Yet More Paddle Advise Sought

-- Last Updated: Jun-22-05 7:43 AM EST --

I am looking for a second paddle for me and have come to a dilemma. I currently use a AquaBound Manta-Ray (High Angle Paddle) in a 220 cm length. The length was recommended to me by the boat manufacturer rep after seeing me in person. I would like to get a low angle paddle for long excursions.


Boat width: 22.5 inch Impex Assateague
My Height: 6' 6" (198 cm)
My Torso Height: 32 inches

According to several charts/guides, For a Low Angle Paddle, it is suggested that I use a 240 cm paddle. Is that too long?

I demoed a Werner Camano 230 cm, they didn't have a 240, last night in some wind and rolling seas and was less fatigued than with my high angle paddle, but I didn't have the quick power as I did with the my high angle paddle even when I switched to a high angle position. The Camano has less area than the Manta-Ray so that may be a reason. The length seemed a little short, but I was burying the blade and roughly 1 to 3 inches of the shaft, so it may be okay. My hands naturally were about 8 to 9 inches from the blade top, so my hands were roughly 6 inches from the water during the stroke. I not sure I was doing a true "low angle" style and maybe more of a hybrid (low/High) style.

Werner made a full-size low angle paddle called the the San Juan, compared to the mid-sized Camano. Although the San Juan is discontinued, there are still some NOS available.

I was considering getting a San Juan for increased blade area, while still having a "lower" angle position.

Thoughts on the Right Length and Full Sized Low Angle Blade.



YOU must decide
You must decide the paddle length for you and your boat. What feels right is more important than other’s opinions.

That being said, I also have an Impex Assateague. I too am a high angle paddler. I use a Lendal crank paddle, with a 215cm length.

I had a Bending Branches “Journey” Touring paddle with 240cm length, and I could not get used to the LONG length of the paddle. The longer length seemed like more work when paddling!

Since you are a high angle paddler, I have this suggestion. Try a smaller paddle blade size…

Werner makes a high angle paddle with the “Shuna” blade size. It is a slightly smaller blade size, for more relaxed, longer distance touring. I personally like the blade itself, but just don’t like the feel of the Werner crank shaft

IMHO, the best thing for you to do is look at Lendal Paddles. They make a 4 piece paddle, where the blades are removable from the shafts. You can use BIG blades for when you feel like being very aggressive,and smaller blades when you want to be more leisure. It take about 1 minute to change the blades, so this is very quick and easy. You can go cheap with Fiberglass shaft, and plastic reinforced blades, or go with all Carbon!

I was thinking the same thing when I frst looked at Lendal. I bought the 215cm crank shaft, with the regular Kinetic Touring Blades. This is a slightly smaller blade size than other high angle agressive paddles, but it has a great “catch” in the water. They also make the Kinetic Touring “S” blades which are slightly smaller.

I bought the regular Kinetic Touring blades, and after paddling with them feel they are just perfect for me, in my Assateague. The blade has a great “catch”, so that when I feel agressive, I can really make time, but the area of the blade is the size that I can just relax and have a liesurely paddle.

I am a big guy, shorter than you, but I am muscular around the shoulders, and have a bit of a 54yo belly. With your size, I would bet the regular kinetic Touring blades would work well for you. The “S” blades are for smaller people.

Try 'em, I think you will like 'em!

Good Luck!

Try a Windswift
by Eddyline. Small blade. Great long distance paddle. I use a 215 and it is good for low and angle paddling.

Shorter paddles naturally paddle at a higher angle than a longer paddle. Paddling at an almost vertical angle is appropriate for WW when you need short burts of power, and WW paddles are typically shorter. Where endurance is a factor then it is reasonable to drop down to a less vertical angle. But the lower the angle the more you are doing a sweep stroke rather than a forward stroke and you lose efficiency (and get tired more quickly if the angle is too low). In addition, are you more comfortable with a fast or slow stroke rate? If you like a fast stroke rate get a shorter paddle with less paddle face area. If you like a slow stroke rate get either a longer paddle or a bigger paddle face. Unless you are quite tall a 240 is likely to be too long. You will get shoulder fatigue and risk injury. I have a 230, and while it gives me additional power in the short run I would not use it for a long trip (I am 5’10"). Personally I would get as short a paddle as I was comfortable with and “adjust” the blade size for fast or slow stroke.

unless you are quite tall??

– Last Updated: Jun-23-05 10:19 PM EST –

he's 6'6" dude!

seems like an Impex party on this thread. i too have the Ass (sorry can't bring myself to say the name, i hate it) but it's called a Cadence. i have 3 paddles, a Big Spoons 150 that i cut to 215 (big bladed composite paddle), an Epic signature with the adjustable ferrule 210-220 and usually paddle it around 215 and a Grey Owl Tempest wood paddle with slightly longish blades in 220. love them all. being your height mate, i find i just go into lower angle as needed, with the same paddles. the 220 Tempest is most suited to it and feels more natural doing so but i would steer clear of 240's. but that's just my opinion. consider getting a wood paddle. the Tempest is likely less than $200 in the States and is a very light and well made tool. an excellent feeling and high quality paddle for the price. the Lendal paddles mentioned are arguably as good as they come but at a price wow are they expensive! and they define an agressive approach to sea kayaking. if there is a fancy shop near you try them all out and let us know what you decided on.


ps. if you want to see what your boat looks like with toggles instead of handles let me know. i just modified mine.