wing paddles

-- Last Updated: Jul-16-10 4:07 AM EST --

I just tried a wing paddle the other day (borrowed from a paddling buddy). Feels very different from a standard paddle (I'm comparing to my bent shaft Bending Branches paddle). But the thing does allow you to fly.

I liked it, BUT, I didn't dare try sculling or doing some other moves I usually do, for fear of flipping. My roll is far from solid at this point. If I wasn't paddling full out straight ahead, it didn't feel comfortable.

Those of you who use a wing paddle, do you have to avoid using some strokes? Or is it something you get used to?

I would just be careful
Not to take a stroke while turning and looking backwards.

Jack L

Is that something you did?

As long as you have a rudder, you don’t really need to do any other stroke than “The Forward Stroke” for 99.9% of the time. Just paddle at a nice cadence all day long. If you need to turn, crank the rudder, but keep paddling. Now for that 0.1% of the time when you have to make a tight turn or pull up next to a dock, then you’ll have to be careful on your strokes. But to be honest, most of my time is spent paddling forward in a surfski. So I don’t really have a use for those other strokes.

Different paddles
for different strokes. :slight_smile: Excuse the lame opening line, but to some extent it is true. Take a look around and see the different designs and what they claim to do. Not all hold up to their claims but when you look at them some are for increased speed, power, efficiency, blah blah. Each manufacturer Lendal, Werner etc has different shapes for different styles of paddling. I’ve used the wing several times over the years and personally found it lacking in most areas other than for speed. I have my two all around favorites that I use most of the time. One for long distance trips and one for every day stuff. If I plan on doing nothing but speed I use a wing. You can do sculling and other strokes with it. I just don’t prefer it. When I first started using Lendals I found them to have a very different presentation in the water compared to Werners, and it just took some time getting used to them. By the way I do own and like my Werners too along with a couple of GP’s. If it works for you and you have the time to really get used to a wing by all means go for it.

that suck with a wing:

forward sweeps

t draws

sculling draws

strokes that rock with a wing:



sweep roll

No, but almost the other day, and…
I have been using a wing a long time.

The wing is made for a rotating, (for lack of a better description) stroke.

The only problem was I had the paddle in on the left side, and was turning around on my right side to talk to the paddler behind me.

Came close to doing a above water roll!

jack L

very helpful, thanks everyone!
You have pretty much confirmed my experience and what I suspected to be true. I don’t think I have any need for a wing paddle right now, but I am glad I had the opportunity to try one.

blade angle
Most strokes work with a wing, you just have to be very careful of the angle of the blade before you use it. Like most paddles, takes quite a bit of practice.

Bill H.

After a couple months now
with the wing paddle, I find I really don’t want to use anything else. Except for WW. The wing is ultralite for racing, so I would not expect it to fair well moshing off rocks. I don’t know how other models work, but the Epic Mid seemed so natural right out of the box. Skulling does not work so well but I have developed a modified skulling technique for the very rare occassions that stroke is required. I haven’t found any other deficiencies in any of the other strokes commonly refered to as “not good” with a wing. Took me about half an hour to go from “this is a little different” to “how come I never had one of these.”