wing and bent shaft

I had a chance to pick up a pair of wing blades at a discounted price however the only shaft I can mate em to is a bent shaft. Any thoughts on wings on a bent? I am supposing I need to be looking for a st shaft for them to get max efficiency.

wing and crank shaft
I demoed a Lendall wing and used the 4 pices crankshaft at a demo day they worked OK, I only use Lendall crankshafts because of wrist injurys and I can paddle pain free with them.

Interesting bit of info-

before crank shafts were available to the general public, they were in use by Olympic class sprint kayakers, mostly the eastern bloc countries (that dates it, doesn’t it?). These were paddlers that had huge monetary resources behind them, with a lot of engineers, physiologists, etc, designing training programs, drugs, and equipment for the athletes.

They used crank shafts for-one year. They were universally despised, reason being that they made the forward stroke extremely asymmetric.

Look at any pics of top level sprint, marathon, or surf ski paddlers using wing paddles. No crank shafts in sight.

You will find quite a few top level slalom paddlers using them. Sort of the exception that proves the rule.

In my experience (sea kayak, whitewater kayak, and sprint kayak coach), the major difference is based on the kayakers need to control torque on the blade. A crank shaft gives the paddler more control on the shaft twisting, such as in bow or stern rudders, or sideslips.

That could include controlling flutter during the forward stroke, but wing paddles do not have any flutter- one of the reasons why users of wing paddles find they can keep a more relaxed hand position and not overgrip. Users of flat paddles can manipulate the paddle during the forward stroke to reduce blade flutter, and achieve nearly the same result.

In personal experimentation (I use a crank shaft paddle more than 50% of the time when whitewater kayaking, and never for sea kayaking), the “lopsided” forward stroke noted by racers was eliminated by going to zero feather. As soon as the paddle had feathered blades, the top hand of the feathered side had to do some odd bending to accommodate.

Which leads to the final point. Racers put in more miles in a boat every year than most of us dream of (unless your name is Freya). Yet, wrist overuse injuries are extremely rare. Odd, that observation- the most common advantage cited for crank shafts is that they “reduce wrist overuse injuries”. Seems a large number of people have found that it is a technique issue, instead.


Crankshaft paddles
I only paddle with non-feather paddles, the one time I demoed a Lendall wing I used a crank because that’s all I paddle with, it worked.

When I went to crankshaft paddles my wrists hurt so much it was try something different or stop paddling, that was in 1998 and I’m still paddling pain free.

hmm a lil confused
All merits and arguements aside was that a no you cant paddle a wing on a bent or a no you dont need a straight shaft. lol

I familiar with the diff merits and opinions on bent vs straight. I own and paddle both. In this case I happen to have a set of wings that happen to fit a shaft i already own so i was just wondering about that particular combination.


Crankshaft paddles
Try them if the blades that you have are Lendall and you want straight shafts they ain’t to costly, I seen some or a web site

Thanks for the info and yes it is a lendal bent shaft. Guess I am gonna change it out to a straight. So by the way I’ll make you a deal on a lendal bentshaft with the mid size tour blades…

Bent wing?
I’ve had a straight wing and now paddle with a bent euro. Without giving it a lot of thought I can’t imagine being able to control a wing with a bent shaft.

But I’ve been known to be wrong…

Why listen?
Why listen to all of us? Just paddle it for a while, take a lesson if you are not clear on the wing use, then decide for yourself.

If you don’t feather, I see absolutely no problem using a bent shaft on a wing, except that the shaft is a bit heavier comapred to straight. The only real issue in that case is that the bends may not be in the right place for effective wing use for power (they are not on the Lendal shafts for me for power as they are placed more for touring).

I am a single blader who uses a double at times during distance events. I have paddled the wing for a month or so now. Including a 40 mile run last week and I will be doing a 60 mile run Saturday. Although it is not yet totally ingrained (I still have to think about it some)my wing stroke has come along. I really like the speed although there is no doubt it takes more force to run the wing (more than the touring blades on the double and a bunch more than the 8 0z zre single. The speed pay off for the extra energy however is very significant. (The age old question is of course at about how many miles does the slower but lighter single blade merits overcome the speed of the double). Also maybe due to the bent maybe due to the feather the “pushdown” phase has a awkward feel to it on the powerhand. I am not talking about the distinctive blade “pull” that comes with the wing. It is the little awkward hitch in my stroke that led me to believe that maybe I ought to try the straight shaft. This “hitch” in the stroke may be related to feather angle as mention above. I have experimented with no feather and even LH control hand. Dont get me wrong I can use the bentshaft and she goes ok but I think the stroke will roll smoother on the st shaft.

I have never received a straight answer
But here is what I know. Using bent shaft with a wing can happen. I have seen the paddles set up this way. They seem to have application for touring class paddlers and probably work well enough for that application. You gain both wing efficiency and ergo efficiency.

