× Tips and techniques for getting the most out of surfskiing.

Paddling Tips: Getting a grip

3 months 4 weeks ago #37964 by Cryder
Starting up some tutorial videos on tips, tricks and techniques for paddlers. First installment is here, just in time to augment your rest day plans ...but... TRIGGER WARNING FOR PADDLE SLOTHS & SLOBS: you may wind up with a pre-paddle project for your paddle set-up!  https://youtu.be/EZVF3pMReuc Cheers, Cryder

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37965 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Paddling Tips: Getting a grip
Nicely made! Looking forward to the next one!

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37966 by Cryder
Thanks, our sport has so many cool details that haven't really been covered yet. Next up: seat pads. 

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37967 by Dray
Replied by Dray on topic Paddling Tips: Getting a grip
Excellent video and very helpful to us new folks.  Looking forward to more.

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37968 by tve
Replied by tve on topic Paddling Tips: Getting a grip
Before you move on to seat pads... how about talking about paddle grip positioning, fighting creep (you mentioned that in passing in the video) and paddle length?
I spent a good year fighting creep, but now it's more or less cured... But my bottom hand often dips into the water. I try to correct for that but it's not coming along that well. I don't want my top hand any higher, so maybe I need to move my hands closer together, unless I manage to be more consistent with my top hand 'cause then the bottom one doesn't dip in. I guess paddle length is really decoupled from all this and has more to do with power/cadence, although, if I move my hands closer together I'll have a bit of a harder time unless I make the paddle shorter, but then I'll loose some power... Haha!

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37971 by waverider
As someone who changes paddle length according to conditions and boats I tend to have a much longer grip area as hand position on shaft has to change accordingly, Having tactile ridges towards end of grip is important to keep everything nice and symmetrical

Looking forward to more in this series

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37980 by Epicpaddler
Nicely done. Gonna have to give it a try. Tried tennis racquet tape without much success. 

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3 months 4 weeks ago #37981 by M.v.E.
I can highly recommend Cork Handlebar Tape for bicycles. I am using that for many years now and it lasts very long.
Might be not as grippy as the silicone tape though.

Current Ski: Nelo 550 L
Previous Skis: Stellar SR 1. Gen. / Stellar SEI 1. Gen. / Stellar SR 2. Gen.

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3 months 3 weeks ago #37986 by jsapan
I personally prefer something with  more texture, but I haven't found anything perfect just yet.  I prefer a small shaft diameter, so while I really like the following handlebar tape, it's still much thicker than I'd like at 2mm.  

www.fizik.com/us_en/tempo-microtex-class...?___from_store=us_en

Lately I've been using LizardSkins lacrosse or hockey stick tape and love it.  The only problem is that seems to suck up water when wet, reducing the grip. Still an improvement over a bare shaft, though.  And for some reason I always wind up with a wet paddle on my right side when using a wing paddle.

www.lizardskins.com/personalized-lacross...rip_tape&t=solid&v=0

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3 months 3 weeks ago #37988 by Cryder
@jsapan I've tried just about everything... and silicon is by far my favorite. The origins of my quest wasn't just general training / racing, but out of absolute desperation. When I was training for my attempts on the Vancouver Island Circumnavigation record, I was spending up to 12 hours a day in the ski, day after day after day... so the there was a critical need for a grip that would be grippy enough for salt water logged hands, but not so grippy that it would degrade my skin. 

Here are a few of the grips I've experimented with over the last 8 years of hard paddling, and what I found: 
Cork cycling tape: Too thick of a grip, can get a strange slimy feel in salt water. 
Foam cycling tape: Too thick, too abrasive on my hands after 2 hours of paddling. 
Gorilla Duct Tape: Not enough purchase, can shed glue / shift on the shaft if the paddle is in the heat (above 85º)
Tennis Grip Tape: Pretty nice texture, but not quite enough purchase. Tends to fail within a month. 
.5mm Neoprene: Too thick, spongy, doesn't stay fixed on the shaft. Heavy when wet. 
Electrical Tape: Not enough purchase (very pronounced in salt water), texture too fine. 
Canvas Tape: Promising, but haven't found a tape that doesn't "shift" with the pressure points from the hands and become a rats nest.
Wax: Promising, but becomes very very messy with friction and heat from hands. Very hard on hands after 2 hours. 

