Paddle blades

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Paddle blades

Post by sub5rider » Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

About to accquire my first sea-kayak, and therefore need some blades.

My WW paddle weighs nowt being all carbon of an ideterminate manufacturer. And I love it. In comparison my old Gorillas feel like they're made of MDF.

Whatever I get will be on Lendal modified cranks. The choice seems to be either Nordkapp or Kinetic. I'm 54 and not that strong. Everyone I know seems to use N12 Nordkapps, seemingly by default, without a lot of thought going into it.

Opinions, please ??


Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
adrian j pullin
Posts: 1390
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2002 1:43 pm
Location: In reality: Wirral. In my dreams: Mull

Re: Paddle blades

Post by adrian j pullin » Mon Mar 10, 2003 5:37 pm

I use Nordkapp N12 on modified crank and they are great. The paddle length is huge by modern standards (132 I think). I have no difficulty pulling this size of blade on this length of shaft but I am 6' and 13 stone.

If you want a lighter pull, then try the Archipelago. This is a smaller blade and is billed as ideal for woment & juniors but obviously also suitable for the smaller man as well.

It is worth thinking about length. Modern river paddles are shorter to give a higher stroke rate for short bursts of acceleration. This means that on a sea touring trip you are revving faster all the time, which is tiring. You want to be in a higher gear and revving lower for continuous paddling, hence a longer paddle. The traditional measure still works for touring paddles. i.e. standing up and reaching for the top of the paddle, you should be able to just curl your finger tips over then end.

If possible, try some paddles before you buy. Local clubs are a good place as most people will let you try their paddles when on a trip together.

(I am a big Lendal fan, Nordkapps for sea, Mania Asymmetric for river and Mania Asymmetric on Paddlok for splits. They don't do open boat paddles!)

Obviously check out Lendal's web site and maybe at ICE.

Edited by: adrian j pullin at: 3/10/03 4:37:47 pm

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 838
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Archipelago

Post by NickB » Tue Mar 11, 2003 8:48 am

I'm 6' 4" and too many stone and Archipelago serves me well, the smaller blade area and narrow profile reduces flutter in high wind without compromising on paddling skills. Traditional sea paddles have an even narrower profile and are gaining popularity in certain circles.

The weekends run by the Sea Touring Committee provide the opportunity to try various paddles as well as kayaks, these may provide an option to try a variety a paddle types one after another, whatever option you choose make it light!

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Paddle blades

Post by Jim » Tue Mar 11, 2003 9:42 am

I use Kinetic Xtis on the river and I would say they are way too powerful for long distance paddling.

As for whether you should go for Nordkapp or Archipeligo I couldn't say having not actually tried either (I sea paddle with some old WW lasers on a long shaft, OTT but easier than the Kinetics). At the Perth show Lendal had some all carbon Nordkapps and Archipeligo's on their stand, it was like picking up a toothpick, highly desirable but I didn't dare look at the price tag.

An option, which would suit me but not everyone, would be to get paddlock splits with your chosen blade. If it proves to be too powerful, or underpowered you can change blades, and would still be able to swap over again if conditions would favour the other type (kinetics for battling out through surf, archipeligos for cruising in a high wind?). Lendal quality appears to be a bit hit and miss, my 4 way kinetics lasted 18 months of river running before I broke a bit (that was probably due to not tightening properly) but other people have had less longevity.

I think for this years Easter trip I'll carry my 4 way Manias as spares as they seem less powered up - I only had the Kinetics last year and luckily didn't need them, although if my brother comes along I might have to lend him the Manias!

JIM

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset

Re: Paddle blades

Post by Steve B » Tue Mar 11, 2003 12:21 pm

I've never really understood this idea of keeping more than one set of blades so you can swap them on a Paddlock shaft. The shaft is by far the cheapest part of the setup, and if you factor in the cost of the joints it's probably just as affordable (or not) to have two standard paddles as one Paddlock shaft and two sets of blades.

Steve B.

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Paddle blades

Post by Jim » Tue Mar 11, 2003 2:21 pm

It does seem like a total gimmick, but there are situations where it could prove useful:

I got 4 way kinetics to take on the plane, and liked them so much I kept using them and bought 4 way manias as spares.
All the parts are interchangeable, so if I break a blade I could switch the blades over and still use the decent shaft, if I break a piece of shaft I could swap that piece and continue using the preferred blades. It's never happened yet, proving the gimmick theory!

