A wing paddle used with a good wing stroke will be energy saving, vs a conventional paddle, at low speed, say 3.5 to 4.0 kts, in a relatively slow boat. In other words, one needn’t paddle an Epic 18, QCC 700 or ski to get benefit from a wing.
Cheap Boat - Expensive Motor ?
Why put a big motor on a slow boat ?
A good wing may cost more than the boat.
At those speeds
You may find a Greenland paddle to be most efficient. Find Greg Stamer’s blog on the internet. He is a long time expedition paddler that uses both wing paddles and Greenland paddles. I think he gives a great assessment of which paddle style is best for different uses.
My guess is you are going slower because you are not sprinting and a wing paddle will not be the best for distances over 10 miles… Unless you are surf skiing. In that case it is sprint and surf, sprint and surf, here the wing paddle is again the best for that use.
Wing kayak paddles are like bent
shaft canoe paddles. Great for covering distance, adequate for everyday maneuvering, but wrong for environments requiring severe maneuvering.
Since I mostly paddle in conditions where a wing paddle is all wrong, is it worth my acquiring a different, somewhat competing set of skills, for the few occasions where a wing would be best? I wonder…
I'm not saying this conclusion is wrong, but can you back it up? What is "more efficient"?
Because otherwise this "wing vs everything else" thing seems a bit like Nikon vs Canon or Pelican vs Montblanc.
A thing to consider about wing is that you have to know how to use it properly - that is not just "know", but also have a lot of regular practice, in different conditions (and preferably different boats). If one paddles several times a week, or trains on K1 as a workout, then by all means, I agree that wing paddle is the best paddle for someone like that. But for less regular paddler, wing is just a gimmick that gives no advantage whatsoever when used (possibly even bringing a disadvantage or two in certain conditions or with less than perfect technique). As said above, they often cost several times good Euro or Greenland stick price.
In the end it's a paddler, not the paddle or kayak. A fit experienced paddler will be faster in a slow boat with a Euro paddle vs. a n00b in a fast boat with a wing (here I assume of course n00b knows how to paddle in general).
To repeat what was already said by others, 5-7% win under "ideal" conditions over a fixed course for a recreational kayaker is just not worth the argument, IMO. It's like driving a Ferrari in a 30 mph zone.
Statement or question ?
It sounds like a statement.
What if I don’t want to distort my easy regular paddle stroke and learn a new body discipline just to take advantage of a wing paddle? I think paddling a kayak is fairly intuitive and simple. I don’t think the required wing stroke is. For me personally, a wing paddle takes a lot of the fun out of paddling.
But if You Need to Roll Up…
a Greenland paddle is the best tool for the job.
Yes, a statement.
Or maybe an opinion. Based on what seems logical to me. But it is certainly not a recommendation.
I kept my gps on but out of sight on a 2 nautical mile each way out and back, trying to maintain the same effort level. First with my wing, then with my Euro. I downloaded and plotted the speed vs distance and averaged about 4.1 kts with the wing vs 3.9 kts with the Euro, in my Q700. (I am not a fast paddler.) I find the Euro more pleasant to use. (And find my GP even more so.) But enjoyment is not the point of my statement.
I just think that a good wing stroke with a wing paddle will be more efficient, that is, make you less tired with any boat at any speed. You may not have as much fun.
You are sounding like the greenland
paddlers. They all want to push their 2x4’s on every paddler they meet.
As much as I like my wing and know it is faster then my euro, I also know, (for me) the euro is easier on the bod.
to each his own!
What’s the point…
...of paddling if you are "not going to have as much fun"???
With 4.1 vs 3.9 knots the margin is 5%. I would never notice 5% difference on a day trip, with variable conditions at different legs. Here you gain 2%, there you loose 3%. Heck, who cares?
If the point is to prove that wing is faster per se, then by all means... we all know K1'ners use wings.
Not at all. I don’t even push my wing on myself, let alone on anyone else. I just note that it is a bit, maybe 5% as the post below states, more efficient than my Euro. I enjoy both my Euro and my GP more, and use them more, despite being 5% less efficient.
Most “slow boats” tend to be a little wider than the “faster” boats. It would be tough for me to use my wing, with proper form, on a boat much wider than 25 inches. Just another opinion though.
I can’t say enough about a Greenland paddle, plus they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
paddling a euro
With a wing like stroke will make you faster. Try it.
For me the move to a wing came from the feel of it. If you like a solid plant and pull the wing is the way to go. The stroke is more athletic and just feels better. I don’t care if it is faster or not. I would paddle with one in any boat under 25" wide. Wider than that and I couldn’t really imagine it being worth it.
slow boat width
The Seda Ikkuma, at 22 inches beam is my slow boat. The Q700x is my fast boat at 21 inches beam. I can paddle the Q700 about 0.2 kts faster than the Ikkuma over a 2 hour outing. But both are great boats.
No problem using a good wing stroke with the Ikkuma due to its width. There is a problem using the wing due to the Ikkuma not having a rudder, so I have to interrupt the wing stroke to steer.
I have a Novorca gp, which is the most beautiful and elegant paddle I have ever owned. It does cost an arm and a leg, but worth it.
not make your own? Takes a day (not counting oil finish) and costs 40 bucks if that.
I was referring to widths over 25 inches. It would be tough using a wing in a 30 inch wide boat.
I have tried a wing and if my goal was to get from point A to B faster then I might use one or just work on speed endurance with my GP.
What I dislike about the wing is it's inability to scull. Most of my corrections, and overall paddling technique uses sculling for all kinds for maneuvers and for rolling as well and the wing is horrible at that. I also never time myself other than stopping for lunch. Plus I paddle in clubs all the time with GP, Euro and wings and we all paddle at the same speeds enjoying the day. A few times we played and opened up a bit and no one paddle pulls ahead. I think a lot of amateur wing users like to use the tool that the big shot racers use.
For easier, more efficient paddling.
Do you need additional reasons?