I am sure I am forgetting some. Even though I am pretty happy with silicon, still trying new ideas for fun to see if I can improve what I have....  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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3 months 2 weeks ago #38007 by agooding2
This is what I use, Burwater Fusion Paddle grip tape:  www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V5GSB9K/ref...A2LOE4BXB18CQC&psc=1

Good traction even with gloves,, does not cause blisters on my hands or soak up water.  You can use on just the control hand or both sides, I only wrap 1/2 a hands width on my non control hand and keep the shaft bare by my thumb. 

I wrap it too long on the pinky side on both sides and roll it up so it sticks to itself and that provides a ridge so my hands don't slip towards the blade, works almost like a drip ring. 

Not cheap but a roll does one paddle for a few months and it's worth it to me.  Hands are always evenly spaced.  If you have an adjustable blade just wrap it a little farther both ways so you always have consistent hand spacing.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Think Fit, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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3 months 2 weeks ago #38008 by Fath2o
Cryder, nice video and effort. Thank you. Obviously, every one does things a little different with different ideas and opinions. I'm sure this/these videos will be helpful to many.
I personally have found, after experimenting with different paddle grip options, that simply roughing up my hands and paddle shaft with wet sand at the beginning of a paddle out works a treat. Something I learned as a kid (circa 1967), roughing up the wax on the deck of a surfboard with wet sand to prevent your feet from slipping.

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3 months 2 weeks ago #38010 by Cryder

agooding2 wrote: This is what I use, Burwater Fusion Paddle grip tape:  www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00V5GSB9K/ref...A2LOE4BXB18CQC&psc=1

Good traction even with gloves,, does not cause blisters on my hands or soak up water.  You can use on just the control hand or both sides, I only wrap 1/2 a hands width on my non control hand and keep the shaft bare by my thumb. 

I wrap it too long on the pinky side on both sides and roll it up so it sticks to itself and that provides a ridge so my hands don't slip towards the blade, works almost like a drip ring. 

Not cheap but a roll does one paddle for a few months and it's worth it to me.  Hands are always evenly spaced.  If you have an adjustable blade just wrap it a little farther both ways so you always have consistent hand spacing.

-- Andrew


Hey Andrew, the Burnwater tape is rebranded (& pricier by the foot) version of what I posted. As for the lower part of the hands, if the overlaps point away from the center of the paddle (towards the paddle blade), and are double wrapped they don't curl or separate nearly as easily. So I start at the top of the grip (nearer the center of the shaft), and work my way towards the blade, and then back again. 

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3 months 2 weeks ago #38011 by Cryder

Fath2o wrote: Cryder, nice video and effort. Thank you. Obviously, every one does things a little different with different ideas and opinions. I'm sure this/these videos will be helpful to many.
I personally have found, after experimenting with different paddle grip options, that simply roughing up my hands and paddle shaft with wet sand at the beginning of a paddle out works a treat. Something I learned as a kid (circa 1967), roughing up the wax on the deck of a surfboard with wet sand to prevent your feet from slipping.


Do you paddle in a warm water (bare hand friendly) location? Makes a huge difference where I paddle in the PNW (often sub 40º F, with wind above 40kts). For what it's worth, the silicone grip is hard to fathom until you try it. 

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3 months 2 weeks ago #38012 by agooding2
Thanks, I'll look into that as the Burnwater is a bit pricier and I can't get it in bulk.

Good tip on the double wrap, the thing I don't like about the Burnwater is that it peels on the ends.  I use electric tape right now, but that gets gummy. and the ends start pulling away.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Think Fit, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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