- Posts: 39
- Thank you received: 2
I paddle about 75% on flat water and 25% on 3-6ft waves (I plan to eventually go out in the 8-10 ft swells, but for now stick to my more stable sea kayaks on those days).
I am a little confused about "forgiveness". In his review Wesley Echols lists the Jantex Gamma mid as "most forgiving" and the Epic mid-wing as "forgiving". But I've read the Gamma has a 22 degree blade twist while Epic mid wing only 13 degree twist? Are these numbers accurate? If so why would the Gamma be more forgiving even with higher twist? If the Epic is less forgiving, does it have any performance advantages over the Gamma?
Lloyd's video (fastkayak.com) I think states a more twisted paddle requires more precise technique. However, it also makes the paddle much cleaner on the entrance and exit. Maybe this cleaner exit and entry helps the Jantex when sloppy conditions make exit and entry more difficult?
I think the video implies the more twisted paddle requires more precise technique once in the water (i.e. angle it tracks to the side). Maybe this side tracking is easier to maintain in rough conditions. Or maybe the Jantex is shaped in a way that makes the angle less important than on the flyer #8 in the video. (I assume the mid size version of the flyer #8 is not forgiving like the Jantex?)
Finally, I've read the Jantex is a copy of the Zastera Burton. Does the Zastera Burton have the same properties? (more forgiving than the Epic despite high degree of twist)
Hello there, I've been a lurker here for 2 or so years and never felt compelled to post to the discussion board, but I can speak directly to your question and I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify the origins of the Jantex Gamma design as there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding this paddle. Sorry if it's a bit long winded.
In 1993 I was a member of the National Wildwater team and was in Costa Mesa, CA attending a training camp w/the US sprint team. There were two very unusual prototype paddles on the rack with heaps of twist, much different than the Rasmussen's and Brasca II the Sprint guys favored at the time. I found the owner of that paddle, team member Sheila Conover, and asked her If I could try it. I could tell immediately that it would work well for a very high cadence stroke as used in wildwater racing and liked it a lot. Turns out, it was only one of three Van Dusen #8 prototypes in existence. IT IS TED VAN DUSEN WHO IS THE ORIGINATOR OF THIS DESIGN.....i bought it right off of Sheila, no questions asked and proceeded, after checking with ted, who had no intention of trying to manufacture it (the sprint guys at the time did't "get" this blade design) to send it both to my friend Jim Terrel of Quick Blade, who faired out the very rough prototype and called it the "Tiger Claw". Subsequent to that, at the '94 wildwater world cup, I gave the blades to Tomas Zastera of Zastera composites in the czech rep. He molded these and was selling them as the "Burton" (a corruption of Barton, who had nothing to do with this paddle) almost exclusively to wildwater paddlers in europe for a couple of years. About 2000 these blades became predominant in Wildwater racing but something else happened. 4 or 5 very prominent wildwater racers using this paddle became sprint k-1 badasses as well. (john Schofield, max beanassi, loic vynisale, max hoff, et al. It was at this point that Jantex and many other companies copied the design ten years after it's inception. Just to be clear, the following paddles are ALL copies of this original design:
Quick Blade Tiger CLaw
Erich Sclegel Speed
Kick the waves "spear"
Andrew martin "fusion"
and many, many other Aussie and SA off brands.
This is the paddle that has won multiple wildwater championships, molokai, and now holds the record 1000m time (MAX HOFF)
This paddle has a less linear power curve and works well at high cadence and in moving water. I requires a bit more feel because it doesn't lock you into one trajectory like a Brasca, and therefore is less of a long stable lever to balance the boat against. What it is is very ergonomic, as the available power correlates sequentially to the timing of the leg drive. In other words, there are more powerful blades, but none with the power optimized as well. I don't find them more or less forgiving, i just think you need to be comfortable in the ski as it's less of a stable "third wheel"
I just calls em like i see em. so many people here refer to his worthless POS paddle "review" which has no material information whatsoever re. paddle selection. Just a self-aggrandizing joke of a review. I do call bullshit on people referring to it like gospel truth and there is not one shred of useful info anywhere in the review. I would be ashamed to publish such drivel.
I enjoyed "kayakchampeen"s post below and took it as an historic review of the "gamma" shape, until the completely mindless characteristics of in the end of Wesley which makes me uncertain of the validity of the entire post.
My 2c worth:
I own and paddle the Jantex Gamma M, Bracsa IV min and Orca Flex.
