Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

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Uisce
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Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Uisce »

Looking at getting a set of wing paddles (more for training and encouraging (forcing) a better forward paddling technique on the flat & for anoccasional sea race). I have always used cranks for river and sea paddling up to now. just wondering if there is any reason why you don't tend to see many or even any wing paddles on a crank shaft.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Voodoo »

It will probaly be due to the way they are used, ie. arms straight and lots of trunk rotation,
not that I am an expert on the things, I like my paddles robust ;-)
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by andyE »

Lendal Kinetik Wing and a crank shaft?

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Uisce
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Uisce »

andyE wrote:Lendal Kinetik Wing and a crank shaft?
Thats pretty much the only one I've ever seen or heard of.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Erling »

Hi;
You may find Greg Barton/Epic's comments interesting:
http://www.epickayaks.com/news/news/epi ... aft-option
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Jim »

Well that's fair enough, but having tried one of their wing paddles on a straight shaft I won't be buying one, after years of using a cranked shaft I just couldn't get on with straight again, it really did cause me pain so I switched back to my splits for the return trip. I have no doubt that top athletes can develop enough flexibility to not gain any advantage from a cranked shaft, but in my current state of fitness I can't.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by immunogirl »

I have a lendal wing & a cranked shaft. The problem with the lendal crank shaft is that if you place your hands on the cranked section, your hands are too close together to do a proper wing paddle stroke. So that's one problem - crank shafts are built for hand positions for a euro paddle stroke and you should hold your hands wider for a wing paddle stroke. I pretty quickly switched the crank shaft to a straight shaft. Now I don't use that paddle anymore, anyways.

Also - if you're doing a good wing paddle stroke, you really don't have to bend your elbows. It doesn't stress your elbows and it doesn't take that much flexibility/torso rotation - you don't let the paddle go past your trunk/you pull it up when your far hand goes over your inner knee, if that makes any sense. To force yourself to get the proper rotation/stroke - try paddling without bending your elbows.

I have pretty bad wrists that flare up very easily - I paddle primarily with an epic wing. That's the only shaft shape (small/oblong) that I've found that doesn't make my hands go absolutely numb within an hour or so. I discovered this on a touring trip where I'd spent about 3 days not being able to feel my hands switching between a lendal wing and a werner euro paddle. At some point, someone wanted to try my paddle and handed me their epic wing... And within 10 mins of paddling with it, I had sensation in my hands again. Needless to say, I didn't give that paddle back the rest of the trip, and bought one as soon as I could afterwards.

I've tried about 3 brands of cranked shafts, and I haven't actually found that they helped my wrists or elbows at all. So I've gone back to straight shafts.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by active4seasons »

Epic views very interesting and great to see that a manufacturer is reacting to the customer rather than trying to tell us what we should like. In my opinion a wing paddle has a more positive catch and so you can have a more relaxed grip at the start of the stroke allowing you to reach further forwards. With a Euro blade used as a power paddle you need a bit more grip to stop minor flutter at the catch and the crank gives you more control over this which is why I think slalom and rodeo paddlers may prefer them. The cranked paddle can also be planted further forwards than a straight shaft at the catch giving better results over a straight shaft with a Euro blade.

The wrist problems associated with the straight shaft are more to do with shaft diameter and grip pressure. Not sure why there is not a wider range of shaft diameters given there are so many different sized hands around? When I used to play squash to a reasonable level the size of your grip was essential to prevent wrist issues! If your longest finger touches the thumb pad then the shaft was too small but you only needed about 2-3mm when your hand was gripping for it too be correct - any more and there were wrist issues again.

It is also noted more recently that shaft strength is compromised when using a split paddle and many big boys are going back to one piece for surfing/ rock hopping etc.

For the general paddler I recommend with going with what feels good - if you feel good you are more likely to paddle more and get the benefits!

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by camelpaddler »

When using a flat paddle the wrists flex as you pull the blade back through the water -hence wrist strain. A crank paddle eliminates this flexing so no wrist strain.A Wing paddle used properly does not flex the wrist, hence no wrist strain. Cranked wings were used early on, but blade entry to to the water was never as good. So as there was no benifit to using them they were soon discarded. Although one of the junior paddlers who still hold the current junior record for the Devizes- Westminster race set in 1993 used them for the race.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by davebrads »

I have always thought that the benefits of a crank shaft were misunderstood. I realise that the crank might put the wrist in a more neutral position when pulling on the shaft, but the difference is quite small and I have always thought that it was unlikely to cause a problem. I was recently at a forwards paddling course and this very question was asked, and the answer that came from the instructor was that there wasn't any benefit (to a sprint or marathon paddler) and since a crank shaft is heavier and weaker than a straight shaft they aren't used. I don't see why a straight shaft should cause the wrist to flex any more than a crank shaft either.

