kayak paddles

There are three settings on the kayak paddles, nothces, I am currently using the middle one, can someone tell me, what the significance of the other two are? What difference does it make in paddling, I am sure it is something, or they would not be there.

Remember, I am a begginer.


– Last Updated: Jul-04-08 6:43 PM EST –


Go to the bottom to feathered or unfeathered - you didn't say but I am guessing that the three holes are side by side at the same length from the blade.

Check under articles too, and if you really have a good long time search the Advice section for keywords like Feathered, Unfeathered. You should be thoroughly confused by the end.

If you take some lessons the coach is likely to have a preference or some guidance.

The middle one which you are using
is “unfeathered”. That means that the blades of both ends of the paddle are in the same plane.

The other two are to make the blades "feathered, which means that the left hand blade is at a angle to the right one. One position would be for the left hand blade to be rotated forward from the right hand blade and the other would be for the blade to be rotated backwards from the right hand blade

Most kayak paddlers start just as you are which is unfeathered.

Once you are used to it you might want to experiment with the other settings to see which is more comfortable for you.

Almost all paddlers that I know have gone from unfeathered to feathered at one time or another, but there are always exceptions and some paddlers like to stay unfeathered

Simple as mud, huh!



Thank you so much, the article was very helpful.Still I am a little or alot puzzled by feathering.

It’s really a matter of personal choice
to feather or not. Feathering probaby is derrived from whitewater slalom paddling where gates needed to be cleared while one blade was up in the air. In sea kayaking, it makes some sense that the feathered blade exposed to the air will slice through a headwind better then presenting the flat face of the blade if the paddle was unfeathered, so feathering in this instance can reduce fatigue.

I used to feather my paddle, but now paddle unfeathered. The main reason I paddle unfeathered now is because I switch between a Greenland paddle and a Euro style blade. Greenland paddles are unfeathered, so if I paddle with an unfeathered Euro blade I always know where my blade is in case I need to brace. I also believe there is less strees on wrists with an unfeathered paddle and a proper forward stroke.

Experiment - try it both ways. You will eventually find what is comfortable for you. As I said, I now paddle unfeathered, but if I was caught in high wind conditions and needed to feather my blades I would be comfortable paddling this way after 5-10 minutes.


thank you, your explanation was very helpful