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Old November 18th 03, 03:02 PM
andrei
 
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Default why paddles matter - or do they?

Hi everybody,

I have another newbie question: I was told that paddles a really
important and that often when people are having a bad experience with
their kayaks, it's the cheap paddle which is responsible.

I bought a Tarpon 100 sit on top recreational kayak which I use on the
Intercoastal River in the New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater area. I
absolutely love it, and I do find that this kayaks traks just fine and
fast even though many experienced kayakers find these very slow and
heavy. But then, I am 6.2 220lbs and I *enjoy* the efffort. For me,
going for three hours against the wind and the tide is simply great
fun.

My wife, who has the same kayak, is having a hard time. Our kayaks
came with 30$ paddles Carlisle. The next paddle model up (judging by
price) was already at 90 bucks! Should she consider changing?

I mean, what does the paddle do? It "grabs" the water so the kayaker
can pull himself forward, right? So what's the big deal about
paddles?! I don't imagine that two buckets on each side of a broom
would be very pleasant to use, but is it worth spending 90 bucks or
more on a paddle? Would that help my wife?

Thanks!

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Old November 18th 03, 04:49 PM
Peter
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?

andrei wrote:

My wife, who has the same kayak, is having a hard time. Our kayaks
came with 30$ paddles Carlisle. The next paddle model up (judging by
price) was already at 90 bucks! Should she consider changing?

I mean, what does the paddle do? It "grabs" the water so the kayaker
can pull himself forward, right? So what's the big deal about
paddles?! I don't imagine that two buckets on each side of a broom
would be very pleasant to use, but is it worth spending 90 bucks or
more on a paddle? Would that help my wife?


Depends on what problem your wife is having. Cheaper paddles are generally
heavier and holding up the extra weight can be quite tiring on a longer
trip, especially for a smaller, lighter paddler.

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Old November 18th 03, 05:56 PM
Dave Van
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?


"Peter" wrote in message
news:[email protected]_s03...
andrei wrote:

My wife, who has the same kayak, is having a hard time. Our kayaks
came with 30$ paddles Carlisle. The next paddle model up (judging by
price) was already at 90 bucks! Should she consider changing?

I mean, what does the paddle do? It "grabs" the water so the kayaker
can pull himself forward, right? So what's the big deal about
paddles?! I don't imagine that two buckets on each side of a broom
would be very pleasant to use, but is it worth spending 90 bucks or
more on a paddle? Would that help my wife?


Depends on what problem your wife is having. Cheaper paddles are

generally
heavier and holding up the extra weight can be quite tiring on a longer
trip, especially for a smaller, lighter paddler.


They also tend to have blade shapes that don't do a very effective job of
preventing flutter in the water and they can tend to want to slip one way or
another. Also leading to fatique and just being a pain in the butt in
general. Cheaper blades that are made of non reinforced thermoplastics tend
to bend a lot in the water, putting the energy of the paddler's stroke into
bending the paddle rather than moving the kayak forward.


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Old November 18th 03, 06:33 PM
Bill Tuthill
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?

andrei wrote:

My wife, who has the same kayak, is having a hard time. Our kayaks
came with 30$ paddles Carlisle. The next paddle model up (judging by
price) was already at 90 bucks! Should she consider changing?


That higher-priced $89 paddle might be the Carlisle RS, which is
a big improvement over the flat-blade or spoon-blade $30 Carlisle
in terms of weight, flex-feel, feather, and blade design.

Most other $90 paddles are not very good. The Carlisle RS is made in
New Zealand and is currently a screaming bargain. I reviewed it here
about a week ago.

Above the Carlisle RS you have to spend over $200 and I'm increasingly
of the opinion that it's not worth the extra cash for most paddlers,
perhaps even myself.

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Old November 18th 03, 10:58 PM
John Fereira
 
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Default why paddles matter - or do they?

(andrei) wrote in
om:

Hi everybody,

I have another newbie question: I was told that paddles a really
important and that often when people are having a bad experience with
their kayaks, it's the cheap paddle which is responsible.

I bought a Tarpon 100 sit on top recreational kayak which I use on the
Intercoastal River in the New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater area. I
absolutely love it, and I do find that this kayaks traks just fine and
fast even though many experienced kayakers find these very slow and
heavy.


And many experienced kayakers, by definition, are able to make that
determination due to their experiences paddling 10' recreational kayaks with
heavy, inexpensive paddle and then comparing it to paddling 17-18' composite
kayaks with paddles costing $200-$300 (and more). While you feel your kayak
may track fine and be fast, you can't really know how well it tracks and how
fast it is unless you've compared it to a "real" touring kayak.

My wife, who has the same kayak, is having a hard time. Our kayaks
came with 30$ paddles Carlisle. The next paddle model up (judging by
price) was already at 90 bucks! Should she consider changing?


Yes, and $90 is still very low in the price range for a kayak paddle. I'm
not suggesting that you go out and buy a $350-$400 carbon fiber paddle, but
if you think you're going to be participating in this sport for a long time
it might be worth spending a bit more. Someday you might want to upgrade on
your boat (or add to an existing fleet). A decent paddle can last a long
time. BTW, the only paddle I've ever broken was one of those $30 carlisles.


