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Need advice...Looking to buy new paddle


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Hi

i have an Aqua bound obx carbon paddle that is way too long for me and hope to find one during some of upcoming sales (like KTP’s).  Am not a surfer...looking for good touring paddle...appreciate any recommendations you can offer

thx terese

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There are many blades that are touring sized. To me that means mid size and easy on the shoulders. Others can comment on them as I have been using the same Lendal Norkapp for +15 years. 

Proper length is as important as blade size.  I like a high style vertical stroke. In at the feet out at the hips. Paddle blade closer to the hull. Asymmetrical blade.  

  Low "touring" strokes often are arm paddlers and are tiring after 4 miles and always catching up to the group.

  How long is yours now? Proper paddle length varies by torso height and height of seat. Most sea kayakers seem to fall between 220 cm and 210. I went back up to 220 and found it much better to get a proper catch with the correct body position. 

  Can you try some around 215 cm?

  My editor just came in and said stop....

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As an alternative view, for touring a Greenland paddle is a great choice.  Wooden ones are relatively gentle on the joints and there are some good makers around who will spend time to be sure the paddle is customized to your physical and paddling characteristics. 

It will not work as well in very shallow water, will not have the sudden power or the bracing support of a EP.

On the other hand it is very adaptable in that you can use it as a high angle wing paddle when you want to move along or as a low angle paddle when headed into the wind, you are tired, or you just want to move about and see stuff.  No need to worry about high angle, low angle, feather angle; just use for your purpose.

Some say it is easier to roll with a GP, but I believe it is easier to roll with an EP if your form is correct.  However, a GP is more forgiving when rolling in my opinion so it is very reliable when the chips are down and you are not at your best.

It does scull incredibly well and that can be very handy.

Ed Lawson

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do you have any Greenland paddle makers to recommend?  I did order a Werner Kallista 220 carbon as it was almost 100.00 off at Kittery Trading Post but could return it.  I've never paddled with a Greenland before...about what does a Greenland cost?  The Kallista was not cheap...thanks Ed!

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<Currently 230 so way too long for someone 5’6” and short waisted...>

That shop was wrong to have sold you something so long, in my opinion, Terese!  Many years ago, I started out with a 220 and soon went down to 210 and I am also in the same height range as you, it would seem.  As you have ordered something already, you  will obviously have to wait to try out someone else's Greenland paddle, if that interests you (and it probably should).  I find myself reach for mine more than Euro, these days.  One of the important aspects of using something shorter (important to me, at least) is that moving from one stroke to another is <far> easier with the shorter paddle (Are you "into" the BCU system?  Again, perhaps you ought to be, if interested in gaining valuable technique and improving your abilities...)  (Actually, I think <everyone> ought to be going the BCU route!  The founder of this little club knew a thing or two...)

The local water temperature is now around 44F: wait a few weeks and you may try out any of my Greenlands on Cape Ann...

Edited by Pintail
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Terese, one of the reasons for Greenland paddle popularity is the fact that they can be home-made, which makes the paddles much more accessible financially, but also much more variable from one paddle to the next.  I am also to understand that the length, width, and shape are much more preference-dependent and, therefore, challenging for a first-timer to pick the right combination without extensive experimentation first.

As for Euro-style paddles, Werner is the most popular by far, with Lendal and Celtic having cult-like followings.  It would be my recommendation for you to look at the Werner paddles using the Fit Guide that David recommended.  They are popular paddles for a reason, and if you ultimately decide a particular paddle is not right for you after using it, they are very easy to sell on the used-gear market.  As a matter of fact, that might be a good place for you to look for your next paddle!

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I'm about your height.  I started with a Kalliste 220.  Switched to a Cyprus 210...too long.  Now use 205 Cyprus...just right.

Kalliste is intended for low paddling angle.  As Paul suggested, this isn't an efficient paddling style.  The long blades on the Kalliste make it hard to insert the paddle cleanly and quickly for rudder and draw strokes.  

