double bent canoe paddle shafts

Long ago I had injuries to one shoulder and one elbow unrelated to paddling, but lately I’ve been experiencing some pain in these joints after paddling. I’ve been reading the archives here related to double bent single blade paddle shafts and how they can help reduce various join strain. Mostly I saw reference to wrists and forearms, but also a few mentions in passing of shoulder and elbow relief.

For folks who’ve switched to a double bend shaft and noticed reduced strain on the shoulder and elbow, I’m wondering which arm benefits the most from the ergonomics of the shaft (the top hand side or the down shaft hand side)? For wrists I see that the down shaft hand is the beneficiary, but didn’t see that discussed specific to shoulders or elbows.

How much of a difference did a double bend shaft make for you?


we got a pair for show Freestyle and lay out axles… and also sweep across the nose of the boat for cross axles. Otherwise I banged the paddle on the boat. The bend accommodates that

Which I know has not a thing to do with your problem!

The double bend effectively cuts the bend angle by some fraction maybe 1/2.

Have you loosened up your shaft and grip hand? Death grip is the first culprit I look for.

There Are Two Types Of Double Bends:
(1) There is the original one that Brad Gillespie made, where the top hand grip is angled back towards you. (2) And the more recent one, by other paddle makers, where the the top hand grip is angled forward and away from you. I own both types and they all perform differently and are comfortable.

But for even greater comfort, I prefer Sawyer’s Quad Bend paddles.

hands on
I got a chance to compare a double bend vs single bend shaft today. Aside from the down shaft hand wrist position, I couldn’t see much difference. The top hand position between the single bend and double was identical. Doesn’t seem like it would have much of an impact on the top hand shoulder or elbow.

Still would be interested to hear from anyone who has seen such a benefit.

I don’t think I’ve got a death grip on the paddle, but I’ll keep an eye on that.

Was The Top Hand Handle Grip Angled
Towards you or away from you? It really makes a big difference, especially at the catch. Due to their stroke style, Tahitian outrigger paddlers predominantly use double angle canoe paddles to enhance their performance. Shoulder problems are usually reduced through smart training and efficient technique.