven a battle not to revert back to flat blades, particularly when in company or for club races. In summary, don't expect to suddenly go faster using wings. Do expect to have to relearn aspects of paddling which you may not have consciously thought about for years. Don't give up after initial frustrations!

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

Hi Phill, I am 58 the knees painful on and off I have had tendonitis both sides of both elbows and both shoulders mostly due to trauma but some from training long ago. I have not so far ever hurt myself due to paddling but like you I am keen to use my body in a way that is unlikely to give rise to issues.
Good forward paddling technique will emphasise use of the larger leg and back muscles, as well as the core muscles. A strong core has other benefits associated with posture in general so a possible additional benefit to be had. I think if your aim is to become more efficient paddler with less strain and you enjoy a challenge or to continue to learn new things then try to borrow a wing or buy one. Get advise about size of blade and shaft length which can be a minefield but unless you are very strong perhaps begin with a smaller blade area and an adjustable shaft so the feather and length can be fine tuned for you. I am almost certain that unless your stroke is already very good then you will gain new tools for your tool box, to be a stronger paddler less prone to injury even if not faster,
Good luck with whatever you decide to do

Phill2132
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 am

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Phill2132 »

To get the best out of the wing are you working your legs in your sea kayaks like you would in a k1

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

I have never paddled a K1 but from what I have seen by video yes but to a lesser extent certainly than those who are racing seriously. I think there are several reasons for this speaking from no experience whatsoever and includes the width of the kayaks, the aims, and possibly other technical aspects such as the seat itself

User avatar
Kate D
Posts: 365
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:42 pm
Location: Skye

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Kate D »

I use a wing paddle with my sea kayak almost all the time both for racing, touring, guiding and coaching. The wing is my paddle of choice for almost every occasion. I find that the wing encourages a more efficient stroke, so that without thinking too much about technique I can paddle fairly efficiently. With an assymetric paddle I can also paddle efficiently but when I'm not really concentrating I tend to lapse into a less efficient 'arms only' stroke.
It's not all about speed. For touring you will want to develop the most efficient stroke that you can perhaps to save energy, cover longer distances or go faster. Depends what you want out of your paddling.
An assymetric paddle used well will do everything you need as will a wing. I just find it easier to maintain a good technique with a wing. I'm using a Zastera medium burton wing. These are imported from the Czech Republic by Rockpool kayaks.

Phill2132
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:07 am

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Phill2132 »

Thanks again guys for the information and I think my next purchase will be a wing.
Discipline and technique seem to be key in the paddles use but equally it may reduce stress on
my shoulders
Thanks Paul

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Mark R »

I've spent a fair amount of time sitting in the back of a K2 using Wing paddles lately (http://southwestseakayaking.co.uk/2014/ ... ce-2014-1/), I've also been using the Wings with my sea kayak a fair bit. These experiences have taught me quite a lot. I really do believe that I paddle more efficiently now.

A few personal conclusions/ impressions, which may or may not be accurate...

* After time in the K2, I have refitted my 'fast' sea kayak inside. After years of subscribing to the WW-influenced view of making things as tight/ snug as possible (which would still largely be my approach for paddling a Delphin or suchlike), I have completely removed the backrest to make myself sit upright and moved the footrests back so I can 'pedal' from leg to leg. I have the seat padded snugly either side so I can edge the boat with hip movement alone, and can still brace using the thigh braces if needed...but usually my thighs are not in contact with them.

* I have been using too-long paddles for years. I have now dropped from 220+ cm sea paddles to 210-215 with the Wings, depending on circumstances. This definitely makes my stroke more efficient. I'm also finding changing length during trips useful, but am still experimenting with what works best in what circumstances.

* I much prefer having my hands close to the blades, as close as the collar which covers the shaft allows...

Image

Image

...unfortunately, this has meant that when I've switched back to my crank shaft Werners - where the 'cranks' have always been too narrow for my long arms - I have then suffered serious wrist strain. Amazingly, I think I have learned that I'm much better off injury-wise with straight shafts.