If I was using the splits for sea paddling I could carry 2 or 3 different paddles and swap the blades at sea depending on the conditions - now I certainly can't carry 3 sets of one piece paddles on my rear deck! As it happens I don't have a shaft long enough to use them as my main sea paddles, but I could get a cranked split shaft on it's own and then choose between my Mania and Kinetic blades depending on conditions! I may well purchase such a shaft, possibly with Nordkapp blades, before my next big trip.

So where my suggestion was really going was:
One could buy a set of modified cranked Nordkapps (or Kinetics) as 4-way splits. If you get too tired using them over long distance you could get a cheap set of Manias or Archipeligos (or Norkapps) on a cheap straight shaft, use the smaller blades for everyday use and still have a set of splits to carry, albeit with a straight shaft (hopefully you won't need to use it, and cranks are more awkward to stow on deck). You also get the option that if you have to paddle out through some pretty lumpy conditions, you can set up with the more powerful blades and once out back raft up and switch to the long distance blades. It will work out a bit more expensive overall than having 2 one piece paddles, or having glued in blades and replacing them once if you don't get on with them, or buying a set of one piece paddles and a set of splits (who paddles on the sea seriously without splits?). But in the longer term if you will be needing a set of splits within a few more months and have narrowed the choice down to one or 2 blades already there is nothing to lose (about £15 for the extra joints) and something to gain - the right set of paddles and a usable spare set, and flexibility to switch between them.

Think about it, if you use fixed paddles you can't swap to your splits if conditions mean they would be better because you have nowhere to stow the fixed paddle!

Of course if you already have a decent set of sea paddles, or a perfectly servicable set of splits which you will be using there is no incentive to go down the paddlock route!

JIM

Robert
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2002 1:39 pm

Paddle sizes

Post by Robert » Fri Mar 14, 2003 12:10 am

An interesting one this. My initial sea paddling experience was all with Lendal's Nordkapp blade.

If I hadn't tried anything else I would probably have bought one of these however after some trial and error I settled for their kinetic touring blade.

When I do go back to the Nordkapp I find it puts noticably more strain on me, especially when accelerating. This has been an important point for me, especially when working with smaller/junior paddlers.

I also find that on long trips the weight of the paddle becomes more significant.




User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Paddle sizes

Post by Jim » Fri Mar 14, 2003 9:10 am

"after some trial and error I settled for their kinetic touring blade."

Good point, I'd forgotten they do a couple of different Kinetics, I use the Xti's for river paddling which are probably more powerful than the Nordkapps (haven't compared, but I know the Xti's are like turbo chargers!). There is a definite case for trying out some different blades, the trouble is you need several hours of slogging along to know just how well they do or don't suit you and you can usually only borrow your mates for 5 minutes at a time....

JIM

nigelc
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 6:36 pm

Size does matter

Post by nigelc » Fri Mar 14, 2003 6:36 pm

"probably more powerful than the Nordkapps"

"Kinetic Xtis on the river and I would say they are way too powerful for long distance paddling."

How can a blade be more powerful?

JW - we'll have to talk about this around a camp-fire !
;)

User avatar
Sue
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Paddle blades

Post by Sue » Sun Mar 16, 2003 12:00 am

I have a pair of Lendal Kinetic Touring blades in Carbon Composite on the lightest shafts, they cost an arm and a leg but they're absolutely wonderful :D


Sue



User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Paddle blades

Post by sub5rider » Sun Mar 16, 2003 12:20 am


Hissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Size does matter

Post by Jim » Sun Mar 16, 2003 10:01 pm

"How can a blade be more powerful?"

Not wishing to destroy campfire conversation before it's born, the simplest way for a paddle to be more powerful is to give it more blade area than others. Hydrodynamic efficiency also depends on the blade shape, the kinetic Xti has a very squareish assymetric shape which means that you get the blade area into the water much more quickly than with the narrower rounded blades providing power earlier in the stroke and consistently through it.

Paddles aren't really like aerofoils (except wing paddles) in that they are not used in the most efficient way to generate hydrodynamic lift, in fact they use what would normally be called the drag in any other foil. A bit like using the spinnaker when sailing if you know anything about that. The shape of the drive face and the width and area of the blade can make it more effective at providing drag (i.e. staying in the same place as you draw the boat past), a "low powered" blade will slip through the water more if you pull it hard.

