Anyone here actually use a wing in conditions? I know pros like Freya Hoffmeister do or have but has anyone here adopted it as their go-to paddle? What are your thoughts or experiences?
That is the only paddle that both…
my wife and I use for sea kayaking.
We originally got them for the speed increase for racing, but once we started using them we never went back to a regular Euro.
The euro now sits forlornly on my back deck as my spare.
I only use a wing paddle. I’ve now got 3 to choose from. There’s my old Werner Pegasus sprint wing, a Knysna Swing Classic, and my favorite paddle an Onno small mid-wing.
If I want to cover a distance in the shortest time possible I typically use my wing paddle even if it is bumpy out there.
If I paddle a longer distance and getting there in the fastest possible way is not the ultimate goal, then I would alternate the wing with a greenland paddle as I get tired of one of them (they use somewhat different muschle groups).
If I’m out to play in wind/waves/rapids, then the wing stays home and I take something flatter that works a lot better for steering strokes.
The only time I miss a Euro is when attempting to scull my ski closer to the dock. After paddling a wing, everything else feels like a noodle.
Since I got my wing paddles, I’ve used nothing else.
you people aren’t helping
I’m trying to resist the urge to get one but I feel myself losing the fight.
Seriously, how are your braces, and can you rudder at all with a wing?
Stern ruddering seems funky, and is not as good as a regular paddle, but is quite effective. Although it is a reasonable argument to state that a wing is best used with a ruddered boat, if things balance out for your intended use, using a wing with a non-ruddered boat will be fine. Bow rudders can, at low speeds, be ok, but the forces are difficult to control. Switch to a cross-bow rudder, and the results are fantastic.
Low braces work very well. Static high brace can be very odd, and IMO, depends on the blade design (how much twist in the blade). A sweeping high brace (from bow to midship)is more than good, it is amazing. Try doing a sweep roll with a wing, it is almost cheating.
A nice thing about wings is the absolutely amazing stability in the water- every forward stroke, in lumpy water, is an effective brace. Also, you can keep a very relaxed grip on the shaft, as you do not have to control flutter.
For long distance touring, they might be an under appreciated tool. My (very tiny, but very competitive) wife prefers multi day trips using a wing, and controls her boat very well even in 25kn winds and large ocean swell. Me, I tour with a regular paddle. No real advantage for me, plus, at layover days, if there is a tide race or a surf break to play in…well, rough water play is definitely the weak point of a wing.
I recently acquired a wing for use with my Q700. However, I find it difficult to learn a good wing stroke. More relevant to this discussion is that I have no confidence at all in my high brace with the wing, something I don’t think about with my conventional blade. So when I get in rough water, all I can think about is remembering not to use a high brace. Perhaps this will pass with time.
Get a wing NOW
You will never go back to a euro. I use a wing in all conditions and was out on the Chesapeake bay a few weeks ago in Gale conditions–35mph wind and 3-4’ waves–and did several successful high braces and a sweep roll (after an unsuccessful low brace).
A high brace is BETTER with a wing than with a euro. The only thing that will take practice is sculling (as mentioned above). Sculling is still quite doable but takes a bit more flexion of the wrist and a little practice.
Use a sweeping high brace
What is called a “high brace” is a C-to-C high brace. Use what the wing paddle gives you. For that matter, with a regular Euro paddle the sweeping high brace (either fore to aft or aft to fore) is much more effective.
Ditto what Jack said
however i do use my euro paddle when i am on the Tarpon, as it just doesn’t seem right to use a wing on such a fat boat. Kind of like me wearing a polka dot cycling jersey!!
Second the above posters - get a wing. I use an epic mid and small-mid, and would never go back to a euro. Unless you’re a rolling fanatic I think the wing is an enormous improvement in just about any aspect over the euro. Takes a bit to get used to it - but you will - and you’ll love it!
Conditions - What Kocho Said
If you think you’ll be upside down, the best tool for getting upright is the GP. Taking both looks pretty smart to me.