I mean, what does the paddle do? It "grabs" the water so the kayaker
can pull himself forward, right? So what's the big deal about
paddles?! I don't imagine that two buckets on each side of a broom
would be very pleasant to use, but is it worth spending 90 bucks or
more on a paddle? Would that help my wife?


I suggest that you try a decent paddle and decide for yourself. I'm betting
it will take all of five minutes for you or your wife to be sold on it. If
you can't find one to borrow or rent just go to a good kayak shop and pick
up a few paddles and you'll feel the difference.


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Old November 19th 03, 03:59 AM
andrei
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?

John Fereira wrote in message ...
(andrei) wrote in
om:

Hi everybody,

I have another newbie question: I was told that paddles a really
important and that often when people are having a bad experience with
their kayaks, it's the cheap paddle which is responsible.

I bought a Tarpon 100 sit on top recreational kayak which I use on the
Intercoastal River in the New Smyrna Beach and Edgewater area. I
absolutely love it, and I do find that this kayaks traks just fine and
fast even though many experienced kayakers find these very slow and
heavy.


And many experienced kayakers, by definition, are able to make that
determination due to their experiences paddling 10' recreational kayaks with
heavy, inexpensive paddle and then comparing it to paddling 17-18' composite
kayaks with paddles costing $200-$300 (and more). While you feel your kayak
may track fine and be fast, you can't really know how well it tracks and how
fast it is unless you've compared it to a "real" touring kayak.

My wife, who has the same kayak, is having a hard time. Our kayaks
came with 30$ paddles Carlisle. The next paddle model up (judging by
price) was already at 90 bucks! Should she consider changing?


Yes, and $90 is still very low in the price range for a kayak paddle. I'm
not suggesting that you go out and buy a $350-$400 carbon fiber paddle, but
if you think you're going to be participating in this sport for a long time
it might be worth spending a bit more. Someday you might want to upgrade on
your boat (or add to an existing fleet). A decent paddle can last a long
time. BTW, the only paddle I've ever broken was one of those $30 carlisles.


I mean, what does the paddle do? It "grabs" the water so the kayaker
can pull himself forward, right? So what's the big deal about
paddles?! I don't imagine that two buckets on each side of a broom
would be very pleasant to use, but is it worth spending 90 bucks or
more on a paddle? Would that help my wife?


I suggest that you try a decent paddle and decide for yourself. I'm betting
it will take all of five minutes for you or your wife to be sold on it. If
you can't find one to borrow or rent just go to a good kayak shop and pick
up a few paddles and you'll feel the difference.



Thank you all for the most interesting advice. Right now, our
kayaking budget is pretty much exhausted with two Tarpon 100s. With
time, and experience, we will both probably look into the purchase of
better, more efficient, faster and better tracking kayaks. But right
now we are stuck with Tarpon 100s. In my case, I am happy with it (-:
at least for the time being :-). So what I would be looking for is
reccomendations for a better paddle for my wife KEEPING IN MIND THAT
SHE WILL STAY WITH HER CURRENT KAYAK FOR THE TIME BEING. I mean - is
the Tarpon 100 too sluggish to improve on it anyway and are better
paddles only for more advanced kayaks - or might there be a
*reasonably price* (ABSOLUTE MAX 100 dollars) paddle which would
*significantly* improve the kayaking experience for my wife? (or does
the Tarpon 100 make the purchase of a better paddle a useless
endeavor?)

Again - many thanks in advance for all your expertise!
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Old November 19th 03, 06:13 AM
Peter
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?

andrei wrote:
So what I would be looking for is
reccomendations for a better paddle for my wife KEEPING IN MIND THAT
SHE WILL STAY WITH HER CURRENT KAYAK FOR THE TIME BEING. I mean - is
the Tarpon 100 too sluggish to improve on it anyway and are better
paddles only for more advanced kayaks - or might there be a
*reasonably price* (ABSOLUTE MAX 100 dollars) paddle which would
*significantly* improve the kayaking experience for my wife? (or does
the Tarpon 100 make the purchase of a better paddle a useless
endeavor?)


I doubt anyone here can really give you a good answer since we don't know
what's making your wife unhappy about the Carlisle that she's using now.
If she's getting tired from the effort of holding a heavy paddle, then
sure, investing in a lighter one will probably be worthwhile (that's why I
first upgraded my paddle). OTOH, maybe the length isn't quite right for
her - in that case the most important thing would be to get one of the
right length. Some people prefer smaller blades for a smoother feel while
paddling and others like the immediate grip in the water of larger blades -
again, we don't know what your wife may prefer.

Isn't there some kayak store in your area that's on the water so you could
go there with your boats and have your wife try a few different paddles? I
expect she'd be able to determine pretty quickly if an upgrade would result
in more enjoyable paddling.

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Old November 19th 03, 12:36 PM
Mary Malmros
 
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Default why paddles matter - or do they?

