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Old September 25th 03, 06:05 PM
Bill Tuthill
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

Could someone please summarize for me the arguments in favor of
bent-cranskshaft kayak paddles? I already know some arguments
against them (below) but am trying to understand the issue.
Maybe it's due to upper body rotation, but when I tried out a
bent-shaft in a store, my wrists rotated just as much.

. break more easily due to deformed shaft
. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult
. higher cost
. are harder to tie onto the roofrack
. cannot be made of wood

The advantages of bent-shaft canoe paddles are obvious to me,
but not the advantages of bent-shaft kayak paddles. Searching
old messages I found some points about easier rolling and
less RSI, but if I don't have problems with a straight shaft,
how would switching help me?


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Old September 25th 03, 07:07 PM
Michael Daly
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

On 25-Sep-2003, Bill Tuthill wrote:

but when I tried out a
bent-shaft in a store, my wrists rotated just as much.


It doesn't prevent wrist rotation - that is due to feather angle
relative to stroke angle. It aligns the wrist so that your hand
is in a straight line with your forearm. To fine tune your
wrist rotation, get a variable feather angle and play with
different feather angles. I find 25-30 degrees works well
for me with a relatively low stroke and 50-60 with a
high stroke.

. break more easily due to deformed shaft


??? Never heard of this before.

. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult


Only running draws are trickier in my experience. Once
you get used to it, no big deal.

. cannot be made of wood


ISTM that Bending Branches and a couple of others make bend shaft wood
paddles. They use a laminated shaft.

but if I don't have problems with a straight shaft,
how would switching help me?


It won't. The supposed ergonomic benefits for paddlers (in terms of performance)
are overstated. They do provide a more comfortable grip for those with joint
problems because they align the wrists better. If you don't need this, you might
as well stick with a straight shaft.

Mike
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Old September 25th 03, 07:47 PM
padeen
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

I had an index on my straight-shaft paddle to make sure I could feel that
the blades were in the correct position to roll. I've never bothered to put
an index on my BS paddle; it just naturally falls into the correct position.

Padeen


"Bill Tuthill" wrote in message
...
Could someone please summarize for me the arguments in favor of
bent-cranskshaft kayak paddles? I already know some arguments
against them (below) but am trying to understand the issue.
Maybe it's due to upper body rotation, but when I tried out a
bent-shaft in a store, my wrists rotated just as much.

. break more easily due to deformed shaft
. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult
. higher cost
. are harder to tie onto the roofrack
. cannot be made of wood

The advantages of bent-shaft canoe paddles are obvious to me,
but not the advantages of bent-shaft kayak paddles. Searching
old messages I found some points about easier rolling and
less RSI, but if I don't have problems with a straight shaft,
how would switching help me?



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Old September 26th 03, 06:41 PM
Bill Tuthill
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

Michael Daly wrote:

. break more easily due to deformed shaft


??? Never heard of this before.


I saw some posts on Boatertalk.com alluding to it. When AT paddles
first arrived on the market with bent shafts (were they the first?)
many stories appeared about them breaking easily. Wilko posted that
he broke a bent-shaft paddle. My local kayak shop, where they push
the Lendal paddle-lock system, said that even ovalized shafts (e.g.
Werner or Lightning) cause weakness. So I put 2 + 2 together.

Laminated wood bent shaft, my gawd. Thanks for your help!

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Old September 26th 03, 07:24 PM
Blankibr
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

break more easily due to deformed shaft
. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult
. higher cost
. are harder to tie onto the roofrack
. cannot be made of wood


The only one that is accurate is higher cost, but even that is only true when
comparing within one line of paddles.

I find it is more comfortable on my wrists than the identical paddle
(lightning) without the crank. I don't have wrist problems, but do like the
crank more. As stated, YMMV.

Brian Blankinship


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Old September 26th 03, 07:52 PM
Mary Malmros
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

Bill Tuthill writes:

Could someone please summarize for me the arguments in favor of
bent-cranskshaft kayak paddles? I already know some arguments
against them (below) but am trying to understand the issue.
Maybe it's due to upper body rotation, but when I tried out a
bent-shaft in a store, my wrists rotated just as much.