But you just won’t see a bent shaft on the starting line of most races unless it is someone that happens to show up with a bent shaft wing because that is what they own. The highly competitive and trained winners do not use them. So, I can only assume that idea has been tested and found not to prove advantageous to winning races. I have never had a racer explain it to me. I would suspect that given the dynamics of a race and various conditions they may quickly face, that being pretty much locked into an ideal hand placement position for ergonomic reasons, does not fit well with changing racing conditions which may require sudden alternative grips and paddle placements.


– Last Updated: May-20-10 12:24 PM EST –

Zen Rider - That is a good summary of my take on the situation as well. And the description of the guy that shows up at a race with a bent/wing cause thats whats hes got- well thats me. A top marathon racer on another site basically had the same opinion ie top flight racers dont use them cause they are sweating every iota of speed and efficiency but if its what you own and it works for you go with it and dont sweat the .05% .01% or whatever diff that might surface with a straight shaft. Or as he says "Go with it if it feels good to you. The fact that several people Podiumed at the olympics with a bent shaft wing (regardless if they eventually decided to not use them) tells me that it probably does not matter one way or the other if you are not fighing for .0005 of a second in time".

So as a recreational racer who is primarily turning a single blade I wont sweat it unless I run into a steal deal on a st shaft..

I certainly would not swear off using
that configuration. I am not in contact with Olympians but would be interested in why they shy away from that, as it was issued above, they spend more time with a paddle than most of us do several seasons. If that is what I owned, that is what I would be running in weekend races. I showed up at USCA nationals with the only crankshaft touring paddle in my heat. I am sure it did not bother my time one bit. You are only going to coax so much from this aging frame no matter what stick you put in my hands.

I would think if it was comfortable for him, he should go with what he likes. And if he were rigging himself to compete against the elites, he probably should just follow their leads. I like crankshafts for almost everything.

bent shaft
You don’t have to listen to any of us, and do your own thing.

Lendal bent shaft is configured to create “coaster wheel” effect for the blade, that is the axis of pulling force does not go through the blade, but is a little lifted (blade is slightly behind), thus stabilizing the blade. Since other blades are drag designs, this works out perfectly fine. Some subtle differences can be noticed for sculling moves, but that is not significant since the power applied is not that great.

A blade paddle is designed to take advantage of the side movement, that is it creates propulsion as it moves away from the boat. Due to the offset in Lendal shafts it most likely will have a torquing effect forcing rotational instability in your paddle shaft. You might have to compensate by gripping harder, that is not a good idea.


– Last Updated: May-20-10 5:15 PM EST –

The rotating effect may be the "hitch" in the push phase that I feel. Folks have described blade pull or flutter and this is not the "hitch" I refer to. Yes I find myself gripping harder with my control hand (didn't like that-dont need numb fingers the day after a long ride). I am supposing both those factors are in play regardless of straight or bent shaft. This has been an interesting thread.
As noted before its a fast paddle but comes with a "lil" baggage. But by baggage Im not knocking the blades, I like em just realize its apple and oranges comparing to non wing blades.

If I understand you correctly
A feathered wing paddle and a crank shaft create difficulties for racers. All my paddles are unfeathered but I don’t race. I am guessing that for racing the apparent wind from going fast, which is equivalent to a head wind, would indicate a feathered paddle, maybe even 90 degrees. Is that correct? If so, then it would seem that a crank shaft is inappropriate for racing even though it might be fine for ordinary paddling.

That was a very good link.

He makes some good points
A few comments though

-any feathering will create asymmetry - this not a philosophical outlook, but simple physics

-ww paddlers need a really good contact with paddles - as in grip has to be right there, bent shaft makes the contact patch always accessible, tires the wrists less. Paddle is always forward, in aggressive position, this is where GB agrees on the most beneficial positioning. Wing paddle stroke is quite different.

-roll and positioning - that is complete bs. As if straight shafts lack indexing. As a side note - I lost count how many times I rolled up with the paddle backwards.

-in general, racers need to be faster, not more comfortable.

Not so sure …
Of course, your are correct that the bent shaft places the blade a little behind and stabilizes it.

However, I’m sure hoping Lendal’s own wing is designed to work with that. Pitty if it is not.

I have the Kinetic Touring blades and I got to try it at home as I have both a straight shaft. However, by the feel of it, I think even the blades themselves are designed to be a little forward of the shaft axis.

Lastly, on my Epic wing with a straight shaft (as with most other wings I have had a chance to try), the blades are forward of the straight shaft axis. By a lot actually - just hold one horizontally (unfeathered to feel it best) and you will feel how the blades weigh down and torque the shaft in your hands.

All that said, if the angle of the bent is coordinated with the blade, that should not cause any issue with a wing paddle. There may be other problems as described, but that should not be one of them …