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Old August 25th 04, 10:25 PM
Jeff Potter
 
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Default How to size a sea kayak paddle?

I've been kayak paddling a few years with the paddle what brought me.
But now I have a chance to buy a spare for the back of my sea kayak. Or
who knows maybe it will be my main blade. My main is cracking and
fraying and needs epoxy and some glass.

I mostly do fla****er speed paddling for an hour or two. But I look
forward to some actual seakayaking when I get around to it. I've had
Olympic-style stroke coaching. My seakayak pals are mostly fla****er
people and they still use the same technique when on wavey water in
seakayaks. I tend to as well---straight arms, wind up torso, but try to
keep arms a bit lower in seakayak.

Anyway, it seems like my 230 Lendl is pretty nice, maybe a tad long. I
have a 220 Streuer that I'm borrowing that seems short. But I really
haven't been seakayak paddling that much. I'm 6'1" with 30-31" torso. My
boat has a 20" beam---Seda Glider knockoff striper. Extremely cool, fast
boat.

I have a chance to buy a new 2-piece: 230 or 220: which length to go
for?

Much of what I read on paddles these days hints that 220 might be the
ticket. Less fatigue, higher cadence. The shop rat showing me the
paddles is my size, is pushing the 220, says that's what he uses.

I'm a terrible shopper. I hate choices.

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publishing do-it-yourself culture ... bikes, skis, boats & more ...
plus radically relevant novels at the ULA's LiteraryRevolution.com
... free music ... tons o' articles ... travel forums ... WOW!



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Old August 26th 04, 12:27 AM
Michael Daly
 
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On 25-Aug-2004, Jeff Potter wrote:

Anyway, it seems like my 230 Lendl is pretty nice, maybe a tad long. I
have a 220 Streuer that I'm borrowing that seems short. But I really
haven't been seakayak paddling that much. I'm 6'1" with 30-31" torso. My
boat has a 20" beam


Technically, you don't size the paddle, you size the shaft. If the shaft is
the right length, it doesn't matter what size blades you put on, they'll
still end up under water. One 225 cm paddle could be the same for you as
a 215 with different blades.

Lendal's web site had some info on sizing shafts once upon a time - check it
and see if it still does.

I use a 220 Lendal Archipelago in a kayak with a low deck and 22" beam. I'm
5'11" and find it a tad long - I kinda wish I got a 215. I'd guess that
you'd be comfortable with a 220 or even 215.

The best advice is try before you buy. Try the same paddle you want, not some
other paddle with the same overall length.

If you're keen on speed, why not get a wing paddle? - you can also use it for
touring or use the Lendal and keep the wing as a spare. BTW - I think they
size wings a tad shorter, but I'm not sure.

Mike
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Old August 26th 04, 02:26 PM
Jake Janovetz
 
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I use a 230cm two-piece with my Coho which is about a 23" beam. I'm
also 6'1". My girlfriend bought a 220cm paddle (she's 5'8") and
prefers mine.

I haven't the slightest idea what is "correct" though. I just know
what is comfortable. I lose a lot of power when I try her 220cm
paddle, but the paddles are different in more respects than just
shaft-length.

The try-before-you-buy method is always best but sometimes
inconvenient. Most mail-order places will allow you to ship it back
if you don't like it (no wear). Try a 230cm and replace it if you
don't like it.

Jake


Anyway, it seems like my 230 Lendl is pretty nice, maybe a tad long. I
have a 220 Streuer that I'm borrowing that seems short. But I really
haven't been seakayak paddling that much. I'm 6'1" with 30-31" torso. My
boat has a 20" beam---Seda Glider knockoff striper. Extremely cool, fast
boat.

I have a chance to buy a new 2-piece: 230 or 220: which length to go
for?

Much of what I read on paddles these days hints that 220 might be the
ticket. Less fatigue, higher cadence. The shop rat showing me the
paddles is my size, is pushing the 220, says that's what he uses.

I'm a terrible shopper. I hate choices.

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Old August 26th 04, 02:42 PM
Jeff Potter
 
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Default

"Michael Daly" wrote in message ...
[ ]
Technically, you don't size the paddle, you size the shaft. If the shaft is
the right length, it doesn't matter what size blades you put on, they'll
still end up under water. One 225 cm paddle could be the same for you as
a 215 with different blades.


I'm terrible with logic. Is the idea to stay away from paddles and
shafts that are too short? Everyone talks about being sure to bury the
complete blade in the water, then they seem to be thinking paddles are
too long and moving to shorter paddles---you're not the only place
I've seen people wish for shorter. But it seems to me that as you go
shorter that is where you risk not being able to get the whole blade
in the water. A longer paddle easily puts the whole thing down there.
The worry then seems to me that you're putting TOO MUCH paddle in the
water. That's what longer does, as far as I can tell.

