Bent shaft noise.

I paddled with the Zaveral bent shaft for the first time today. Sometimes it was quiet and sometimes very noisy(gurgly). What am I doing to cause the gurgle?

Couple thoughts
I made a wood Zav type paddle and find the paddle noisy if I don’t pay attention to two things.

First is applying pressure suddenly to the paddle. I need to get a good plant and increase pressure through the stroke.

Second the blade needs to be buried completely in the water. If any of the upper blade (the narrowing section attaching to the shaft) is out of the water the gurgling was more pronounced.

When I pay attention to what I’m doing it is my favorite blade right now.

Good luck,


Primarly a timing thing. Hard to start

paddling a bent shaft at fast paces and not make noise. Noise is not just noise, but tells you do not have a good plant before applying power to the paddle.

I found a little trick that helps. I learned to paddle fast cadence bent shaft with racers and serious expedition paddlers. I would think I was doing good and then would get a comment about the gurgles. If I tried to make each plant good before power on I could not keep up quite the pace they were.

With a little experimenting I found I could keep up even their fastest pace with no noise most all of the time if I simply “round” paddled. In stead of a straight forward recovery I would slip my paddle out a little sideways at the end of the stroke and in a little sideways at the put in and plant.

I do not do it as much anymore, but when with the fastest paddlers I still do. Especially if they are real quiet paddlers.

Timing and deep enough are the things I find cause the noise made by air coming in behind your paddle. Takes lots of practice to quiet paddle high cadence.

Hope helpful to someone.



was to me

How long is your spear?
Improper paddle length could cause an improper or “unnatural” fish spearing, as Brent Reitz calls it, and be a potential cause of your glubglubbing.

Hate to suggest this possibility but
I think I remember ordered your Zav at 51". With your 6"5" frame, you may not be able to get a full plant without some exaggeration somewhere else. I’m sure the thought crossed your mind as well.

That is called a “D” stroke
And if you snap it around fast it can be quicker than the straight ahead forward stroke.

I use both.



I was thinking the same.
I am only 5’-9’ and I use a 50".

But before you panic, keep paddling and see what happens.

There is a good video that we have on marathon canoe racing which goes through the whole sequence.

if you would like, I can mail it to you or get it to you through the paddling network.



You guys have good memories and

– Last Updated: Jun-04-06 9:38 AM EST –

it is 51" and yes, that did cross my mind. On the positive side, it only gurgled when I was trying to rush, so I think I wasn't taking the time to get it fully in the water.
I'm trying not to think about replacing the shaft.
Yes Jack , I would like to see that movie. It will give me an excuse to bring it back and paddle up there.

Just A Thought
Taller folk have longer arms. Most of us will find that the measure between finger tips with arms streached out is very close, (fraction of an inch), to our overall height. Seating/kneeling position and torso height seem more relavent to paddle length. Could be wrong but that is how I see it. I am 6’ and use a 215cm kayak paddle. The next paddle I buy will likely be 212 or 210.

Happy Paddling,