I have learned to roll and scull,with a GP and not euro paddle. I want to now transition these skills over to a Euro. To ease the transition for extended paddle positions, is there an advantage of either a high or low angle paddle? I am looking at both the Werner Ikelos and Kalliste. I believe my forward stroke leans more to low vs. high angle but right now, am willing to select the paddle that best helps me transition my rolling and bracing skills.
Why would you buy a $400 performance paddle to learn to roll with? First of all, blade size doesn't matter much for rolling and along with that, performing an extended paddle roll with poor form on those carbon paddles could easily snap them in half. If you're a low angle paddler, go with the Kalliste, and if you're a high angle paddler, go with the Ikelos (for paddling not rolling). Any reason in particular why you're not simply sticking with the GP for both rolling and general paddling? If you are intent to learn to roll with a Euro, get a cheapo model to practice with and save the carbon paddles until you have your form dialed in.
Blade Aspect Ratio
I believe the key factor here is the aspect ratio of the paddle blade. GP’s normally have a high aspect ratio and can be likened to glider wings, long and narrow across the face.
Euro blades (high angle) are in general low aspect ratio affairs being both shorter throat (equivalent to the GP “blade root”) to tip and wider across the face of the blade, not too dissimilar from the wings of a fighter jet.
I have found that for my use the higher aspect ratio (low-angle style) Euro blades behave better than low-aspect blades for sweeping (across the blade face) strokes and have learned to love the Kalliste by Werner. But in actual use it’s somewhat of a distinction with only minor differences. Both high and low aspect ratio Euro paddles handle significantly differently than a GP. Neither produce the prodigious amounts of “lift” often attributed to the GP in that mode of use.
the wings of a fighter jet
Hmmm, I was thinking more like crop duster…
But seriously - great advice above. Buy your paddles to paddle with, based on how and where you paddle. Learn to roll with all your paddles, regular, spares, old junk, whatever. A roll that only works with one specific gear combination isn’t much of a roll.
The paddle is the least important part of the equation. They all work for rolling, even wing paddles (which are awesome for sweep rolls). Try them all upside down too. Should still work.
My suggestion is beg/borrow/steal as many different paddles as you can and play around with them. I too learned with GP - but soon after took my euros and wing out to see what they’d be like. I was expecting some issues with blade angle and such - but GP sort of teaches you to roll by feel and that works with any paddle if your torso action is OK (not I didn’t say “correct” or even “good” - just “OK”).
I was pleasantly surprised to find I could roll just fine with whatever paddle I tried. Some differences yes, but nothing really dramatic.
Won’t matter much…
High or low won't matter much. Buy the (expensive) paddle for paddling.
I'd suggest practicing rolling with the stick without extending it. It's easy to do and it demonstrates that your roll isn't relying on the paddle (too much).
While "anything goes" with greenland style rolling, extending a euro paddle is "bad style" and unnecessary. If you "need" the roll, you really don't want to have to extend the paddle to "get it".
“have to extend”
Agree, but if extension (when you want it) requires a conscious effort any more than any other rolling related action something's off.
It think the main thing I don't like about euros is people feel a need to decide what is "good" or "bad style"! *L*
Extension may indeed not be needed and may with euro (or GP for that matter) - but it can be a handy way to double check euro blade angles if disoriented, lost grip, etc.
To be clear, I'm only talking about a rather minimal extension with inboard hand just hitting blade root but still mostly on shaft (holding ends of euro blades is a bit more awkward and less comfortable - and could waste valuable time in a no setup unplanned capsize). This short shift of the shaft can be done fluidly with no loss of momentum (which you shouldn't need either rolling with paddle). We're talking a split second to do it - while doing other things (capsizing, setting up, etc.) - not a a complicated action that causes an interruption or requires anything be just so - albeit with euro probably best used more as a backup option on subsequent attempts.
Extension is not just a cheater move or a backup move. Beside offering a little insurance/assurance, it also allows you to slow down and do a more relaxed roll to conserve energy. Sometimes a good option to have. Proper "style" be damned - It's all good if it gets you air.
I sense I need to recover a bit from this post, with some added verbage that might have made me seem a little more educated here . . .
-My plan for an expensive Euro is absolutely based on its forward stroke ability. My thought was just that while transitioning from my GP, there are variations in Euro design to have made things harder or easier to roll. The initial transition would use an extended paddle position and then quickly move to normal, during a learning phase. I was not planning on a permanent extended position with a $400 paddle. Sorry for the confusing post.
I know of people who have managed to snap a carbon paddle in rocks, or by sitting directly on it - can’t agree it’s likely tbhey will snap just from an extended paddle position on a roll or scull. My husband and I have used the extended position a good bit for new skills this season, carbon Epic paddles, and they are fine. (In fact he rolled with his in surf a couple of weeks ago.)
The ones with foam inside are nice for some of the not-vertical skills work - the foam gives them more of a tendency to float and thus emulate a GP a little more than those that don’t.
Not confusing at all
It just led to a broader (sidetracked?) discussion that may or may not also help others.
Now the rest, may be confusing. *L*
I think your question as you re-framed it is really more related to sculling and bracing performance of various blade designs - and not so much about high or low angle directly.
Sculling performance affects feel/control doing a sweep roll. This gets into cross section shapes, dihedral/spoon/flat, foam core or not, etc.
For C to C it's more about bracing performance, which is more about surface area, but also how dihedral/spoon/flat affect bite and stability, and other minutia.
None of these factors are make or break for rolling (any kind) - but all about feel and preference - so you'll have to experiment/test paddle.
A low or high angle from same maker, like the Werner Ikelos/Kalliste, have same construction, similar cross section, an even surface area. Sculling and bracing should feel quite similar.
Difference is the surface area distribution. If anything, this MIGHT make the Ikelos a LITTLE better for C to C rolls (as the surface area is condensed more at the end of the paddle - more like a WW/Surf paddle - giving good brace power) and the Kalliste a LITTLE better for sweep rolls (as it's surface are is longer and narrower - a tiny bit more like GP)and so it may be SLIGHTLY easy to control.
All subtle factors. All about preference and feel - Very subjective. Different paddlers will look at this different ways. Some might argue the opposite of what I said and say the wider shorter blade would be more responsive to angle changes mid-sweep offering more control and might prefer that. They would also be right.
These factors are too slight/subtle in this case as to not matter much I suspect. You could roll with a broom or 2x4 too, so maybe it's best to ignore all this?
Since you are deciding between two very good paddles of identical quality and construction - I think it really comes back to your cruising stroke preference.
Might be interesting to call Werner and get their take on it.
I’m “loose” about the “style” thing…
One thing nice about the greenland sticks is an “anything goes” attitude.
You don’t need an extension and a roll is no more “tiring” without it! Why even use-up the “split second” if it’s not needed? In white water (and surf) the idea is the fastest possible reliable roll.
There’s nothing wrong with using an extension for learning or playing around but it ain’t necessary.
perhaps the Superior carbon GP is what I really want. :)
another great option!
Although the Superior carbon doesn’t fit my hands (loom is too big), it is still an amazing paddle. I’m also in love with the Ikelos (I like aggressive high angle paddles) and the Kalliste is ok so you are in an envious position in regards to your next paddle choice. Of course my wooden Beale GP is better than all those paddles…
Loom too big?
have you got really small hands? Mine are pretty small and I love it.
Don’s are great too - but think I like the shoulders on my Superior just a little better. More similar than different though. The Beale I have is Kim’s who is all of 5’3" (I’m 5’9" and we have almost the same hand size). It it were mine I’d sand a couple spots down just a little (very little). I’ll eventually get around to having him make me a 2-piece - If I don’t get crazy and start doing my own.
Did he do something custom on the loom for you? I know he varies them. The loom size (thickness) on the one here is about the same as my Superior. His looms are more oval and the Superior more a rounded edge rectangle - but my hands are on the blade roots and not the loom (except thumb & forefinger) anyway, with a fairly open hand relaxed grip, so I don’t find loom size to be that much of an issue.
Either paddle sets a pretty high standard. Both will be referenced if I decide to carve one myself.
A Superior option!
I have tried a carbon Werner Kalliste - and found it to be an excellent paddle - top of the line and probably best euro I’ve tried (firtst decent paddle was a Werner San Juan so I naturally lean toward their feel) - but no way would I ever trade my Superior carbon GP for one.
If I were to lose the Superior I would replace it with same ASAP. A Beale would also work - with no complaint, but even though the performance is similar I’d still miss the carbon paddle. I’d like to carve a GP myself to go with the SOF I’m building - but seriously doubt I could get a result with performance comparable to either of these.
Since youre already in the upper paddle price range, you really should think about it. I almost pimped it before - but figured you had some reason for the euro selections.
BTW - Superior gives more options IMO. Works great high or low angle, any type of stroke. More buoyant…
GP to Euro
I know one serious G-style paddler that swears by his Ikelos when he goes Euro. I don’t think the wider shape has much impact on the roll.
Werner should be selling their foam-core version of the Shuna starting this month, if you want a smaller blade. I tried one at WCSKS and really liked it. Slices through the water nicely.