Small Mid-Wing Paddle?

I’m thinking about purchasing a small mid-wing paddle in the near future. I currently own a regular mid-wing sized paddle and I thought having a smaller sized wing paddle may improve my technique during training.

I am particularly interested in the Epic Small Mid-Wing and the Onno Smaller Mid-Wing. Does anyone have any experience with either or both of these paddle and would be willing to share their experiences.


Mid vs. Small Mid
Looks like 116sq." on the Mid and 114sq." on the Small Mid.

Do you think it will make much difference?

What are you trying to improve with 2sq. inches less of paddle area?

Both my wife and I have ONNO …
smaller mid wings, and love them.

I also have a Epic mid wing, but prefer my ONNO.

I used it just yesterday on a 13 miler, and prefer it when I am just touring.

Put the paddle in the water, and it will just do it’s own thing for you.



You said you like the smaller wing for touring, how do they compare when racing? Anyone racing something smaller than a mid?


Length is important
I have two ONNO wings, my first was adjustable from 215 to 220 cm. Then I was paddling my Artisan or my CLC17 and I could adjust the length dependent on the boat being used.

Paddle a surf ski now too and the paddle was too long, got a shorter one, also length adjustable and Pat’s new lever lock thingy. I’m paddling faster with the shorter paddle in both the ski and my Artisan. I have the small mid-wing.


Racing with ONNO smaller mid wing

– Last Updated: Oct-27-09 11:30 AM EST –

Correction-edit. I have the MID and NOT smaller. My apologies, see post further down this thread. Stephen

I have a 205-215 adjustable ONNO smaller mid wing set at 208 with about a 60-65 feather, I'm a light weight 130#'s and paddle a Huki s1-a that has a very narrow catch width.

The races I favor are in the 6-12 mile range and typically flat water. I see some more textured conditions on the Chesapeake Bay where I live and paddle most of the time.

For a paddler my size and strength the SMW is ample sized to grab a solid hold on the water and provide plenty of resistance to pull as hard as I can against. In regular 10 kph distance mode this is not too harsh on the joints but still solid. If I'm doing short sprint type intervals at 12-13 kph and I'm maintaining good form then it is my lack of strength and not the paddle that is holding me back.

There is plenty of grab for short accelerations onto waves and wakes. When really moving on a wave (15 plus) I still find I can get good firm contact with the water on each stroke.

Having never spent time with a bigger wing this is just my guess that if I was bigger and stronger and focused on 500m and 1000m sprint distances then this probably isn't the right paddle for those kind of races. It might still me a good choice for training.

Some elite level ski paddlers are using small mid wing sized paddles and maintaining 11-13 kph averages over long distances. For middle of the pack paddlers there doesn't appear to be much reason to go big (or mid).


Small Mid Wing and Mid Wing
In addition to using a GP, I regularly race train with both an Epic Mid Wing and Small Mid Wing (full carbon, burgundy shaft (medium flex)) in an Epic 18X. Although the specs look similar, there is a very big difference between these two paddle sizes in use. Although I usually use the Mid Wing for races/training in an unloaded kayak, the Small Mid Wing is good for refining technique, long-slow-distance or recovery paddles after a race or injury, and also for long-distance use (if I don’t use my Greenland carbon).

Greg Stamer

Thanks Greg!
Thats exactly what I was planning to do with the smaller mid-wing. I was hoping it would help me improve my forward stroke a little and give me some additional training options. At this point, I’m trying to decide if I should get an Onno or an Epic.

I used it in a eight miler a few weeks…

I think it depends on how powerful a paddler you are.

Normally I would use my Epic mid wing for a race that short, but I have been having a slight shoulder problem and figured the smaller would be easier on it, and it was.

I am a older paddler/racer, (157 pounds), and my criteria generally is in a race over ten miles use the smaller ONNo, and anything under use the larger Epic.

If I was a young stud, I would be using the largest I could get my hands on !



1 vote for the onno
I think both the epic paddles and onno are great paddles but onno is really a work of art, plus he’ll “tune” it however you want. Modify layup, adjuster as long or short as needed. And you know it came from 1 guy made just for you. There is something about that that’s pretty cool.

And as for mid vs. small. I’m a pretty strong guy and have both mid and a older large wing. I used the large in one short 2.5 mile down river race were the water was really moving. It’s way too big. I think the mid is big. I’ll move to the small soon. From freids that have it they say they might loose some on the sprint but it feels the same the rest of the time in any distance race. Good luck. Chaz

I’m lost

– Last Updated: Oct-23-09 8:20 AM EST –

"Refining technique"--so HOW does 2 square inches less of paddle surface area help you "refine" your technique better than 2 square inches MORE of paddle area?

I understand that you are using 98.3% of your muscle capacity compare to a mid, so that the small mid is better for endurance (slightly).

