Choosing your paddle
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A good paddle must let itself be forgotten. It cannot, at anytime, create the least discomfort, either for the experienced paddler or for the occasional user.Several parameters must be taken into account to choose a good paddle :
First parameter : boat's width.
You must know the width of your boat. This measure is important as it is essential to determine the length of your paddle. There is a multitude of kayaks on the market, but it is nevertheless easy to determine three sizes :
- small : from 48 to 55 cm
- medium : from 57 to 63cm
- large : from 65 cm on
Values in the choice table (below) are for medium boat (width from 57 to 63cm). Reduce length by 5 cm for a'Small' boat (width from 48 to 55cm) or increase length by 5cm if your boat is large (over 65 cm).
Second Parameter : your size.
Your height is also determining for the length of your paddle. If you are between 155 and 165 cm tall, you will have a shorter paddle than someone who's height is between 175 and 185 cm, and if your height is over 190 cm, you will neeed an even longer paddle !
And this is true regardless of the type of boat you are using. We have 2 adjustment systems which enable you to change the length of your paddle
Third parameter : Your style of paddle stroke
2 differents styles :
- "Hi angle” > A vertical paddle stroke :
The paddle is close to the boat's bottom, the directional stability is good. It is a dynamic paddle stroke : Rates of striking are high and the search for brace is important. Power is the goal to reach in order to do fast maneuvers, some physical conditioning or to maneuver in difficult conditions. It is the European style, which is taught in many paddle sport schools!
- "Low angle”> A more horizontal paddle stroke :
The catch is softer and rates of striking are lower.
The movement of the paddle is rounder. Directional stability on boats with no fin nor rudder is not as good. It is less tiring
for muscles and joints during long trips. It is also very good for backaches !
The low angle style comes from North America.
Fourth Parameter : Size of the blades
It depends on the paddler's level of experience and of his physicial condition :
- Large : for those who are powerful and in a good physical condition.
- Medium : is the most representative size, the most polyvalent one.
You can compare this to a bicycle bracket : A large paddle takes in much more water and the rate of striking will be lower and will ask for more power. With a Medium paddle, the rate of striking can increase without needing to develop a strong power.
Fifth Parameter : The crossing angle of the blades
What is its purpose?
We owe this feather angle to the athletes who practice kayak races in lane : they noticed that blades forming a 90° angle with one another offered much less aerodynamic resistance on the aerial blade. This advantage was even more pronounced with a headwind with which a significant part of the energy of the paddle stroke was lost in pushing some air ; Not to mention the decrease of the rate of striking build-up due to this resistance.
After decades of 90° crossings, angles were decreased to
- 60° on most of the touring paddles
- 55° in lane race
- and 45° in whitewater paddles
The decrease of the angle enabled a more comfortable paddle stroke. The 30° and 45° reductions helped limit the movement of the wrist (mostly the right one) responsible for pivoting.
Left or right crossing?
90% of people do right crossings ! For left crossings, don't panic, we make thes paddles on deman. The Vario S Lock System also offers the possibility of adjusting crossing angles.
Ovalised tube or no ?
Some kayaking practices require index to help hands position during paddling. This index is usually called «Paddle grip»
• The oval shaft is an evolution of this paddle grip. main assets for the grip: Quality and comfort handling to offer an excellent paddle control during eskimo roll, sailing in a strong current...
• The «Racing» paddle is not equipped with a paddle grip. But you can order it as an accessory. We do not recommend to put a paddle grip on a race paddle, as it will interfere with the stroke.
Seventh parameter : the shaft?
The straight shaft is the shaft that is used most often as the hand positioning is free on its whole length.
The ergonomic shaft enables the paddler to keep the alignment of his arm with his hand.
The effect of this is less joint stress on the wrist and much more contact surface with the shaft. It is a comfortable
hold and we recommend this paddlers who perfectly master
their hand placement as the small ergonomic area imposes a very precise positioning.
On "white water" paddles, which are regularly under 2 meters, the hand positioning is done more out of instinct and this is where the ergo shaft can bring a comfort in use from the very first use.
Eighth parameter : Fixed or adjustable paddle length?
