Advice on paddle style for longer distances - Wing or Touring

Agree about blade size of wing. I used a couple different sizes for sprint, but for surf ski or sea kayak it is more the “mid” size.
Another subtle difference is blade shape, high or low aspect. My favorite greenland paddle is 216, but measured from the center of effort to center of effort it isn’t much difference than my 210 low aspect flat blade.
Which can make a difference when choosing an appropriate wing, in that area is only one feature that will make the load tolerable. Two wings of different manufacture with similar area but different aspects will have different loads due to the outboard lever. My first wing was a huge, low aspect russian device, great once going but a beast in a start. My next was a large blade Epic, but the aspect was different and it was easier to get my stroke rate higher.

Interesting thing about Oscar C. He’s tall - 6’5"? And uses a 215 wing unless going into a headwind, when he will use a 210cm. Again, an example of how approaching paddle length as a lever that offers a specific load makes more sense than advice that references boat width and/or paddler height.

1 Like

Good Day…I use the Epic Active Touring All Carbon-red shaft-at 210cm and the Werner Cyprus 205cm…I paddle between 80 to 100 times per/yr. Both paddles are great and not ‘taxing’ on the body. If you happen to purchase the Epic Active Touring All Carbon paddle I believe you will be very happy with it. It’s like holding a toothpick in your hands. You can also purchase one of these paddles at a reasonable price. I’ve been using my Epic since 2006 and love that paddle.

Amusing background regarding the Epic Active Tour blade design.
Virtually a copy of the pre-wing era paddle Greg used for sprint competition!
My personal favorite for expeditioning.

A GP is a great alternative if you’re trying to ease the strain on shoulders and wrists from longer days paddling. I’ve used one for quite a while focusing on lower angle paddling. Interesting link from Greg Stamer on technique using what he termed “the original wing paddle”… KayakVagabond » Blog Archive » Forward Stroke with Greenland Paddle? (

1 Like

I agre with McImes, a smaller blade will make a world of difference.

I got a Braca IV 670 soft to do the Chattajack 31 mile race in under 6 hours and since using that I no longer have shoulder pain like I did with the larger blade paddles I had been using. I am considering an even smaller blade, similar to the Think if I decide to do a multiday stage race next year post-Covid.

Greenland or Aleut is another option. I’d like to try an Aleut myself.

– Andrew

I would paddle with what I am used to. I have a Fenn 4 that I train with, then I drop back to an Epic wing to race with. It takes a lot of strain out of me to use that smaller blade.

The real reason to stick with what you know is for changing water conditions. Once you are used to the twist used in wing paddles, it might make you expect other things from a Euro or Greenland stick.

A wing blade will allow for a slower cadence, especially in confused waters. I paddled with one person using a green stick and we hit an odd tidal patch. He had to maintain a furious cadence to keep up steerage. It exhausted him, but I was able to use less of a cadence and, therefore, wasn’t as wiped by those waters.

Are your Epic and Cyprus paddles the same length? I know the Epic is adjustable. I’m getting conflicting advice. One source told me that surfski paddlers use wings that are shorter than those used by kayakers on lakes and rivers. I would in a kayak on lakes and rivers. I have a 205 cm Cyprus and would like to try a wing. I was thinking the 200 -210 cm would be right.

My Cyprus is 210cm and the Epic is 205-215, usually set to 208cm, although I change to a longer lengh depending on conditions or just to vary the stroke angle during a longer paddle.

The V8 surfski allows for a closer catch and more rotation than my previous sea kayak. The Cyprus would feel a bit short on the kayak at times, so I’d say to follow the advice. If your buying, ask to try first, or if you can exchange for a different lenght after a couple of weeks.

I have a lot more experience with canoe paddles than kayak paddles, but I have three, with a fourth on the way, and I’ve done enough two bladed paddling to form some opinions.
If I’m paddling, I want to paddle. I don’t want to be too relaxed about it.
I prefer a mid size, high angle paddle. Small, low angle paddles are just a little too casual for my taste.
I paddle rivers. You need to make maneuvers on rivers. I can’t see using a wing paddle. I’m even thinking of going to more of a white water paddle.