Feather angle?

I paddle with a Kalista 220 bent shaft,im right handed.

Question is,how do you choose your feather angle?

i have paddled at different angles,but end up back at 0deg. is there any advantage to increased angle other than wind drag??

Zero angle just feals better to me.

…What do ya think?

…Thanks alot,Danny.

Do what feels best to you…

The bent shaft is more confusing when trying to roll and feathering it just adds to the confusion…


Zero works for me

Whatever works
There are pros and cons all over the spectrum. There are terrific paddlers using all sorts of configurations of shafts and angles. Get good with whatever you choose.

Whatever makes you happy
But, you should also consider what might happen if you ever need to use a paddle other than your own. Yours breaks and you need to borrow someone’s spare, you are renting, whatever.

If you manage to convince yourself that at 19.75 degree feather is right for you, and nothing else works, you’ll be out of luck.

Since it seems like you’re happy with zero, you’ll be ok.

Arm box
To me it seems to depend on your preferred shoulder motion. Some people suggest that feathering agrees with natural wrist angles, but that only seems to be true (my opinion) if you “twist” your “arm box” as you paddle. Presently I add feather only when I’m paddling into a headwind.

zero for low
I also have a zero feather 220 Kalliste bent shaft. Preferring a very low stroke with elbows close to my body, zero feather works best. Werner claims the Kalliste is designed for low angle, though I don’t see why one paddle would be good for low and another for high strokes. With any paddle a very low stroke is difficult with feather.

Feathering appears to be more relevant to a high angle stroke.

If you want to learn to paddle a feathered paddle, it does take a bit of persistence to be comfortable with the technique. If you choose to do the feathering thing, use right arm control (especially being right handed) and allow the paddle shaft to rotate in your left hand (except when pulling on the left side).

It appears that, now, even 60’ is “extreme”.

It appears that the feathering isn’t really motivated by the “wind resistance” thing (except, maybe for racers).

Do what you want. Greenland paddles are nice.

If zero feels right to you, definately stay with it. Bracing and rolling (especially the off-side roll) are simpler to learn w/o feathered paddles, and lots of folks believe that feathered paddlers increase the risk of wrist injury. If you really are headed into a major headwind, and you have a huge paddle blade, the feathered paddle will help, but that’s not enough reason to mess with an angle that works for you. I think lots of people feather only because they think it makes them look like a ‘real’ kayaker. When you’re working on your offside roll, if you don’t already have a greenland paddle (which of course isn’t feathered), you’ll be super-happy you don’t need to deal with the feathered paddle.

i’ve gone to zero in last 2 years
i bought an Epic length lock and had been playing around with lengths and off set angles. at least 60 was so ingrained in my mind as just being proper, that it took a year to get over it. now i much prefer zero, the reason being symmetry. when i do myriad vertical strokes and playing around with rolls, braces and rudders, i have come to really appreciate a symmetrical paddle. my body tells me it’s right.

I use 30 degree
my paddle seems to enter the water smoother and I get a much quieter stroke

musculoskeletal structure is different
therefor people will find different angles, blade lengths, cadences, posture, etc work better or worse for them.

Experiment, experiment, experiment. Find what works for you and then keep experimenting.

Small vs. tiny changes, high vs low

– Last Updated: Jul-30-07 12:01 PM EST –

Did I read correctly that you only incremented in 1-degree changes? Seems that amount would be undetectable.

OTOH, for years I stuck with no feather because the suggested feather amounts were large: 45, 60 degrees. Neither of those felt right to me. But most of the paddles were at least 215cm long (I am 5'2").

Out of the many people who exhorted me to go feathered, only ONE person provided a reason that made real sense. The others said to do it because "it's the best way" or "WW paddles only come in 45 or higher" or "it's better for paddling in windy conditions."

Only ONE person suggested I try feathered because it looked like my body ergonomics would be better with it. At the time/place, the smallest degree of feather available would have been either 30 or 45 (I can't remember which). I didn't want to make such a big change.

Very recently, I took a class (Body Boat Blade) in which Leon had two students who'd been paddling with 0 feather. I was one of them. He said it was up to us to decide what worked best for us, but he wanted us to at least TRY feathering. We did this by using a 15-degree feather, using 205cm paddles. By the 4rd day, I noticed the other student looked very, very good, and neither of us had trouble keeping up despite (both of us) being in the "slowest" kayak models and being the smallest students by far. I liked the change myself and am sticking with 15 deg. I may change later on; who knows.

Interestingly, on the last day of class, I picked up a WW paddle and took it for a spin in a WW kayak (we were encouraged to play with a variety of different boats at the end). The WW paddle was noticeably shorter than the 205cm touring paddle I was using, and the feather was either 30 or 45 (sorry, I didn't examine--I just paddled it). It felt GREAT. But when I set my 205cm paddle to 30 deg I didn't like it as much as the 15 deg setting.

I wonder if the WW paddles's much shorter length--and resulting higher stroke angle--changes torso rotation or other body movements such that a higher amount of feather feels better. That's my very tentative conclusion right now.

what works for you
I switched to a 30 degree after finding that if I paddle with this feather angle and a medium/high angle stroke, I don’t have to twist the wrist of my control hand. The strokes just fall into place.

I think whatever angle works for you is great. Having an adjustable gives you the latitude to change angles on the fly.

unless you’re a lefty
(perhaps substitute “control hand” for “right hand”).

changing angle?
Just curious–someone (ND maybe?) argued that once you find the feather angle you like, you should never ever change it even if the conditions change–because then you would have to think too much about your braces, and when you really need your brace, you don’t want to need to think about it; you want them to be so ingrained they’re instinctive. Has anyone experienced some confusion with their braces or rolls when they shifted feather angles?

I don’t change often
The “on the fly” wasn’t very accurate. Sometimes I use a higher angle on a short exercise paddle than during a longer day paddle in conditions.

yes feather
I never thought that much about feather angle as I have a feathered at 60 degree blade and my wife’s is not and then we were in Glacier Bay and I paddled her boat with her unfeather blade which was alot smaller than mine and I was having to paddle twice as hard with a boat with half the gear, (it was because of the force of the wind on the blade). So on a calm day I would say unfeathered but on a windy day I go with a feathered and it will be much easier and feel much lighter.

Not since I stopped feathering …
the blade. I switch between GP and euro blades. The GP is unfeathered and so I switched back to paddling an unfeathered euro just for the reasons you expressed. I don’t want to have to think about which paddle I have and what the feather angle is if I need a brace. I always know. I want bracing to be an instinctive reaction with whatever paddle I happen to have in my hand at the time. For me, the way to do this is to paddle with an unfeathered blade. I can use anybody’s paddle (except for one piece feathered blades) without worry. Also, I think I may have missed rolls occasionally because of feather angle and not getting the blade flat. I don’t worry about this anymore.


Stroke angle is irrelevant

– Last Updated: Aug-04-07 1:26 PM EST –

An unfeathered paddle works perfectly at any angle, PROVIDED that you don't use a control hand. With an unfeathered paddle, you need to grip the paddle loosely on BOTH sides, not just one. If an unfeathered paddle feels odd at high angles, it's because you're using the wrong technique with it.