Some purists only swear by f xed paddles. We used to be like this too, before we started to develop our own adjustable shafts! most of the existing systems are, as far as we are concerned, not very reliable in the rotation blocks and, moreover, the f exion of the shaft is impaired by double collars.
From this fact, we developed our own adjusting systems and we designed adjustable tubes with constant flexion.
- Fixed or mono : This option means that you have no displaceable adjusting system on your paddle. The length is f xed.
- S-Lock : The Vario S-Lock can be adjusted over 10cm, with an inf nite choice of feathers. It also enables you to adjust your paddle with more precision. This option is recommended for all the paddle-users who want to customize their paddle as much as possible.
- S-Lock 2 : The vario S-Lock 2 is an evolution of the famous S-lock system. Light, compact, it is functional without any tool. It can be adjusted over 10 cm, with an inf nite choice of feathers. It also enables you to adjust your paddle with more precision.
- Fast-Lock : The Fast-Lock can be adjusted over 9cm, by 3cm intervals. it enables you to quickly adjust the length of the paddle without altering its feather angle.
Ninth Parameter : Your Program.
Last parameter but not least : your program choice : you have already answerd this question buying your kayak or canoe.
3 kayak programs :
- Touring ;
- White Water;
Three tables were established following sailing programs.
These tables are quite precise in their recommandations. You can thus use them with confidence to choose your paddle.
Choosing a 'Touring' Paddles
Values in the below table are for medium boat (width from 57 to 63 cm). Reduce length by 5 cm for a'Small' boat (width from 48 to 55 cm) or increase length by 5cm if your boat is large (over 65 cm).[
|Paddler's size||Paddle length||Paddle Models|
|152 > 160 cm||205||200 > 210||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|162 > 170 cm||210||205 > 215||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|172 > 180 cm||215||210 > 220||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|182 > 190 cm||220||215 > 225||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|192 > 200 cm||225||220 > 230||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|Paddler's size||Paddle length||Paddle Models|
|152 > 160 cm||210||205 > 215||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|162 > 170 cm||215||210 > 220||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|172 > 180 cm||220||215 > 225||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|182 > 190 cm||225||220 > 230||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
|192 > 200 cm||235||230 > 240||X.TR - Matrixx - First.Trg - Impact.Trg -|
Choosing a 'white water' paddle
The size of the PADDLE depends a lot on the type of boat that is used. The volume should be taken into account: a short PADDLE will be interesting for the beginner and the Rodeo (hard to do figures with a bulky paddle); a longer PADDLE will yield more power in difficult rivers where maneuvers must be very precise.This table is intended for help only and not as something to impose. It only reflects the global trend!
Important note for small volume boats: please consider the first recommended value in RED.
|Paddler's size||Paddle length||Paddle Models|
|152 > 160 cm||185
|188 > 198||186 > 190||Warrior - Pulse - Blast - W1 - Impact.Wtr|
|162 > 170 cm||188
|191 > 201||188 > 192||Warrior - Pulse - Blast - W1 - Impact.Wtr|
|172 > 180 cm||191
|191 > 201||192 > 196||Warrior - Pulse - Blast - W1 - Impact.Wtr|
|182 > 190 cm||194
|194 > 204||194 > 198||Warrior - Pulse - Blast - W1 - Impact.Wtr|
|192 > 200 cm||197
|194 > 204||190 > 200||Warrior - Pulse - Blast - W1 - Impact.Wtr|
Choosing a 'Canoe' paddle
Here is a simple way of determining the length of a canoe paddle: Sit down on a chair or on the floor, then measure the distance between your eyes and the seating. This measure will help you choose your paddle in the following table. Important: this is only a way of validating an approach. The best way of choosing a paddle, as far as possible, is to try it out!
|Recorded Measure||Paddle length||Paddle Models|
|66 > 67 cm||130||-||C1 - C1R|
|71 > 72 cm|| 135
|-||C1 - C1R|
|76 > 77 cm|| 140
|140 > 150||C1 - C1R|
|81 > 82 cm|| 145
|145 > 155||C1 - C1R|
|85 > 88 cm||150
|150 > 160||C1 - C1R|
|90 > 91 cm||160||155 > 165||C1 - C1R|
|95 > 97 cm||165||155 > 165||C1 - C1R|