Wing paddle any good?

Anyone use a Wing paddle and what is it’s advantage? I’m looking to upgrade my paddles and want a light weight efficient paddle. FishHawk

Depends on paddler, kayak, use.
They’re great for what they’re great for.

Tell us about yourself, what you do, in what - and maybe you can get some useful replies that go beyond really generic “wing is faster”, and “wing takes training”, “wing can beat you up more” type responses that mean little or nothing out of context.

I’m a rec paddler
I guess I’m a Rec paddle . I use my yak to fish out of and thought the the wing paddle might give me more speed. But I don’t want to give up the control that my Rec. paddle has. FishHawk

hate to say this…
but rec boats just are not made for speed. You could get a wing and still not go fast, no matter what.

Hull length is holding you back, not paddle type.

Don’t bother
Unless your into fitness and speed. You don’t ned a wing if your primary purpose is fishing.

wing paddle

While I love my wing paddles, for rec/general paddling it’s hard to top a nice light greenland paddle. They’re light, handle the wind well, and are comfortable enough to paddle all day. If you’re handy (I’m not) you can even carve your own out of a red cedar 2x4 from menards. When my friend carved me a greenland (to my body dimensions) I sold all of my euro paddles. I still have it just in case I stop paddling my ski (very doubtful!). If you ever do get a fast boat and like to crank, a wing paddle can’t be beat.

I tried one at a racing clinic
It almost makes you have better form. It just seemed to want to be used in a certain way. While it demanded a higher angle stroke it also demanded a shorter stroke and a more rotation to feel right. I’d say that the racing clinic helped all of my paddling. If I can find an affordable used wing paddle I might get it for fitness night paddles and use my longest boat. For the 14 or 15 foot rec boats I don’t think it would offer any advantage.

For your use -no.
the only thing it would be good for would be scooping up some bait fish or something you dropped over board.

Where as if you tried to scoop up something with your Euro, it will just keep sliding off.



Only for racing
I only use a wing for racing and never for rec. pddling. The wing paddle is not suited for many different types of strokes and braces. In racing you only need to know one stroke - the forward stroke, which is what the wing paddle is designed for. Also, while the wing is faster, the the speed gained is only fractional. So save yourself some money and buy a high performance touring paddle.

greenland paddle
A greenland paddle is perfect for rec. paddling,fishing,

etc. It will provide a more versatile paddling tool for

all situations. It will easily float near the boat if

need be, it can be used more easily as a rudder under one arm while fiddling with fishing gear, it is quieter in and on the water, light weight. I sold all of my Euro

paddles except a Werner Carbon for when I’m feeling strong enough to push it. Weekly paddles are all with a “stick” for over four years now.

Several paddle makers will make one to your dimensions if you’re not into carving one yourself.

Here is a very good one:

wings rule
You did say you wanted to upgrade tp lighter and better. 1000 miles peryear I use my turbo wing. They are the best. Anyhting less than a wing is like a $20 plastic from walmart. Wings are great for getting to shore when the weather looks bad. I am much faster with wing becuase the scoop grabs so much water and wings are far more stable. I can roll and scull and brace, etc with wing. Some cannot and assume no one can. Try the wing

marginal utility
Wings get you a percent or two more power at the upper end of possible output. If you’re in a rec boat you’ll hit the upper end of the boat’s speed potential before your paddle is a limiting factor.

Sure with practice you can do basic braces and such with a wing but it is still less versatile than a standard touring paddle. For touring and fishing a nice lightweight standard touring design will work fine.

Don’t the wings hurt your shoulders?
That’s what I recall you saying in the threads about canoe racing being easier than kayak racing.

I think that has to do with your your statement that the wing “grabs” more water.

One issue with wings is
That you can’t really change your paddling style too much - you have to follow the optimal path for the wing or you loose the benefits. So, over long distances you need to take breaks or you may indeed get tired from the repetitive motion. The wings are more efficient but they do not necessarily grab more water - that depends on the size of the blade and is true with any paddle. The larger wings indeed feel like planted in mud, even mid-wings have the same feel if you paddle against stiff wind (30 mph head wind would show you that very clearly).

If you need to go fast where you need to put a lot of power to the water, the wing rules - all other paddles slip more and waste more energy into turbulence. But if you need to travel far, then I would consider switching paddles from time to time. Greg Stammer and Freya Hoffmeister paddled very long distances together - he’s using a GP, she’s using a mid-wing. Both did fine but none was racing all the time. On the other hand, you would not see a non-wing in a fast race, so that tells a tale :wink: