I’ve been paddling for 5-6 months now and I notice that my upper arm gets tired, tight, and burns after around 20-30 minutes of paddling. Doesn’t necessarily stop me from paddling but it is annoying. I’ve read a lot about shoulder injuries here and at other sites and what seems to be different for me is I have pain almost exclusively when I’m paddling at an easy pace or in a tailwind. When I’m paddling hard or against wind/waves (nothing drastic) I’m a lot more comfortable. I like the feeling of having something to “grab onto” and pull against and use my full body to generate power. When Im in a tailwind or paddling easily feel like I’m spinning my wheels and the recovery is the most painful part. It’s my left upper arm that bothers me and it bothers me the most when my left blade isn’t in the water. If I pick up the pace or turn into weather I feel much more relaxed and at ease and feel way more connected to everything.
I’m planning on taking lessons in a month or two depending on when stuff becomes available (I’m in new england) and I’ve already booked massage. I have injured this shoulder in the past and I’ve been known to get pretty bad knots there in the past but I find it weird that I don’t have trouble when I’m applying power.
Does anyone else have experience with this issue?
Are there any classic techniques or gear issues that are known to cause this? I’m 6’ 1", 26 years old, athletic background, long arms for my size, paddling a 18’ ocean kayak, 22.5" wide, 60 lbs. My paddle is admittedly pretty crappy off amazon. 2.5 lbs, square blades, 215 cm long. I’ve subscribed so far to the philosophy of the paddler matters more than the gear and am hesitant to buy a new paddle until I get looked at by an instructor.
Am I right to hold off on buying a new paddle?
Thanks for any advice!