Solo canoes and Bent-Shaft Paddles

Would a Werner Kalliste Bent-Shaft Carbon Paddle be better than a Werner Kalliste Carbon Paddle? Or it does not matter? Thanks.

It matters
But you’d be better off to save a few bucks, get a nice Zaveral and learn to use it.

the meaning of “bent”

– Last Updated: Apr-29-10 10:07 AM EST –

"Bent shaft" (or more accurately, "crankshaft") kayak paddles are more about wrist position, and comfort than about paddling power. Bent shaft canoe paddles, as I understand it, are about positioning the power face of the blade for optimum power, because the blade face is actually at an angle to the axis of the paddle shaft.

The two Werner paddles you mentioned have the same orientation of blade-to shaft, so you can probably make that decision based on which you feel more comfortable using. For me, it seems if I keep an open grip, allowing my wrists to remain straight, then a straight shaft is no worse for me than the crankshaft. But I know a few much more experienced paddlers who prefer the crank shaft paddles. Really it's just personal preference.

How wide is your solo canoe?
240 may or may not be wide enough.

Amen to that !


bent shaft
I love the bent shaft I just switched this year and I haven’t looked back. I do use it in a solo canoe. The weird thing is though I like it better turned backwards. I know that that is probably a shooting offense here but I feel like I get more power out of my stroke, and it makes ruddering sharper. It could just be in my head though.

you’re “That Guy”!

I saw you on the river with big smile on your face and holding your bentshaft the wrong way, and seemingly without a worry in the world. Of course I tried to tell you about your obvious error, but you apparently didn’t hear the wailing cries of help I flung repeatedly in your direction. I then tried to catch you so as to communicate your transgression more directly into your ear piece. But it was no use, I couldn’t catch up. You were paddling incorrectly at too quick a pace for me to catch up (I had just eaten no more than a half hour before).

But next time I see you commin’, I’ll be a swinging my paddle back and forth to draw your attention. But, if you happen up behind me before I know you’re there, don’t pass too close and throw bow spray into my boat … and wipe that danged smile off your face!

I third that Zav paddle
$279 and well worth it.

EEK $279?
I got mine in 1996 for a birthday present. As I pay the bills I found out it cost 159.

And its had some use. Recently its had a LOT of use.

geez…I am getting old. Dont let me tell you about when a canoe paddle was $19.


Thats for the medium Powersurge
The powersurge pro and extreme are more.

Still worth it for what you get. Big difference swinging a 10 oz paddle VS a 20 oz paddle.

Well now,
It is very traditional, as in mid 1800’s to paddle solo canoe with a double paddle. Anyone who can remember that left - right - left sequence will arrive at their destination. The “crank” will probably save a little wrist fatigue.

Most solo paddlers use a straight, single blade, paddle that maximizes power and boat control. The straight paddle works best, squaring up to the stroke, with the paddler on his/ her knees; the stroke catching as far forward as torso rotation allows and ending when the blade comes abeam the knee.

Some solo paddlers use bent paddles, particularly when tripping/touring because the bend optimizes paddle physics for sitting paddlers. The bent catch is a little a little forward of the knee; the stroke ending at the hip. The shorter, more aft, located bent stroke correlates to the reduced torso rotation inherent to a sitting stance. The shorter stroke allows a higher cadence that increases speed.

Symmetrical hulls seem to prefer kneelers with straights, but, with tripping gear aboard, respond well to bents.

Swede-form hulls, particularly extreme versions, seem to prefer the more aft power pulse of bent paddles.

In the end, you’ll want at least one good version off each. It’s important to buy very good paddles because the stick has more to do with moving your hull than the hull itself contributes. An extra $100 in a paddle makes a big difference in design and construction, while another hundred in your hull might yield a custom color, but will yield nothing in construction or design upgrade.

Its a Merlin II

Different uses, different strokes
My long time opinion, recently reinforced by the past six weeks of paddling a Bell Wildfire (symmetrical) and a Hemlock SRT (asymmetrical) all over Florida with six different paddles is:

– Bents are more efficient than straights for straight ahead paddling, especially up current or into wind, no matter whether I am sitting or kneeling.

– Straight paddles are better for control and making moves in current, rapids and flatwater freestyle.

– Straights are more efficient for straight ahead paddling from the kneeling position than the sitting position.

– Bents should be significantly shorter than straights.

– The first bend in a bent shaft enhances straight ahead paddle efficiency, while a second bend enhances wrist bend comfort. A curved powerface on a bent significantly enhances power while reducing flutter.

– The most efficient and comfortable bent shaft paddle for my stroke rate is the Lutra 15 degree bend with curved powerface.

– Wood is much preferable to carbon, except …

– If I want a high stroke rate to fight wind and current (or to race, which I don’t), I then prefer the ZRE Outrigger Powersurge.

– I wouldn’t touch a double blade in an open canoe.