Spare paddles... Where are they?

6 years 8 months ago #22552 by Newbflat
Since safety is in the air I'm curious about the almost total lack of people carrying spar paddles and that includes me. I see there's a few people who do or at least have a setup to do so but i have never seen anyone actually carry one. Considering most ski paddlers work there paddles much harder than the vast majority of kayakers and broken paddles seem regular occurrence, plus we seek out rough conditions sometime far off shore...... Why don't people carry spares?
I paddle in perpetually cold water and the air this time of year is as well and the idea of snapping a blade or having my lock fail on the paddle is not something I want to think about...... Oh, wait... I am thinking about it.

I realize that it's not part of the surfski culture and have received rolled eyes and dismissive comments from a number of people I have spoken to about this. Skis don't come with any deck rigging to hold paddles so it requires some fiddling . But it was like this with sea kayakers years ago and I think ski paddlers could learn a thing or two from them, both is of what to bring and boat set up ie: useful deck lines, handles and truly secure attachment points. Skis are getting better in this regards but many have a long way to go.

Not that I think all ski paddlers should carry one all the time but it seems a good idea that at least one person on a group paddle should carry one if paddling far from the beach. Or if paddling in a group that tends to spread way out one might want to carry one, or when paddling by ones self.

So why is it that ski paddlers are such slow adopters of what seems like the most basic safety backup? I know getting people to use PFD's has been hard enough, is taking a spare too much to ask?

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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6 years 8 months ago #22554 by Fath2o
You mean a "Hail Mary" isn't good enough?

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6 years 8 months ago #22590 by partymarty
I spend as much time on a seakayak as I do a ski and from my experience you "damage" a paddle on the ski, where you "destroy" a paddle on a kayak.
Personally I've only ever cracked a blade on a ski, and while it wasn't the best to paddle with I made it home OK. On a seakayak I've managed to completely break a blade off (except for a couple of strands of carbon) while rock gardening.
I think it's the nature of where you go on a ski - deep water v's where you paddle a seakayak - close to rocks.

That's why I don't anyway.

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6 years 8 months ago #22596 by Dicko
Most people paddle ski's in the ocean. Well they used to anyway.
A paddle stuck in the bungy behind you is just another sharp edge that's going to hit you if you come off, or going through the surf.

When you invariably do come off, the same paddle is going to make the difficult job of remounting even more difficult, cos it's going to be in the way. When your paddle breaks and you have to retrieve the new paddle and assuming you haven't already come out, you're going to have to get out and grab the new paddle cos I sure as hell can't twist that far.

Unlike a sea kayak, if your paddle breaks, you throw your legs over the edge and paddle with one blade. If you're really clever or in flat water you can paddle with one blade anyway.

I reckon a spare paddle is going to cause more problems than it solves.
The following user(s) said Thank You: partymarty

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6 years 8 months ago #22597 by Kayaker Greg
I've broken a paddle shaft doing hard out sprints, lucky it was flat and only 1km from port. I bought a paddle with a stronger shaft.

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6 years 8 months ago #22619 by Newbflat
Dicko... I don't really find you arguments aginst taking a spare very compelling. Both my wing and flat paddle both fit on my back deck of my V10 with no protruding edges that might cut me and it in no way interferes with remounting. While you Might be successful getting back to shore paddling with half a paddle I think it's more likely if there are any conditions that It will be impossible to steer with you feet out of the ski, you will be swamped and broaching most of the time and since half a wing will only work on one side there is a 50% chance it will be the wrong side and you will be not be able to brace at all on one side. If you have ever paddled with half a paddle before then you are aware of the reflexive paddle stroke that is hard not to do. You Will take some swims using half a paddle in any rough conditions... I live in a place with cold water, lots of swims is not an option.

I have broken 5 paddles in my life, 4 whitewater kayaking and one in the surf in a seakayak. While I think it's a lot less likely that I will brake one paddling my ski it's definitely not impossible. I have leaned awfully hard on a low brace while surfing down a wave after blowing a stroke. Thoes very deep low braces when going fast put a lot of stress on a paddle. If there is a flaw or any unseen damage to the blade or shaft it could easely brake. It's not like carbon is imune from damage and catistrafic failure.... Quite the contrary.

I see this as a culture ishue rather than a rational or practical ishue........ (Well that should irritate someone)

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Epic V8 double gen 2
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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6 years 8 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #22622 by JonathanC
It would certainly be possible to lay a two piece paddle on the deck behind you and duct tape it down to make sure it was secure and to protect against sharp dangerous edges. A quick swim to unstick it would be no problem.

On a couple of really long, sketchy down wind paddles a group of us did on stand up boards we had a spare two piece paddle fixed to one of the boards.

Interesting, most OC1 paddlers have a spare paddle with them most of the time, I guess the action of stand up and oc1 tends to put far more stress on the shaft of the paddle than occurs with a surfski type paddle.

Saying all that, I've never taken a spare surfski paddle with me!

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6 years 8 months ago #22623 by JamieMc
Replied by JamieMc on topic Spare paddles... Where are they?
Broke my paddle 3km offshore in some of the best down wind conditions we had here one day.
Tucked the broken blade and bit of shaft under the rear bungy. Then did c1 back to the harbour, still catching runs. Just made sure the ski always had a lean to the left. Was surprised, at how much fun it still was. Now I know why the OC1 guys enjoy it.

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