* I am still struggling with the Wings a bit in rough water, and have been tending to switch back to my Werners when things get choppy. Given that the (cranked) Werners have been causing me wrist strain, I will henceforth just use straight-shaft Werners instead. However, I think that as my confidence and familiarity with Wings improves (e.g. I haven't even tried rolling with mine yet) they will be used more and more...I'd like for them to become my default blades eventually.

* My Wings have a relatively small blade size - girl paddles! I think that I prefer the lower strain and slightly higher cadence that results.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

flat earth sails
Posts: 206
Joined: Sun Aug 25, 2013 10:02 am
Location: East Gippsland Australia
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by flat earth sails »

Mark, iv found almost exactly the same things, iv got long arms and now find wherner cranks not to fit well, I much prefer the mid wing as my de folt althow like you I revert back to a flat for realy rough conditions. I have a new pace17, the fit out is compleatly diferant to my other boats, feet together on an aftermarket foot plate bum a lot looser in the seat. I can now sit all day in a kayak. I'm looking at triying smaller blades as well. I'm needing to re lern my role with the wing ,it was a realy agricultural role to start with

Nick-C
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 7:00 pm
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Nick-C »

Quality information Mark, thanks for posting. The few contributions I can make to this thread only reinforce your conclusions, but here goes anyway.

It’s good to read input from paddlers who have taken the trouble to test and familiar skills and to make changes where appropriate. We have a lot to learn from competition disciplines and sea kayakers can take a great deal from wing-using racers.

I typically use 215cm crank 'flat' paddles with a moderate-sized blade. I’m about 5’11” with a positive ‘ape index’ and used to happily pull on 218cm big blades. But it’s about 10 years since I switched to a lower gear (I’m 46 now, at least for 3 more weeks) and I look forward to the day when I can drop down to 210-212s. I’m not ready yet, but will be soon. Apart from the reduction in stress on the body, it’s so much easier to maintain a ‘high’ - or effective - forward paddling style.

Shorter paddles / smaller blade areas are not just for girls! If your name’s Oscar, you’ll probably pull on the biggest blade that your frame will allow, but we also need to consider the potential sustainable speed of your chosen craft - if shorter / smaller blades allow us to achieve this speed without a too-high cadence, then there’s no point going for more ‘grunt per stroke’. Harry W made this point some years ago and it triggered some experimentation that led to my choice of a ‘smaller paddle’. The wings I’m trialling at the moment are available in two sizes and guess what? I’m going buy the smaller ones, as I’m planning to use them on longer days with loaded boats.

This is topical for me today, as I spent the morning out at the Stacks with Barry, enjoying the fresh air and experimenting with these wings. My forward paddling action, although a product of flat blades, allows me to switch to wings without too much drama. I simply allow the blade to find its own path as I focus on rotation and pressure. I’m motivated to use them in the future on longer days / trips, not so much for the additional power they provide - I understand that John W estimates a gain of about 5% over flat blades - but for the efficiency that they offer.

I asked Mick Berwick about the advantages of wings after his Faeroes trip - as a racing paddler he grew up with them and understands them very well. His conclusion? Over the extremely long days that Mick typically paddled in his preparations for the big crossing, he felt that the wings did not significantly add to his speed over long distances, but that they allowed him to arrive at his destination less fatigued than he would have been with flat blades. Why? The efficiency allowed him to focus his energy into moving the boat forwards, while the wing blade maintained a super-stable position in the water. I find it easy enough to switch to wings from my flat blades, but if I return to the flats mid-paddle, I become very aware of the energy I put into maintaining a ’stable’ blade position as I apply pressure to it. This energy cost leads to greater fatigue without any increase in speed.

I happened to use a ruddered kayak today and it's clear that the wings are highly compatible with this option - even more efficiency gains. I plan to use a skeg kayak with wings this summer and recognise that I'll need to get the weight distribution / trim / skeg just right to minimise the steering strokes required and to maximise the advantages of the wings that I plan to use.

I also enjoyed the 10cm adjustable length of my test wings today, along with the feather adjustment available. My basic understanding at this stage is that I may prefer a shorter wing paddle compared with my flats. I’ll look forward to making comparisons.

