OK, I bought an Epic V8 Surfski and a Wing Paddle…I am 6’0 tall and the Epic Ski is 22" wide…what length should I use for the adjustable paddle (210 - 220cm) and what angle should I feather it? Also, the foot brace in my Ski is adjustable and I am not sure how long my legs should be stretched out…I feel more comfortable when they are stretched far as possible, but I notice in some videos many people have their knees a little higher. Thankyou in advance for any advice!
Legs bent a bit
I’m 6’ and my surf ski is 19" wide. I set my wing paddle at 210, but am getting a new wing that will go from 205 to 215. This will be my third wing, but this one is a bit shorter than the others and has small blades.
Paddles and skis
People feather paddles to reduce the amount of surface area exposed going upwind. So, it is a performance issue. 90 degrees will give you max performance, but it is much harder on your wrists. There is nothing wrong with no feather at all, but I would guess most paddlers feather around 60 degrees, but it is a personal thing. Your length sounds short to me, but again it is a personal choice. Epic has a good length estimating tool on their website. At 6 feet, I would think you would be more around 214. As for the legs, you should have some room betweeen your knees and the hump. Some people reccomend to fit one fist under your knees. Of course, this depends on how hi the hump is. Ideally, you want to be able to rotate (twist in the seat) so that at the end of your stroke, your paddle leg is almost fully extended, and you have enough bend in your other leg to push off the foot bar on your next stroke. Having said all this, with the amount of money you have spent on the new boat and paddle, it is worth investing some time to find an experienced ski paddler to help you dial in your boat and give you a few pointers. If you are near Philadelphia, feel free to contact me. We have a group of paddlers in all levels. If your name is Chuck, contact Mark Mckenzie at eliteoceansports.com Welcome to surf skiing. Cliff Roach
So Andy, is the change to smaller blades for a faster turnover or shoulder problems. I am considering a similar move.
use the paddle wizard
on the epic site as a start. Most people end up shorter 1-2cm
for grip width. paddle held overhead elbows bent a little more than 90 degs. a piece of electrical tape just outside your pinky will keep your hands in the right spot.
For leg length. a tight fist under the knees when they are even is about right. This should give your leg enough room to straighten and drive your hip and shoulder back with each stroke.
Epic is coming out with a smaller wing soon for people who find the small-mid too big.
Faster turnover primarily
My other wings are small mids and are fine in most cases. In my ski, I'd like to increase my cadence. No shoulder issues at the moment, but who knows what the future brings. I've had a pinched a nerve in my neck that caused severe pain in my arms, side effects from cholesterol medicine that caused pain and severe weakness and the cause wasn't identified at first.
Also, I don't feather my paddles.
Experiment Experiment Experiment
Start out at 220cm and at 40 degree feather. As you gain experience, you’ll eventually settle at around 214 - 216cm length and 60 degree feather. Later, you’ll get a narrower ski, and as your stroke becomes more efficient drop the length to around 210 - 212 and go as high as 70 to 85 degrees feather to get a more even vertical stroke on both sides. But this doesn’t happen overnight, for it takes lots and lots of practice. So please be patient. I, at 6 ft., personally use a large Onno Wing blade set at 202 cm length with 80 degree feather. My first ski was a 17 inch wide Chalupski, which I loved to paddle using my 230cm long Werner San Juan paddle set at 90 degrees feather before switching over to a 1st. generation Flyte Descente wing paddle that was 223 cm long set at 75 degree feather. You got an adjustable paddle, so please go experiment, for every paddler is unique.
Feather isn’t just for wind
While a feathered paddle does help cut through the wind the biggest benefit of the feather is setting up the paddle correctly for each stroke. Too much feather used to hurt my wrists because I had to twist the paddle a bit to get it in position each stroke. Then I started to really work on my stroke and found I wasn’t even close to doing it correctly. I thought I had torso rotation but was wrong. As my stroke and rotation got better I started dialing up the feather and it turned out all those guys that teach paddling were right. A higher feather sets the blades up perfectly if you have good torso rotation.
I’m taller and often paddle a wider boat and I have a 208-218. I most paddle 213. Shorter is better for a more vertical stroke.