I think the main benefit of a crank paddle is when you are twisting the shaft to control the feather angle of the blade, which only really occurs when doing bow draws/bow rudders. The crank then gives you more leverage, reducing the amount of grip needed, taking pressure off the wrists. These strokes are obviously of much more importance to white water paddlers, and therefore that is why there has been a much bigger take up of cranks in that environment.

These are only my thoughts, and don't explain Jim's painful experience of switching to a wing on a straight shaft.
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

It's on the "push" side, during the catch and the start of the power phases that the cranks come into their their own. The impact of the stroke is transferred, through the paddle shaft, down the opposite wrist. On a straight shaft this wrist is bent however, with a crank the wrist is straight so the impact is absorbed more comfortably. This effect will be less noticable with a relaxed touring stroke but when you need to lay the power down it doesn't take long before you start feeling it.

I noticed a big difference when I switched to cranks and find it uncomfortable as hell if I have to use a straight shaft now, after all these years. I don't know about a wing stroke, since that never appealed to me but I've been led to believe it's not quite the same so maybe cranks don't make as much difference?

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by GraemeB »

I have a foot in both camps - marathon racing and sea paddling, wings are fine if you use a high angle stroke, less effective if it's low angle which is more likely on the sea.

There are a lot of variations in the blade sizes and subtle differences shapes for the wing paddles too, the 200m sprint paddles are huge and to turn one for a while needs a lot of strength, there are some great clips of marathon and sprint technique on youtube.

A proper forward paddling technique with wings takes a lot of time time to learn and practice, you need to condition yourself to use them effectively, I use straight and very stiff shafts on both paddles haven't suffered with any elbow or wrist issues but I suspect I have a high angle paddling stroke in comparison to most sea paddlers due to my (very medicore) marathon racing so have less of an issue there.

As said in an earlier post
I recommend with going with what feels good - if you feel good you are more likely to paddle more and get the benefits!
couldn't agree more.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by StewartR »

Poor technique is, by far, the biggest reason why paddlers cause damage to wrist and elbow joints when using straight shafts.

An efficient, non damaging forward paddling technique which can be maintained over many hours, day after day, is arguably the most important boat handling skill a sea kayaker can learn (closely followed by a killer low brace).

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by chrism »

I have a fairly rare viewpoint on this issue, as I'm one of a handful of people who still race using wings on a cranked shaft - I made it up to the lofty heights of div 3 marathon using one - though pretty much all my recent racing has been in a surfski. I can understand why cranks aren't necessary for most racing paddlers, but with a dodgy wrist which necessitated me switching form right to left hand control I need every bit of help to avoid aggravating this (I'm currently 10 odd years past the point doctors told me I'd start getting problems with arthritis :) ). When racing more seriously a few years ago, I was also regularly doing far longer distances than most paddlers do. I've also done a fair amount of paddling on the sea using them, but mostly in race situations, and if not racing I still tend to try and cover ground as fast as possible, hence using a marathon style high stroke.

Despite what is said by some, there is a very definite advantage in terms of wrist strain with using a cranked shaft with wings - with a straight shaft you'll find that at the start of the stroke you can only grip the shaft properly with half of your hand, and all the strain is going through one side of the wrist. I sometimes use a paddling machine with a straight shaft, on which I use exactly the same technique as with a wing in a boat, and I can feel the difference. I agree with the point that the grips force you to have your hands a bit narrower than you'd otherwise choose, but in my case it's a fairly minor difference for flatwater racing (though this issue has resulted in me not shortening my paddles as much as might be optimal for use with a surfski). Not that I'm sure of the significance, but I disagree that you don't bend your elbows when using a wing properly - check out any video of top racers, and you'll see a significant bend in the top arm, keeping straight arms results in non optimum use of leverage - see (which also shows the issue with not being able to grip with the whole hand at the catch).