Basically the blade isn't actually powerful, but you have to use power to pull on it, the more power it can take before it starts to slip, the more power you use (once it slips your power output is capped). Therefore a blade that grips the water well is great on whitewater where you need to get positioned within a few paddle strokes, but to use it all day putting in that little bit more effort to every stroke can really grind you down by the end of it.

Any clearer?

JIM

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Size does matter

Post by sub5rider » Sun Mar 16, 2003 10:14 pm


It wasn't foggy !

My argument would be that the smaller the blade the more likely it is to be pulled through the water, therefore loosing efficiency. So the smaller the blade the less effort you can put into paddling, because you don't want the blade to slip.

Now what happens when you're trying to accelerate a fully loaded sea boat with small paddle blades - lots of slip ?

Surely the bigger the blade the better (probably assuming egual weights and in still air). You don't have to pull hard all the time, but you can when you need to.
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Size does matter

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 17, 2003 9:52 am

No, the blade always slips a bit, it takes less effort to make a smaller blade slip so you use less in each stroke which means you can do more strokes in a day.

There aren't many occasions where you need to really give it welly in a sea boat, which is why most people paddle with something they are more comfortable with all day. Sea boats are also too heavy to accelerate quickly, much better to build up to speed gradually, you'll be surprised how few strokes it actually takes to reach cruising speed on accout of the long pointy shape!

You are sort of right that you don't have to paddle hard with a big blade, but it requires concentration and deliberately holding back - sea paddling is very much a mechanical, non-thinking action! I haven't done that much sea paddling, but everyone who does agrees that you tire much more quickly using a more efficient paddle, basically when up to speed you don't need much effort to maintain speed (boats momentum helps you) and you are just "stroking" the water with the paddle. I swapped paddles with Phil for a few minutes last year, his were definitely easier on the joints for the short time I had them, and he quickly demanded them back as mine were too big for him!

Anyway, as you say, plenty of potential for a campfire discussion here!

User avatar
Sue
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Size does matter

Post by Sue » Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:09 am

At the risk of being hissed at again, thankyou Mr Sub5, ;) I quote from you're original post.........

"I'm 54 and not that strong..."

May I suggest you apply that to the point Jim is making, re smaller blades, with which I wholeheartedly agree, hence my choice of Kinetic Touring blades. I used Nordkapps for a while and found them very hard work. I don't go any slower with the Kinetics and don't get half so tired!

Sue

Aled
Posts: 260
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 12:40 am
Location: North Wales
Contact:

Alternative?

Post by Aled » Wed Mar 19, 2003 1:54 am

Just to keep the campfire going...

What about large blades on a shortish shaft?
That way you get loads of acceleration/power when needed, with a light/quick cruising stroke.

i.e. 20.5cm Powermasters @ 215cm

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Alternative?

Post by sub5rider » Wed Mar 19, 2003 11:10 am

Sorry, Sue, that msg should prob'ly have had a ;)

Anyway, I'm jealous no more. Just bought an s/h Orion & have enough dosh left in the kitty for a seriously light set of blades.

As for big blades short shaft ..... a longer shaft aids sweep/turning strokes and a lower paddling action in windy conditions.

I remain to be convinced of the small is better argument.

I think we're all agreed that bigger is more efficient (less slippage) and that small blades are less tiring because they are more limiting in the amount of effort a paddler can put into a stroke.

Is this a reasonable summation?
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: Alternative?

Post by Jim » Wed Mar 19, 2003 11:38 am

"I think we're all agreed that bigger is more efficient (less slippage) and that small blades are less tiring because they are more limiting in the amount of effort a paddler can put into a stroke.

Is this a reasonable summation? "

I think it probably is.

I also know you have a local Guru who will slate you if you buy the wrong paddles so I recommend you talk to him before you finally choose ;-) I think he uses a skinny wooden paddle from memory, probably irreplacable! He's probably going to slate you for not buying a Nordkapp HM anyway so you may as well minimise the abuse :-)

Good luck!

JIM

User avatar
Sue
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Alternative?

Post by Sue » Thu Mar 20, 2003 12:07 am

No offence taken, just felt a bit "hissed off" :rollin

Good choice, an Orion, that's what I paddle. All you need now is a pair of lightweight Kinetics!

Sue

Incidently, I like the Angry Orange!
Edited by: Sue  Image at: 3/19/03 11:10:21 pm

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Alternative?

