Zav medium or Zav power surge

-- Last Updated: Apr-20-09 10:22 AM EST --

I am looking for a spare paddle for my Zav medium. This paddle is a dream and would buy another but noticed a new blade design that may give me more power from my stroke without going with a wider blade. Specifically looking for more power in windy conditions on flat water. I am not an athletic person and can maintain 40 spm for longer trips.

There is a price difference between both. Is it worth it or get another medium?

Get Another Medium
Depends. Are you a recreational paddler or a competitive paddler?

You’re already comfortable with the medium and know your limitations. The Power Surge does have a tendency to “grab” the water and you may get a little more flutter with it. If you want to keep it in reserve for nasty conditions, you may lack the practice to use it effectively…unless you’re a competitive paddler and will spend time training with the Power Surge.

I realize you said you don’t want …
to go wider, but you should try to get your hands on a ZAV outrigger paddle just to try it.

After a long time paddling with my regualar bent shaft ZAV, I got to try Red Cross Randy’s outrigger paddle last season, and immediately realized I was ready for one and got one.

I have been using it this year and and the other day did a eight miler at about 60 strokes per minute, and could have kept right on going.

My 5’2" 122 pound wife tried it, and she is now thinking of getting one.

I think it would only wear me down if I was doing a lot of sweeps.

Just a thought



outrigger paddle
I thought about this and was afraid of shoulder pain. I am not a competitive paddler but like distance paddling in flatwater. How wide was the outrigger style you used?

I have two of them, a light and a medium and love them. I had been using a standard Zav for 10 years before and now only use it as a spare.

Both of mine are Power Surge models. To me the biggeat difference is that the Power Surge paddles seem quieter.

My OR’s are both 9.75".

I was just ordering another paddle last week and ordered an OR non Power Surge but I don’t have it yet for direct comparison. Iliked the OR enough that I am buying extras for friends to use when I put them in my other canoes instead of (or in addition to) the wood paddles I had as extras.

If your ordering direct don’t forget you can order casmetic blems for a discount. All of my paddles were ordered this way. The worst blem so far were some light surface scratches on a blade.

OR paddles
I looked at these again. Do you find any problems with shoulder pain on long trips vs the medium? Do you know what the competitive racers are using and widths?

In my experience,
shoulder pain is from over use, and just cutting back for a certain amount of time will let the shoulder get back healthy.

One of the reasons I got the OR is the fact that I enjoy racing, (tandem with my wife) and seemed to have reached the point where I couldn’t incresase my cadence any more.

I figured that perhaps with the same cadence and the larger blade, I could help us improve.

I had shoulder pain towards the end of last season using the regular ZAV, and I am sure it was just from overuse, (many long distance races and a zillion training paddles ). - Over the winter, I just lilly dipped in the kayak and canoe down in Florida, using the new OR when I canoed, but at just a nature watching pace.

I am now getting back to serious training with our first race being a week from Saturday, and then one almost every week after that, and I have absolutely no pain with the OR.

My advice would be, if you can afford the bucks, go ahead and get one, and then if you experiene any shoulder pain, just back off or go back to your regular ZAV.



Good advice Jack, which blade size would you recommend for the OR 9.5?

Yes, overuse has been my problem this winter. I can recoup this summer.

Mine is 9.75
I figured if I was going to up size I might as well go all the way, since I can always go back to my regular blade.

But — If you are still having shoulder problems right now, I don’t think it is the time to get a OR.