Paddle swing weight

I am 5’8" and mostly use a 230 Kalliste with my Rapidfire for low angle. I had a bent shaft Kalliste for awhile hoping it would help with wrist pain; after solving my wrist problems by modifying my grip, I got my money out of the bent shaft. I just didn’t see any great benefit from the bent; like you said, it can be an expensive experiment. I am also have an Aqua Bound Tango carbon shaft/fiberglass blade paddle, a couple ounces more than Kalliste but I don’t really feel it - I have a 250 I use in a wider boat. AB now makes some adjustable length paddles called Versa-Lok and I’m tempted to sell an older repaired Kalliste and try an adjustable.
Nice thing is that both Werner and AB always have some fully warranted “cosmetic seconds” for sale so I may go for it.
Question about swing weight - would the foam core in a Kalliste which kind of pops it out of the water affect the perception of swing weight vs a non-core paddle ?

I appreciate your comments, thank you. I’ll check out the AB paddles too and it’s good to know they sell factory seconds.

I don’t think a foam core (really a buoyant blade) would affect swing weight but it could certainly affect the feel of the paddle. Do you like the feeling of blades that pop out of the water? I’ve seen one or two canoe paddles that advertise their buoyancy as helping the paddler but for me I do not want a blade with noticeable buoyancy where I have to force it into the water. If you hold a canoe paddle vertically and check the buoyancy most sink to where the blade is just underwater and in a natural position for taking a stroke. Some canoe strokes leave the blade underwater all the time and I think a highly buoyant paddle would be annoying.

But it might be totally different with double blades, I don’t know. I think many carbon blades have foam cores so I wonder if the Kalliste blades are buoyant because they are pretty big.

I do like my foam core Werner Showgun. Being a white water paddle its obscenely heavy by touring standards but it doesn’t feel heavy in a stroke. I dont distinctly feel it pop out, it’s just works well altogether. I have done distance paddles with it just the same as any other paddle. Like it better than my touring euro that weighs almost a pound less.

Show-gun is a big blade though that has some oomph to it. Many folks find it too much and opt for a Stickine that is basically the same but smaller blade surface.
Great for bracing and rolling too.

1 Like

I’m interested to know how the Kalliste that was repaired got damaged

I don’t really know that it would really affect swing weight; I was just thinking out loud about how the buoyancy might be perceived. The popping out of the water seemed very obvious to me when I first upgraded to the Kalliste, but less so now. The Kalliste has a different feel than the AB, but it’s different in weight, length, blade material so I can’t say what’s affecting what. Anyway I like them both (and think the Tango is well priced) and switch around depending on boat or whether I’m on a tight stream or lake.

1 Like

I’ve bought and sold quite a few paddles over the years, and never regretted selling one until now. I had an older Adventure Technology Quest, long (240, I think), fiberglass shaft with the super heavy fiberglass blades … at least it felt that way. Now I wish I had it back … it would have been perfect for testing some of the ideas shared in this conversation!

Oh man…the result of a knuckle headed move on land (a perfect Curlymoe move). Retracted the top of my S2000 and heard a “crack”, then immediately reversed it. The blade had gotten caught in the convertible mechanism and folded part of the blade over, but it jumped right back into shape. Almost gave me a heart attack. None of the fibers were broken but some resin was cracked/missing. Luckily there’s a marathon racing canoe dealer in the region who is a pro at composite repairs. He did a beautiful job and only charged me $50; not cosmetically perfect but completely functional after five years.

1 Like

Pure marketing BS! Weight is weight.

“Feel” while in motion also involves paddle length, weight distribution along length [shaft and blade], shape, and size [area].

I’m confused. Are you saying “weight is weight” but “feel” (length, weight distribution, shape…) is something else?

Weight that’s balanced is balanced. A balanced beam is level and stationary until you try to move it or try to stop it, and then it depends on where you try to apply leverage to stop it. If you swing the heavier paddle in a jabbing motion (as in high angle paddling), you have to start the 23, 30 or 40 oz paddle in motion. Then you have to stop it. It may only be 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 lbs, but look at how the weight is behind your torso at the extreme range of your leverage. Do that 50 times a minute, and it’s at least 100 lbs cumulatively. Do that for an hour . . . Do that for 5 hours. No big deal right. Sit in a chair and swing a two pound stick for 5 hours. Now push with the low grip and pull with the high grip as you alternately press the opposite foot on the peg, with 100 sq inches of resistance against water, then flick 1 to 2 lbs (1 pint to a quart) of the end of the paddle with each stroke as you exit. If you have a heavy paddle, the mass will dampen the vibration and dihedral will balance the water and reduce flutter as water dumps off the blade. Consequently, your paddle feels less of the signs that you’re losing propulsion while exerting and wasting muscle energy. On the other hand a light but strong paddle will telegraph the sensation of water flowing in turbulent ripples around the blades. If you feel that, you might say, I don’t like this paddle, but maybe that padfle is telling you to build up speed slowly.

If you look at the speed graph of an inexperienced paddler, you’ll see spikes and drops. That’s because they paddle hard and the anerobic exertion takes a toll and then they have to rest, before starting over again. (I know the paddler is inexperience by the graph; one is 11 yrs old and the other is a novice adult). The proper technique with a quality paddle is to feel the turbulence through the shaft and moderate speed by building gradually and sustaining it. Less wasted energy. Maybe a light paddle has more to do with swing weight than sensitivity. A person explained that about fishing rods, but what does fishing have to do with paddles. And maybe those graphs are just random squiggly lines and GPS are not reliable, but the graphs look so different. Notice one shows consistency, but each of four segments are at differnt levels. That could be the influence of wind and tides, but thevflat one had virtually the same influence of similar conditions. Eh! Probably nothing to see.

I’m not suggesting this has any relationship to racing because that’s all out padding.

I think most trying high angle paddling are using to long of a paddle. It’s making them have to raise their paddle to high to keep just the blade in the water. Cadence alone means nothing to me it’s all related to blade size and cadence. I’d rather go 50-60 with my big blade high angle than 80+ with a low angle blade like a Kalliste.

1 Like

Agreed. Going down to a 220 made a big difference for me. I have relatively long arms and could do with a 215.

I use a 205 and could probably go to 200 easily maybe even 195. I’m 6’ 32" inseam in my CD Extreme. Like to keep my hands by chin at the highest and pull next to the hull. I can even do low angle with the 205 and get over 95% of blade submerged.

What are you paddling, @PaddleDog52 ?

Since noone asked, I wear a 37" sleeve and use a 220 in a ski and a 230 in a SOT or Pungo. I’m thankful for adjustable paddles.

That gives a whole new meaning to “long-sleeved shirt”, Mr @string .

CD Extremes, Solstice GT, Expedition.

Ikelos 205 Celtic 750 205-215 adjustable. Libra XT tandem 22’

Oooh, nice boat. I can see how a 200 or 205 could work with it’s low profile. I’m sitting higher in my Northstar Magic, of course, but I’m still thinking I could go down in length 5 or 10 cm. I’ll have to pay close attention to my paddle depth now that the ice is all gone (as of yesterday). After all I really need another paddle :lying_face:.

1 Like

Sit in kayak in the water hold hands on paddle at chin level and see where blade depth is positioned next center of cockpit. I think shaft should only be in water an itch or two.