The effect of Blade Size

Yes… I Take Two Different Paddles
Being able to choose between two cadences beats the hell out of not having a choice. Turning into the wind? Switch to your lower gear.

Shuna and your wife
Pikabike says the one thing that I was thinking of below. It is a mid-sized blade officially. At 5’3.5" and 135 pounds it is probably an OK size for me (I really like my Cypress but it is cranky unless you use it high angle). But I am officially average for my generation in those dimensions.

The Shuna is a popualr blade and one of those that is never bad to have around, even if just a backup. But if your wife is tiny, you may want to go smaller than that for her if she would be with you on longer paddles.

the smaller is a safer bet
I have several paddling partners who own both. They use the bigger blade when acceleration is needed, playing in tiderips or surfing, and the smaller for longer flat water tours. There’s not any difference in touring speed only in sprint speed and acceleration.

Werner shafts are oval in the grip area.

According to the guys at Werner, the carbon, non-foam core, paddles are they best choice for abuse. The foam core, ikelos and cyprus, are the most fragile.

From your size and if you are fit go for the bigger blade. I am 59 and 6’ 225 and can paddle all day with the 710 Ikelos (same as Corry). I have 215 for low and 205 for high angle.

Shaft Length
Ok, I am convinced to go for the Shuna and I am getting ready to prepare the order.

One last question, shaft length, just how much difference will there really be between 210cm and 215cm. ( yes I know the answer is 5, lol)

My current paddle is adjustable 215->224 and on my last session, 2 hours, I left the paddle at 215. I ached a little but nothing that a hot bath didn’t cure. I have not paddled for any longer than 2 hours for the moment so in all honesty I dont know how well I will encompass 5 or 6hrs.

If I choose the 210 I am a little worried that I will frequently bang the paddle on the side of the boat or is that a sympton of bad technique. Even at 215cm I bang the side from time to time, usually when I lose concentration on body rotation.

I understand that the 215cm would give some extra leverage but as mentioned above could also cause unnecassary discomfort on the joints/tendons.

I would consider myself as having above average strength in my arms/shoulders/back, as I mentioned before I am about 205lbs although with some diet and some serious kayaking I should get down to a fighting fit 190lbs, I start to look unfed below that.

With the Shuna I will be making a drop from 690 to 610cm squared in the blade area which I presume will already make a large difference for me, would shortening the shaft from 215 to 210 really be necassary. The Werner paddle guide says I should go for the 210 but it doesn’t take anything into consideration other the height.

Get a two piece adjustable
Then decide and have the capability to change length on the fly.

That’s the main feature that I love about the paddle I have at the moment, its just a pity that Werner only do fixed length.

Hence the problem for me deciding on shaft length.

Try different sizes and shapes
Try some shorter paddles with smaller blades - you don’t need to put maximum force per paddle stroke to be most efficient moving through the water. Many novice kayakers run into joint/shoulder/tendon problems from trying to drive too big/long a paddle. It’s finesse and technique that make the difference not brute force.

Take a look at greenland style paddles.

Take a look at Onno paddles.

The damage is done
Et voila, I digress, I will stop trying to convince myself that physical power is my only attribute. I agree that I will now be forced to work more on technique.

I have ordered the Shuna 210cm. I will give some feedback at the end of the week if I can get out on the water. It snowed quite heavily here yesterday evening and I have to hope that it won’t snow any more this week.

Thanks to all for their feedback, it is heartily welcomed.

Roy, silence this anti-snow talk!!!

Large Blades have an advantage

– Last Updated: Jan-31-12 10:40 AM EST –

I am not sure where you guys and gals are but here in Geneva ( Switzerland) it has been snowing all day.

With the Corryvrecken I would have had the advantage of being able to clean the snow away quicker, lol....

Now with my Shuna its going to take longer....

Maybe large blades aren't so bad after all....

Better tarp supports too

– Last Updated: Jan-31-12 9:31 AM EST –

We think anyway. Luckily we haven't had to confirm whether my husband's longer paddles would hold up an emergency overnight shelter better than mine. :-)

Take 'em both. Smaller and bigger blade.

Lots of Power via Technique
Use that whole body - with technique - and you’ll

generate plenty of power for miles and miles of paddling.

Have A Choice?
Either move snow or move your canoe? Select your load? Yes! Blade size not only determines how much snow you want to move (using it like a shovel); but, according to my favorite canoe guru, Patrick Moore; also “how much fulcrum you want to use” to propel your canoe.

Now check out these winter paddlers in the snow and ice:

And they are doing it without rudder - steering only with the paddle.

At last
Finally the weather has improved, today it rose to 7°C(45°F) and after a little local searching I managed to find a river that was not completey frozen. It was a sunny day and there were still few ice patches which were fun to play with…

This is the 1st opportunity that I have had to try out the Shuna.

First thing that I must say is that it makes a HUGE difference dropping down to 767g/27oz from 1048g/37oz. It honestly felt as though the paddle would be incapable of providing sufficient force, of course I was wrong.

The very slight indexing is much more subtle than the Select First and after 10 minutes or so I had already become accustomed to the difference.

The paddle seemed to enter the water effortlesly and the first few strokes felt strange, I had expected to feel the same “pull” as my other paddle, but no, it was as though no effort was required to propulse myself. It didn’t take long before I started to realise the importance of using the right paddle for the right job, it could understand how the this paddle was going to make a large difference when paddling for more than an hour or two.

I glided along for quite some time really enjoying the Shuna, I was really surprised at just how easily I was slipping through the water.

I also had the “Select First” with me and after 30 mins or so I stopped and swapped the Shuna for the Select. It felt like I was holding a “ton” of paddle, it actually felt awkward. I could feel immediately the pull from the larger blade size was much more consequent though.

After only 10 minutes I changed back to the Shuna…

I paddled in total for about an hour and a half , downstream first and then back upstream, which allowed me a relatively good period in which to appreciate my new paddle.

Do I like it, yes definately, everything feels extremely “smooth”, a good catch, a comfortable pull and a silent exit ( I have a lot of work to do on the exits still). The paddle is light and feels good in the hands. I also appreciated being able to try various angles, although I will be sticking to 60°, it just feels right for me.

Down points: Are there any, yes, I think that I will probably buy the Corryvrecken before the summer is here. There are a few moments whilst doing some manouveres that I would have appreciated the extra pull of the larger blade. I am sure that I will use the Corry on the days that I feel like doing a bit of “fitness”.

A big thanks to everyone for their comments, I am more than pleased with the Shuna…

Hear Me Brutha
Take 'em both. Toggle back and forth as your body and the breeze dictate.