Best paddle for a positive index grip?

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on the rocks
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Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by on the rocks »

I'm shopping for a new good quality high angle paddle.
An important factor to me is a positive tactile index grip to make it easier to orientate my paddle correctly for rolling (without glasses I can't really see the angle of the paddle from under water) I looked at a Werner Shuna but the ovalised grip seemed a little vague to me.
Can anyone point me to a paddle that meets these needs? I liked the index on an old Lendal and assume the Celtic is the same? How about Mitchell or VE?
Or does it just take a little bit of practice to get used to the ovalised grip?
Many thanks

Chris Bolton
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Chris Bolton »

One possibility might be to buy a 2 piece paddle. That would enable you to add an additional 'ovalising' strip at the grip and slide on shrink wrap to fix it into place. That was the standard way to ovalise an alloy shafted paddle.

Mrstratos61
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Mrstratos61 »

I use the Shuna and love it. Know what you mean 're grip and put a small piece of tape on right hand grip.

charleston14
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by charleston14 »

I have a Celtic paddle it’s quite nicely indexed

seawolf856
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by seawolf856 »

I have a VE Voyager as my primary (and favourite) sea paddle. The indexing on the VE shafts is VERY! subtle. I also have a Werner Tybee, which is not very positive either. I can roll with both but I know exactly where you are coming from regarding indexing and sometimes I would like to feel a more indexed grip. The best paddle shaft I've used for positive indexing was an old cheap old Ainsworth. The grip had a ridge in it leaving you with no doubt about blade orientation. Blade angle is fundamental to a good roll, especially when learning and it seems that the majority of modern (expensive) paddles no longer have positive indexing on the shaft.
The home made approach is common. Cocktail sticks, wooden skewers and even pencils have been seen taped to the shafts of expensive carbon paddles. Have the designers overlooked an important feature here?

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by charleston14 »

As a permanent index modification on a posh paddle you could sand away (key) the gloss coat resin. Build an indexing hump using car body filler. Sanded away until it’s just how you like it, then using a 30quid carbon fibre laminating kit (fishing pole repair kit from easy composites) wrap the new indexed grip in carbon fibre cloth. Lightly wet it out with epoxy and wrap it tightly with the special backing release tape to make the epoxy smooth and a good finish. Peel off the tape when set.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Jim »

That sounds like a lot of work when if you buy a 2-piece paddle you can use hot melt glue to add a plastic index strip and then cover it in shrink wrap :)

If you don't mind it being visible, you can just hot melt glue a strip to a one piece paddle and not bother with the shrink wrap.
On my Braca IVs I wanted to make the shaft thicker so wrapped several layers of insulation tape around over the index strip, it doesn't look very neat, or feel very neat but it isn't actually uncomfortable and does provide a bit of grip.

I always thought werner indexing was enough, if you really need a lot more, look at AT paddles, or at least their crank offerings - personally I found the oval on their cranks to be too big to be comfortable.

on the rocks
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by on the rocks »

No need for such extreme measures! Talking to VE today; they can include a heat shrink indexing bump for a nominal cost when ordering a new paddle.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by andynormancx »

That is how the Celtic paddles have it too, a plastic strip under some heat shrink.

rockhopper
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by rockhopper »

The VE paddle has an air core in the blade so will find the surface with the blade flat on it naturally.

Rog.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by seawolf856 »

on the rocks wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:24 pm
No need for such extreme measures! Talking to VE today; they can include a heat shrink indexing bump for a nominal cost when ordering a new paddle.
Good old VE, that's the sort of customer service you expect from them. Customer focused and ready to help. Well done Stu.

To do it yourself, heat shrink sleeve is very cheap but make sure you get the stuff with the glue inside (there are two types). Using the glue lined stuff will ensure your indexing bump doesn't move.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by KPete »

More kudos for Stu @VE Paddles here.

When my VE Explorer arrived, the straight carbon shaft didn't have enough index for me. Stu took it back, heated & squashed some more oval into the shaft. I understand that there's a limit on how much oval can be introduced by this method but for me it's fine now. The index is pretty much on a par with my trusty old orange Schlegel Allrounders.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Allan Olesen »

Are you sure you need the indexing for a roll?

