Canoe grip follow up question please

-- Last Updated: Apr-01-08 5:34 AM EST --

Working with one of the top 3 canoe designers on the islands right now.

Sorry guys, working on OC type stuff but still might cross over as I have the final say on final production designs. Still want opinions please.

Still in infancy stages but grip will probably end up as my "asymetric football" design and shaft will be the bloated pear shape that I described to some of you a few months ago.

O.K. Real world question please. On our canoes we are pretty much going forward only and not crossing over without hands switching as you guys would... but please know I care what EVERYONE thinks.

I feel that the shaft OD at the grip-to-shaft interface can be as as skinny as technology will allow. My previous designs had a 3/4" ID so shaft OD was just a little bigger. I never really liked this but the OC guys really don't care or have an opinion on this but I feel this is more important than these guys think and for sure it applys to other genre much more.

I am leaning towards 1/2" for ID so shaft OD right there would being up @ .625" max max. Production would end up being a bit under .625"

If you get a chance, would you please let me know your opininon on this ? Would you go smaller still ? How small would be too small if there were such a thing?


feels good in my hands. I think anything smaller would cause me to have to grip a little tighter to get a good hold.


Shamelessly bumped up. Seeking the best
(more) input I can to develop the best all-round product.

Thank you.

I agree with keeping the shaft small
where it enters the grip, and also placing the entry so that there is no interference with the fingers of those of us with huge hands.

Use determined?
For a large pear grip, or for the big palm grips like marathoners use, I doubt it makes much difference. Technique for many canoe disciplines often asks for a very open hand, with the fingers lightly draped over the grip.

But for Whitwater, and possibly outrigger racers,I could see a big value in have a very small shaft diameter at the interface. The whitewater paddler has the fingers more tightly wrapped under the grip- the adoption by outrigger racers of a grip closer to a WW than a marathoner makes sense to me. The effects of rough water, but especially wind, would mean an outrigger canoeist’s need is similar.

In that regard, a small shaft mean the fingers are closer together, instead of split between 3rd and 4th. It just might be one of those things, where the increased comfort just wasn’t foreseen, because there was nothing to compare.

How many bicyclists, when going from cleats and straps to clipless designs, finally noticed how uncomfortable straps were?

More obscure, but pertinent, is this. The (general purpose) ice axes used by mountaineers did not differ much in design for many years. Black Diamond introduced a seemingly minor design change with the Raven. One thing to know is that the palm of the hand rests on the top of the axe head, with the fingers wrapping underneath; the fingers had to account for the space of the axe shaft at the axe head. Yes, somewhat similar to the grip a WW canoeist uses! . The design change? without sacrificing strength, the shaft diameter tapered significantly into the head. Every knowledgeable user who picked up this design dropped their jaw. Sooo simple, so much reward! The result? Every other manafacturer is madly trying to copy it.