Paddle Flex

Inland paddling
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Paddle Flex

Post by Rockrat »


After looking on TWP I found this picture of Doug Cooper and his Seven2 Paddles:
The paddle shaft seems to be flexing quite a bit when he's throwing the bow down.

Do all paddles flex to such an extent when under stress? and should you be worried if they do?

Finally: Is it something you should look at [shaft flexing under pressure] when buying a new set of blades?
Iain Robinson

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Post by meatballs »

All paddles flex, touring/sea paddles are designed to be more flexible to reduce the shock/stresses on joints etc. A non flexible paddle will give you more power in your strokes, which is good for playboating/sprinting, but more likely to cause injury on a brace?

Those paddles seem to be flexing quite a lot, but should only really be worried if they are prone to snapping :)

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Post by neilfarmer »

My werners felx quite a lot, I have felt them when putting powerful strokes in. I believe that the flex in the shaft helps reduce injury on the wrists. Anyway, my werners flex and they have never snapped (so far!).
Neil Farmer.

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David Fairweather
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Post by David Fairweather »

The Seven2 paddles have a very thin shaft which is designed to flex and then supply extra energy at the end of the stroke. Apparently this takes the shock off of your joints when going huge.

personally I prefer to use a slightly stiffer shaft but still with a bit of flex - I find the shaft on my Rough Stuffs fits the bill. If you are interested in the difference it makes, try a few different shaft designs out and see which suits you best. It seesm that almost as much choice is available in shaft types as blade shapes these days.

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Adrian Cooper
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Post by Adrian Cooper »

Just a moot point, I don't think he is throwing the bow down. Doug is not a great one for that, I think he is more likely using the paddle leverage to get airborne and is probably going for a donkey flip or helix.

Just a thought.

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Post by ChrisMac »

IUn answer to the original question is no they dont seven2 are at the flexi end of the scale. Personally I prefer my paddles to be fairly stiff and light but its all down to personal preference.


Post by Shell »

Hey i'm looking to buy a new set of paddles and found this on the 7-2 website. think it answers the post.

I dont agree but it's what they like to think.

no flex

every time the blade of a kayak paddle hits the water there is mini collision. a shaft without flex transfers that shock right to your body. this shock transferred is hard on the body causing sore muscles and joints. much like riding a mountain bike without suspension forks, the result is sore and tired hands and arms.

the seven2 designed ergonomic flex pattern reduces arm fatigue and shoulder injury
while creating a powerful and lively stroke. engineered for flex, our 100% carbon shafts store and release energy during the paddle stroke, creating a spring effect, resulting in more power with less wear and tear on the body.
no power storage

a kayak paddle with no flex or rebounding characteristics cannot increase on the initial power applied by the paddler.

power storage

engineered for power, seven2 shafts store and release energy during the paddle stroke. this stored energy creates a trampoline effect. the result of this spring is similar to golf shaft storing energy in the back swing. this spring effect, results in more power.
heavy aluminum or fiberglass shafts.

most kayak paddle shafts on the market are big, heavy aluminum or fiberglass tubes. this weight transferred is hard on the body causing sore muscles and joints.

100% carbon fiber, reduced diameter shaft design.

our patented thick walled, reduced diameter shaft design is super light and strong. as in ski poles and windsurfing masts the reduced diameter, thicker wall design creates a lighter, stronger shaft. all seven2 paddles have 100% carbon fiber shafts.
view image

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Ed Hopper
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flexy flexy

Post by Ed Hopper »

I'm sure on a previous post in this topic it was pointed out by the physicists lurking in our midst that it is not possible for any inanimate material to give back more energy than is put in by the paddler.

That aside, the flex would seem a reasonable method of redistributing the energy that a paddler puts in during the course of the stroke from the start of the stroke towards the end of it if that is what you want.

In terms of what young Douglas is actually doing there, he is effectively forcing the paddle downwards with the weight of his body and his boat and using it to support himself in the air as he flips over the top of it horizontally. It's similar to putting his paddle on the floor in the car park and pressing down on the left hand blade. Most paddle shafts wouldn't flex that much.

Personally, for that move, I don't think that the flex is helping him but I've not paddled with Sevan2's so I can't say that for sure. Next season I'll have a crack with them and see.



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power and flex

Post by jonl »

A paddle cannot increase the amount of power generated by the paddler, it can however change when the power is delivered by storing energy in the flex. The analogy with a golf club is a good one.

A more flexible paddle will reduce the power at the catch, and increase the power at the end of the stroke.

Rowers will use a more flexible blade for training and a stiffer blade for racing, though they will never go for too stiff a blade as this will reduce feel.

As an OC1 paddler, I prefer paddling with a flexible wooden paddle as the feel is wonderful, though there is no doubt I generate more power in a stroke with my very rigid carbon blade.


Post by Stu2 »

Surely a trick of the camera:-

Bendy paddles

Clearly not. But gives JF an excuse to buy more toys!

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