I just don't understand the reasoning behind another $300-$400 for a paddle that is 1.7% smaller.

Not being “smart”

– Last Updated: Oct-23-09 8:19 AM EST –

What other "training options" does 2" difference of paddle area create?

How is 1.7% difference in paddle area going to improve your forward stroke?

For the record, I paddle almost exclusively with a large wing and I also own a mid wing. I can feel a big difference between those paddles (as there is a 15sq. inch diff.)

Try one. When I first pulled my Small Mid Wing out of the box, I thought that Epic had sent a Mid Wing by mistake. They are similar. That said, the Small Mid Wing has noticeably less “pull” than the Mid Wing. Initially I had a tendency to overpower the blade and had to modify/improve my technique to achieve the same power that I was used to with the Mid Wing. YMMV.


– Last Updated: Oct-23-09 2:11 PM EST –

I too went from a mid-wing Epic to a small-mid Epic and comparing them head to head I felt noticeable difference. I do not know why, but the difference in feel is more than the (supposedly) 2% area difference. They were both of the same construction material - signature hybrid.

There also seems to be some difference in feel also b/w a mid-wing size in the signature hybrid layup compared to the same size in the flex shaft carbon layup (liked the latter better), but I'm not sure if it is the blade shape or the shaft width and material or just he small difference in weight that contributes to this...

I typically use the small-mid for 8-15 mile paddling sessions where I want to cover the distance at a brisk pace and switch to a Lumpy greenland paddle for playing in rougher conditions or rolling.

Unfortunately, I can't tell anything about the ONNO but this weekend, hopefully, I'll have a chance to try one (if puzzlepax let's me sample his ONNO in exchange for my Epic or GP and if he throw's in the deal his surfski or his mini-mistery I'd be completely happy ;) ).

Note that the currently shipping Epics should come (unless they are old new stock) with a lever locking mechanism similar to ONNO's. I have not seen the Epic version, but their previous version had something to be desired IMO - unless overtightened (which I do not do - prefer hand-tightening at a moderate level so I can still undo it tool-free when I'm tired later), I had my paddle slip angle in rolling or hard bracing.

After the ‘Knot’ race demo
M, you’re welcome to try the ONNO SMW and the s1-a (if you can fit…very narrow bucket) after the ‘knot’ race. I’ll bring the camera :wink:

See you Sunday


Ha! Thanks!

– Last Updated: Oct-24-09 10:50 AM EST –

I'll get nose plugs -;). But I think I will not have a chance to even fit in the S1-A if it is anything like the spec says it is:

At 6'4 and 180lb I'm well over the height and a weight target for this thing. And it appears it will be much less stable than an Epic V10, which is about the limit for me in flat to 1 foot choppy water, so I will probably not be able to stay upright in your ski for any appreciable time even if I could fit in it. May be just enough to catch me go under on film, but only if your camera has a decently fast shutter lag or it will miss the splash...

mid/small Epics
Hi - I’ve got both and use them both. Post above are correct - there’s a huge difference between them. The mid definitely bites more, gives a better brace, and accelerates quicker. I use it most of the time, especially doing downwinds or in high winds and bigger waves. The small is very comfortable and still fast - I use it for longer workouts (15+ miles), for technique training, and if I have any wrist issues/tendonitis. Once up to speed, the small wing is just as fast and can maintain speed just fine, while being easier on the body. Both are great paddles.

ONNO vs. Epic

– Last Updated: Oct-26-09 12:29 PM EST –

Just had a chance to look at Steven's small-mid ONNO and superimpose it against my and one other person's small-mid Epics (mine in the signature hybrid construction and the other one in the full carbon flex-shaft build)

The ONNO was a little bigger than the Epic. Noticeably so but not huge. The two Epics were not surprisingly the same size, but the carbon one had a little wider edge near the very tip, which may or may not translate in to a smidgen more catch. Probably a manufacturing variation in the Epics.

Unfortunately, that was after the 6 mile race that for us turned into a 15 mile race (and for some, close to 17 mile race-don't ask why). Most of us were half dead due to dehydration, so I did not have the energy to try the ONNO vs. the Epic on the water. Sorry - cant report on the feel on the water. Some other time, perhaps. Since the size was visibly bigger on the ONNO so I expect a little more power than the Epic small mid. Not sure if it will be as powerful as the mid-wing or not. I'd say - an excellent size for mid-long distance paddling most likely...

>>Unfortunately, that was after the 6 mile race that for us turned into a >>15 mile race (and for some, close to 17 mile race-don’t ask why).

But is sounds like such a good story!


Here’s why
If you can read Yahoo Groups:

If not, let’s just say that we were all “knotheaded” to not turn around earlier bur instead kept going till we saw “The Bridge” that was supposed to be the half-point in the race. And on the way back the creek, quite a few took the wrong turn up a side channel and added to their distance.