. break more easily due to deformed shaft


Had mine for three seasons now of heavy use. No signs of breakage
despite several face-saving hockey cross-checks on rocks.

. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult


Not IME.

. higher cost


Yup.

. are harder to tie onto the roofrack


Not IME. I use MultiMounts though.

. cannot be made of wood


True, I suppose, but not something I care about.

The advantages of bent-shaft canoe paddles are obvious to me,
but not the advantages of bent-shaft kayak paddles. Searching
old messages I found some points about easier rolling and
less RSI, but if I don't have problems with a straight shaft,
how would switching help me?


Maybe it wouldn't. And maybe it would. If it ain't broke, don't
fix it; but don't be too surprised if you do start to develop RSI
over time. This doesn't require crappy technique, just a whole
lotta paddling on gear that's less ergonomic than it could be. My
data point is that a bent-shaft helped tremendously with my tennis
elbow. I wouldn't be without it.

--
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::
Mary Malmros
Some days you're the windshield,
Other days you're the bug.
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Old September 27th 03, 12:47 PM
Brian Nystrom
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?



Blankibr wrote:

break more easily due to deformed shaft
. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult
. higher cost
. are harder to tie onto the roofrack
. cannot be made of wood


The only one that is accurate is higher cost, but even that is only true when
comparing within one line of paddles.


However, he forgot to list that they limit your hand positions and are a pain
with extended paddle strokes. This isn't a big deal for WW, but for sea kayaking
it can be.

I agree with Michael; if you don't have a specific need for a bent shaft paddle,
there is no advantage to them.

--
Regards

Brian


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Old September 28th 03, 01:40 PM
Mary Malmros
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

Melissa writes:

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1

On Sat, 27 Sep 2003 11:47:44 GMT, Brian Nystrom wrote:

I agree with Michael; if you don't have a specific need for a bent
shaft paddle, there is no advantage to them.


I agree with both of you! Considering the limits imposed upon
variable hand positions, extended strokes, etc., unless one suffers
from a specific physical malady that *only* a bent shaft can
alleviate, they only limit rather than enhance what's possible. For
an otherwise perfectly healthy paddler, a bent shaft paddle is a
mediocre crutch for poor technique (sounds harsh, but I do believe it
to be true).


I've been paddling with a bent-shaft for three seasons now. The
bend never got in the way of my being able to do anything I wanted.

I also look at how my hands fit on the ends of my arms and note
that, when they're held with the wrists in a neutral alignment, a
cylindrical object gripped in the hands is not perpendicular to the
plane of my torso, but at an angle. To hold such an object in a
perpendicular alignment -- which must be done if the cylindrical
object is a shaft gripped by both hands -- I must either cock my
wrists (supination, I believe) or move my forearms in from a 90
degree alignment with my upper arms.

For the first six years of my paddling, I used nothing but a Werner
touring paddle with an 80 degree feather (if you're going to feather
for wind, make it mean something and give it a *real* feather
angle!). I never once experienced any problems with my wrists,
fingers, forearms, etc. First and foremost, I'm a musician, so I'm
very sensitive to the health of my arms, wrists, and fingers.


The difference may be one between touring paddling and whitewater
paddling, but I sure don't have the personal experience to say.
It's probably fair to generalize that whitewater boaters have more
situations when they simply can't afford to let go of the paddle at
all, whereas in touring kayaking, much of the time you can stop, set
your paddle down, etc. You may not want to, but you can.
Whitewater paddling also has more situations where you _need_
maximum power on a stroke: all you can give it, and fast. It's the
difference between a "long slow distance" run and a sprint: it
simply puts different stresses on your body.

An obliquely related rant...

I've never understood the need some people (with healthy hands, no
missing fingers, etc.) claim for a so-called "left-handed" string
instrument...just because they are left-handed (almost always
encountered with pop/rock guitarists/bassists with little or no
formal instrumental training). First of all, there is no
"right-handed" instrument, so how can there be a "left-handed" one?
- From a technical perspective relating to left/right hand dexterity,
the concept is absurd...and more often than not, just used as a
feeble excuse as to why someone can't play very well in the "normal"
fashion ("Gee, if I had a left-handed guitar, I could play
better...because I'm a lefty!"). The argument is as weak and absurd
as suggesting that there's a need for a " left-handed" piano, with
the bass to starboard and the treble to port!

In both cases, paddles and musical instruments (I've always felt many
parallels between the two), excepting cases of true physical malady,
bent shaft paddles and so called "left-handed" instruments are - to
put it in computer terminology - needless hardware solutions(?) to
software problems ("my ears are dirty and plugged...I need new
speakers!").


I think you're making a few assumptions about the boundaries of the
"problem". See discussion of whitewater vs. touring above: the
problem you know isn't all the problem.

Sometimes, being too willing to grab at every high-tech solution for
our perceived problems, we place limits on ourselves before we even
have the chance to discover what we're capable of.


And sometimes we find a gear fix and get feedback aplenty that it
works just fine.

--
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::
Mary Malmros
Some days you're the windshield,
Other days you're the bug.
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Old September 29th 03, 10:30 PM
Wilko
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?

Bill Tuthill wrote:

I saw some posts on Boatertalk.com alluding to it. When AT paddles
first arrived on the market with bent shafts (were they the first?)
many stories appeared about them breaking easily. Wilko posted that
he broke a bent-shaft paddle.


Although I broke *two*, those were testpaddles, designed especially for me.

Since then I have used the third one (with a thicker and stronger shaft)
for well over two years now, and I like it a lot. For me it has several
advantages, the main one being that it lessens my RSI (kind of carpal
tunnel sydrome due to too much driving and using the computer). I also
like the ease with with I can feel that I have the paddle correctly in
my hands (no more "is it turned" moments) when setting up to roll.

Having paid 140 US$ at the time, and with the paddle lasting for over
two years already, I would buy a Double Dutch paddle again (actually I
did, I bought one for my girlfriend about a year ago), and for me it
would again have a bent shaft.

My local kayak shop, where they push
the Lendal paddle-lock system, said that even ovalized shafts (e.g.
Werner or Lightning) cause weakness. So I put 2 + 2 together.


Relative weakness sure, but if the general layout is strong enough,
that's no issue. I don't hold back when using my paddle, and it
withstood everything I threw at it, including trips by airplane and lots
of miles of shallow creeks!

Laminated wood bent shaft, my gawd. Thanks for your help!


That would make me less comfortable as well. :-)


--
Wilko van den Bergh
Eindhoven The Netherlands Europe
Look at the possibilities, don't worry about the limitations.
http://wilko.webzone.ru/

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Old September 29th 03, 10:38 PM
Wilko
 
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Default Bent-shaft Kayak Paddles, Why?



Bill Tuthill wrote:
Could someone please summarize for me the arguments in favor of
bent-cranskshaft kayak paddles? I already know some arguments
against them (below) but am trying to understand the issue.
Maybe it's due to upper body rotation, but when I tried out a
bent-shaft in a store, my wrists rotated just as much.


I find that they cause less strain on my wrists and lower arms, which
makea a huge difference in paddle comfort for me.

. break more easily due to deformed shaft


Not IME.

. make sculling and draw strokes more difficult


I have never ever had *any* problems with this.

. higher cost


Not really.

. are harder to tie onto the roofrack


Never have found any problems with this, neither in my special paddle
holders:

http://wilko.webzone.ru/focus-wn.jpg
http://wilko.webzone.ru/roofr1.jpg
http://wilko.webzone.ru/roofr2.jpg
http://wilko.webzone.ru/soc-a10.jpg
nor elsewhere.

. cannot be made of wood


Why someone would want to have a wood paddle with all the high tech
solutions being available for so much less money is beyond me, but I bet
that it's possible to make a bent shaft wood paddle as well.

The advantages of bent-shaft canoe paddles are obvious to me,
but not the advantages of bent-shaft kayak paddles. Searching
old messages I found some points about easier rolling and
less RSI, but if I don't have problems with a straight shaft,
how would switching help me?


Less RSI for sure, but I have heard of a few people having *more*
difficulties rolling with a bent shaft (not for me though: I found it
easier to find that I was holding the paddle correctly).

--
Wilko van den Bergh
Eindhoven The Netherlands Europe
Look at the possibilities, don't worry about the limitations.
http://wilko.webzone.ru/



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