So from what I have read 215cm or 220cm seem to be a good place to start. Since the QCC 700 is a fairly narrow boat would a 215cm paddle be better? I am also looking at a paddle that I can feather, is fairly light weight and has a relitively stiff blade. What shape of blade am I looking for? Thanks!
take the test
Lots of opinions
I prefer short.. 190cm to 210 cm European paddles depending on the blade width. For touring I use a 210 cm Windswift most of the time. It has a fairly small blade. I also use Greenland Paddles and a 191cm Lendal in the touring boat. I recommend Lendal 4 piece paddles because you can mix and match different blades and shafts. So if you get a 210 and if it is too long or too short, you can just buy a new shaft instead of a whole new paddle.
what’s your price range/paddling style?
Are you a low angle paddler or a high angle paddler? Are you looking for a Euro paddle, wing paddle, or greenland paddle?
For cheap(er) Euro paddles, the carbon Aquabounds are pretty decent. I’m also a big fan of Werner paddles although they tend to be a bit more pricey.
Keep this in mind
If you are an aggressive paddler, or if you have paddled a canoe a lot, you are like me. I used to paddle a canoe, and because of this I paddle while alternating one hand shoulder height as the other hand is near the water. This is called s “high angle” paddler. I tend to paddle a kayak like as if I had a canoe paddle in my hand. A shorter length paddle works best for me, and this type of paddler. I paddle with a 215 cm length, and would have a 210 if the crank spacing ws farther apart on my shaft.
If you are more laid back, and seldom hold either hand far above the deck, then you are a low angle paddler, and a longer length will work better for you (220 to 240cm)
When you paddle, you want the entire blade to be in the water, but none of the shaft.
The best way I can tell you to find out is to go paddle with someone. You close your eyes (so you can’t see what you are doing) and paddle how you would normally paddle. Have your friend close by and watch your hands and how deep the paddle goes into the water. Then judge the length you need compared to what you are paddling with
Suggest you start
with one of the moderate priced paddles. You will most likely want to carry a spare paddle. If you start with one of the good value paddles you can figure out any length/blade changes before you spend big bucks for high end paddles (which I generally think are worth the investment). Then your value paddle becomes a great spare that is still comfortable to use in an emergency. I also think Aquabound makes some good value paddles but so do others.
Of course with some of the newer varible length, variable feather, interchangable blade systems you can start out with a higher end paddle knowing that you can fine tune it to your liking without having to buy a whole new paddle. I have no direct experience with these but know of them from others postings here.
This can get complicated if you let it. Take the Werner test. Talk to some people at a good paddle shop and try some different paddles. When you figure out what you like buy a good quality paddle. If you are like the rest of us "minimalist" you will end up with several paddles. Half the fun is checking out all the stuff. Good luck. Vaughn Fulton
like you should’ve demoed boats
A lot of fun to be had, and much to be learned, from trying different styles of kayaks and paddles before buying.
Finding out you don’t even know what you don’t know.
In another thread, Roy (Fadedred) gave you great advice to buy a quality paddle first then take it with you to all your boat trials. I now have a nice stable of three excellent paddles and a respectable guest or spare paddle too.
I also have a little fleet perfectly sized for me and my uses: In 14 months I acquired three kayaks: a used British fiberglass seakayak in mint condition for $1200, a new first quality river kayak (thermoformed plastic) bought near end of season at dealer cost for $735 and for $250 an old school rotomould ww kayak. Skirts for two of them were included in the price and all had first rate low backbands. All paid in full, as is all my gear, which is always nice.
Doing it this way left much more $$ left for safety items, clothing, gear, Yakima rack etc. Lessons, too, and symposia, and pool sessions. You will get around to some if not most of those. You’ve just begun to warm up your wallet LOL.
Congrats on the new boat! A QCC is a very distinct style and not for everyone (not for me, anyway, like Roy, I - gasp - don’t want one either) but I don’t disparage the company or those who have chosen them because of my individual preferences. I sincerely hope this QCC is “the one” for you.
Take her around to water demos and see how different paddles interact with the boat and with you. Go out on windy days, calm days, when you’re tired, when the waves whip up. Enjoy learning and NOT deciding right away.
It’s just that even a premium paddle costs about twelve percent of a new QCC700x
Demo? Yap did that!
