oval paddle shaft question

I tried a paddle out that belonged to a friend that was oval in the middle and seemed round out towards the drip rings. I tend to hold my paddle out towards the drip rings and so my hands were on the round section and it felt fine to me, my friends hands were on the oval section and she said it was uncomfortable for her. So are your hands suppose to be on the oval part or round part of the paddle shaft? hope this make sense. why are they made this way?

The oval part is supposed to be where your hands are. But placement on at least one brand is off.

The reason behind the oval is that it provides an index in line with the blade, so you know by feel how the blade is oriented.

thanks…good to know
i don’t think one would work for me then. But now i can give an educated answer at least.

… oval is easier to hold on to with less effort and more “ergonomic” too. But if it is in the wrong place there is not much one can do…

Paddle length and blade 1st

– Last Updated: Jul-25-10 4:11 PM EST –

Hi! As above the oval part is just to help give you a sense of how the paddle is oriented when you need to set up for a roll. The indexing is more important in more confusing environments, since sight may not be much help there, so overall you'll find WW paddles to have very strong indexing compared to sea kayak paddles. You can't see much there, it's all by feel.

For the time being forget about it and get that forward stroke work to settle on the blade shape and paddle length for your at-least-almost-ideal paddle. The ovals, if they exist on the paddle you finally choose, will be in the right place. If you want more confirmation on the indexing for practice purposes, you can tape popsicle sticks to your shaft to indicate which way is up, or visit a WW paddle shop and they have cushier alternatives.

ditch the drip rings
on whatever paddle(s) you use now & in future. They snag in the rigging, add useless weight. Nice to slide up and down the shaft without them in the way. Removed mine over two years ago and never missed 'em.

Anyway it’s a wet sport, I know you’re good w. getting your hands wet girrlll '-)

great tip Celia…
I just had this conversation w/ a mutual friend last night during my roll practice…this will help for sure.

another great tip…thanks!