Werner Ikelos and flutter

The Ikelos is a great paddle for me, but sometimes I noticed it would try to flutter when I go fast. Found out the key to preventing flutter is to make sure my hands are far enough apart on the shaft (when holding paddle with two hands over my head my elbows are at right angles, I know this is the standard!). Then I can go as hard as I want and it will not flutter, but if my hands are 2 inches closer (so my elbows at less than 90 degress) it will try to flutter. Just thought I would point this out.

which shaft? NM

Karman vortex shedding
is the offical name for flutter. same as a falling leaf gliding right, then left.

it’s all about balance. I can get ANY paddle to flutter and also get any paddle to stop.

If you cant the blade just a fuzzz (like they do with GP’s) and it will stop.

or trade in for an AT. :wink:


straight 215
Was just surprised that such a small difference in hand placement could make it flutter. Found out because I moved the drip rings up to keep them from getting wet.

Better Yet…
trade it in for a wing and flutter no more. :wink:

Have an Ikelos also that my wife uses-great, light paddle and love the way the foam core just pops it to the surface on exit.

But compared to the wings, it’s an undercooked noodle. (Just busting…)

the advantage of a eruo style paddle is that I do not need to use my rudder “most of the time” and that includes many wind conditions. Of course I am high angle.

Without a rudder’s drag I can make up for the speed advantage of a wing, BUT no one uses wings in area clubs so I have not been able to go head-to-head with a wing in a long time.

I tried a wing and really did not like it. Of course I grew up paddeling canoes!

Get an ONNO they don’t flutter
They just go,go,go

I have an Ikelos 210 cm. bent shaft
and also have a high-angle stroke. I have not noted any significant flutter even in the windy upper Midwest.

Tried a ONNO
It was very light and on the back of the blade you could feel the carbon fiber (was not filled in with epoxy), but when I pushed it I could feel the blade bending from the force of the water on it.

The Ikelos blade will break before it bends.

Like I said it

– Last Updated: Oct-07-07 8:48 PM EST –

it only happened "after" I moved the drip rings closer to the mid line and so moved my hands closer to the mid line (use the drip rings as a guide for my hands). Moved them back out and it is fine "again" even when I push it hard, though in 20+ knot winds I do have to go to 90 degrees to prevent the wind from playing with the blade in the air, which effects the blade in the water.

You’re right about hand spacing.
When I got a bent shaft, it forced my hands apart, and I didn’t notice any flutter no matter how hard I paddled.

Having a paddle blade bend isn’t necessarily bad. Depends on the design. I have a Mitchell slalom canoe paddle with FG over a wood core. The blade and the shaft bend together under effort, and when I catch a rock, the willingness of the blade to bend seems to allow it to slip off more easily. I guess the Ikelos core must be designed so the blade doesn’t bend. May be better in a kayak paddle.

It actually makes sense to me…I think. With your hands closer to the blades, you have more control over flutter because the blade has less leverage on you.

I had some aeration (small vortex of air pulled down behind the blade) with my Aquabound. I solved the problem by making my own wood/foam-cored carbon fiber paddle. It’s curved from tip to root but has no dihedral. The shaft is egg shaped and fits my hands quite comfortably. It is unfeathered and I wouldn’t have it any other way. At first this paddle fluttered a bit, but after a few minutes I got used to it and realized that it’s absoulutely awesome. I paddled from Miami to Key West with it and was very glad I had it as my main paddle. We encountered a good range of conditions including strong winds, strong currents, choppy seas, etc., and it handled it all extremely well.

The trip from Miami to Key West is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Check it out:


Pedro Almeida