I agree with Epic's comments that there is no performance advantage to cranks, and that it makes the paddles heavier (without going and trying it I have no comment on the asymmetrical stroke thing - not something I've ever noticed). However they're being a bit economical with the truth, as they carefully avoid mentioning the comfort and injury avoidance advantages for people who aren't world class paddlers. I also note the words "Top racers rarely have wrist problems with straight shafts." - so sometimes some of them do. Certainly in top level racing there might have been no use beyond 1991, but amongst others DRH Taylor (who some of you might have heard of) was certainly using them successfully when I knew him well after that (though he did eventually switch back to a straight shaft with the advent of 2 piece paddles which weren't available with cranks).

As for what paddles, I have Legend Marathon blades on a Lendal crank shaft. They're one of the few top level wings still available as a blade only - I note on the product page they mention they're good for sea paddling, and they also have the advantage of having a metal tip if like me you're likely to be hitting blades on the bottom. Available in this country from Melvyn Swallow at Chester canoe club.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by davebrads »

Some good points from Chris there. I think that this statement
chrism wrote:but I disagree that you don't bend your elbows when using a wing properly
requires a little more examination. By the way, I apologise if I am coming over as something of a clever dick, but I thought I should pass on some of the information I learnt from the forward paddling course I recently attended. Firstly, your elbows should be bent throughout the stroke. Secondly, the only part of the stroke where pressure is being applied is from the catch at the start of the stroke to a point where the blade reaches your knees (or in the more correct terms used by the course instructor, when your knees reach the blade). During this "power phase" of the stroke your elbows should be locked in a slight bend. After that point you are lifting the blade out of the water and the blade is "freewheeling", and then your elbows will flex.

Some crank shafts are sold in two pieces with a spigot to join in the middle. This makes setting them up very complicated as you have to cut the right amount off both ends of each piece to set the distance between the hands correctly, and also get the overall length correct, and then you have to join them with the right angle between the two pieces. This should allow you full control of the distance between the hands, but I guess there is a limit to how close to the blade you can get the crank as you need to have a straight portion long enough to accept the spigot on the blade. I've also seen more than one case where someone has got the set up badly wrong.
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by snapper »

My Lendal Kinetic Wings are ona crank, more comfortable and perform better than on a straight shaft in my hands.
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Chris Bolton »

Just a thought on cause and effect. The quoted observation "Top racers rarely have wrist problems with straight shafts" is quite difficult to distinguish, experimentally, from "people who have wrist problems with straight shafts raely become top racers".

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by chrism »

davebrads wrote:Firstly, your elbows should be bent throughout the stroke. Secondly, the only part of the stroke where pressure is being applied is from the catch at the start of the stroke to a point where the blade reaches your knees (or in the more correct terms used by the course instructor, when your knees reach the blade). During this "power phase" of the stroke your elbows should be locked in a slight bend.
Check out the video I linked - Ivan is one of our best ever paddlers, and now a very good coach (and actually still one of our best paddlers!) His lower arm is locked straight, top arm very bent (when he's doing it properly).
Some crank shafts are sold in two pieces with a spigot to join in the middle. This makes setting them up very complicated as you have to cut the right amount off both ends of each piece to set the distance between the hands correctly, and also get the overall length correct, and then you have to join them with the right angle between the two pieces. This should allow you full control of the distance between the hands, but I guess there is a limit to how close to the blade you can get the crank as you need to have a straight portion long enough to accept the spigot on the blade. I've also seen more than one case where someone has got the set up badly wrong.
More straightforward with wings, as you put the first bend at the end of the shaft up against the end of the blade (the blades I use fit over the shaft)! As mentioned above, the bends limit how far apart you can get your hands, and you're unlikely to want them narrower than you can get them that way - the cranks I use have long enough grip pieces to allow you to move your hands in a bit if you want. I use hot glue to put them together, which means you can tweak if you get it a bit wrong the first time, and also adjust feather as necessary (I'd really like an adjustable centre joint, but last time I looked couldn't get one to fit the diameter shaft I have). When I put new ends on a couple of years ago after breaking one, I spent considerable amounts of time fiddling with the angle between crank and blade (using a kettle to heat and reset the joint) so that I was getting the blade entry at just the right angle.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

I have two Lendal Kinetik Wing paddles one on a straight shaft and the other with a cranked shaft. The width of the crank was made specially for my shoulder width and the Kinetik Wings by Alistair Wilson (It is different than the standard Lendal crank by about 5cm.) The straight shaft is very light but I get sore wrists within 30 mins of paddling with it. I have paddled 21 days on the trot with the cranks and my wrists haven't bothered me at all.

