Is it best to be proactive in getting a bent shaft paddle? I don’t have any wrist or shoulder problems as of now but I am trying to reduce anything occurring later on. I know it all has to do with technique in reducing injury but has anyone without any problems switched to a bent and found it more comfortable and kept them paddling longer?
Kayak or Canoe
Are you referring to Kayak or Canoe paddles?
I guess that would matter
It would be for a kayak paddle
Try em out
You almost have to try them out to see what works for you. Some people can’t stand straight and others can’t stand bent. Both work for me, but I like a bent shaft for whitewater and a straight shaft for lakes and easy rivers.
I would stick with straight
If you have not experienced any wrist problems with a straight shaft paddle I would stick with that.
Straight shaft paddles are invariably cheaper and offer more flexibility in hand placement. Also, if you ever have to grab a second paddle and hold it in your hands while paddling with your own paddle (as often happens in whitewater rescue situations) a straight shaft paddle works out much better.
I have no problems whatever with a straight shaft, but much prefer a bent shaft. It feels more natural to me. I get better feel for blade position for sculls and braces. My roll improved.
It took me about a 5 minute trial to decide in favor of bent. Now it has been 12 years of bent, except for my wing and GP. Give it a try and if you don’t prefer it, don’t get it.
A lot of bent shafts have angles of bends. both of my canoe paddles are bent shaft. one is has more of a bend. the other just at 10 is a nice comprimise.