Cranks vs straight shafts - I’ve never been too concerned about this issue. My white water blades have always been straight shafts and my sea blades for the last 20 years have been cranks. However, I often loan them to students and switch to a pair of straight-shaft splits - I don’t notice the difference too much, as long as I maintain a relaxed grip, with my last two fingers barely touching the paddle shaft. A closer grip (tighter fingers) not only reduces body rotation, but also adds tension to the arms and reduces the effective extension available. So - loose grip, it’s all good, cranks or straights. I’m relieved about this, as wings seem to all be on straight shafts. Those racers must know something!

I offer all these thoughts as a recreational sea kayaker with a fair amount of experience, with an interest in moving my boat efficiently through the water - but with no serious racing experience and limited mileage with wings. That mileage is set to increase this summer and I look forward to learning far more about wings in the coming years.

Sprucey
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:37 pm
Location: Langstone, Hampshire

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Sprucey »

I have just read this thread and concur with Mark, Aled and Nick.

I have just had a winter of training with wings and completed the DW in a K1 last weekend.

Changing to wings and a tippy K1 at the same time was enormously challenging. Warnings about the risk of damaging my wrists due to the "extra pull of wings" were also ringing in my ears as I was about to up the mileages.

As a reference I'm 51 11" - prop row fwd build (Fat!) 52 year old sea kayaker.
I used straight shaft sea blades at 215cm with 30degree feather and I have never suffered wrist problems.

I tried a lot of different wings and ended up with Zastera mid-Burtons at 219cm with 65degree feather. Length is more dependent on upper body length and also seat height. (There is a good length calculator wizard on the Epic Paddles website to use as a good starting point)

I had to completely re-learn my fwd stroke technique (which I thought was pretty good before!). I was told I had a sea kayake'rs hack and it took a while to realise it wasn't a compliment!

The biggest thing for me was to keep the top hand up to get the shaft and blade vertical in the water and then keep it high and apply the power through leg drive and trunk rotation. As has been mentioned, the blade goes in by your feet (not reaching so far fwd) and is already being raised by your knees (much earlier than the the typical sea kayaker's stroke). It's only in the water for 18" and all the power is applied then. Let your top hand drop (like most sea kayakers) and the blade stays in and lifts water. At best this causes drag from the paddle and pulls the back of the boat down into the water slowing it right up - at worst it will have you over!

By keeping a light grip on the paddle the wing blade catches the water and finds it's own orientation and flies to the side naturally. The catch is rock solid (if you commit and let it be!). I got through DW with virtually no blisters or hand trouble. I put a pieces of wire with electrical tape over around the shaft to locate the gap between my 3rd and little fingers to locate my hand position in the right place all the time as when you are tired your hands gravitate in toward the centre making your rotation less efficient. Keeping the grip reasonably wide encourages trunk rotation.

The perfect fwd stroke, like the ultimate golf swing is an unobtainable life long quest but when you hit the sweet spot, boy, don't you know it! Improvements in my technique over 6months has upped my speed in a K1 by at least 0.7mph for no extra effort/increase in fitness so it's well worth the investment. I could not maintain the same speed with flat/assymetric sea blades.

Would I use them on the sea? Maybe for a long crossing style trip but I will have to go back to basics and practice hard! In the K1 I can fwd paddle, stern brace and do a scull and draw stroke with the wings. A bow rudder generally has me over! Right now I wouldn't use them for guiding/coaching etc.

Like Mark, I have not yet tried rolling with them and I wouldn't want (at the moment) to go rock hopping with them! Also, as mentioned, due to the restrictions of typical sea kayak cockpit it's not easy to paddle knees-up and centered to get the whole body action required to be really efficient.

Sorry, it's not very scientific, just my thoughts but it is something I have worked on and developed over the last 6months. In my mind they are no better - just a different tool and like any tool, you have to learn how to use them.

Sprucey

User avatar
EK Sydney
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:22 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by EK Sydney »

Rough water paddling with wings just needs a mindset change.

Before becoming proficient on a ski in rough water I'd fall back to holding a fraction of a second in reserve in case I had to react to something unexpected.

Once you let that very reasonable instinct go and work out that your forward speed is your best friend, you tend not to rely on a brace anymore and instead back your ability to accelerate. Our favorite saying is 'the faster you go, the faster you go'.