We are all put together in different ways and gather a series of different injuries as we age. I am not surprised that there is no "best" paddle, thank goodness for choice. And don't believe the myth that GPs are kinder on the joints. I have tried two GPs, wood and carbon. I gave them a good trial of about 800km but they hurt my wrists too much. It was a relief to go back to cranked euros.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Jim »

chrism wrote:Despite what is said by some, there is a very definite advantage in terms of wrist strain with using a cranked shaft with wings - with a straight shaft you'll find that at the start of the stroke you can only grip the shaft properly with half of your hand, and all the strain is going through one side of the wrist.
This is exactly the issue I found when I borrowed Richard's epic wings last year.
I actually don't think I have ever had paddle related pain before, now whether that was due to lack of fitness or suppleness on my part, or too many years of using cranks and letting my wrists get weak, or the shaft being more (or less) stiff than I'm used to or something else is hard to determine, but I did actually pain from paddling with them.
I am quite sure the cranked position is more natural for my wrists, but as Douglas says, you're all individuals (I'm not).

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by PSK »

Crank shafts were introduced into canoe slalom in the UK in the late 1980's. Richard Fox (5 times K1 Slalom World Champion) was the main driving force behind them. They were introduced in an attempt to improve performance during bow rudder strokes.

When the arm is fully extended during a bow rudder the outer fingers of the bottom hand tend to peel away from a straight shaft, at the same time the wrist is also 'cocked' at an angle away from straight extension. With the introduction of the crank shaft the wrist could be held straight and the hand could still grip the shaft with all 5 digits with the arm fully extended. The theory was that this would result in more power being transferred to the blade, giving a stronger bow rudder stroke and so an increase in performance over the length of a slalom course.

A measurable (though very small) performance gain was quoted. However it was also known that there was an optimum crank angle and even a small deviation from this angle would result in no gain or a even loss in performance. As mentioned in previous posts cranks also come with a number of (though relatively minor) drawbacks.

The crank shaft was first introduced to the world stage when Fox used one to win the 1989 World Slalom Championships. I don’t think a major flatwater K1 championship has been won using cranks, though I may be wrong on that one...
Somewhere further along the line things became a little blurred and the crank was rejuvenated as a cure all for sea kayaking wrist, elbow and shoulder problems.

One slight drawback of cranks on wings that hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that a wing paddle on the none control hand (when used on a straight shaft with a relaxed hand grip) will tend towards the correct feather angle in the water itself – a crank on the none control hand can interfere a little with this.

At the end of the day paddle with whatever you feel comfortable with.

To move slightly away from the original post -
Repetitive type injuries and conditions (as opposed to incident /impact type) relating to joints and connective tissues of the arm can be brought on and aggravated by various factors:

• Too much too soon – probably the most common factor is increasing the workload too quickly; whether it is raising the number of paddling sessions, increasing mileage or speed, upping boat weight or even going from regular paddling in calm conditions to prolonged poor weather paddling - all should be done in gradual increments. Experienced paddlers can (and do) suffer from this as well as less experienced paddlers; workload itself is not the most significant factor – rate of change of workload is. And this relates to your recent sustainable workload, not what you did or could do 5 or ten years ago!

• Imperfect grip – poor technique relating to the grip and hand positioning/movement can cause strain. A light open grip with opening fingers on return phase of stroke will help. Sometimes a slight wrist rotation of the none control hand when feathering the paddles can be a factor.

• Too stiff, too large – paddling with a shaft that is very stiff or with paddle blades with too large a surface area will likely cause problems as the shock loads are passed up the arm – something tends to give eventually. Bear in mind that for the same construction a split shaft or cranks will likely be stiffer than a one piece shaft.

• Change of kit – this develops from the too much too soon idea. New kit probably doesn’t handle the same as your old kit so if you change to a new style of blade or boat etc then ease off the workload a little until things have had time to adjust.

• Shaft diameter – different size hands need different size paddle shafts. Too large, too small can cause problems, but it is usually too small that causes the more significant problems. These are more likely to be seen as problems in the hand and fingers rather than the wrist - numbness, pins & needles, circulation problems and finger tendonitis.

• Inappropriate feather – a very individual thing!

• Non-paddling activities– RSI type factors such as overuse of computer keyboard/mouse, power tools etc. Also alternative sports (or any activity with repetitive hand movements) may cause problems when linked with paddling.

• Latex cuffs – not entirely convinced by this one but there have been numerous examples of paddlers who think that too tight a latex wrist cuff have caused aggravation.

• And sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be an obvious reason – s**t happens I suppose.

Even longer than one of Jim's?

