I did about 10 timed repeats of a roughly half mile time trial in my QCC700 with the following three variations:
- Wing paddle using high wing stroke with good form.
- Wing paddle using same low stroke I use with my low angle Werner Kalliste.
- Kalliste in my usual low stroke.
Results were inconclusive due to larger variations in breeze and current than I wanted, but I have reached the following inconclusive conclusions:
- Big difference between the correct wing stroke and the low one. The good stroke is MUCH easier to maintain at a fast pace over the half mile and I go a bit faster.
- No advantage to the wing over the Kalliste when the wing is used in the same stroke.
- Significant advantage of the wing over the Kalliste when used with a wing stroke.
You had better results when using the wing paddle with a high-angle stroke you normally use when you use a wing paddle. And the low-angle stroke was not as efficient with either paddle.
Now… try your high-angle stroke you use with a wing paddle when you use a non-wing paddle designed for high-angle use.
that would be an interesting inconclusive conclusion to the inclusive study.
So, wing paddle when used as it should is better than a drag paddle.
BTW, your 2nd conclusion is not quite right - there is a benefit of Kaliste over wing paddle when used in low angle drag mode - wing paddle will f-up your wrists, while Kaliste won’t.
I do not have a high angle non-wing paddle. I do have a GP which I sometimes use at a high angle, but go significantly faster with the wing than the GP. Still improving, enjoying and learning both wing and GP.
you need a longer course
You can only expect 6-7% efficiency improvement with a wing paddle. That’s according elite racers and those who sell wing blades. Assuming you are doing about 6mph, that’s only 15 secs improvement over 1/2 mile. A longer 30-60 min TT would be more conclusive. An out an back with a split at the turn around will also tell you if you are paddling an even pace or what effect the wind has only you.
6-7% is pretty good buy just switching some gear and learning to paddle better.
15 seconds per 1/2 mile is huge, particularly where racing is concerned (Primary focus for a wing. It’s probably realistically a little less than that.). See how far ahead of you someone who’s 15 seconds ahead is-it will surprise you.
nickjc is correct that my half mile time trials are too short to get meaningful results. I had not done the math. I believe my speed improves from 4.3 to 4.5 kts with the wing, which results in less than 20 sec over that distance. However, that 0.2 kts is very important because it lets me zoom ahead of my buddy, so I can laugh at him.
I will try to get a knot meter.
Kalliste: Bent or Straight Shaft?
That Kalliste is a pretty nifty paddle, for I just check them out at my neighborhood kayak shop, and they come either bent or straight shaft. Which one did you use? Also, they are rather narrow blades, so was your paddle the same length as the wing or longer? I was actually faster using my old San Juan paddle at 224 cm. rather than my 214 cm. wing and using a variety of strokes. Anyway, I appreciate reading about others experimenting around testing out different paddles and strokes and trying out new things. Also, I wonder what your results would be without the rudder? Or maybe with the GP using the “canted stroke?”
My Kalliste has a bent shaft and is 220 cm. I use my wing at 208 cm and go about .2 kt faster than with my Kalliste. I do not consider the Kalliste blade that narrow, certainly not for a low angle design.
I am surprised you can power the San Juan at 224 cm, since it is a very large blade.
With my Q700 I always use the rudder, with whichever paddle. I also have a no rudder Seda Ikkuma, with which I never use the wing. MY speed in either boat is the same with the Kalliste, or my GP, or my wing if I use the wing in a low, non-wing, stroke. I don’t find much difference in speed with the GP, canted or not. However if not canted the GP is a bit noisy.
Actually, San Juan Is 230 cm
Just found it and was surprised how long it was. And yes it is quite a large blade (vinyl ester lay up too), which is much too long for me now, since I was more than 20 years younger when I used it all the time. With your bent shaft paddle, I’d experiment with a pitched stroke, slicing forward at the catch, and using a high angle vertical stroke (like a canoe paddle rather than a low angle kayak stroke) see how it performs? The bent shaft should keep you in the propulsive phase a bit longer? See how far you can fling your kayak before the vortices surface (trying to increase distance each time)? Now do the same thing with other strokes and paddles?
clearly you have the wrong paddle
If you had purchased the “conclusive wing paddle” you would have realized much greater results.