All three are supposed to be similar teardrop shaped paddles, but feels very different to me. I set my paddle to 67 degrees and 210 cm. Boat: Fenn SL.
Jantex Gamma: Very "forgiving" paddle, which sits very securely in the water, even if the catch is sloppy with low arms/little leg drive. For me this is a very good paddle if I paddle i tippy boat. With my technique it has no tendency to twist under the boat. I would recommend all to test this if you want a new paddle. Flat water K1 guys are also moving towards this paddle from the Jantex Beta which is much less stable in the water - and making your boat feel much more tippy. Only disadvantage is like Wesley says, the swing weight feels heavier that it actually is, probably due to more weight in the outer parts of the blades. Without a doubt the perfectly finished paddle I have seen
Bracsa IV min extra light: A very light paddle, which feels loser in the water than Jantex Gamma. I feel you need to steer the paddle more than the Gamma, but the paddle is so light and nimble in the water that the paddle is absolutely forgiving wrt. you catch. But you need to be more active throughout the stroke. The Bracsa is currenty my preferred paddle. Beautifully made, but with sloppy painted branding on the blade (if you care abt that)
Orca Flex: A solid paddle that will never let you down if you use it. I personally find it difficylt to handle, and the only paddle I have had which tend to slide under the boat if you paddle with a sloppy technique. Thus, not a forgiving paddle in my mind. The finish of the paddle is not at the same level at Jantex/Bracsa but also much cheaper. This paddle make the boat more tippy with my technique.
All in all I´m surprised how different very similar looking paddles perform on the water. So as usual, no short cuts, you have to test different paddles, and play with the paddle angle (which makes a huge difference).
So even if paddles are similar looking or maybe thought to be "copies", you shouldn´t care. Test it and go for the one you like, regardless of twist theories
Wow! firestorm. Obama Romney anyone?
Seriously though, thank you guys for your explanations. The relationship between these paddles and history of the "tear-drop" paddle is something I've been looking for but hadn't found.
In my brief encounters with Wesley over e-mails he seems like a nice, extremely helpful guy, who happens to be very enthusiastic about the equipment he likes.
I wish his paddle review had a little more detail and direct comparisons. (listing the twist angle of each blade, or comparing how each fared as he gradually used improper technique)
However, there don't seem to be any other comparison articles online. (I've mostly had to take and compare snippets from forum posts.) Also, Wesley's article introduced me to blade "twist" and gave me a nice list of paddles to research.
Unfortunately I do not have the opportunity in my land (of 10,000 lakes) locked location to try the high twist paddles. But judging from all the forum posts I've read, paddle properties are somewhat subjective!
This topic is a perfect example:
kayakchampeen: "It requires a bit more feel because it doesn't lock you into one trajectory like a Brasca, and therefore is less of a long stable lever to balance the boat against."
fredrik: "Jantex Gamma: Very "forgiving" paddle, which sits very securely in the water, even if the catch is sloppy with low arms/little leg drive.
Bracsa IV min extra light: A very light paddle, which feels loser in the water than Jantex Gamma. ...you need to be more active throughout the stroke"
One opinion is the the Jantex, like all high twisted blades is less "locked in" than a Bracsa (spelling?), the other opinion is the Jantex is more locked in than the Bracsa IV (maybe the IV is different than other Bracsas.
But anyway, thanks for the replies and keep them coming if you have more to add
I have read a number of Wesley's reviews over the past few years and always appreciated that he took the time to share his views with others. You are of course free to disagree with his views however the way in which you have done it reflects poorly on you. It is good to see that a number of other members are taking you to task on this as well. I suggest an apology to Wesley would be appropriate.
I had a complaint sent to me re the "douchebag" comment. In attempting to excise it (Our forum rules forbid personal insults) I've actually unfortunately highlighted it because the forum software helpfully displays the "reason" for the edit. And I can't get to the underlying data. I could delete all the offending post in its entirety but then the context of the subsequent posts would be broken.
Please guys, you can disagree vehemently without getting insulting. In any case when you think about it, a gratuitous insult only reduces the credibility of the point that's trying to be made - and also distracts from it.
No more "douchebag" comments please.
I posted a reply to the OP's question as a public service. To give Ted Van Dusen the recognition he deserves for creating the only truly innovative wing since Einar Rasmussen, and to make clear that this is not a new design, but one that had been around since '91 I will not apologize for any other extraneous commentary, because I stand by what I say. With that I'll kindly take my leave and let you come to your own determination about who really talks out of their ass. One day you might realize what I already know.
