Wing paddles and sea kayaks..

I was just getting used to a wing paddle on the Isthmus when I bought a CD Caribou and carried it over to the new boat. To me it is now the preferred paddle. I know I loose a few strokes and I haven’t tried to roll with it yet… But, I’m convinced that the pluses outnumber the negatives…

Just wondering about others that have either tried or use a wing in a sea kayak and what their opinion of it is… GH

I think it is the way to go. Jumed easily from standard to it. There have been comments that for long paddles or over many days, other paddles are easier on the shoulders. Steve.

I use a wing
I use a wing paddle 95% of the time and love it. I used non wings for a couple of years but prefer the way a wing catches the water. Don’t think I would ever switch back.

That boat should be paddled with a gp, IMHO. The wing is so specialized for going fast (racing) while your new boat will do many things very well and you won’t realize its capabilities with a wing. Beautiful boat. My favorite CD boat. Have fun paddling it with whatever kind of paddle.

Have no fear
I’ll make sure he’s infected with the Greenland virus next time we are in the same waters.

It may be a bit harder than with some - as he just got that nice wing! I may have to race him to show the GP’s not slow. I’ll even swap boats to make it fair L

Used one a while back
with a decked sea kayak and a surfski. I probably was not using it properly. Was able to roll with it. Might try one again but I still like using a Windswift feathered at 80deg.

Wing vs. Standard
I too, use a wing for perhaps 95% of my paddling, which usually takes the form of fast fitness paddles. I’m gradually getting used to how it feels for intuitively bracing in inclement conditions, so if the forecast looks bleak, or if I’m out for a more leisurely pace with friends, then I’ll sometimes opt for my standard blade. No problem rolling with it though, as it provides so much purchase on the water. In fact, once you paddle the wing for a while, even the stiffest and widest profile touring blades feel rubbery and imprecise in their catch. Where they don’t excel are in sculling and draw strokes, and high braces; they’re designed to make the boat go forward quickly. Initially, your shoulders, joints and ligaments will take a beating until you acclimate, but it forces you to properly use torso rotation, lest the blade knife ineffectively under the boat. Maybe it’s some form of heresy to paddle my Explorer with a wing, but the clearance for paddle blade entry is more than adequate, and since the cockpit’s so roomy, I can pop my knees out from under the thigh braces to keep them together and wind/unwind even more. Have a GP borrowed from Greenland style instructor/friends, but cannot warm up to it, most likely due to not spending much time with it. Curious also, if anyone’s tried/owns the Nigel Foster paddle reviewed in Sea Kayaker this month-it’s touted to have some of the benefits of a wing, promoting a high angle paddling style, but yet still allow for some fancy manouevering (the British spelling).

Although, at this point in time, I do not consider myself a Sea Kayaker, I have to say I use a wing 100% of the time.

Still, I have not found any good reason to use any of my two pairs of Epic Touring paddles. They became a couples of fancy spare paddles. L



Use a wing 100% of time, have two of them, a SET from Bruce and an Epic one piece, both all carbon. The standard paddle feels squirrelly now.


I traded paddles with a buddy that had an Epic touring paddle and I had a hard time controlling it. Wonder about a GP… GH

Both wing & GP are capable
of rendering your standard paddles obsolete. A euro will feel squirrelly (as Hex said) after adapting to either. Both make paddling more enjoyable.

Both take a little adjustment. If you are comfortable with the wing stroke now - use it when you try a GP. Then try just about anything else too.

With a GP you should really use one exclusively for a while (true of wing too - but not as much). Uses same AND some different muscles. Takes time to dislodge some euro habits you don’t even know you have. A minor commitement is involved to get the full benefits. Some try a GP and say it’s OK but go back to euros. They never get to the sweet part where the power and finesse kick in. In some ways feel is very different than wing - in other ways very similar (at least with my 24 oz GP).

I got mine largely out of curiousity - figuring I’d really end up using a wing most of the time. Liked the darn GP so much I could hardly get myself to even use the wing! Now that I have the ski I’ll be using my wing on it, so only the euros will be neglected.

I used to buy a new paddle with every boat. Big Euro to go with Tarpon, then got the GP right after I got the Shearwater. They worked OK together but the GP wanted a SINK so I got it the Q700. Still - each boat gets a paddle - and that boat can race (if I’d train) so I picked up a wing. The wing wanted a ski… so now instead of picking a paddle to go with the boat, I’m picking boats to go with the paddles! With an adjustable wing and good GP I think I’m set for paddles options now. Unless I ever get a surf kayak…

Epic “Midwing” in full carbon has proven
very effective for me. It takes a little while to get used too, however, it is worth the effort.

Use of a wing paddle mandates a certain rythem that enhances the stroke by upper torso rotation and pumping the pegs. The stroke starts close to the boat, but quickly pushes outward instead of straight back as close to the boat as you can get.

