Right handed dominant paddles

-- Last Updated: Jul-21-12 12:33 AM EST --

I paddle a lot of different waters in my travels and I am still working out my paddle preferences. Recently I have been switching between bent shaft and straight paddles and learning to control feathered blades in high wind conditions.
Two weeks ago I cut off my right hand little finger (in a very stupid accident for another post). I went out today for the first time since the accident and discovered just how right hand dominant I had become in paddle control. So now all of my paddle skills have become reset to zero. I have looked around on the interet for a left handed dominant straight paddle with no luck. I am looking for a straight blade 2 piece adjustable feather 225cm paddle that is fairly cheap (under 200) untill I can figure out what I am doing again, without focusing on my blade angles alone. Any ideas? Does a left hand dominant paddle even exist?

Left hand control paddles used to be
common. Never used one myself, but somebody will give you the details.

4 poiece
I wonder if a 4 piece, like the old Lendals, could be installed either way?

Or talk to a smaller paddle manufacturer, like Saltwood, and perhaps they can make one for you.

left hand dominant
I am right handed but paddle “lefty.” There are plenty of us out there.

I take it you want to feather your blades (45 to 60 degrees is most common) and use your left hand as your control hand.

Many 2 older style 2-piece paddles are adjustable with 3 holes that allow you to choose unfeathered or feathered for right or left hand control. Many newer paddles allow for any degree of feathering, either right or left and are length adjustable as well.

Another issue is whether the paddle shaft is ovaled for the right hand, the left hand, or both. The idea of the ovaling is that it provides indexing for the control hand. If your paddle is not ovaled, you can use a matchstick (or other thin sliver of wood) plus tape to provide indexing for your control hand.

Finding a paddle that provides for left hand control shouldn’t be too difficult. Finding a paddle that is ovaled (or indexed) for the left hand might be a little more difficult. I’ll send some ideas via email.


– Last Updated: Jul-21-12 9:52 AM EST –

I'm a right handed person who paddles lefty, also.

Saltwood recently made a very fine straight shaft 60 degree feather lefty model for me which is now main my blade.

Also, with my Werner Corryvrecken's adjustable ferrule I can have it either way, of course I choose left. The Werner is now relegated to rear deck duty. Of course, these paddles are over 200 dollars.

control does not equal dominant
A lot of paddles have the control on the left side, but that has nothing to do with either side being dominant. I would guess that right-handed people might tend to be a bit lopsided (as would a left- handed person) in their paddling, which might result in a bit more energy to the right, or the left side of the boat. It would depend on whether one puts more effort into pushing, or pulling.

Once in awhile I catch myself pushing a little farther with my right hand, i.e., rotating a little more to the left than to the right.

Unless one paddles where the wind never blows and there is absolutely no current, there will always be those forces to deal with, so there will naturally be subtle variances in which side of the boat receives the dominant effort.

Wasted Time
I decided to quit wasting time fretting over why I paddle lefty. It just felt natural from the get go.

Is it because I’m right brain dominant, because my father made me paddle from the left hand side of the skiff as a youngster or maybe just fell into the habit when I was a newbie.

I does not matter as I end up getting wherever I set out to go. It shall forever be a mystery.

I still would like to know the percentage of right handed folks who paddle left control. I’ve been told by one who would know that it is higher than you would imagine.

Happy paddling!