Paddle feedback

1 month 1 week ago #38488 by Jordan
Paddle feedback was created by Jordan
Looking into getting a new paddle and wanted some feedback from anyone who has a Gara Odin M. Will probably go for the ultralight 40% shaft. 

Potentially also looking at the Braca XI surfski 735cm2 with the soft shaft.

For the past 8 months I've been using a gamma rio x small plus (730cm2) with the soft shaft. However, now we are getting into summer and the volume/intensity of paddling is increasing, I'm finding myself getting sore elbows and tight shoulders. I imagine the white-label soft shaft is just too much for my joints in anything but flat water. Previously I had a Chinese knock off gamma, which I had no such problems with. 

I really like the gamm rio x small plus. Especially downwind. The only time I feel like I want a bit of extra size is during short intervals, or in really confused water when the extra size helps with stability. For 90% of my paddling it does the job. How does the Odin compare in size/feel? 

In hindsight I should have gone for the flexi soft shaft from Jantex. One of my other options would be the same size blade or a medium minus with the flexi soft shaft. But I wanted to get some feedback from Odin owners first. I could handle the medium minus for anything under 25 km, but would probably feel the effect of the increase in size above 25km. Haven't really had that problem with x small plus and used to handle the gamma knock-off fine when fit. 

The majority of my paddling is in confused waters in a bay, downwinds and the occassional flatwater session on the estuary. For reference I'm 27,  6"1, 80-86 kgs depending on the time of the year and paddle a Fenn Elite (circa 2009). 

Thanks in advance, 

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1 month 6 days ago #38489 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Paddle feedback
The medium minus is going to be a lot tougher on your shoulders.

In my (limited) experience of surfski, the max loading is when accelerating to catch a wave. Bigger blades, much bigger loading. 

You can paddle long distances with a big blade (without strain) if you aren't needing to accelerate. Just pull gently.

If you do this in a surfski, you won't catch many waves.

Go smaller. 

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1 month 6 days ago #38491 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Paddle feedback
I have the jantex gamma rio in medium minus, but with the new recently introduced Super Flexi Soft Shaft. I am 60 and havent had any real joint issues with it.  I got the medium minus mainly because it also doubles for K1 race boat.  If it was just for surf ski I would probably have dropped a blade size for constant/ intermittent acceleration, rather than marathon style plodding or one off sprint burst which are more common in K1.

Is it possible to swap over shafts in your existing paddle, rather than whole new paddle? Dont know how simple that is

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1 month 6 days ago #38492 by jazzman
Replied by jazzman on topic Paddle feedback
Is it possible to swap over shafts in your existing paddle, rather than whole new paddle? Dont know how simple that is
It is actually pretty straight forward. I had my Jantex dealer change the shaft from  white "soft" to the super soft. Go it back in two days. 
To the OP, I can't comment on the Odin M but currently have a Jantex Gamma Small Plus ,  Gamma small ,  an Odin S and  until recently a braca X1 s-min. The sizes are different to what you're looking at but the Gara U/.L shaft is as nice as the Jantex and Braca soft shafts. 

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1 month 5 days ago #38493 by CrabStick
Replied by CrabStick on topic Paddle feedback
I had Gamma Rio Small plus with Flexi-Soft shaft and it was really light and solid catch, clean exit. Had some shoulder pain and it was much improved by change to Gara Odin S which also improved my stability. Even one of the local downwind guns has changed from Odin M to Odin S and he continues to race very competitively (eg 11km race in 39min!)
For your situation I agree you should change to most flexible shaft for your Jantex and if that doesn't work out the Odin is brilliant option. Try the S as well as the M.
For your pain issues also lock your frame, don't pull with your biceps at all, do rotation and beachball drills, do Lawler exercises including bungee in top hand, rotating forward with bungee attached behind and above you. Technique and strength and patiently increasing your paddling load more important than equipment. Old news I'm sure but we've all needed a reminder at some stage.

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin S, Swordfish S, Fenn Spark S
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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1 month 5 days ago #38494 by Jordan
Replied by Jordan on topic Paddle feedback
Thank you for the replies.

I will contact Ivan (Jantex dealer) and enquire about swapping the shaft out to the flexi-soft and keeping the x small plus blade size. I recently managed to average 16.1 k/hr on a downiwnd route with a fastest 1km split of 3:25. So I echo the sentiment that the smaller blade size isn't necessarily slower downwind Crabstick. 

My chances to try a Gara Odin are limited as all my paddle group use Jantex or Meek. But I'm hoping when races start again in the UK, I might find someone with a Gara to have a go with. We have a Gara dealer, so will enquire if he has any paddles he loans out to try. 