Oh well. I just have a chance for a halfprice paddle, limited
selection. I figure I should have a take down spare. I don't have time
to test on water. I just tried my various paddles sitting in the boat
in the yard. The 230 Lendl feels best--very light too. It has a much
longer shaft, somewhat longer overall, shorter blades than the two
220's I have. The 220 Struer and new Harmony two-part I just got both
seem too short offhand and the 220 seemed too short in the water. But
even when I did get to do some paddling and water-testing it wasn't
that much, just a couple hours. So maybe I'm somehow being biased by
my old fla****er ways and should just suck it up and go a little
shorter for the seakayak. As I said, I'm a terrible shopper and rarely
buy anything much less something new even for halfprice. I'd bought
the 220 and was thinking I should maybe return it for the 230. I
recall liking that length the last time I paddled, but maybe more
paddling would reveal it to be a bit long. I just talked to a top
racer pal and we're similar size and he uses 222 (maye a wing?). Whew!
I'll just let it ride. The goofy thing is that luck has me driving
again by the boat store today---I usually only get that way a few
times a year. Oh well! Thanks for the tips.

I'll look for Lendl's site.

--JP
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Old August 26th 04, 04:25 PM
Michael Daly
 
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Default

On 26-Aug-2004, (Jeff Potter) wrote:

Is the idea to stay away from paddles and
shafts that are too short?


Too short or too long. If it's too short, you won't get the
full blade submerged early enough in the stroke to get real
power. Too long and you're just using a lot of torque for
the same forward force. That excess torque translates into
excess yaw and more muscle fatigue.

The shaft should be the right length to allow you to grip
the shaft at the control position (oval, ridge whatever)
and still get the blade into the water correctly.

Therefore, two things are measured - the distance between your
hands and the distance from the hand to the water. The latter
takes into account things like kayak beam, freeboard and seat
height.

In general, the longer your arms, the longer the shaft.

Since every person has a different preference for how far
apart their hands should be, that has to govern. Beginners
seem to grip with their hands too close together, so they
can't get a reliable length estimate until the paddler has
enough experience to use a paddle correctly.

Technique also plays into this. If you never use a vertical
stroke but rely on a low stroke, a slightly longer paddle is
good. If you use a Greenland-style paddle, your hand position
is closer together and the shaft (or loom in GP speak) is quite
short. I think the trend to shorter paddles recently reflects
a shift to more emphasis on vertical stroke techniques.

It all comes down to what you're comfortable with.

Mike


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Old August 27th 04, 01:48 AM
Eric Nyre
 
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Default

I have my customers size their paddles via shaft, since as was
previously mentioned the blade length will vary.

My quick and dirty method of sizing is to take the paddle and have
them hold it over their head. Their arms will be out, with their
elbows at 90 degree angles. Basically it looks like they are trying to
bench press the paddle.

I then look at the distance from their hands to the blade. For racing,
1-2" seems a good fit. For touring 3-4" allows a lower stroke. Over 6"
really feels really long. My all around paddles are 2" on me, though I
use a Length Lock and adjust for load and boat width.

This assumes a higher paddle angle, or race stroke. The lower the
paddle stroke, the longer the paddle.

I am 6'5", and when paddling a Seda Glider at 20" wide, I opt for
something in the 216-218 range. Wider boats will use a slightly longer
paddle, and in something 24" wide, I may use a 220-222cm
  #8   Report Post  
Old September 16th 04, 07:40 AM
fz
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Jeff Potter wrote:
I've been kayak paddling a few years with the paddle what brought me.
But now I have a chance to buy a spare for the back of my sea kayak. Or
who knows maybe it will be my main blade. My main is cracking and
fraying and needs epoxy and some glass.

I mostly do fla****er speed paddling for an hour or two. But I look
forward to some actual seakayaking when I get around to it. I've had
Olympic-style stroke coaching. My seakayak pals are mostly fla****er
people and they still use the same technique when on wavey water in
seakayaks. I tend to as well---straight arms, wind up torso, but try to
keep arms a bit lower in seakayak.

Anyway, it seems like my 230 Lendl is pretty nice, maybe a tad long. I
have a 220 Streuer that I'm borrowing that seems short. But I really
haven't been seakayak paddling that much. I'm 6'1" with 30-31" torso. My
boat has a 20" beam---Seda Glider knockoff striper. Extremely cool, fast
boat.

I have a chance to buy a new 2-piece: 230 or 220: which length to go
for?

Much of what I read on paddles these days hints that 220 might be the
ticket. Less fatigue, higher cadence. The shop rat showing me the
paddles is my size, is pushing the 220, says that's what he uses.

I'm a terrible shopper. I hate choices.

--

Jeff Potter
****
*Out Your Backdoor * http://www.outyourbackdoor.com
publishing do-it-yourself culture ... bikes, skis, boats & more ...
plus radically relevant novels at the ULA's LiteraryRevolution.com
... free music ... tons o' articles ... travel forums ... WOW!


Jeff,

If you are using an Olympic style stroke (high angle) and you are
getting some good torso rotation, you should consider a shorter paddle.

The 220 is probably the Longest you should use, maybe even down in the
216 - 218 range.

Epic paddles makes some adjustable paddles, both in length and in
feather. A little pricey, but if you want a light and fast paddle, that
may be the ticket.

Also, check out Werner. They have some great mid-range price paddles.

If you really want to go fast, try the 'wing' paddles. Again, use a
little shorter (no longer than 220) and play with the feather. Depending
on who you talk to, you get 2 - 4 percent more power when using a wing
paddle correctly.

Mark


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