Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

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Gordon Gilzean
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Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by Gordon Gilzean » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:20 pm

I'm wondering if anyone here uses markers on their paddles to help with paddle set up for rolling, following a recent first time surf session where i missed my roll a few times due to the blade diving, to make things easier next time i stuck a half spherical button onto the shaft with electrical tape so that aslong as i have the paddle on the waters surface and the buttom facing down and touching my thumb the paddle is in the correct position to start rolling, previous to this i used to feel the blade before starting to roll which takes time ( something i don't have a lot of in surf conditions) so I'm hoping this will make setting up to roll quicker and more efficient next time, i have a button on each side of the paddle so i can roll up on both sides quickly

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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by TheEcho » Wed Sep 11, 2019 4:58 pm

A lot of paddles come with an oval grip which does the same thing. My Celtic paddle has a distinctive grip, and in comparison my VE one is subtle and hard to feel so I have bulked it out with toothpicks and tape.

Gordon Gilzean
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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by Gordon Gilzean » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:08 pm

That's handy some paddles have this incorporated into the design, it would be good if all came like that

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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by PlymouthDamo » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:28 pm

I reckon you're better off doing what you did previously - i.e. feeling where the blade is before starting the roll. It takes a bit longer, but will work on any paddle you happen to be using, and it's good to learn to feel what your blade is up to. I would definitely be caught out if my blade dived when I wasn't expecting it, as I always do a fast swipe when rolling with euroblades. But that's why it's good to practice your rolls from 'problematic' starting positions - e.g. spin the paddle in your hands as you're capsizing and sort it out from there. Dong that when you're practicing is good preparation to deal with a real-life messy set-up or a failed-roll recovery.

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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by kayakbiker » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:02 pm

Yes i used to carve a little notch on the shaft but its difficult to feel it in colder water.

I also use to slap the water with the paddle before rolling.
After quite a bit of experimenting i went to zero feather. I now let my paddle float and find its natural flat orientation instead of using markers. Greenland paddle method
Never had a problem with the wind or wrist issues yet.

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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by Gordon Gilzean » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:17 pm

Thanks for the tips guys, i reckon i may have gotten too comfortable with intended capsizing for practising and having the paddle set up nice and easy, I'll spend some more time going upside down holding the paddle in all sorts of places and working it out under the boat like a real situation, i also use zero feather when i practice rolling but i do like a decent feather if I'm paddling into winds, i change my feather as i paddle depending on conditions, if its no wind or wind behind me I'll have zero feather to 30° but it can go as high as 60° in a strong headwind, I think i need to practice rolling more with different feathers aswell now that i think about it

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Jim
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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:52 am

Most proper canoe shops can sell you 'index grips' for paddles (not always listed on their website). Generally a piece of plastic, cresent shaped in cross section to conform to the round shaft and bulk it out, and about 150-200mm long. Simply glue it to the paddle shaft in a position that feels right to you - normally in line with the back of the blade so it nestles neatly inside your knuckles, but this may depend on the size of your fingers and exactly how you prefer to orient your hand to the blade. Usually come with some heat shrink tube to finish it off neatly if you are building a paddle from scratch or applying to a split paddle, if your paddle is already built as 1-piece you can either wrap electrical tape around to cover the grip, or just glue it neatly. My top tip is to use hot melt glue for a glue gun, that way if you position it wrong first time, you have the possibility to reheat it and move it.

Normally only fitted to the controlling hand side, personally I tend to have them both sides except on my wings (which I'm told are best with none, but I still use one on the control hand side), probably because I used to buy paddles with ovalled shafts (which are both sides). These days I tend to buy paddles in kit form with round shafts, although I have had some cranked shafts that are already ovalled in the grip area, the trick then is to find ones that are just right, there are some where the oval seems way too deep.

Another thing I do is put a few wraps of electrical tape around the shaft just outside my preferred hand position - not enough to make a ridge to stop mty hands slipping past, but just enough that I can feel if they are positioned normally without having to look.

I aim to never look at my paddle, it is an extension of my body and I should be aware of where it is at all times without having to look, that means I can look at where I am going which aids with posture, technique and steering to where I want to go (never look at the obstacle, always the route past it)

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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by Jim » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:01 am

Gordon Gilzean wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:17 pm
Thanks for the tips guys, i reckon i may have gotten too comfortable with intended capsizing for practising and having the paddle set up nice and easy, I'll spend some more time going upside down holding the paddle in all sorts of places and working it out under the boat like a real situation, i also use zero feather when i practice rolling but i do like a decent feather if I'm paddling into winds, i change my feather as i paddle depending on conditions, if its no wind or wind behind me I'll have zero feather to 30° but it can go as high as 60° in a strong headwind, I think i need to practice rolling more with different feathers aswell now that i think about it
Feather will have no effect on your rolling ability* other than possibly psychological.

When rolling only 1 blade is active and you control it from the nearest hand whichever hand you normally control it with (which is probably why many right handers prefer a left setup). The other blade is out of the water and low to the bottom of the boat so not even noticeably affected by wind. This will be another reason I prefer to index both ends of the shaft, I grew up playboating where we spent a lot of time making our boats go upside down in ever more impressive ways requiring strong rolls on both sides and from various setup positions...

*with possible exception of back deck roll where both blades are used

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Re: Does anyone else put markers on their paddles for help rolling?

Post by Mac50L » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:57 am

My shafts are totally "indexed". They are rectangular.

Bend your fingers at the second joint. They make a right-angle, not a circle. This means the shaft is easy on the hand and the upper hand pushes the shaft with the base of the fingers, open handed if wanted. Thumbs are used just to stop the paddle dropping on to the deck.

Problems? One paddler, competitive paddling as well as touring, so has used everything (Euro, Wing GP) complained when she tried that and a GP, she couldn't raise blisters. Had trouble with rolls too - too easy.

Yes, you could fit pieces to a rod / tube shaft to square it up. They could be short because you don't use all the shaft the way a GP is used.

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