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

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

Post by EK Sydney » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:37 am

I guess the overriding reason why cranks aren't available for most popular wing brands is that there is no great market for them. Cranks do tend to either alleviate chronic wrist problems (very small percentage of paddlers), or allow a less than perfect rotated stroke to succeed to some degree without resulting load on the wrists.
If you try to paddle 'army' with a wing you'll fight it at best, or at worst completely neutralise the benefit of the extra lift that the shape provides. You've got to have a fully rotated stroke to get the extra edge in performance that a wing paddle provides.
The market for wings has traditionally been paddlers from a competitive background (although that is changing), who are coached from an early age and paddle with good technique from the get go. Sea Kayakers are generally self taught, with less emphasis on efficiency and more on just getting out there and doing it (although thankfully that is changing too!)
I can see the benefit of a crank when I'm surfing, obviously orienting the blade when you're upside down in a mess can't be undervalued. I can't see the benefit in a wing paddle however, unless you are a chronic wrist pain sufferer and are then prepared to get one so customized that every angle is worked out, spacing is right etc etc.
For a standard euro touring blade well yeah, it will allow you to get away with less rotation and on a long day on the water that could be the difference between arriving with a swollen wrist and not.
Mark.

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

Post by chrism » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:38 am

Debbie wrote: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.
Certainly not the case for me - I have plenty of lower back flex, use a marathon style knees together posture when paddling a sea kayak (most of the time) and certainly don't slump backwards. Yet a straight shaft still puts more strain on my wrists for the reasons mentioned above.

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

Post by Matt P » Sat Jan 28, 2012 11:49 am

I wish Epic made cranked versions of their touring paddles...

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

Post by HughdeIongh » Sat Feb 04, 2012 2:15 pm

I've got an old set of Lendal Wing paddles, with a very long shaft, overall length 228cm, which can be hard work on the shoulders, and I need to get a shorter shaft to bring them down to around 220cm.

I am going for cranks, and wondered how far apart should the cranks be on a wing paddle? Is the standard Lendal width ok, or should it be wider for a wing paddle, as some suggest, and if so how wide? I measure from the tip of each crank triangle, i.e. the apex. Any feedback really welcome, as I have to get this right!

Hugh

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

Post by immunogirl » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:48 pm

The lendal wings are just huge, put them on a 210 shaft and they're huger. For a wing paddle stroke, you want your grip to be wider than your shoulders. Thjat's not possible with the lendal cranks shafts.

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

Post by Mark R » Sat Feb 04, 2012 8:08 pm

immunogirl wrote:That's not possible with the lendal cranks shafts.
...unless you get the varilock shaft, which is adjustable for length; this is what I did.
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Re: Wing Paddles...why not available in a crank?

Post by immunogirl » Sun Feb 05, 2012 6:46 am

Mark R wrote:
immunogirl wrote:That's not possible with the lendal cranks shafts.
...unless you get the varilock shaft, which is adjustable for length; this is what I did.
Just noticed they have a lendal wing small now, when trying to look up shafts.

Last time I looked up lendal shafts, they didn't have shorter than 210 cms - so using the varilock shaft to widen the settings of the crank to fit my shoulders, would then make it more like a 215 or 220 cm paddle. Which then makes the crank fit my shoulders, but just be too long a paddle otherwise. I use about a 207 cm paddle with an epic wings. I haven't checked for a couple years, because I switched to epic wings and keep my lendal blades around for when I have a newbie paddling with me (the kinetic tour's my only euro paddle) or need to teach someone to roll (the kinetic wing's got great buoyancy for learning to roll)...

I've got like 5 sets of lendal shafts, 'cause I had a plan to mix & match cranked and straight shafts to try and make something that would work for me... or to hack saw some down so they were short enough for me.... But the smaller oval shaft on a lendal wing works far better for my wrist issues than any of the crank paddles I've tried. The oval shaft is also pretty easy to index while rolling (someone said cranks were easier to index).

Re greenland paddles - it helps to make your own. I shaved my greenland paddle shaft down to the same oval shape as my epic shaft. I tend to tweak my elbows whenever I paddle with a greenland paddle though, something about doing that extended paddle steering stroke. So mostly I just use my greenland paddle when I want to do fancy rolls.


Re Debbie's comment about flexibilities & paddlers - I see a lot of guys doing the slumping/slouching back and paddling thing. Guys seem to spend a lot more time bothering with their backband - I don't think I actually ever use mine.

Re - elbows and wing paddling - Yes, at the start of your stroke, the back elbow is bent - but when you're actually doing your stroke, you can do the stroke without your elbows bent - if you do, it forces you to rotate...

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

Post by Jim » Sun Feb 05, 2012 11:37 pm

Catriona, Lendal have always had 2 types of cranked shafts available, the double torque or the modified. It is the modified that needs to be a fair way up from the blade due to the extra length that brings it back to neutral, the feature which makes it ideal for a touring shaft. 4 piece splits add an extra complication that you do need a bit of extra straight length to accommodate the spigots (which can be a little shorter on a glued blade).

Most of my paddles were custom orders direct from the factory in Prestwick although some of my split parts are off the shelf within the last year. My main river running paddle uses mystik blades (similar length to original kinetic tour) and is constructed as a 198cm one piece on a modified crank shaft. I have to admit my hands are towards the bottom of the modified crank when I use these so not quite in the perfectly neutral position. For use as river running slpits I have a variety of blades, primarily Carbon/N12 Kinetic Xti, but also a set of Carbon Mystiks to be as similar as possible to main paddle - for these I had to choose 200cm double torque cranks, again my hands tend to be slightly below the middle of the grip when at my roughly shoulder width paddling position. I can't remember when I got these shafts, I definitely used them in the Grand Canyon in 2007 (only take splits when I fly), but I can't be sure about 2004.

