Feather angle recommendations

Inland paddling
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pauld13
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Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:00 pm

Just interested in hearing what folk think on this topic...

I'm about to order myself a new paddle. I'm settled on paddle length and blade style.

I mostly do a bit of river running and coaching on sheltered water - my boat is a river runner.

What feather angle do you prefer and why?

I can order 30 or 45.... or anything in between!!!

Any thoughts very welcome....



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DaveBland
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by DaveBland » Sun Nov 05, 2017 3:07 am

I'm sorry if I'm being a total git, but I don't understand...
You must have paddled using something before? If you do coaching then how can you not know what works for you?
dave

Franky
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by Franky » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:01 am

Sometimes you stick with what you know for a long time, before realising you prefer something different. My paddles have both been 45 degrees, but this summer I borrowed a 30-degree one and preferred it. On white water (i.e. in valleys), there's rarely enough wind to justify a high angle.

A low angle places less strain on the wrist, while not requiring fundamental readjustment of paddling style. (0 degrees, by contrast, does require a fundamental readjustment!)

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by Jerry Tracey » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:09 am

I think feather angle can make a difference to rolling on the side of the non-feather hand.
If you have changed feather angle, I would advise testing your roll before you next hit anything epic!
Enjoy!
Jerry.

pauld13
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:29 pm

DaveBland wrote:I'm sorry if I'm being a total git, but I don't understand...
You must have paddled using something before? If you do coaching then how can you not know what works for you?
Only ever used 45. Being a left hander, the opportunity to try other angles has never presented itself.

Do you happen to have an option on this topic?


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pauld13
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:33 pm

Franky wrote:Sometimes you stick with what you know for a long time, before realising you prefer something different. My paddles have both been 45 degrees, but this summer I borrowed a 30-degree one and preferred it. On white water (i.e. in valleys), there's rarely enough wind to justify a high angle.

A low angle places less strain on the wrist, while not requiring fundamental readjustment of paddling style. (0 degrees, by contrast, does require a fundamental readjustment!)

Thanks for that - I'd had a go with 0 deg - that was interesting!

Interesting what you are saying about wrist strain. Never had a problem (so far) but perhaps worth thinking about.


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pauld13
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:35 pm

Jerry Tracey wrote:I think feather angle can make a difference to rolling on the side of the non-feather hand.
If you have changed feather angle, I would advise testing your roll before you next hit anything epic!
Enjoy!
Jerry.
Thanks - will be sure to take that advice!!


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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by Chris Bolton » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 pm

I learned to paddle right 90º in 1982 - in those days the kayaking world appeared to be about 95% right 90º, 4.5% left 90º and 0.5% something else (although sprint & marathon may have had lower angles but I didn't know anyone who did that then). In about 1992 I had wrist trouble on a week long trip and swapped to left 90º - that lasted 2 days - then I went zero feather, and have used zero ever since. I've posted on other threads about it here; in my experience feather is pointless. People who are accustomed to feather and try zero will tell you that you have to bend your wrists, but that's only because they have the muscle memory from using feather; once you're used to zero it's fine.

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by Rae1 » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:50 pm

This came up last week on a river trip. I was asked why my paddle had little feather (17 degrees), well, basically as I'd bought it secondhand and knew no better. Anyway, the conversation went that low feather gave more chance of slicing through the water when you need a brace, and thus more chance of turning over.
I'm not experienced enough to comment on whether it does.

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by DaveBland » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:14 am

pauld13 wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:29 pm
DaveBland wrote:I'm sorry if I'm being a total git, but I don't understand...
You must have paddled using something before? If you do coaching then how can you not know what works for you?
Only ever used 45. Being a left hander, the opportunity to try other angles has never presented itself.

Do you happen to have an option on this topic?


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Yup. Me too. I paddled for years with 90 [well 90-85] as a leftie as that's what I'd been used to. Over time I started to think a shallower angle would be better and went for 45 as it seemed like it would be a good step. Enough to be a big difference but not to 30 which seemed/felt like it would be too far.

I guess my shitty comment was more about coaching than paddle feather. I seem to have an issue with people coaching who haven't got enough experience to analyse their own performance for themselves.

But I'm old and bitter.
dave

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by Chalky723 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:08 am

It's a topic that comes up every couple of months - maybe it should be a sticky...

A quick search should help with some answers....

D
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by twopigs » Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:56 pm

This is the way to do it

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1p7EW04RKAk

Or so it is claimed!
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by Ian Dallaway » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:47 pm

This topic has been done many times in the past, with lots of passionate discussion on either side of the zero feather.

I guess the question could be linked to what feather Slalom paddlers use? As Whitewater paddlers, Slalom is our nearest competitive discipline. A lot of the 'marginal gains' have already been explored and exploited here, and I guess we could learn a lot from them.
Do they use a zero (or a very low angle) feather?
Ian

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by goatboy » Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:34 pm

Chris Bolton wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:38 pm
I learned to paddle right 90º in 1982 - in those days the kayaking world appeared to be about 95% right 90º, 4.5% left 90º and 0.5% something else (although sprint & marathon may have had lower angles but I didn't know anyone who did that then). In about 1992 I had wrist trouble on a week long trip and swapped to left 90º - that lasted 2 days - then I went zero feather, and have used zero ever since. I've posted on other threads about it here; in my experience feather is pointless. People who are accustomed to feather and try zero will tell you that you have to bend your wrists, but that's only because they have the muscle memory from using feather; once you're used to zero it's fine.
I have a very similar story indeed. I paddled with 90 deg. until the mid 90s, when I had an injured wrist. I wanted to carry on paddling even though I couldn't rotate it at all, so converted my paddles to zero feather. Wrists are fully recovered, but I never had any desire to move back to feathered paddles.

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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by PeterG » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:41 pm

another vote for zero feather, the roll is exactly the same each side with neutral wrist cocking, it just feels right

pauld13
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:57 pm

DaveBland wrote:
pauld13 wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:29 pm
DaveBland wrote:I'm sorry if I'm being a total git, but I don't understand...
You must have paddled using something before? If you do coaching then how can you not know what works for you?
Only ever used 45. Being a left hander, the opportunity to try other angles has never presented itself.

Do you happen to have an option on this topic?


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Yup. Me too. I paddled for years with 90 [well 90-85] as a leftie as that's what I'd been used to. Over time I started to think a shallower angle would be better and went for 45 as it seemed like it would be a good step. Enough to be a big difference but not to 30 which seemed/felt like it would be too far.

I guess my shitty comment was more about coaching than paddle feather. I seem to have an issue with people coaching who haven't got enough experience to analyse their own performance for themselves.

But I'm old and bitter.

Sorry, been off the forum since last week so not replied/acknowledged. I get where your are coming from - re being a leftie, it makes trying out paddles that more difficult - if I could wind back the last five years I'd start paddling right handed. It would also have meant that I'd have had a wider range of s/h paddles to choose from when buying.

On the coaching front - if I'm very honest, I'd still describe myself as an improver when it comes to my personal paddling. However, our club was near collapse a few years ago and a number of us decided to have a go at becoming level 1 coaches to ensure the club survived. The good news since then is that the club has survived (thriving) and a few of us are working toward our level 2. It's not that any of us were desperate to coach - but our club would have folded had we not come forward. So I suppose folk end up coaching for a variety of reasons; what's been great has been seeing some really capable adults and kids develop skills far beyond my own, and knowing that had our club not been there they might never have go started. :)


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pauld13
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:01 pm

Thanks for all the advice and opinions here. Yes, agree it should be a sticky. I'm still no closer to making a decision - handing over the best part of £300 when you're undecided is never easy.... Maybe I should just order splits with an adjustable feather!!! It's fairly likely I'll play safe and order 45 as that's what I'd been used to before. Thanks again all.


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pauld13
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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by pauld13 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:13 pm

Chalky723 wrote:It's a topic that comes up every couple of months - maybe it should be a sticky...

A quick search should help with some answers....

D
The search was like a history lesson :)

Really interesting to see how the consensus shifted from those earlier posts to the more up to date ones...

What seems really clear is that there is no correct/consensus answer...

...just got to go paddling and try a few options....

Cheers


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Re: Feather angle recommendations

Post by DaveBland » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:33 pm

pauld13 wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:57 pm
DaveBland wrote:
pauld13 wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:29 pm


Only ever used 45. Being a left hander, the opportunity to try other angles has never presented itself.

Do you happen to have an option on this topic?


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Yup. Me too. I paddled for years with 90 [well 90-85] as a leftie as that's what I'd been used to. Over time I started to think a shallower angle would be better and went for 45 as it seemed like it would be a good step. Enough to be a big difference but not to 30 which seemed/felt like it would be too far.

I guess my shitty comment was more about coaching than paddle feather. I seem to have an issue with people coaching who haven't got enough experience to analyse their own performance for themselves.

But I'm old and bitter.

Sorry, been off the forum since last week so not replied/acknowledged. I get where your are coming from - re being a leftie, it makes trying out paddles that more difficult - if I could wind back the last five years I'd start paddling right handed. It would also have meant that I'd have had a wider range of s/h paddles to choose from when buying.

On the coaching front - if I'm very honest, I'd still describe myself as an improver when it comes to my personal paddling. However, our club was near collapse a few years ago and a number of us decided to have a go at becoming level 1 coaches to ensure the club survived. The good news since then is that the club has survived (thriving) and a few of us are working toward our level 2. It's not that any of us were desperate to coach - but our club would have folded had we not come forward. So I suppose folk end up coaching for a variety of reasons; what's been great has been seeing some really capable adults and kids develop skills far beyond my own, and knowing that had our club not been there they might never have go started. :)


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That's a fine reply and hard to argue with.

On the left vs right thing... I thought about the reverting to right handed thing, and at a push I can paddle right feather, but I'm not prepared to sacrifice the drop in skill while I try and learn.
Going from 90 to 45 was relatively easy. 45 to 30 makes no odds after a few minutes and going back to 90 is easy too, once you've done both.
What is really hard is playing polo with a blade that moves every time a ball hits it as it's not fixed in properly. Guaranteed slice-fest.
dave

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