That's how we paddle elite skis in really rough water, not by being good at bracing, but by continuing to go for a strong catch when all your sea kayak instincts are telling you to drop the back of the blade on the water and brace.

The twiddling strokes are possible, but not easy, and frankly a wing is the wrong tool, which is why I never bother paddling a skeg boat with one. Conversely I don't bother paddling skis or fast tourers with a flat either, to me they're just too unstable and inefficient, for the reasons so eloquently written above.

Nice to read so many positive comments without a single reference to one being better than the other.

And the reference to Oscar and big blades? He uses a mid wing, will start s race as high as 217cm and often finish on 210cm. He gears up and down with the shaft, not the blade size.

Mark.

User avatar
Kayaks'N'Beer
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:12 pm

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

EK Sydney wrote: Once you let that very reasonable instinct go and work out that your forward speed is your best friend, you tend not to rely on a brace anymore and instead back your ability to accelerate.
Even when you're not using skis and wings, you've tapped a universal truth there.

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24135
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Mark R »

EK Sydney wrote:Oscar and big blades? He uses a mid wing, will start s race as high as 217cm and often finish on 210cm.
If it's not a daft question...how does he change length mid-race?
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

Graham T
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 7:46 pm
Location: Cambs
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Graham T »

I have watched the Molokai videos and I suspect he is capable of changing the length while trailing one blade for support while surfing a wave and going shorter ought to be less risky than trying to pull the paddle apart to increase length

User avatar
JulesT
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Cheshire
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by JulesT »

I'm an intermediate not particularly fit paddler. Since I got my Epic Mid Wing paddle (hybrid construction) I've found my forward stroke has improved immensely. I would highly recommend this paddle and as others have said don't make a mistake of getting one too long, mine is 210-220 and I'm 182cm tall and according to the surf ski boys that's about right. What aches afterwards? its no longer the arms its now the torso. Another thing that's worthwhile is setting up a GoPro so you can review your technique. I can see I need more body rotation!
I have never found the need for anything other than a straight shaft on paddles. But on the downside I do find the wing paddle is not so easy to do all the other paddle strokes - I'm still learning.
Jules

User avatar
EK Sydney
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:22 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by EK Sydney »

Mark R wrote:
EK Sydney wrote:Oscar and big blades? He uses a mid wing, will start s race as high as 217cm and often finish on 210cm.
If it's not a daft question...how does he change length mid-race?
He waits for a long run, drops the paddle on his lap with the left blade in a trailing brace, opens the lever lock, and slides it down a notch. He reckons it slows him down a fraction, but the benefit of gearing down when you're tired soon recovers the lost metres. His analogy is to a bicycle, dropping gears as you get tired.

I've started doing it since he showed me the technique and it's not that tricky, you just have to be on a wave to do it without risking a swim. And you need to make sure the back of your left blade (if you're right handed) is skimming the surface of the water in case something unexpected happens!

Bazza S
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:59 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Bazza S »

EK Sydney wrote:And you need to make sure the back of your left blade (if you're right handed) is skimming the surface of the water in case something unexpected happens!
Definitely the left blade? I'm pretty sure Oscar Chalupsky is left handed and I reckon Mark R is also. It's easy to change whilst paddling Mark as there is an easy to use lever on the Epic wings.

User avatar
EK Sydney
Posts: 296
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:22 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Has thanked: 10 times
Been thanked: 31 times
Contact:

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by EK Sydney »

Well.... my left blade. If I start writing anything different here I might get confused on the water.
And yeah sorry Mark, as Baz says the lever lock on the Epic wing is easy to clip open and shut on the go. He's not out there messin' with an Allen Key.
Mark.

Haddock
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 2:01 am

Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Haddock »

Another vote for wings...not suffered from any wrist or elbow pain since getting to grips with them, something that was a frequent issue with flats on long days before. Admittedly when first starting out with the wings I couldn't go more than 100m without stopping due to poor core strength and finding that I was holding my breath due to concentrating on the stroke and leg drive at the same time...

Probably good to keep in mind that the different shapes and brands of wings can be massively different in terms of handling. Some will fly off in unpredictable directions if technique is not perfect, others are much more forgiving. Trying as many as possible is good.

Post Reply