This type paddle leaves little room for error as it will expose inefficiencies, in the stroke, very quickly.

I placed foot “bars” across the footpegs in my sea kayak (got used to them in the sprint boat).

The combination of foot bars giving opportunity to place feet in the center of the boat, coupled with a wing paddle, has added a great deal of comfort and efficiency to my boat.

I see no reason not to take advantage of sprint boat efficiencies/philosophy, such as use of a wing paddle, in the sea kayaking world. After all, the challenge is to be more effiecient and gain maximum performance for ourselves and our boats. What better way than to take tips from the pros who live this.

Just my viewpoint.

Have a good one!


Foot Bars

What did you use to craft the foot bar, and how did you attach it? What boat? I like the tiller bar steering on boats like the Kirton Inuk, Westsides, etc., though admittedly, it’s not for everyone. I’d like to see QCC offer this on their 700s as well (In my perfect little world…), as it provides a solid pushing platform. No engineer here, but now you’ve got me thinking of trying to rig some easily removable brace that snaps into the channels a la the foot pegs. On ruddered boats using Sealline systems, you’d have to contend with the rotating pedals, but this doesn’t seem insurmountable and invites further exploration. A telescoping model might even attract some focused attention. Any backyard mechanical engineers out there?

On wings, it’s my understanding the Epics are the class standard for quality, performance, etc. Bracsa makes a nice product also, as do companies like Simon River Sports. My all carbon mid blade wing was purchased through Danny B. at (D.A.M. Good Gear). It’s light, plenty stiff, and has an HPS shaft and the simple Length Lok system that allows me to mickey about with the length within a 6 cm. range and feather. All for around $270. A very good deal and a fine paddle besides.


paddles, foot braces
foot brace can be made of wood or aluminum. The rudder controls(if you have one) is hard to get to, if the wood is too thick.I was going to put a pivot in the center with a second brace rotating above the lower brace bolted to the two foot pegs. I did not try this, because I now paddle the surfski, but it might work.

  1. balance centered weighting
  2. helps rotation with body being more in line
  3. stopped giving me cramps in my hips from my knees going in and then my feet back out.

    Wing paddles: Ever since I started using the wing, I was impressed with it. No flutter. The nature of the stroke seems to promote better paddling technique. The back side offers great bracing potential (for tippy boats). Steering in big waves has been no problem. what you give up in bow rudder strokes, you get back in overall efficiency. I used to paddle the GP and made a few, but they have been collecting dust for the last few years.

Trilobite, placing footbraces across
footpeg braces and fashioning to footpeg brace grooves was done by a friend who is both an engineer and machinist. Fortunately, he did it on a Saturday so I got the chance to watch.

It took him only about and hour to do it. I was very pleased with the result. It is lightweight and very firm. He angled it to fit my form (foot angle). Most importantly, I can reach down, pull the rudder cables forward while I"m in the kayak. This increase width as the boat gets larger and allows the footbrace to simply fall out. I can also use my feet to do this, in rough water, if I do not want to remove my spray skirt. Otherwise, when I’ve finished using it, I simple lift it up and take it out. I discussed this with “Cory” at Current Design and he liked the idea. (He’s the young man who replace my boat at no charge.)

The boat I had the work done on is a Current Design “GTS”. This is the boat I use for touring. Occassionally, I will race this, in its class, if there are few or no others in the sprint class. It has floating adjustment for rudder use which caused us to consider how to keep the flexibility of rudder use and still be able to have a firm push point.

After certain analysis, he began with a 7/8" piece of thin walled copper tubing. This weighs very little, is tough, and easy to work with. He took measurements regarding placement, distance apart, flexibility necessary, instant/easy removal opportunity, etc. to assure proper placement and usability.

He semi-squared the ends of the copper tubing (he had a tool, but you could easily do this with vice) after cutting to fit. He then removed a section from the tubing so it would slide down into the grooves on the floating footpeg bar and catch on the top. He strategically place a small bolt that protruded from behind the slidig footpet bracket to assure durability (in my opinion, this was not necessary as it was firm to begin with.) This took a little doing as we had to consider that the boat narrows and widens as the footpeg brackets follow the contour of the boat.

It was imperative that I decided the placement of the newly developed footbraces as there would be little flexibility due to the widening and narrowing of the boat (If the foot braces were adjusted forward they got too tight, going back toward the cockpit they would fall out.) We had very little room for error due to the fact the footbrace had to fit within about an inch of my desired foot placement (I had him build 3 at different lengths so my son and wife could use them for their individual foot placement.

I didn’t realize the time! I’ve got to get ready to go to work (I’d rather padde).

I am not very good at explaining technical issues. I apologize for not being clear. If you are interested, send me an email and I will try to better explain.

Have a good one!