If 12 is really preferable, why do some leading makers offer only 15 for stock paddles?
And who can really tell the difference?
Another good question along the
same line. Like you, I have fairly long arms and find myself varying the shaft angle during many of my strokes anyway, so will 3 degrees really matter if I’m not racing?
For OC-1 , YES and YES ,
Especially if you try 9-7 degrees or 3-5 on the other side of the ‘normal’ 12.
IMHE “E” = experience in building ( for oc-1 ), 12-11 is great for all-round but some paddlers will call 12 ‘lazy’ and prefer 7. The “o” here is for outrigger.
Sparing everyone the bio-mechanics and paddle blade physics here on Xmas Eve, bent paddles have been angled up to 18 dg in the past 20 years. The cauldron of marathon competition has determined 12 dg to be the most desirable.
Some paddle makers seem to be receiving that news late.
On the other hand, 12 dg optimizes performance for those sitting kinda low in USCA Cruisers. One could argue that kneeling paddlers need less bend, but some if they don't use enough torso rotation and those sitting at pack canoe height, ~ kayak high, need more with a shorter shaft.
Increasing the bend moves the "+/- 10dg off square" Winters Window aft: increasing yaw which is not a good thing.
Alternatively, moving the Winter's Window" aft reduces the need for good, torso rotated to the catch bio-mechanics, which describes many paddlers, especially aging ones like yours truly.
Speaking from experience
I love my VooDoo/Leader. While my Zav is lighter, the cedar/ash/CF laminate just feels “right”, warm and alive in my hands. I am not a racer, and closer to a lillydipper so arguing a couple of degrees +/- holds little interest for me. My paddle slips into the water smoothly and quietly, catches firmly, and recovers with little more than a ripple.