Touring paddle for tennis elbow

I’ve been getting tennis elbow in my left arm from paddling and am thinking about buying a bent shaft paddle to help address the issue. There’s a fair bit of discussion on this message board about tennis elbow, but what I haven’t been able to determine is whether I should be buying a low angle paddle to help with this problem (thus far my short kayaking career has been a hodge podge of high and low angle, but I’ve been trying to learn high angle lately).

Also, I have seen mention here and there of buying a “flexible shaft” paddle to help with tendonitis. Is this a meaningful distinction for touring paddles? If so what are some flexible shaft touring paddles?


I have the same problem plus a damaged shoulder. I switched from a wide bladed paddle to a Wind Swift which has a narrow blade. It puts much less stress on my joints. I can paddle longer with less pain.

I switched from a wing to a low angle bent shaft many years ago because of tennis elbow. I feel it aligns your wrists in a more neutral position.
I haven’t looked back.

GH, back is too far to look for some of us.

A lot of people recommend a Greenland paddle for shoulder issues. Perhaps they reduce elbow stress as well.

Elbow stress is many times not just the paddle, but the stroke. Your stroke mechanics might need some tuning.

I agree fully with roym. I’ve had coaches tell me that I would get elbow issues if I continued with the way I ended my forward stroke on my right (strong) side. So far I’ve been on in the kayak.

I did get a repetitive stress issue in my right elbow from using poor technique trying to keep a Howler going straight on flat water. That was 12 years ago & still pops up on occasion.

Agree with Grayhawk, low angle, low area, bent shaft, carbon AT paddle really helped. GP is good also.

A primary issue for me was gripping the paddle tight with both hands all the time - try to fully relax the off hand while paddling, with fingers open pushing forward with the palm only.

1 Like

That’s exactly the habit I developed… GH

As Grayhawlk confirms tennis elbow for me came from repetitive hand grip issues.

Mine came from assembling furniture with a screwdriver.