But for the 30 min trips in each boat didn’t really tell me that much. Been to syposiums and other testing days with the same results. What my conclusion was is that I like the narrow faster boats over the wider more stable ones. I also like sport cars over sedans and sport bikes over a Harley. Maybe there is a trend here. Locally there is only one “real” kayak dealer that I know of so that severly limits me on what I can test for boats and paddles. Only 2 places rent boats and the are the crappy plastic ones.
Back to paddles… So in essence look for a fairly good paddle and use it until I find my niche. Then make the big purchase. Got it.
The dealer here carries them. What do you all think of them?
He also carries Aqua-bound...
re: paddel lenght
Huge difference between a 215 and a 220 in the “same” paddel. I am 6’ 1" with a long back and a high angle stroke. The Werner Ikelos 215 straight shaft on a QCC700 fits me perfect, the adjustable ferrule design is the best on the market, and the all carbon construction is excellent but pricey ($380 straight shaft, + shipping). If your a member of REI and use the 20% members coupon you can get it for $311 including shipping.
Yap REI member here.
Lendal or Werner are good, but they have a little differant feel to them.
Then there is the straight vs crank discussion to be had.
If price is # 1 right now … Go for the
Aquabound in 215 and get the bigger blade. Stick with the plastic blades and fiberglass shaft to keep price down …
If you want to get things right the first time and have something better right away please call me.
As always, no pressure ever … here to help.
for carbon euro paddles i used a 215cm lightning carbon ultralight that was a joy to paddle... that is until my pal built me a greenland stick. who knew how comfortable, light, and fast those things are (well... i guess the inuits did). when paddling the sea kayak i'd almost always reach for the greenland, and i eventually sold the lightning (which WAS an incredible paddle). I paddled the Lightning high-angle and found the 215cm much better than the standard 220cm (and i'm 6'1 with long arms). Now i use wing paddles, and would not go back to a euro-style for anything (except maybe whitewater, which i do not do). Simply put, a wing will maximize your power and technique and make paddling more fun... and a standard roll is cake with a wing. My $0.02: for speed, get a wing, and a high quality light one like Onno, Epic, or Fenn, and either build or buy a greenland style for learning rolls and all-day comfort out on the water. The wings are adjustable, and for $5.00 you can always buy another cedar 2x4 for a gp! Get both.
The Werner test was way off from what I prefer, so take the proverbial grain of salt…
I bought an Aquabound with the carbon fiber shaft and fiberglass blades from REI for about $120 (Retail for about $160). Very nice and lightweight (31 oz for 230cm). Maybe the Eagle Ray or Manta Ray if you want something with serious power.
Since no one’s said it
I asked the same question here over the summer having just bought my first “real” boat. I had demo’d some Werners previously and they are nice paddles. If I had bought a euro I would probably have chosen a Werner Shuna in the 220 range. Instead I had the opportunity to try a Greenland paddle and as a result I’m a satisfied customer of lumpypaddles.com. If you have the chance to try someone’s GP do it before you buy a new paddle.
since pat didn’t give his info…
Check out his paddles at http://www.onnopaddles.com/
Pat has some really nice blades at great prices. While you can't go wrong with any of the big companies (Werner, AT, Lendal, Aquabound, etc.), if you want a carbon wing or Euro paddle, Onno is definitely worth consideration.
Of course I have to plug my favorite Greenland paddles as well which are Beale Paddles for wood (http://www.bealepaddles.com) and Novorca for carbon (http://www.novorca.com).
Best of luck! A good paddle is probably a more important purchase than the kayak since it's what you're going to be holding in your hands for every stroke you ever take.
Looking at Patrck’s stuff.
Specifically his Mid-tour+ Carbon Signature. Looks likes nice stuff and seems to be priced right.
Paddle thoughts etc
Re the paddle, just some personal reactions -
Werner’s bent shaft and our paddling don’t seem to work out comfortably, myself as well as my husband. Went to a straight shaft for any Werner paddles. But we have felt that the H2O bent shaft paddles (a WW paddle) were a comfy match from the get go and have bent shaft there.
The Lendel bent shaft feels better than the Werner, but haven’t had enough extended time with one to know if that’d hold up.
Aquabond makes a paddle that holds up well, and they frequently go on sale. You will want a spare paddle anyway assuming you are paddling alone, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to look for a good sale on them.
Skeg/rudder - Much of the advice from QCC owners seems to be going to getting a rudder, and without time paddling in conditions R/CMan isn’t going to develop a preference one way or the other anyway. And I am guessing from the description of the boats he’s rented that they were mostly ruddered so he doesn’t have a big experience base with skegs. He might as well go with the majority opinion to get started. They both function.