My sea paddles are kinetic touring on what you would consider a long (218cm) shaft which is a one piece glued modified crank. On this I find the grips are actually a little too far apart and I usually end up gripping towards the top of the grip area. I did discuss the optimum position of the crank when ordering these and Marianne assured me the figures I was asking for between the thumbs was a little close together (I can't recall if it was possible to make up or not) - in retrospect Marianne is an ex-world champion and probably paddles slightly differently to me. To be honest it is nothing more than a niggle that the spacing is a little wide, as I hold the paddle it is perfectly comfortable and I have paddled hundreds of km in comfort with them.

I have just bought a 210cm modified crank shaft to use with the carbon Mystiks as sea paddlign spares (I find them hard going for touring at 200cm) - I haven't used them yet but picking them up at home the grip is slightly wider than on my one piece river running paddle (198cm) but I think my hands will still be slightly off the middle of the grips (they may be spot on) - how is this possible, well it's to do with the spigot length for split paddles, the river running blades (custom) have the bare minimum straight length for the glued in spigot. Now I don't know where the new shaft was made, whether it was old stock from Prestwick, or new stock from Anglesey or if it came from Johnson Outdoor, perhaps it is a length that Nigel has introduced? Previously I wouldn't have been looking for a 210cm shaft because I use a 218cm paddle, however it will defintiely be better than 200cm as spares on the sea and it does seem that sea paddles are getting shorter again so maybe it's a size I will find myself usign in the future.

By the way, I still have my old sea paddles - one is a seconds quilty 230cm Ainsworth assymetric that I bent a blade on nearly 20 years ago and haven't used since, the other is it's replacement, again 230cm on a stiff glass fibre shaft, with massive WW laser blades (slalom or WWR). I was using the latter right up to ten years ago when I got the kinetic touring paddle (didn't do as much sea paddling then), when I tried it again last year I wondered how!

Jim

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

Post by immunogirl » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:46 am

Jim, I think we get far less lendal selection in the states than you guys do. Only 1 set of cranks were available here that I know of...

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

Post by Jim » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:55 am

immunogirl wrote:Jim, I think we get far less lendal selection in the states than you guys do. Only 1 set of cranks were available here that I know of...
It could be. Even in the UK most shops didn't stock anywhere near the whole range (Karitek deserve a mention as one of the few that do) and to get the setup you wanted it was always necessary to custom order, either through a retailer or direct from Lendal. Not all retailers offered a custom ordering service, whether because the vast range confused them or because they thought it woiuld confuse customers I am unsure. I really don't know what the latest ownership implies with respect to the range that will be built, custom options and so on, or the previous ownership - I have only bought from Karitek since JO took over completely and I think at least some of the parts were old stock, not sure about the latest shaft, the finish is subtly different (not as good).....

Jim

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

Post by immunogirl » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:42 pm

There were maybe 2 online retailers here selling, possibly some specialized local kayak shops, but not the ones around me. The online retailers were definitely not offering custom stuff.

Most of my stuff was bought a couple years back when I don't know if there was a change of ownership or what with lendal, but all of a sudden a ton of lendal stuff was flooding ebay despite the fact that you could barely get it otherwise here. I had 2 shafts already at that point, and went ahead and bought another 3-4 to play with.

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

Post by Jim » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:04 pm

Lendal were bought by Johnson Outdoor a few years ago and production transferred to the US. They had some problems scaling production as they intended and eventually sold Lendal to SeaKayakingUK last year, which I think is the current name for Nigel Dennis' operation. For a while at least the shafts continued to be made in Scotland under JO ownership, I have no idea if they still are.

In 2003 a group of 3 of us negotiated a discount with Lendal (in return for photos and generally showing the paddles off) and went on a river running trip to Washington. We spent a couple of days on the Skykomish near Sultan, a slightly revelationary moment occurred at some point when we realised who are based there. We then headed inland and wound up in Leavenworth on the Wenatchee (in case the penny hadn't dropped for us by now - I think we were all using Wenatchees at home at that time) where we found the mountain sports shop which sells paddling kit. Well we spent a bit of time in there chatting to the guys and my mates decided to hire demo boats for a trip on the local play run and eventually we got to the subject of how safe is it to fly with paddles, at which point we explained about our paddlock splits, and then went out to the car and brought in to show them. The guys were really enthusiastic about them, I have no idea if they ever placed an order - we left them the website address (should prbably have taken some cards in retrospect), but I like to think if they did that maybe I helped Lendal sneak in under Werner's nose right on their home patch. :-)

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

Post by chrism » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:48 pm

immunogirl wrote: For a wing paddle stroke, you want your grip to be wider than your shoulders. Thjat's not possible with the lendal cranks shafts.
Not necessarily. My grip positions are definitely wider than my shoulders on mine, but then my main wings are 218. I can understand how it's more of an issue if you're using a shorter paddle as the length of the bent bits is the same however long your paddle.

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

Post by immunogirl » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:58 am

chrism wrote:
immunogirl wrote: For a wing paddle stroke, you want your grip to be wider than your shoulders. Thjat's not possible with the lendal cranks shafts.
Not necessarily. My grip positions are definitely wider than my shoulders on mine, but then my main wings are 218. I can understand how it's more of an issue if you're using a shorter paddle as the length of the bent bits is the same however long your paddle.
I think we have to go back to there is a person that fits every paddle. I just don't fit the non-custom lendal shaft that I have :)

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

Post by tommfuller » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:41 am

Erling wrote:Hi;
You may find Greg Barton/Epic's comments interesting:
http://www.epickayaks.com/news/news/epi ... aft-option
Interesting, yes, but I don't find the argument that "because top sprinters don't use them they are a bad idea for me" very compelling.

Cheers,

Tom.

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