If you look around at the other paddlers on a typical day trip, about half will have Werner Cyprus.  A few will have similar paddles in other materials, some will have Lendal or Celtic paddles in a similar shape, some will have Greenland sticks.  Few or none will have long-bladed euro paddles like the Kalliste.  Evolution...

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G’day Terese....I do not want to put pressure on you regarding the purchase of a new paddle, but I have two paddles in my family room that have not been used in two years. Both are Werner carbon paddles. One is a Cyprus straight shaft at 210cm. Good condition. I would like at least $285. I am using a 205cm Cyprus that is why I am not using the 210cm. The other paddle is an Ikelos at 210 straight shaft. Excellent condition. Not even a scratch on the paddle. I use an Epic Carbon in lieu of that Ikelos. I would sell that paddle for $325. Let me know if interested or text/call me if you have questions at: 518-796-6289...Regards.

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Terese:

Unfortunately Bill Bremer of Lumpy Paddles seems to have retired or something.  He made wonderful paddles at a reasonable price.  I have a paddle he made  that is over 10 years old and beat up, but I keep sanding it down every year, coating it with Tung Oil, and using it every chance I get.  A new person is making the Superior carbon paddles, but they are powerful and a tad big to my liking except for making speed and distance in a "fast" boat, but they are  nice as well. 

Turner Wilson in Maine of kayakways.net has had classes where you make a paddle in an afternoon or so for a very reasonable price.  I believe he will make them to order too. He knows what he is doing when if comes to Greenland gear.

Shaw and Tenney in Maine sell a nice GP, but I assume it still needs to be finished and best for someone who knows what they want and willing to spend some time doing final shaping and finishing.  Supposedly the basic shape was based on input for accomplished GP paddlers and it shows.  Looks too narrow to be of much use, but not so.  https://www.shawandtenney.com/engravableproduct/greenland-kayak-paddle

Harley at the kayak shop in Portland Maine sells GPs made by Joe O’Blenis so you might want to check the shop out when in area.  Joe set a record for going around Vancouver I. using his paddles which shows they are up to the challenge of a fast tour.  https://nanuqkayaks.com/

As for making one, many do and are happy.  Brian of this club literally wrote the book of making a GP.

All that said, I would take Cristopher's offer and try one for awhile before doing anything.  The technique is rather different from using a EP and you need someone to explain/demo  that to you.  Just picking one up and using  it the same as a EP will be counterproductive.

On paddles generally, I believe it fair to say they are at least as important as the boat and, like boats, it takes at least several months of using in all sorts of conditions to develop a feel for how they work, what is good and bad about them, and what is right for you. At that point you will have some rather opinionated views based on experience of what works for you.  More importantly, it enables you to have gear that you know and trust  to do right by you.  Hard to over emphasize how important that can be when the sea gives a test before it gives the  lesson.

Ed Lawson

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Thank you all for your tips!  I will go ahead and return the Kalliste.  I actually made a GP with Turner but have sanding and ceiling to do and it still seems kind of long but i have not tried it and turner took my measurements.  I will take my time and read through all your comments and do some research...i have a lot to learn re paddle strokes etc ... NSPN rocks because of all the generosity of its members...i live in portland now so can check out Harley at the kayak shop...and will consider used ones as well...thank you all again for your generosity

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Many people err on the side of too long. If you could buy a paddle with an adjustable length, you could vary length and see what suits you. I have an Epic wing and I usually paddle with it set at 208 cm for general paddling, but extend it to around 213 for downwind surfing/paddling. I can adjust it from 205 to 215. When I am not using my wing, I use a GP.  If you could try as many different types and lengths as possible, that would be good. Good paddles are expensive so take your time if you can. These days, without being able to get together in large groups, that is a little more difficult. I'd suggest you work on your "Turner" GP and seal it with Tung oil - Circa 1850 is a good one. It is polymerized, so it will cure quickly. Some Tung oils take weeks to cure. Other Tung oil "finishes" are not really Tung oil.

-Nancy

 

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