I am in the process of looking for a new kayak paddle. Many people suggested the crank shaft or ergo shaft as a good choice. I was all set to buy the werner shuna when I was told no to get a straight shaft but a shorter paddle 210 -215. I have tendenitus in both elbows which is why I am looking for a new one. Now I am confused as to what direction to go straight or ergo. Does anyone have thoughts on this? Thank you for whatever advice you can give.
I have "pingpong elbow"
Them short little paddles just ain’t no good. My main paddle is a 215 Windswift with 75 deg feather. My elbow actually feels better after I paddle with it. I think what caused my tennis elbow was using a 45 deg angle paddle in the river. I will most likely get a 75 deg ww paddle later.
A couple disadvantages
of the bent are the extra weight and the fact that while the hand closer to the blade may acquire a better position, the opposite is true for the upper hand.
The bent vs straight issue is a can of worms. An interesting but little known history of the bent shaft is that the first category of kayakers to try it was Olympic sprint kayakers. They experimented for a year, and dropped them quickly, never to look back (this was in the 80’s, and remember, this is an unusual category of paddlers; what other paddling group has had a large budget that paid for kinesiologists, physiologists, and even engineers?).
It was years before other paddling groups investigated bent shafts… for touring, it is often touted as relief for wrist issues (note again that racers put in huge distances during training without wrist issues- technique?).
For the WW group, I would argue that bent shafts have more to do with orientation of the hand and blade angle, noteably with feathered blades.
But your issue is not wrist, but elbow! Obvious answer there is to reduce the load. How? One way is to go the GP avenue; the reduced blade area will help immensely. If you want/need a big blade, go short! With the water side hand as a fulcrum, and the distance between the two hand fixed(paddle shouldn’t make much difference), the only way to change the lever is to lessen the outboard.
One more hint- Chris Duff, who has paddled enormous distances during expeditions, and is well over 6ft (2or 3in more, I think), uses a 210cm.
i would try an unfeathered paddle
before I tried a bent shaft paddle.
Also try a greenland paddle to see if it helps, if not perhaps the ergo bent shaft may be it. The AT exception paddle is the nicest one out there.