I find it much more efficient to simply "feel" the water with the paddle blade. It is very easy to lay the blade flat on the water surface and from there angle it a few degrees before starting the paddle motion.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Chris Bolton »

I did wonder that, Allan, but I think it takes a number of successful rolls to develop the feel, so indexing is useful to start with. It's a good point to raise, because it may be that temporary indexing, taped on, is better than buying a new paddle that might be unnecessary or even a nuisance in normal paddling once the feel for the roll has developed.

on the rocks
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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by on the rocks »

I think that's a valid point Allan, my first successful role was in a sea kayak with a sea kayak paddle on an open lake, with the proper paddle it was quite easy to get the feel of the paddle blade slapping on the surface of the water. It's been frustrating trying to replicate this in the pool with the club's little plastic boats and little paddles - much harder to get any sense of slapping. This has got me fixated on indexing. Having said that I appreciate the security indexing bump thinking ahead to more demanding conditions. I'm really enjoying my introduction to sea kayaking and looking forward to when movements and actions become as automatic as in the sports I've been doing a lot longer like climbing and skiing

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by rockhopper »

I tended to find that the thing with slapping the paddle on the water surface is that in rougher waters you will not necessarily get the same 'feel' from the slap so it can make it more difficult to be sure where the blade is however, with the air core in the blades of the VE the paddle will lay in the correct orientation on the surface irrespective of the surface conditions.

Rog.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Allan Olesen »

Of course, "rough conditions" is a relative term, but I have done successful rolls in anger in waves up to 1.5-2 meter. I have not had a problem feeling the blade.

It happens that I am in doubt, but then I just make a short "test" sweep of 20-40 cm over the water surface. If the blade angle is incorrect, I will feel the blade diving or braking. After the test sweep, I return the paddle to the start position and do the roll.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by rockhopper »

Of course Allan, that is fine if you have a confident roll however I was assuming from his comments that the OP is not in that position and that he was looking for a paddle option that made it easier for him to find the surface.

Rog.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Allan Olesen »

This is not a matter of having a confident roll. I can't even say that I have one. I have used this technique since I started rolling.

I am a self-trained roller, and from the very start I knew that there were two thing I would need to practice if I ever wanted to use the roll for anything else than rolling practice:
  • I would need to practice setting up a roll under the water after a capsize from random body and paddle positions.
    If I capsize in conditions, and I am not very experienced, there is no chance that I will have the roll set up before hitting the water. So I need to be able to get my body and paddle into the correct position under water.
  • I would need to practice rolling with my eyes closed.
    Where I paddle, the water is so unclear (and of course underwater vision without goggles is always blurred anyway) that I can't rely on looking at the paddle blade for orientation.
Finding a way to feel the blade orientation under water is a natural part of both of the above training targets.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Jim »

Am I the only person who likes an indexed grip for normal forward paddling?
I find it helps to not need to look at the blade when planting it.

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by seawolf856 »

Jim wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:41 pm
Am I the only person who likes an indexed grip for normal forward paddling?
I find it helps to not need to look at the blade when planting it.
Hi Jim,

No I like an indexed grip also for normal paddling. Having an indexed grip will plant the first blade at the same angle every time, the key is to make sure your technique and blade angle are correct from day one so that once you have developed muscle memory, both blades will enter the water at the correct angle for ever.
To demonstrate how effective muscle memory is, try using someone else's paddle with a different feather from yours and see how the first ten strokes go!!

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Re: Best paddle for a positive index grip?

Post by Chris Bolton »

I was surprised how easy it was to reset muscle memory. I've paddled with unfeathered blades for about 25 years, but was helping supervise some novices in open canoes. There were no more open boats available, so I used a kayak from the centre, and one of their paddles, which was feathered. I was probably in the boat 15 min and paddled 300 strokes - fortunately, I remembered the feather and had no incidents. Two weeks later, I set off in my own kayak with my unfeathered blades and they felt really odd for the first few minutes - I'd forgotten about using the feathered set, so it wasn't a conscious reaction.

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