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

PSK wrote: • Non-paddling activities– RSI type factors such as overuse of computer keyboard/mouse, power tools etc. Also alternative sports (or any activity with repetitive hand movements) may cause problems when linked with paddling.
Pretty sure this is the biggest factor in my case. Cranks allow me to paddle distances and conditions that would hurt like hell using a straight shaft. Because my right wrist (especially) is totally shot I'm a lot more sensitive to shock-impact than most people probably are.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Jim »

PSK wrote:Even longer than one of Jim's?

JW
It is now! :-)

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Jim »

Kayaks'N'Beer wrote:
PSK wrote: • Non-paddling activities– RSI type factors such as overuse of computer keyboard/mouse, power tools etc. Also alternative sports (or any activity with repetitive hand movements) may cause problems when linked with paddling.
Pretty sure this is the biggest factor in my case. Cranks allow me to paddle distances and conditions that would hurt like hell using a straight shaft. Because my right wrist (especially) is totally shot I'm a lot more sensitive to shock-impact than most people probably are.
When I wrote my earlier post I was thinking that the amount of time I spend at a keyboard and mouse probably doesn't help matters, but on the other hand the kite buggying may, or at least partly. When I had neck/shoulder problems in the past I found that flying power kites worked well, kind of liek traction - actually reduced the symptoms I had started collecting. I'm not entirely sure how it will work with my wrists, because in that detail gripping a kite handle is not unlike gripping a paddle shaft (except there is usually some cushioning on the handles although a lot of mine has come off), although most of the time I don't actually need to wrap my thumbs around so I am not fully gripping. Actually sitting here making grip with my hands I am starting to identify something.....

If I close my hand naturally my thumb wants to lay across the top of my fingers (hand held vertical with thumb up to start with) to move my thumb down and round so that it is opposite to my forefinger (i.e. a grip position) is a slight stretch. When flying kites my hands can go roughly into the first position because the top of the handle is usually only an inch or so higher than my closed fingers, even when I need to slide my hands down the handle for extra braking I don't usually need to wrap my thumb around. It could be that the kiting (I race so my hands get considerable exercise in the kite grip position) has altered my hands slightly to suit the type of grip I need, although all the related muscles are away up my forearm. Alternatively I may just be losing flexibility and need to find some exercises for limbering up my thumbs?

I wonder, cranked paddles with thumb holes through them...????

Hmmm, trekking poles vs thumbstick? I tend to use poles with the offset T type handles, not the more popular pistol grip type ones - in some situations I hold it with the T in my palm and my thumb hooked under the short, raised end of the tee - whoever invented that handle knew something about ergonomics - my hand is in exactly the position I described above although rotate horizontal. The old fashioned thumbstick also works well for me - for those who don't know the thumbstick, it is a walking pole/stick cut from a branch with a fork, the fork goes at the top pointing up and you wrap your fingers around the top of the stick and lay your thumb in the fork - assuming you bark it and make sure the fork is smooth and big enough for your thumb it is a very comfortable and easily improvised type of trekking pole.

I may have digressed slightly, so get back on track:
I have just ordered a longer cranked 4-piece split shaft to use for my sea paddling splits (as mentioned above my spare is currently ww length) from Karitek - they have a sale on all Lendal paddles (and shafts) that are in stock so if you are thinking about trying something different, it would be worth calling before they sell out - stock items included only.

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Debbie »

As a physiotherapist, I have observed that most males will have tight low back muscles and tight upper hamstrings. Sitting in a kayak with shortened hamstrings causes the pelvis to tip backwards (posteriorly) putting strain on the already tight back muscles. So, to relieve this strain in the low back, the average middle-aged sea kayaker slumps even more into a backwards pelvic tilt. As a result, the full torso rotation needed for efficient, strong forward paddling technique becomes unachievable. The wrists then flex and extend with forearms pronating and supinating excessively causing wrist and elbow tendonitis.

The key to good forward paddling technique is full torso rotation with every stroke, planting a vertical blade at the feet and clipping it out at the hip (not behind the hip). To get this full torso rotation one must tilt the pelvis to neutral or slightly forward, flattening out the lumbar spine taking it out of the slumping, inefficient position. It's a fairly easy movement; just rock forward slightly on your sit bones with a straight back and keep it there all day while kayaking. This is where the problem lies, as for many it's just not a comfortable position due to the tightness in the upper hamstrings.

