A neighbor has a bent shaft Werner Cyprus, presumable standard vs small diameter, and I was surprised at how much larger the shaft diameter was compared to my BB Whisper. It felt great. My hands are 8.5" from the wrinkle at the base of the palm to the end of the middle finger and I suspect I would get fewer blisters with a larger diameter shaft. How does the Werner standard diameter compare to other manufacturers’ bent shaft paddles? Are they as big or bigger, or should I limit my search to Werners?
You can add diameter to a shaft with bicycle tape or tennis handle tape.
I did that to a small diameter Werner years ago and it’s still on.
I wear Buff fingerless paddling gloves. Good UV protection and no blisters. Would be a cheaper option to try those first.
Maybe look for a Saltwood BS? Out of production for a few years now but I have seen them come up on Craigslist now and then. I found one locally not long ago but it was a 220cm. Way too long for me so I passed in spite of the killer price. They seldom come up for sale.
Thanks all for the good suggestions!
Update. I ordered a Kalliste carbon bent shaft standard diam when REI’s 20% off sale started this month. I used it today for the first time. It definitely solves the achy forearm problem that I was having from bending my wrist on straight shaft paddles, but it was too cold to paddle without gloves so no clarity on whether it’ll help avoid blisters.
There is a pronounced curve from blade base to tip which apparently makes it enter the water clean and without splash. When paddling hard though there is a loud kaplunk, like throwing a rock in the water, and a noticeable rap on the paddle as the air hole collapses against the back of the blade.
I have large hands too. I have never had any blisters from my standard diameter, bent shaft Werner Cyprus. I did used to get them from a carbon Aquabound - and I used to wear NRS gloves - but the Werner has a much smoother shaft. It’s been over 5 years now and no blisters with the Cyprus.
stab the blade totally in the water before beginning the stroke…