Couple of more Hit & Switch Questions

Sitting Vs Kneeling? It seems that the racers all sit. I don’t.

What are the advantages to sitting?

Straight Vs Bent shaft paddles. I’ve never used a bent.

On the Placid Boatworks site Paddle Fit page

it says.

“A straight paddle improves comfort and control for kneeling paddlers.”


“A bent paddle optimizes performance for sitting paddlers by moving the effective stroke aft, alongside the seated paddler’s thigh, with a twelve-degree bend.”

So long as I’m kneeling I should stick to straight shaft paddles? Any thoughts?

Thanks and

Paddle Hard!


“I Feel Good”
The advantage to sitting is comfort, especially if you’re doing a long race. Some folks knees hurt after a while. Pads can help, but I get the most discomfort in my ankles after long periods of kneeling. However, the choice is purely personal.

“Straight-shaft gives more control…bent shaft better performance.” If I were racing, I think I’d opt for performance. If I’m playing, I’d go for control. Again, it’s your choice.

I used to paddle beavertails all the time. After a little time practicing with bent shafts, I’m sold on them. The performance outweighs the miniscule difference in control on moving flatwater. If I was playing in strong Class II-Class III and a lot of quick manuvers were needed, I’d want a straight shaft.

I also prefer a lot of different paddles to a lot of different boats.

More power
I belive you are able to get more power out of your bent paddle stroke if you are sitting, and the higher the better. Having said that I use to kneel when white water racing and used a bent shaft all the time. I much prefer to sit and switch when cruising in both flat and white although the bigger the water the faster I go to my knees.

The folks at Placid should know better than that. I think they were just falling victim to the need to distill information into short sentences for their website. Charlie Wilson is a long-time freestyle paddler, so he’s used to seeing folks with straight shaft paddles kneeling with their solos heeled over so that can do all sorts of cool maneuvers, and he’s probably used to seeing racers sitting and switching with bent shafts.

The truth is that, as other folks have said, a bent shaft works just fine either sitting or kneeling.

Look at your blade angle
with your normal stroke. Usually you will find that kneeling with a straight shaft you will maintain verticality through nearly all your stroke.

And sitting with a bent shaft you will maintain the verticality of your power part of the forward stroke.

Mixing them up means you may have to change your body mechanics. But the desired result is vertical paddle during the power phase.

At least thats what Charlie Wilson showed us.