Many will not want to invest the time to do daily stretching to improve flexibility. It's understandable because you just want to get out there and kayak, so I can see how cranked shafts have become so popular. But it's not incorrect to say that using a cranked shaft makes allowances for imperfect forward paddling technique caused by insufficient muscular flexibility.

As an afterthought, it's interesting to note that Greenlandic paddles never evolved a cranked shape. Perhaps it's because since many Greenlandic rolls require good flexibility in the spine and legs, they maybe didn't have much problem with wrist or elbow tendonitis or low back pain. The seats in the skin-on-frame kayaks were near the bottom of the hull and the position of the legs was nearly straight out instead of frog-legged and this in itself would stretch out the hamstrings on long paddling days.

Debbie

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Mark R »

Debbie, apologies for a moronic question, but...

...where exactly are my upper hamstrings located?
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by Debbie »

Mark R wrote:Debbie, apologies for a moronic question, but...

...where exactly are my upper hamstrings located?
Sorry if I was unclear. Of course the entire length of the hamstrings will be tight, but while seated in a kayak, it is the location of the upper portion of the hamstrings which originates at the ischial tuberosity (sit bone) that will be felt to have the most tightness. This is because the lower part of the hamstrings which insert behind and to the sides of the knee will be on slack with the knees bent. In other words, if you are sitting with your legs outstretched and your knees straight, you will feel the tension possibly down the entire length of your hamstrings if they are tight, but if you bend your knees, you may only feel the tightness below the buttocks. If this is the case the pelvis will be pulled under you and your back will form a rounded posture. I hope this helps. Away skiing tomorrow for a week.

Debbie

mick m
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by mick m »

Mark R wrote:Debbie, apologies for a moronic question, but...

...where exactly are my upper hamstrings located?
I wold have thort above your lower hamstrings !!!

mick m
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by mick m »

Debbie wrote:
Mark R wrote:Debbie, apologies for a moronic question, but...

...where exactly are my upper hamstrings located?
Sorry if I was unclear. Of course the entire length of the hamstrings will be tight, but while seated in a kayak, it is the location of the upper portion of the hamstrings which originates at the ischial tuberosity (sit bone) that will be felt to have the most tightness. This is because the lower part of the hamstrings which insert behind and to the sides of the knee will be on slack with the knees bent. In other words, if you are sitting with your legs outstretched and your knees straight, you will feel the tension possibly down the entire length of your hamstrings if they are tight, but if you bend your knees, you may only feel the tightness below the buttocks. If this is the case the pelvis will be pulled under you and your back will form a rounded posture. I hope this helps. Away skiing tomorrow for a week.

Debbie
I know this is sort of higaking the thred, we had the same discusion at a symposium last year revolving around kayak seats and what thay wher doing to our poster

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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by davebrads »

chrism wrote: Check out the video I linked - Ivan is one of our best ever paddlers, and now a very good coach (and actually still one of our best paddlers!) His lower arm is locked straight, top arm very bent (when he's doing it properly).
Clearly this is so. We were given a couple of videos of Tim Brabants after the course and I have now had a chance to look at them, and he is reaching forward with a straight arm at the start of the stroke. Also he is bending his arm throughout the stroke, albeit only a little during the power phase. This contradicts what I understood we were being told on the course.

The top arm will be is very bent during the recovery phase of the stroke, but by the time he puts the blade in the water is is amost straight. And this kind of solves the problem of gripping the shaft properly at the catch. During the recovery he relaxes his grip so the angle between the lower arm and the paddle shaft isn't an issue, but at the catch the top hand is so far forwards that the shaft is almost parallel with the shoulders, and there is no problem gripping the shaft properly with the bottom hand. And this was another point that the instructor made, the best paddlers are very good at timing their change of grip with the paddle stroke.

An interesting point while trying to analyse the stroke in the video which was shot at 12.5 fps, is that the whole stroke from catch to catch takes 9 frames, while the power phase only takes about two frames.

The issue I see here is that I have only ever seen sprint and marathon paddlers paddle with that distinctive arms out in front of them style. It is undoubtedly the most efficient way of paddling and our course instructor was quite insistent that it was only a matter of training yourself, after all the best DW paddlers keep their form throughout the race. However most of us ordinary paddlers use our arms much more than we should do during the power phase and that may be another reason why cranks can be so helpful.

Since the course I had a go at trying to put the stuff we had learnt into practice in a white water kayak, and I was rubbish. Perhaps I need to work on it a lot more, the problem is that most of my paddling is C1!
it's not a playboat, it's a river runner

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