Agree with the technique comment as well Crabstick. A lot of my paddling is interval training in a group, and focus on technique usually takes a backseat when pride is on the line. Need to fit in a few easier solo paddles to ensure the technique doesn't get sloppy. 

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1 month 5 days ago - 1 month 5 days ago #38497 by gstamer
Replied by gstamer on topic Paddle feedback
Swapping blades is fairly simple assuming that hot glue was used in construction.  A hot-air gun, and glue sticks are all that you need (glue gun is optional). Many paddle brands provide their own glue sticks.

I'm currently in the process of changing a Jantex Gamma Small Plus from a soft shaft to a flexi-soft shaft (waiting on the shaft from the PaddleHut). I haven't tried the newer, more flexible super flex shaft yet.  Would love to hear more opinions on it. 

I have a medium-minus Jantex Gamma too (flexi-soft shaft), but save it for shorter efforts.

Jantex shaft options are listed at www.jantex.sk/products/accessories/kayak-shafts

Video on assembling a Jantex paddle from components:
www.facebook.com/watch/?v=258328981942729

Similar for Braca-Sport:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_a_CQ7qx5U

Greg Stamer

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1 month 5 days ago #38499 by waverider
Replied by waverider on topic Paddle feedback
Keep in mind the Jantex chart recommendations are generally aimed at flat water paddlers. It is recommended generally that surfski go softer than flatwater. Even the super flexi soft is still not what you would call "sloppy" by surfski standards and should be considered especially if your blade is on the larger size.

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1 month 5 days ago #38500 by jazzman
Replied by jazzman on topic Paddle feedback
FWIW , I’owned/own the following; Jantex soft , Flexi soft and Super Flexi  ; Braca 19K, Gara 40% ultralight.
When I first started , I used the Jantex soft. As my paddling moved away from flat water to ocean, I was advised to go a bit softer in shaft. I hadn’t had many if any problems with the soft ( white Jantex). The Flexi soft ( green) isn’t much different to me in ocean conditions. I’ve also dropped down a size in Gamma ( to an S) on the new orange super Flexi. That is noticeably different in ocean conditions. Feels a bit spongy to me in flat water but that’s almost moot ( for me) now. I like the orange a lot in the bumps.
The Braca shaft that came with my X1 was also very very nice,lovely to hold and felt very nice in rougher conditions.
The Gara shaft maybe my favourite all rounder with only one problem, It is a very smooth shaft and I’ve needed to sand it and tape it with the self adhesive silicon tape to stop my hands sliding. No shoulder discomfort with that shaft. I do have one minor quibble with the Gara paddle but this is my view on the shafts.
The following user(s) said Thank You: gstamer

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1 month 3 days ago #38516 by CrabStick
Replied by CrabStick on topic Paddle feedback
Sorry for mildly off-topic but there's another option for the smooth paddle shaft which doesn't increase its diameter (like silicon or other tape) and is very easy, cheap and low maintenance. Surfboard wax works a treat, only on the control hand. Cryder previously said it was rough on the skin but (like the tape) you get used to it and must use a cold water wax which is softer.
Also, never leave sunscreen residue on hands. That really ruins your paddling experience.

CrabStick

Current Boats: BlueFin S, Swordfish S, Fenn Spark S
Previous: Think Eze, Stellar SR, Carbonology Boost LV

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2 weeks 5 days ago #38564 by mcbit
Replied by mcbit on topic Paddle feedback
I have a Jantex Gamma Rio Small Plus with White Shaft, Gamma Odin M with Ultra Light Shaft and an Epic Mid wing with Green Shaft. To be honest I find them all pretty similar in terms of use and performance with the Jantex being the least forgiving in terms of technique. I'm 180cm and around 90kg and over time have found my sweet spot for paddle length to be around 207cm. The Epic was the first paddle I bought and is 210-220cm so doesn't get used that much any more.

To be honest the Jantex has been my go to paddle for about 3 years as it focuses my attention on my stroke technique, A while a go I started developing severe elbow pain  when paddling with the Jantex to the extent that I had to cancel my 2nd trip to the Downwind Camps in Fishoek. I had previously never experienced any elbow or shoulder pain whilst paddling. I had always run all my paddles with a 60deg right feather until then. I had a break from paddling due to Covid which gave my elbow a bit of time to recover, but when I started again I could feel the onset almost immediately and mitigated the severity by moderating my power output. As an experiment I opened up the feather angle to 65deg right and the problem went away almost immediately. I have no idea what changed to bring on the injury in the first place but a change in feather angle has solved the problem for me.

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