Paddle Shafts Werner vs Lendal

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Mark Gawler
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Paddle Shafts Werner vs Lendal

Post by Mark Gawler » Mon Nov 07, 2005 7:53 pm

I currently paddle with a Lendal Nordkapp N12 blade on a 220cm G1F straight shaft. This set up has been playing havoc with my hands, after only a few hours of paddling I get blisters. After switching back and forth from my river paddles (Werner Side Kicks), I'm pretty sure its down to the shaft diameter and shape. Werner paddles have a slightly larger shaft with an oval construction, which suites my fairly large hands.

I am thinking of buying a set of Werner Corryvrecken carbon or possibly [url=I]kelos[/url] (depending on price and availability), I'm resigned to probably having to wait three months for a special order from the states, so they should be here by the spring!, but before I take the plunge are there any alternatives I should consider?

Has anyone experience with either of these paddles, or know where I can demo a set? I see there are a few retailers who claim to stock the glass version of the Corryvrecken, which may be a good starting point. I may just email all the distributors on the System X web sight.

Any views?

I see there are a lot of fans of Lendal on this forum, so it may just be me, but I do think that a bit of shrink wrap on a round shaft is a cheap finish for what are meant to be premier paddles.


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Post by Richard Uren » Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:26 pm

Try contacting Peter at Shoreham Sea kayaks.I`m pretty he`s a werner dealer & also uses them. A good guy to deal with.
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Post by Jim » Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:39 pm

Yep, it appears that the lendal shaft is thinner than the skypoles that werner use. I have heard loads of opinions on shaft diameter vs tendon problems but this is the first time someone has linked it with blisters.

The shrink wrap on the touring paddles is quite polished (the stuff on my kinetic splits is thicker and more rubbery) and slippery, my solution to this was to very lightly rub some fine wet and dry over it to dull the shine. The paddle doesn't feel slippery anymore.

Another thing to consider is where and how you use them - I can't recall getting excessive blisters off any set of paddles (always get some if I haven't been out for a while) except when I tried using surf wax on my werners for extra grip. I now use the same G1F shaft on my sea and river paddles and haven't noticed blisters because of it, however it could simply be that when sea paddling you paddle much more continuously, or it could be the salt water that causes problems or it could be a combination of these, possibly along with the paddle being a bit narrow and shiny for you? Whenever I'm in the sea boat I seem to paddle continuously for hours at a time, on the river I rarely do more than a few minutes before drifting a bit :-)


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Post by kaspian » Tue Nov 08, 2005 7:26 am

Hi Mark,

Before you splash out on new paddles it may be worth building up the grip on your Lendals. I use Nordkapps as my splits and have found that a layer of self-amalgamating tape wrapped tightly around the shaft virtually eliminates any slipping and gives a fatter grip. You can add more layers to increase diameter, if needed. The tape gives excellent grip because it feels slightly sticky, and once it has "set" it is completely waterproof. Much cheaper than new paddles.

Of course, if it doesn't solve your problem, I'll be happy to sell you some Werners!

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Post by iannewman » Tue Nov 08, 2005 8:29 am

I have large hands. And as a (previously competitive) marathon paddler using Tim Middleton designed Wings, suffered from small diameter shafts particularly each winter when tendonitis became a painful problem. My solution then and now is to build up the shaft diameter (where hands go) with plastic self adhesive cycle handlebar tape. Glue the ends down and make smoothe. There is a slightly ribbed effect along the windings which I also like. Cover the tape with black plastic water proof tape/electrical tape, whatever to avoid blisters.
This system works really wells for me whatever paddles I use...Wings, and also Lendal Powermaster for the sea. I find the slightly padded and ribbed handhold very comfortable. There is also better insulation against the cold. I have not had problems with tendonitis since I started using this approach ten years ago.
n.b. A main consideration is to avoid shafts (whatever their diameter) made from pure carbon. It is too stiff and problems can arise especially with forearm strains. Much better to go for a shaft made of a mixture of carbon and glass - is much more forgiving in my view.

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Post by Zoe Newsam » Tue Nov 08, 2005 10:11 am

I put your details into the Werner website, Mark, and they recommend either the Corryvreckan or Ikelos 215, standard neutral bent shaft: ... Recommends

That agrees with what we already discussed. Handy tool, that.

Another interesting point- can anybody properly explain the difference between Lendal's 'Modified Crank' and Werner's 'Neutral Bent'. I know that you basically hold the Lendals on the inside of the crank and the Werners on the outside of the bend, but does anyone know why? Does it just bend in the opposite direction?

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Post by active4seasons » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:54 am

Perhaps its time for a manufacturer to come up with various grip sizes. Having played quite a bit of squash over the years I can confirm that the oppeness of your hand can effect the tension in your wrist. To feel this happening just hold your own wrist whilst making a progressively larger and smaller grip with your fingers - you should fel the tension move up and down your wrist. In squash you add padding till you are gripping the handle with the longest finger just short of the pad by your thumb - this gives the best grip without causing tendonitis.

Tendonitis and pain can come when the grip is too tight. I am sure people will verify this but if it is a windy day (F4-5) you cling harder to the shaft and often this means wrapping a few more fingers round the blade. The problem with this is that it forces your wrist to move in the sideways plane and the wrist is not so good at this thus tendon pain can occur. This is one reason for the introduction of crancked paddles as well as reduced feather on the blades. Easier said than done (on a wind day) but if you can consiously relax your grip on the paddle you should have less problems.

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