Kayak paddle questions

After paddling a solo canoe for 2-1/2 years I just bought my first kayak, a used carbon/Kevlar Capella 173. I’ve been paddling it with demo paddles from the local paddle shop and just last week a ordered a two piece, straight shaft 215cm Werner Ikelos.

I’ve been looking on Craigslist for a second paddle thinking I needed a spare and bought a very light one-piece full carbon 218cm Epic paddle in very good condition for $80. The blades are feathered at 80 degrees.

Should I paddle with a 80 degree feathered paddle? The paddles I demoed were set at 45-60 degrees.

Can you carry a single piece kayak paddle as a spare?

Probably not

– Last Updated: Jul-05-11 6:48 AM EST –

While you could probably learn to use an 80 degree feather, there's little point in it. I wouldn't recommend it as a first paddle, particularly since you cannot change the feather angle. IMO, the best way for a new kayaker to learn is to start with an unfeathered paddle. It makes learning basic skills much easier, as it's symmetric on the left and right sides, so translating a skill you learn on one side to the other is much simpler than with a feathered paddle.

One option would be to contact Epic and ask what it would cost to install an adjustable ferrule in the paddle. If it's not too expensive, you could end up with a really nice paddle at a great price.

Carrying this would be inconvenient as best as a spare. Not only due to the length, but with the 80 degree feather the blade next to you will be sticking straight up. There’s a reason it’s so cheap… :slight_smile:

I have a one-piece, and haven’t found a good way to carry it as a spare on a 16’ sea kayak in anything but flat water.

Very few would admit to still preferring
markedly feathered paddles, but I “grew up” with 90 degrees, and when I get a new paddle, I still order 75 degrees. Until you sell that Epic to me, you should try it out and find out whether it doesn’t feel good. For just smoothwater cruising, the stroke rate isn’t high enough for an 80 degree feather to be a liability. And if there’s any blade orientation I’d like to have for the blade passing overhead, something closer to 80 than to zero seems smart.