can you tour with a "wing"?

I would love to get a wing for the occasional amateur racing that I do.

But at those prices, I’d like to know if they have a place anywhere else in the paddling world.

Can you use a wing in a more relaxed “low” angle? Or does that ruin it’s effectiveness?

I heard a wing doesn’t brace good- right?

Anyone ever use one in the surf? I surf a Strike and snapped a WW paddle last week (now I need a new surf paddle to boot!). The aggressive paddling in the surf probably can benefit from the power of a wing, but I suspect it’s ability to brace throws my idea right out the window!

I “tour”/ fitness paddle more than any other disapline, so I’d like my money to be well spent. What I mean- should I go with a more performance/rec paddle (ie: Werner Ikelos) that has more versitillaty or dump my penny- pinching and get a wing?

Can anyone here see a “use” for a wing other than racing? At 400 beans I need a GOOD enough reason to justify it!!!


if this is one of those topics that’s beaten to death- my appoligies… too lazy to read through the searches sometimes!!!


It’s a “one trick pony” NM

Tour, roll, even scull.
It’s a paddle. Best for straight line but not as limited as is sounds. They’re AWESOME for sweep rolls - and if they roll they brace.

The thing with the wing is it gives such good purchase on the water that you don’t need to brace much. The stability is there just in the forward stroke.

Some find them a bit tiring on the shoulders (and some other parts) for a while. The difference in stroke works well for some touring - and not for others. There is a price for speed - even if just a few %.

Big $? Yes, but there are Euros and even GPs as expensive.

Anyway - yes you can tour with a wing. You can also race with a GP. It’s all good. Find what works for you.

% spent cruising vs condtions
If goal is distance and not in rough weather than wing works. if you are apt to need allot of directonal control, braces, following seas, ledges, lumpy refracted stuff, etc. you can do it but regular paddle works best. imo

My take
I have been using a wing for racing and hard training for the past two years, but for just plain touring I always use my touring paddle.

Last Saturday I did a very enjoyable twenty miler with the touring paddle and it would not have been fun for me with the wing.

In February when I race in the B & B down in Key Largo, I use the wing and then I put it away and take out the touring paddle for the next two months while we explore the Keys and Everglades.



I like to race and also surf.

Wings are great for going forward and can be used for low brace easily. Each stroke is sort of like a hi brace. You can paddle hard or easy. Typically once you go wing you don’t go back.

I have never used a wing surfing and have never been tempted to. They can do funky things and ruddering can be tricky. There are used in very heavy white water racing in other countrys and also for getting through the surf in skis but not for actual surfing like you would on a strike.

Unfortunatley you are looking at two paddles. A wing for touring racing and a whitewater/surf paddle. That’s at least what I do.


not sure i follow
can you think of a more demanding paddling situation in terms of rough water, refracting waves, etc than the molokai? can you imagine anyone doing it without a wing?

wings do just gorgeously in rough water.


Wing for touring would be fine, not for surfing though. If you’re one of those people who like to go out and show off a big variety of strokes to your paddling buddies, then pass. But wings paddle and brace just fine. You can do non sculling draw strokes with a wing once you’ve gotten used to how the blade works in the water.

And you don’t have to spend $400 on a wing either. There’s plenty of carbon wing paddles out there that sell new for $200-250.


And you don’t have to spend $400 on a wing either. There’s plenty of carbon wing paddles out there that sell new for $200-250.

Care to enlighten me on some brands!

In that price range, it is more feasible to have a paddle for racing/fitness and my present touring. I can then justify a better surf stick!

Thanks in advance.


What Andrew said
Wing + long skinny boat + big following sea = large grin.

here’s some

even highly regarded Turbo paddles (may be better for sprinting though) are less than $400.

of course, you can’t go wrong with the Epics, but they are a bit more expensive than some of these others.

oh and to back up what Andrew was saying earlier, here’s a clip from molokai…check out the elevator action at the end:

Patrick at ONNO,
don’t forget to check with Patrick at ONNO paddles who custom makes his paddles. If anything he will have a wealth of knowledge that can help.



– Last Updated: Sep-23-05 3:51 PM EST –

Wings ROCK for touring. as for being a one trick pony, well that’s only PARTLY true, 99% of your paddling is to get some place right so why not get a paddle that’s optimized for doing just that?

PARTLY true indeed

– Last Updated: Sep-23-05 3:57 PM EST –

The obvious reason most wing paddlers don't use them to roll, or do a lot of other strokes, or skull with them is simply because they don't need/want to for the sort of paddling they do. They wouldn't do it with a Euro either.

That doesn't mean you can't do more than go forward with a wing, but from a racing perspective one deep high brace can mean you lose the race! :) Cost's too much speed. Not too practical at all on a ski either since you're usually out of it anyway if it's all the way over. Bracing as a component of the forward stroke and limited low braces are used because they meet the needs best - not because you can't do other things with a wing.

I was amazed how good they are for rolling. Anyone with a decent euro or GP sweep roll needs to try it with the wing. It will put a BIG smile on your face (I'm sure it's fine for C to Cs too - but the way it sweeps is magic).

If you really want to you can do all sorts of things with a wing. I have done sculling draws (of course you can do non-sculling draws postalgbv, it's just a big scoop) and even side sculling (two different variations). Might not be as pretty as with a GP - but works well enough.

Most* people into wings just don't seem to play around like this. I know several good long time paddlers who are frequent racers (sea kayak even) who can't roll. They may be interested in learning, but it's not a burning desire/priority the same way getting another tenth of a knot faster is. Just like the flip side with most* G-style paddlers who aren't to concerned with speed over distance.

Maybe I should work on a bunch of the Greenland rolls and other techniques with the wing - and race with GP - and go on a myth busting tour. Need sponsors first...

* - pay special attention to the word "most" above. There are always some freaks like me who don't like to stay 100% in our boxes.

novice here…
what’s a “GP” ?


A 2"x4" that has been…
…flattened on each end.

Otherwise known as a Greenland Paddle.



To me if you are going to spend…
…the big bucks for a wing you should get the Epic Length Lock.

I guarantee you that whatever your touring paddle length is your wing will be shorter and you will want to experiment to get it right.

I am not a salesman for Epic but unfortunately they are the only ones that I know with the adjustable length.



Jack, thanks for advise and explaination…


Another Wing Alternative
Try these also:

DB Designs

If you call Danny, he’ll advise the proper recipe of blade and shaft materials for your needs. He also has a new four piece wing that’s great for adventure racers/anyone traveling. Epics are creme de la creme, but be careful not to tighten their connectors too much-they can be a bear to release-keep your wrench handy. The Yak Lok system used by Danny allows positive length and feather adjustments that stay put and yet are easy to loosen. They should come in under an Epic in price, but due to the rising costs of carbon, these prices are assured of going up.