Wing Paddle or Not^

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tg
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by tg » Sat Apr 26, 2014 1:25 am

I think if it's in budget then perhaps it should be tried. I paddle for recreation only, generally my local waters. Had a wing since 2010 and definitely feel the benefits in my larger volume boat and greenland (style etc. etc) boat. Generally I'm more interested in paddling to a place for a reason; the seal colony, the point for lunch, the mariner for the chandlers etc. So my heart rate monitor remains unbought but cadence and rhythm have certainly been improved. I try to explore as many aspects of sea paddling as I can and just the sake of curiosity would incline me toward making the purchase. You never know it might well suit and lead to other things.
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Selkie
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Selkie » Tue Apr 29, 2014 6:19 pm

I have been using the Epic M and S/M wing for the last 3 years and paddling almost daily. I found it easy to adjust to this particular wing (not all wings are alike). After a week of paddling I could not go back to my Lendal or Werner. The efficiency of wing for forward paddling is a big improvement. As a group, most of us now use this wing and any Euro blade paddlers that come out with us quickly feel disadvantaged.

The simple flip level adjustment make it easy to vary the length and feather on the go.
Image

I tend to adjust length to suit waves and conditions shorter in the rough) and I find altering the feather on longer trips gives relief on muscles and joints. I know others that like to keep everything set so that it always feels the same. As always...personal choice.

I find, I can perform most stokes (braces and rudders) but the bow rudders can be a bit fierce as they are designed to catch the water whereas a Euro spills more water. Rolling is easy, again the catch makes it so efficient.

Most sea kayakers should consider the S/M over the Mid wing. Ignore the info that states the S/M is for juniors and ladies. This info is aimed at racers over relatively short distances. Ivan Lawler gave this advice to a group of us, but we all went for the Mid (macho). Over long distances pushing anything other than a narrow racing surfski the S/M proved more efficient. I only use the Mid for my 14kg V10.

If your aim is paddle your sea kayak more like a white water boat then the wing is not for you. If you are into a fancy variety of rolling...get a stick. If you want to cover distance efficiently, you simply cannot beat a wing and good technique.
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blurpup
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by blurpup » Fri May 02, 2014 9:24 am

As an ex wild water racer who has used wings on whitewater since around 1990, I have developed a discipline in the way that I paddle and can use wings in a variety of situations (in fact I always use my wings - even when surfing).

However, when I go paddling I'm not particularly focused on boat speed or heart rates or paddling efficiency, I choose to use my wings because they feel good. I can paddle in a very relaxed manner and they do not flutter, they are quiet in the water and provide a sure footed feel that I can rely upon.

Yes there is a learning curve with them, particularly in their application onto moving water and incorporating steering strokes. But why do we use any one piece of equipment - it is often because it puts a smile on our face when we use it.

ruralweb
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by ruralweb » Fri May 02, 2014 2:24 pm

Well I took the plunge and bought an Epic Mid - first day out today and I'm very impressed. Obviously I'm rubbish with it however looking at my gps I can see a definate speed advantage over my Werner, easly cruising along at about 5.2 mph with much less effort so that can only improve. I nearly went over a few times but after a couple of hours it felt very good - you can see the difference in the water the wing hardly makes a ripple while the Werner produces all sorts of eddies ie lost energy.

Definately money well spent IMO and I'm sure with practice I will improve.
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Kitfaffer
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by Kitfaffer » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:57 pm

I have been using a Epic Mid wing for 18 months occasionally switching back to the Werner Ikelos if it gets lumpy. I know I am getting the technique down albeit slowly as I can see the speed and heart rate data on my Garmin improve. Comparing it with previous Werner driven outings the benefits are definitely there. The Werners are now almost redundant.

That said whilst the Epics are very nice I find the Epic shaft Dia too small. Worth taking a look at Legend Wing Paddles.

Thanks to JW, JS, DH and Johann C and others here for all the helpful advice.
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Mark R
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not

Post by Mark R » Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:42 am

Just an update on the notes below...

I now use Wings for all sea paddling. Love them, hate having to use anything else. If I could figure out a way, I'd use them for WW paddling too.

Only caveats...they are useless for rockhopping as they give no grip/ traction when using the back of the blade, but regardless, I still prefer to use them for this. For surfing they are awful...you get almost zero traction when stern-ruddering, plus I worry about the strength of the shaft...so I usually reluctantly swap to my Werner WW blades for this. Rolling is surprisingly easy and effective with wings...I was surprised as anyone when I recently pulled a roll off whilst being swept upside-down and beaten senseless above a foaming reef.

I use Orka Wings which are excellent quality, and amazingly cheap - look for them on eBay.
Mark R wrote: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...



...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.
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JulesT
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by JulesT » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:21 pm

For surfing they are awful...you get almost zero traction when stern-ruddering
I turn the wing paddle through 180 degrees so the concave face is pointing outwards. But granted if you want to rudder on one side and steer in both directions there's no gain. Typically I'd swap sides and only push outwards on the blade. And one has to learn to do the 180 whereas you wouldn't need to with a euro paddle.
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EK Sydney
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by EK Sydney » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:38 pm

You'll also break them using the back of blade. They're incredibly strong in the power face moving backwards through the water, but nowhere near as robust when you use them for a big braking stroke like a deep low brace.

We see the occasional failure in the lightweight wings when people use them in loaded boats, especially with sails, and drop a heavy low brace.

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GrahamC
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by GrahamC » Thu Jan 29, 2015 9:25 am

JulesT wrote: I turn the wing paddle through 180 degrees so the concave face is pointing outwards. But granted if you want to rudder on one side and steer in both directions there's no gain. Typically I'd swap sides and only push outwards on the blade. And one has to learn to do the 180 whereas you wouldn't need to with a euro paddle.
That's a really good idea, I must try it. Almost all of my paddling was in K1 marathon boats and so, when I started to sea kayak, it was natural to use a wing as that is what I felt most comfortable with and what my muscle memory and reflexes were used to (I also didn't own a Euro paddle). I do, however, have problems surfing and find the paddle weak and "draggy" so this was a very valuable comment (as is the one below about using the power face to avoid breakage!). I find the wing is very good for bow rudders and rolling (although again that may be because I rarely use the Euro style) and obviously provides great support during the power phase.

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JulesT
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by JulesT » Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:53 am

By the same principle the cross bow rudder lends itself to the wing paddle without having to change your grip
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EK Sydney
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by EK Sydney » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:19 am

So Jules, the next time you're here mate, I'll get you doing some of them on the Bundeena Bar! My camera(s) will be running!

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JulesT
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by JulesT » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:43 pm

Haha ! No way would I try that in surf ! - something for rockhopping only.
But I'm really looking forward to another trip to OZ, something to dream about when there's snow lying in the UK right now !
Saw your nice long ride on the bar at vimeo.com/65622966
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EK Sydney
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Re: Wing Paddle or Not^

Post by EK Sydney » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:34 pm

Unfortunately i edited all of the cross bow draws out of that video!

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