Post by sub5rider » Thu Mar 20, 2003 11:18 am

Angry Orange lifted from http://www.orangebikes.co.uk


Still trying to figure out how to get my Sub5 thro' an oval hatch.....
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24087
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Contact:

Re: Alternative?

Post by Mark R » Thu Mar 20, 2003 5:56 pm

Be careful where you get your pictures from. I had a ludicrously officious warning mail from the owner of a site who noted that somebody here had linked to his site for their personal image.

Despite my balanced and sensitive reply, I never heard back from him.


-----------Mark Rainsley

Steve B
Posts: 5699
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 2:36 pm
Location: Taunton, Somerset

Re: Alternative?

Post by Steve B » Thu Mar 20, 2003 6:53 pm

Making a copy of somebody else's image in the way Nigel has done is merely copyright theft. Pointing to the original would be both copyright theft *and* 'bandwidth theft'. Very naughty because it could actually cost them money.

I recently saw an ad from someone who was selling a CD full of stolen copyright logos. The seller had the cheek to say that if anyone was stupid enough to not want the free publicity they'd willingly remove their logo from future editions of the CD.

Steve B.

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: Alternative?

Post by sub5rider » Thu Mar 20, 2003 11:30 pm

Angry O. has been banished, to be replaced with mugshot showing consequences of misuse of Halifax's finest....

Please, no-one be offended, I was gesticulating at the photographer - not you.

Full story http://www.sub5.co.uk "the accident"
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 838
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

"Good choice, an Orion"

Post by NickB » Fri Mar 21, 2003 8:58 am

I have to agree with Sue, you made an excellent choice with the Orion, stable and faster than many people think, and I love mine, shame it hasn't got as wet as it should lately. All you need now are a nice light pair of ........... Archipelagos to complete the package. Not too big, not too thin, just do the job!

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

Re: "Good choice, an Orion"

Post by sub5rider » Fri Mar 21, 2003 12:19 pm

Difficult to know from looking at Lendal's website the comparative sizes of their blades due to their differing shapes. They should quote blade areas, methinks.
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
Sue
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: "Good choice, an Orion"

Post by Sue » Sun Mar 23, 2003 8:55 pm

You ought to know, Nick, it was trying yours that made me buy mine.....pity I fell out of it yesterday!

Kinetic Touring blades are the business, though :rollin

Sue

User avatar
NickB
Posts: 838
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 10:11 am
Location: Plymouth
Contact:

Sue

Post by NickB » Mon Mar 24, 2003 8:31 am

When I saw that 'Sue' paddled an Orion I thought it may have been you, hope all is going well and it is good to here that you have already been out and about this year, but keep the tales of :o empty, upside down Orions to a minimum!

Annette and I are hoping to attend some of the usual weekend get togethers this year, maybe we will see you there, but I don't know if you have heard but we have a couple of additions to the family that make paddling a little bit difficult, we had twin daughters, :D Erin and :D Kimberley, born last November. We have vague plans at the moment that we can paddle one day each of Andy Proctors weekend in June, but we will have to wait and see!

User avatar
Sue
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2002 2:03 pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Sue

Post by Sue » Mon Mar 24, 2003 10:21 am

Hey.....congratulations Nick and Annette!!!!!

I'm glad I'm "past childbearing age", the paddling community seems to produce a lot of twins lately, it may be infectious!

Hope to see you all soon,

Sue

User avatar
sub5rider
Posts: 655
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 4:38 pm

End of thread?

Post by sub5rider » Mon Mar 24, 2003 11:09 am

I started this thread, so I'll finish....

Just ordered Kinetic Touring blades in carbon/nylon on a modified crank carbon shaft. These come at around the same weight as my current WW blades. Had a play with some Lendal carbon composite blades at the w/e - they are extremely fine but decided to go for what's likely to be more durable....


EOT
Nigel (ace self-rescuer, coz I get the practice) Crompton

User avatar
Jim
Posts: 13497
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton

Re: End of thread?

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 24, 2003 1:42 pm

I wonder, can I have the last word???? ;-)

Congratulations on your new paddle, sounds like a sensible choice, I think forking out on an extremely lightweight paddle is bet left until you are sure it is the right paddle, and are sure you will use it enough to justify the outlay in some pathetic way to whoever you feel you have to justify such things to!

JIM

Post Reply