I am planning on upgrading to a better paddle, and am looking at the new AquaBound (old Bending Branches models), and am not sure which blade shape I need. I will be paddling Ocean Kayak SOT’s, either a Prowler Trident 15 or 13. I will be using it for fishing, sometimes paddling in heavy wind and or current, paddling up to 10-15 miles a day. I can afford 250$, and the two models in this range are the Swell and the Surge. The Swell has a long narrow blade, and the Surge had a Shorter fatter blade. Which would be better suited for my needs?
Might be wrong here
but as I have understood it so far, the long narrow blades are for a more low angle paddler, and the fat short blades are for higher paddle angles. Depends how vertical you hold your paddle.
But - I might be wrong.
The one you like best
Either will serve you well if it’s what you like to use. A narrower blade will be easier on your joints over a long paddle, and a little easier in wind, and the wider one will accelerate to speed just a little faster, and maneuver quicker.
Beyond that, they both can be used the same way, and both will work. It’s all about what you like.
I have a wide range of paddles, from 3 1/2 inch wide GP’s to narrow cruising EP’s, up to my WW paddle, which resembles a shovel. They are used for different paddling realities, but I use the GP’s the most. It’s what I like best. And that’s all that matters.
Like he said above, it depends on the user, and what they prefer in a particular boat.
If you can try both and see which you like, that would be best. If you can’t and have to guess, I’d put my money on the long/skinny blade (low angle) working for you better in those boats, as they are 29" wide, and might make it difficult to paddle with a high-angle stroke.
I paddle a long ,skinny blade at high
angle. If you get in serious wind,as in rip the paddle out of your hands,skinny is better.
If that long and skinny …
… blade is relatively flat, then it is OK to paddle it at any angle (e.g. a greenland paddle). But if it is like the Werner Kalliste, which has a considerable curve to it, I think it is a lot trickier to use at a high angle and not necessarily as good any more as it is as a low angle paddle.
In very high winds I often use a somewhat lower angle technique than what I use for touring/exercise - usually there is a lot of chop to deal with then and that allows for a quicker brace here and there and less interference with the wind (e.g. better hide b/w the wave crests from the wind).
The only disadvantage of a long skinny blade I have found is in very shallow waters where you just can’t get a good bite or if I have to have an instantaneous bite at full power and fast cadence (like in fast river rapids).
For kayak fishing you'll want a high angle style blade and, depending on your height (I'm 5'10"), a 220cm paddle. If you're taller you may want a 225cm or 230cm. I see a lot of guys buying a low angle style paddle (long, narrow blade) and regret the decision soon after. Don't make the same mistake. The higher angle style is a more aggressive style design that will get a bulky fishing kayak moving better.
I'm not familiar with either of those paddles from Aquabound. I would also recommend a Werner Tybee and Werner Shuna.
I owned a Trident 13 last year and my paddle of choice was my Werner Ikelos in a 220cm bent shaft. Out of all the other ten or so fishing kayaks this has been my go to paddle with the exception of one that had a higher seat and I used a 230cm Cyprus.
Agree with Druminator for the wider SOTs
Its better to have a little more bite.