For K-1 Power Users: Mid vs. Large Wing

-- Last Updated: Dec-02-07 10:18 PM EST --

What is your take on using a Large vs. a Mid Wing for training and/or marathon racing...?

I used to use 95% of the time the Mid Wing for both training/racing and 5% of the time for sprint interval training or when I wanted to do some resistance training.

FYI... about a month ago, I was talked into using my large wing by the coach at the Lanier center to reduce my stroke rate and generate a more powerful stroke -which I used exclusively until today. In fact, the large wing feels quite nice for both interval and distance training, but I am still a few percentages faster with the Mid-Wing in a 12/14 miles course. Every body at the center uses large wings even for distance training...


If I was your age…
I would be using a large one for anything under 20 miles.

At my age a popsicle stick wears me down!



me too
I too have been told that my rate is too high. But, the solution lies more in tech than blade size. Must of us adult beginners that have learned without coach supervision have some stroke shortening bad habits that rob us of power and speed. Rushing the catch and unwinding a bit before the catch are often the biggest culprits.

That said, I’m training with a large, especially long-strong slow-rate high power-per-stroke distance cruises. This is more a training aid to get me to put power in each stroke and maximize boat run between strokes. I’m still going to use a mid wing for any races over 10km. I don’t find the mid slipping at all at marathon pace. Honestly, only on starts and hard acceleration do I find any real benefit to the large.

Bad habits…
Yes, I think you are right on the money on the stroke shortening/technique as a primary cause rather than blade size. Yesterday, I used the Mid-Wing for first time in a month, and I was able to maintain a lower stroke rate at a faster pace than before during both a 6k and set of interval training.

I do find the Large-Wing for sprinting to have an advantage over the Mid one. Mostly because there is “so much” possible increase in stroke rate to increase speed. However, on Saturday at the center, I felt worn out only after 3x6k using the large one. During the last 6k, my effort just wasn’t correlated with my speed.

To me you said it all. If a strong paddler like you will still keep using the Mid Wing for races over 10k… I think there is little room for a large wing in 10k+ marathon races…

Jack, If you were at my age…
…I will be worry and training harder :slight_smile:

listen to the coaches

– Last Updated: Dec-03-07 2:39 PM EST –

Listen to the coaches before you listen to me. I'm still figuring things out myself.

As for 10km+, I agree that the large can be used, especially if the start and finish kicks figure heavily into the tactics for a given venue or set of competitors.

Are you training regularly with the Lanier crew now?

…I do listen

– Last Updated: Dec-03-07 4:41 PM EST –

...I do listen, but I also try to have a balance between marathon/sprint training. Because I listen, I do not want to overdo the sprinting side and hurting the marathon side :)

I started doing some private lessons, and now, training with the crew at least once a week (during winter time) I can't make their week days afternoon practices (too early for me). I like it because it is like having a weekly race an hour away from home!

Low Vs High Rate

It is cool to see how during the last Worlds Tim B. slowly overthrown Adam K. at the k1 1000m finals with a slower and more powerful stroke (at the middle of the video is clearly seen) -as a color note, Tim B’s paddle looks longer than Adam’s one…

…Just something to think about it

Check out the 500m final at 2000 Olympic
Look on youtube for the 500m men’s final in the Sydney games. They had a wicked headwind. A lot of us amateurs tend to hunker down and chop along in a headwind. Watch Holman. Supersmooth, almost looks like slow motion.

As for marathon. You should see the Spaniards in action. They look like they’re in slow motion until you see the bank flying by.

5 years from now
You might wish you had used the mid size more. The big wing is so good at catching huge amounts of water but can your shoulder take the pace. Many weight lifters wish they had done higher reps wish less weight.

paddle size
I think only yourself can answer that question correctly for any given stage of your development.

If the large wing started to wear you out and demoralize you with ongoing distance, do what most everybody else does and switch back to the mid wing for a longer race.

If the faster speed potential boosts you mentally and you not only hurt worse but actually paddle faster over the given distance then you most likely know for yourself, you want to pick that bigger paddle for the race over that distance. If I felt great for 2x6 miles, I would not worry how I felt after 18 miles when I go and enter a 11 mile race.

The only other aspect is the price you pay and how bad you might have worn out your shoulders after several years.