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Need advice for a friend.....

My long-time hang gliding buddy, Gary, recently had a kayak fall into his life and he has gotten excited about paddling. He has been out about 8 or 10 times now. He is in his 50's, fit, athletic, avid skier, etc. I think he is going to put some time into this and work on improvement because that's the kind of guy he is. With the kayak came a wing paddle and that is the only paddle he has used so far.

I have zero personal experience with a wing. My sense is that a wing is great for speed and power but not so good for boat handling. Since I have no personal experience to base this one I question my own opinion. I'm thinking that I should be recommending that he move to a Euro or Greenland paddle to help him work on his boat handling skills and hang onto the wing for the future? I don't know.

There are lots of wing-users here and I would like your advice on what I should suggest?

Jon
http://3meterswell.blogspot.com
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Comments

  • I would suggest a large euro
    In my opinion a large surface area paddle like a Werner Corryvrecken would give a similar feel on the pull, but allow for corrective strokes and catches and give a better feel in general paddling.
    From my personal experience bad habits die hard, and a niche paddle could magnify bad habits in attempting to do everyday paddling.
  • what is the boat?
    If it's a fast kayak or a ski, nothing wrong with a wing, although I think the previous poster makes a good point. Perhaps add a euro or greenland paddle.
  • Wing and "proper" technique
    -- Last Updated: Oct-28-13 10:26 PM EST --

    A wing would actually help you develop better paddling technique compared to a Euro paddle. You can get away with lots of sloppy work with Euro that you will get much more immediate feedback with the wing.

    On the other hand, a Euro or GP give more options for stroke development and boat control.

    It's just a tool - if fitness paddling in the forward direction is the main goal, then a wing would probably be best, even for a beginner, otherwise, other options might be better...

  • Spare
    He's going to need a spare if he doesn't have one. A two-piece Euro is probably the easiest spare to carry, that'll give another paddle to practice with and compare to the wing. Personally, I wouldn't have wanted to start off with a wing, I just don't care to go that fast, nor do I like the required technique.
  • I'm Not a Wing User
    -- Last Updated: Nov-01-13 8:32 PM EST --

    but I still have an opinion about curved shaped blades and rolling. If your friend wants to roll I'd suggest a Greenland paddle. The GP zips under water to where you want it. The curved shaped paddles don't.

  • darn paddle shapes
    They render us powerless to adapt and adjust.
  • Not at All
    Just get the best tool for what you really want to do. If you want to go fast, there's a tool for that. If you want to roll...
  • Not a fast boat......
    ...right now. In fact a bit pokey, me thinks. It's a Sea Lion. Gary paddled my Illusion and lit up at how easy and fun everything was. Knowing him, I think that he will want to improve his skills as quickly as possible and the question here is the appropriate paddle for skills development.

    I want to help facilitate (not dictate) his development and really would like to be able to provide him with information on best practices for a paddle for a guy in his place. I have my thoughts on paddles but after 30-some years my experiences are limited to Euro.

    Jon
    http://3meterswell.blogspot.com
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