Most of the opinion differences in different paddles I think boils down to one major dynamic of the stroke.
If you have a stroke that has is deeper, as in has a fair bit of vertical movement in the water, then you find longer skinnier paddles to be firm and shorter teardrop paddles loose.
The opposite for paddlers with a shallower but more sideways sweeping stroke in that a shorter broad blade will feel solid and a longer skinnier one will not lock up as well, especially in the catch.
Many K1/flatwater paddlers have grown accustomed to narrower, longer paddles that go deeper and use the lengthways curve of the paddle to start the stroke, this keeps the stroke narrower as it is far more important in a short unstable boat to paddle as close to the boat as possible.
Open water with long surfskis and down river paddlers don't have this restraint and often gravitate to a more teardrop shorter wider blade that has a pronounced sideways movement that is of no consequence in these boats and may offer a more solid feel in turbulent water.
A paddle that goes deep also tends to be better if it has more twist so as to release the water at the end of the stroke.
So you get a very different opinion of a paddle depending on your degree of vertical/horizontal motion.
Kayak champion, I don't think anybody here here has a beef with your history lesson.
I also think that most people here would like to hear that sort of thing more often.
But name calling by anyone won't be and shouldn't be tolerated.
It is a forum after all, so everybody can have their say, just leave the stupid and childish name calling shit out and we can all contribute our own knowledge.
I certainly appreciate finding the origins of these paddles as I tend to like that style of paddle and am curious as to it's beginnings.
Wesley's opinions/ words will stand for themselves, if they help somebody, then good for it, if not then no harm done.
Truth always accumulates because it is impossible to make a bunch of lies or untruths add up.
So let them stand for themselves and let time be the judge of their worthiness.
Name calling will win you no friends.
Hell, even having an opinion will alienate you to half of the population, throw in some downright rudeness and you loose the other half as well.
I hope you don't leave, your description of high twist teardrop vs other blades was clear, detailed and helped me a lot.(And I'm always glad to see credit given where credit is due)
Another question: Have you paddled the Jantex Gamma? If so, how would you say its paddling characteristics compare to the Van Dusen #8 and Flyer #8? (I assume the Flyer #8 is the closest shape to the VD8?)
Comparing pictures of the blade face(can't see twist), the Jantex looks much closer to the VD than the Epic, Bracsa IV, ONNO, and Orka. From this angle, the Maxpaddle 3 looks a bit closer to the VD #8 than the Jantex. The MP, Jan, and VD8 seem to have a more pronounced teardrop shape than the other paddles (much narrower towards the shaft).(The edges on the Jan and VD even start out concave)
Rather than being presumed to be overly critical without being willing to add productively to the discussion, I thought it best to offer a set of criteria by which to different blades could be evaluated in a more empirical fashion, rather than relying on purely subjective appraisals about how they feel. At present there are really only 4 different archetypes of wing paddle extant, and 1 or 2 outliers in my estimation these are:
Parallel edge Rasmussen/Lettmann Nordic/Gut style
Teardrop blades of varying sizes and twist (Original Russian blade, Brasca 1,2,4,6,7, Kajner, etc.) I consider Epic to be like a SET blade (a less demanding Brasca IV with a slightly smoother foil)
Very high aspect lengthened teardrop (Lettmann Warp, Brasca 8)
Highly twisted semi teardrop Van Dusen 8, Jantex Gamma, etc.
These are the quantifiable factors that differentiate between these styles:
3 measurements of deviation from the axis of the paddle shaft:
- Degree of cant or layback from straight (like a canoe or SUP paddle, this creates a leading crank w/caster effect to eliminate flutter) and also weights the blade in such a way that it's neutral balance point is very open (power face almost away from boat at catch
- Degree of Droop or "Sag" of blade orientaion downward (towards the ground) when seated looking at power face of blade This is not discussed much but an extreme example is the Brasca 6. The tip tilts downward so that the blade area on either side of shaft axis is similar despite the planform being so radically teardrop shaped. this is called a kinetic shape because Lendal slalom blades were the first to approximate this. Notice that the Gamma does not do this nearly as much and is one reason IMO why it becomes more imbalanced when you cut down the trailing edge in the smaller sizes (because almost all small and mid wings are just sprint wings cut down along the trailing edge.) BTW I'd like to see the Gamma specs put in CAD and actually scaled down 15% in every proportion instead of just trimming the larger blade down. It would make a more useable small size Gamma.