(andrei) writes:

[snip]
Thank you all for the most interesting advice. Right now, our
kayaking budget is pretty much exhausted with two Tarpon 100s. With
time, and experience, we will both probably look into the purchase of
better, more efficient, faster and better tracking kayaks. But right
now we are stuck with Tarpon 100s. In my case, I am happy with it (-:
at least for the time being :-). So what I would be looking for is
reccomendations for a better paddle for my wife KEEPING IN MIND THAT
SHE WILL STAY WITH HER CURRENT KAYAK FOR THE TIME BEING. I mean - is
the Tarpon 100 too sluggish to improve on it anyway and are better
paddles only for more advanced kayaks - or might there be a
*reasonably price* (ABSOLUTE MAX 100 dollars) paddle which would
*significantly* improve the kayaking experience for my wife? (or does
the Tarpon 100 make the purchase of a better paddle a useless
endeavor?)


Yes. No. Maybe. If I told you over the internet what pair of
basketball shoes, and what size, would work better for you in your
playground pickup games, would you believe me? You shouldn't. Your
wife should try some paddles in your price range and see if she
thinks any of them are any better. If she can't find anything
better in your absolute max 100 dollars, then that settles that. I
will warn you, however, that if someone is having to struggle to
paddle their boat, if they just doggedly keep at it, IMO there's a
better than average chance that they'll develop a repetitive injury
in the wrist, shoulder or elbow that can be functionally disabling
-- not just for kayaking but for many other life activities. You're
the best judge of what you can't afford money-wise, but think about
what else you can't afford.

--
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::
Mary Malmros

Some days you're the windshield,
Other days you're the bug.
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Old November 19th 03, 12:52 PM
andrei
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?

Peter wrote in message news:[email protected]_s52...
andrei wrote:
So what I would be looking for is
reccomendations for a better paddle for my wife KEEPING IN MIND THAT
SHE WILL STAY WITH HER CURRENT KAYAK FOR THE TIME BEING. I mean - is
the Tarpon 100 too sluggish to improve on it anyway and are better
paddles only for more advanced kayaks - or might there be a
*reasonably price* (ABSOLUTE MAX 100 dollars) paddle which would
*significantly* improve the kayaking experience for my wife? (or does
the Tarpon 100 make the purchase of a better paddle a useless
endeavor?)


I doubt anyone here can really give you a good answer since we don't know
what's making your wife unhappy about the Carlisle that she's using now.
If she's getting tired from the effort of holding a heavy paddle, then
sure, investing in a lighter one will probably be worthwhile (that's why I
first upgraded my paddle). OTOH, maybe the length isn't quite right for
her - in that case the most important thing would be to get one of the
right length. Some people prefer smaller blades for a smoother feel while
paddling and others like the immediate grip in the water of larger blades -
again, we don't know what your wife may prefer.

Isn't there some kayak store in your area that's on the water so you could
go there with your boats and have your wife try a few different paddles? I
expect she'd be able to determine pretty quickly if an upgrade would result
in more enjoyable paddling.


Hi,

She did not say that she did not like paddle - only that she was
getting tired fairly rapidly. It was me who was looking at the paddle
change option (since we cannot change the kayak) in the hope to help
her. As for shops, there are a couple of shops around here, but they
main interest is *selling* rather than finding a cheap solution. They
position is: sure, get a better paddle. And I am left wondering "is
this worth the 100 extra dollars".

Anyway - thank you all for your inputs!

Cheers
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Old November 19th 03, 02:10 PM
Mary Malmros
 
Posts: n/a
Default why paddles matter - or do they?

(andrei) writes:

[snip]

She did not say that she did not like paddle - only that she was
getting tired fairly rapidly. It was me who was looking at the paddle
change option (since we cannot change the kayak) in the hope to help
her. As for shops, there are a couple of shops around here, but they
main interest is *selling* rather than finding a cheap solution. They
position is: sure, get a better paddle. And I am left wondering "is
this worth the 100 extra dollars".


Not knowing the stores you're talking about, I can't say. However,
I don't think that a paddling store should automatically be
castigated for resisting what you, an admitted newbie to the sport,
see as a "cheap solution". They might agree with you on the "cheap"
part, but disagree on the "solution" part -- $100 that you spend on
the wrong thing is $100 wasted; so's $30 spent on the wrong thing,
for that matter. And paddling stores ought to be concerned whenever
a customer's emphasis is on "cheap, cheap, cheap" -- and not just
about their bottom line. You can paddle with a crappy paddle; it
might injure you to do so (see previous post), but it won't be
fatal. But there are other kinds of paddling gear decisions where
the insistence on "cheap" could kill you -- for example, if you
decide you can't afford a decent PFD, or proper clothing, or a boat
whose handling capabilities are sufficient for the conditions in
which you plan to paddle. Again, I don't know the stores you're
talking about, and I sure wasn't standing at your elbow when you
went shopping. But paddling stores aren't the same as your local
big-box electronics store, so if they're steering you towards a more
expensive item, you probably ought to at least listen to what they
say without assuming that their only concern is the price tag.

--
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::::
Mary Malmros

Some days you're the windshield,
Other days you're the bug.


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