Kayak paddle blade dihedral

I just bought a rather light weight AT Ergo tour paddle on-line for under $100.00. When I received it, I was surprised to see how much dihedral there was in the blade. I measured it and I think it might be nearly 20 degrees. I’m an advanced paddler and am concerned that the high dihedral may undully reduce efficiency. My Epic active tour has probably 1/4 of the dihedral. My lost(sniff) Michell had none. Can anyone offer quantitative information on the loss of efficiency? Is it a cosine function like wind resistance of a feathered blade? Would you keep it or ditch it?


Paddle it.
Paddle it and see how it performs. If you have a timed course, do a speed run with it. Does it provide the correction strokes you need? Where is the dihedral- on the power face or back side? Some thickness is needed for strength, compare it with your active touring paddle- close to the best in that type of paddle.

go flat
Dihedrals are designed into paddle blades to control flutter, they are not required and to my knowledge they do nothing to enhance performance for anything other than flutter.

If you are willing to learn to limit flutter by technique alone, you can use a paddle with no dihedral and gain significant advantage for “on-edge” maneuvering strokes like low rudders and hanging draws.

I prefer blades without dihedrals and while they take a bit of technique to use effectively they are much more versatile in the long run.

paddle blade
I am with you on this one Jed. Check out canoe paddles. While the purpose of the dihedral is to reduce fluttering the downside is that it also create s more drag while slicing…i.e rudders, rolls etc…


AT Paddle

Sounds like a poorly designed paddle, completely unsuited to your purposes. Send it to me immediately and I’ll dispose of it for you. I’ll even pay shipping.

AT paddles
i use an AT carbon Xception and LOVE it. it’s light, it handles very easily, i have absolutely NO PROBLEMS with rolling with it, turning with it, bracing with it … etc. i think you’re letting numbers over rule your mind.

so you paddling lightning and mitchell
these days or what?

Werner Kalliste
I’m still happy with my Werner Kallistes with their very mild dihedral and smooth back but I’ve always been fond of Mitchels as well. It’s great to see that some people still make paddles completely devoid of any dihedral. I really see no value in dihedrals for me and infact see a clear down-side for the type of paddling I enjoy. The Kalliste’s dihedral is subtle enough that it doesn’t bother me and they slice nearly as well as a Mitchel.


canoe paddles
Ummm, you may have forgotten the ZRE power surge blade, which does have a bit of a dihedral.

Not a fan…
…of excessive dihedral.

I had a popular make and model of paddle that, in my opinion, sacrificed my options for “no flutter”. It was absolutely tenacious in it’s catch, rock solid and without any flutter as you brought it through the stroke but wasn’t going to come out of the water until it was ready to, making every stroke a little too long. It was going to be a low angle paddle no matter what. My bad. I should have done more research.

It moved my boat and the boat of every other paddler I lent it to faster than anything else. It really was pretty amazing in that respect.

On low braces the dihedral on the power face became anhedral and it gave you very little margin of error. It would dive and was actually taken out of my hands on several occasions at inopportune times.

Stern rudders? Warning! Danger!

Bow rudders? In your dreams.

Draws? Fergetaboutit.

Rolls? Better remember to flip it over. In fact you had better think about how that dihedral/anhedral was going to effect every stroke that you did.

Blended strokes weren’t going to happen for me.

In the end it was way too much thinking about how to keep my paddle from hurting me and not enough about using it.

I think that dihedral, like all things (other than paddling) is OK in moderation but too much is too much.

Lightning Paddles
I had called Lightning in August to place my order for a Riptide, and Hank told me that the company was being sold, and to check back in a month or so. I have since heard that they are plain ol’ out of business. Anybody know the scoop (or know where I can get a Riptide)?