Finally twist, which can be somewhat deceiving, as it essentially brings the leading edge of the foil back towards the shaft after initally canting back at the throat, but in some cases not the trailing edge. The net effect is it actually reduces cant and creates a blade that will generate lift at varying angles of attack.
Here are some other important measurements
Where is the chord (widest point of wing in planform in % terms relative to the length of the blade)
How deep is the draft of the foil at this point.
Is the shape of the camber consistent along the length or compound
Is the throat lip of foil large/small infilled along throat/faired
Is the tip of blade scooped to enter water in laminar fashion
These measurements, along with flex pattern, are essentially the reason why these styles behave differently. Incidentally they all have relative merits and drawbacks. If you can establish which style works best for your purposes, then you can narrow the search down to quality, weight, etc. Even at the world cup level in sprint there are examples of medallists from last year using each of these different styles. I'm personally a fan of the Gamma shape because it basically has no upper speed limit. Some paddles almost seem like they encourage more of a long deliberate stroke, but the Gamma fundamentally encourages you to go faster (both cadence and boat speed) because it derives its power with less drag at this speed. That is why the Gamma is less taxing anaerobically at speed but a great deal MORE taxing to your VO2 max. It simply doesn't work as well at slower speeds. That said, the cyclical nature of making a boat accelerate anew with every stroke should mitigate against the "longest most powerful stroke possible" Steady state power is not as useful as power applied at the most critical part of the stroke. I'll spare you all any more lectures, but i do think it would be helpful to establish a lingua franca of paddlespeak so folks are able to avoid semantic difficulties and appreciate what measureable nuances of design differentiate between blade behavior. I'd love to see a database of more specific measurements of blades so that we intuit and dicuss more about paddles than which one has the best lever lock.
to be honest it's difficult to compare the Jantex mid in the pic to the Van dusen because that particular Van Dusen has been cut down from full size more in the lengthwise dimension and the Jantex Mid is cut down more along the trailing edge, not length, from the full size. I have a Gamma large and it is easier to discern how similar it is to the Van Dusen when you compare the full size templates that haven't been cut down. My Gamma doesn't seem any longer than an equivalent size Brasca 6 or epic large. Some of what you are seeing is an artifact of exactly how one chooses to trim down the blade. By long bade, I think RAB was referring to full-length parallel blades or Lettmann warp, Which is truly long almost like a greenland paddle, but also very twisted and highly cambered.
What you point out about the twist of the Gamma is correct. It's almost discontinuous, like the lip is straightish then suddenly twists halfway down the blade and straightens out again. Good observation! I honestly don't know how this would differ from a more continuous twist like the B6 in practice. Incidentally, I put the gamma in the "quasi-teardrop category". It can be cut down to have the sillhouette of a teardrop, but it doesn't have near the tip-down "droop" off axis that the true teardrop paddles
like the B6 B7 have. Also the extreme twist puts the blade more in line with the shaft despite the cant at the throat so it doesn't want to "roll forward" into a more open stall angle at the catch. So while it is a matter of description, I think it is different enough from the braca teardrop shapes to justify calling it a different animal.
I have never met you and don't know you, so it is not clear to me how I offended you. If it was my review that offended you, maybe you could cut and past your comments to my site on that topic to give it the technical aspects paddlers like Zephyrus want. Zephyrus emailed me several times wanting info on paddles. I told him I did not know why in technical design terms the Jantex felt "more forgiving" however it was very noticeable in ocean paddling in surfskis compared to the other paddles I have used. It is at this point he posted his same question to this forum. So I learned a lot from your post despite whatever issue you think you may have with me.
My review on wing paddles was too help other paddlers based on my personal experience with all those paddles. I will leave all the technical/design talk to others which is not my strength. I do have local technical experts in my local area including Ted who i see often so I can get the technical aspects when I want. But often the highly technical stuff bores me and I just want to use the ski or paddle to see how it "feels" or give it a demo!
I try to give paddlers practical feedback when they use a paddle or surfski. If they want more I tell them to go to the real experts in design like a Ted Van Dusen, or on a different level, designers like the guys at Stellar, or knowledgeable guys like yourself.
By the way, I have helped many,many paddlers through my enthusiasm, my website SurfskiRacing.com, emails, forums,races,instructor sessions given and taken, and over the past 3 years, my association with Stellar.
Wesley Echols, SurfskiRacing.com and Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis