High angle kayak and canoe paddling

Isn’t “high angle” kayak paddling pretty much the same as solo canoe paddling? The high angle and the path of the paddles are the same. Only the kayak blades are hi-tech with asymmetrical shapes, dihedral mid-sections, and spoons, and the canoe paddles are typically flat symmetrical blades. Anyone care to offer an explanation about this?

No, actually, high-angle kayak
paddling does not approach the verticality of canoe paddling. Not much more to explain. But my kayak paddle does not get vertical except when I do a duffek or similar pivot stroke.

Kayak paddling would become much more inefficient if the shaft were brought near vertical with each stroke. Part of efficient kayak paddling, even high angle paddling, is minimizing unnecessary side-to-side weight transfer (with corresponding exaggerated upper arm weight transfer and perhaps body twist)during the stroke.

I think Scott Shipley would have been considered a high-angle paddler in his ww slalom career. During power stroking, his kayak paddle shaft angle often did not much exceed 45 degrees.

Thanks for the explain

– Last Updated: Nov-05-06 7:05 PM EST –

I also came to realize, just this afternoon, that control is another reason for the differences in paddle design. The kayak paddle offers two-sided control positions, and control can be generated from a combination of strokes from both sides. The primary purpose of the blades, then, can be maximum efficiency of torque transfer from the blades.

When paddling a canoe, control usually needs to be effected from whichever side the paddle is on, and the flat blade renders that control effectively.

Well, I guess you can tell that I am not a kayaker, but a kayak paddle user in a canoe.
Thanks for clarifying the "high angle".
Happy Paddling!

I use curved blade canoe paddles
designed for slalom. They are carefully designed so that they slice through the water without lifting or diving, and the back face works fine for low braces.

Something it took me many years to master is “perking.” This is the ability to take effective cross forward strokes. I believe perking is named for one Rand Perkins, a slalom racer who used to be seen around NOC back when.

Perking is not really useful in normal canoes that are inclined to go in a straight line. It helps a lot in high-rockered whitewater canoes. I think there are demonstrations on Kent Ford’s Drill Time video for open canoes.

An even tougher stroke to master is a cross sweep. I normally paddle off the left side, and I can now do a very effective cross sweep on the right side. But if I paddle on the right side and try a cross sweep on the left, it’s like I never learned it.

Of course, with a double blade, everything can be done on the proper side. When I kayak, though, I occasionally find myself witlessly throwing a cross bow draw when turning right into an eddy.