To Wing it or Not ?

As I have gotten more comfortable in my ski, I have gotten more interested in wing paddles.

Stellar offers one for a good price.

I can’t try one first so , talk to me people who went from Euro to Wing.


Wing Paddle
Wing is the way to go…after you have learned proper technique of paddling you will reap the benefits!

No doubt
You’ll never go back.


The issues of stroke type are overplayed and won’t effect you on lakes anyway. Roll issues are irrelevant because you are on a ski. There is some concern of injury issues, but also probably overplayed and avoidable. For sitting on a boat, pointing forward and paddling faster, a wing is the way to go. I’m not saying you will be faster, but you will feel faster.

That should satisfy my need for

Makes sense
Going to a wing makes sense since you are already paddling a surf ski. To me, a euro paddle is still the best for rock gardening, tracing a meandering shoreline, or doing a lot of bracing or maneuvering, but you are not likely to be doing that anyway.

Be patient. It may take some time before the wing becomes your paddle of choice. That’s how it worked for me. This was partly because it took a couple of years to refine my forward stroke to get the full efficiency out of the wing. It also took a couple of years to become confident that the leverage provided by the wing in the forward stroke is as good as any brace stroke in terms of providing stability. If you are like me, for a while, you’ll be paddling with the wing and wishing for the familiarity of your euro paddle. Then you’ll go back to your euro and that will feel funny too.

Currently I enjoy paddling with both wing and euro paddles. It all depends what type of paddling I am looking to do that day.

wing for sure
If there’s a choice go for a smaller blade size. The catch on a wing is much more a shock to the joints than a euro blade. A small blade is like a smaller gear on a bike, higher cadence and less impact per stroke so less chance of injury.

If you get a chance take a forward stroke clinic from a ski paddler, or at the very least, get Greg Barton’s video and/or Brent Reitz’s video.

There’s a lot to learn and a the stroke is different than a euro stroke.

Be prepared to spend the rest of your paddling career trying to perfect your forward stroke.

Ski and wing,perfect together
I have three and use them exclusively…even in my canoe!

I second a two piece adjustable wing, all three of mine are, blade size and overall length vary. My latest is a small blade 205 to 215 cm ONNO wing. I use that for my surf ski, the other two are for other boats.

Wing Blade
This past September I bought a PRS Surfski and I bought a wing blade at the same time. Before I bought the wing blade I just used a paddle like you would buy at Academy. It took me a little while to get used to the new paddle, because it is so different from my old one. My wing blade is lighter, and it doesn’t take as much effort to paddle with and it helps with my paddling technique (torso rotation). I tried using the old paddle because I was considering to use it as a spare paddle, but I had difficulty using it. I felt like I was going to tip over with every stroke.

I love my wing and will never go back.

using a wing
Wing paddles are a great fitness ,racing choice. if done correctly you will use the core of your body not you arms and shoulders. if you paddle several times a week. you can learn the stroke. Check out videos on you tube. there are some great instructional videos.

If you have access get a lesson from a instructor. it will really help you.

Cheers Dan

Great once you get used to it
I waited a month to get a wing after getting my ski last summer. I was hesitant having read all the comments, and having a shoulder that is easily injured.

You need to be more conscious if the technique you use, and that’s where injury can come in. Trying to pull this through the water like a regular paddle can lead to injury. But that will also teach you to use good technique. It’s also important to get the right size blade.

For a guy with a bad shoulder, I have had zero issues with the wing.

Too bad you can’t try one. On the other hand, trying may not tell you what you need to know: it takes a an paddle or two or three to get used to the wing.

Wing paddle is wonderful
I have gone through all the stages. Conventional paddle to Greenland paddle to wing. I use a wing almost all the time now. Rolling is incredibly easy (sweep roll), and you go faster with less effort. But the key is to use the correct technique for whatever paddle you choose and choose between them based on that. There is lots of wrong info out there.