New Paddle Advice

8 years 2 months ago #11445 by Kennneee
New Paddle Advice was created by Kennneee
I bought my one and only wing paddle around 9 years ago. The Epic Mid Wing has served my well, but a few things have changed and it might be time to consider a new paddle. My current paddle is 215-225cm in length and at the time I bought it I as mostly racing in a 24" wide double or a 20" wide kayak. I am 5'10", 150 lbs and almost 59 years old (how did that happen?). Recently I got my first ski, a Stellar SEL and I am pretty sure my current wing is to long. I am in pretty decent shape and have been pretty fast in old boats. I have been getting fatigued more quickly than I feel like I should and am wondering if my age is starting to catch up with me. I prefer to blame my paddle and am hoping a new one helps a bit. So, I am thinking of an Onno, but would love any input. Perhaps a smaller blade??? Thanks in advance for any help.

Ken

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8 years 2 months ago #11446 by kiwial
Replied by kiwial on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
I reccomend going to Epics website and using the paddle wizard to get a starting point for blade size and paddle length. From there you can play arround with as many blade shapes as you can get your hands on before commiting to the right one for you

Al

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8 years 2 months ago - 8 years 2 months ago #11447 by cjborg
Replied by cjborg on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
Your first inclination is spot on. Discuss the sizes with Patrick at Onno, and then order the best paddle in the world... you won't regret it. Definitely shorter length and probably much smaller blade. Take a look at his new slightly smaller mid-wing. No sense in churning a big gear for ego if a smaller, more efficient one makes you faster. All you need is big enough to get you onto the wave... it doesn't matter whether some 25 yr. old ape can win the Olympic 1000 meter with it or not. Most guys are over-geared. Even some guys younger than us are finding this to be true.

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8 years 2 months ago - 8 years 2 months ago #11452 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
Of course, you can always shorten your current paddle and save yourself the expense. Look-up some recent threads on how to (not to) do it ;)

The mid-sized wing may or may not be the right size for you, but the shorter length may be all you need, so start there if money is tight and especially if your current paddle is beat-up and not worth much to re-sell or trade.

Different boats, water conditions, and how you paddle on a particular day can benefit from different length paddles, so whatever you get it would be nice to be adjustable length.

Oh, about the fatigue: if you feel the SEL a bit unstable from time to time, that means you are spending more energy to paddle that than you would a more stable craft. That might be the reason you tire more than you think you should. Even if you are not bracing all the time, your core is still working harder to keep balance. Another variable is the friction drag - a 21' long boat usually has more of it (at all speeds) than a 17' one. For example, an epic 18x has about 3 square feet more surface area than a kayak that is 2-3 feet shorter at the waterline. Thusly, they are harder to paddle even if you go slow. Once you get over a certain speed they are easier to paddle compared to the shorter fatter kayaks, but you simply can't drop your power below certain level, like you can in a short kayak and still maintain a low speed effortlessly...

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8 years 2 months ago #11468 by Kennneee
Replied by Kennneee on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
Thanks guys. A friend is lending me an Epic Small Mid Wing 210-220 and I will see how that works out. I will probably buy one of these. I am pretty interested in an Onno, but have not heard back from Patrick after a couple of tries. I am sure he is a busy guy and will wait a few more days before pulling the trigger on a new wing.

Ken

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8 years 2 months ago #11469 by cjborg
Replied by cjborg on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
Give Patrick another try by phone. I'm sure he'll be very helpful . . . he's just a bit swamped right now. I have the Epic small mid signature series, and it is a nice paddle, but I personally prefer the blade shape of the Onno or the Knysna Swing. They are more forgiving and provide a more confident feeling to allow the blade to find its own way through the water rather than controlling it with wrist action. This translates to a more relaxed grip and less fatigue, without sacrificing power. Depending on your ski, torso and arm lengths, you might want to try considerably shorter . . . 205-208cm range . . . feels strange at first, but many prefer it after they adjust... that's my personal experience as well.

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8 years 2 months ago #11472 by Kennneee
Replied by Kennneee on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
I emailed Patrick and he has some personel issues that he is dealing with. He promises to get back to me tomorrow with some info. I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

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8 years 2 months ago #11473 by WIEDE
Replied by WIEDE on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
I bought a paddle from "busy" Patrick last year. Here is my experience:
He is hard to reach, unreliable in response, the paddles he makes are copies from the epics, but the quality is spot on, the rest is just annoying. And by the way after 2 1/2 months (MONTHS) of waiting I got my paddle.. that didn't fit my needs :angry: . So I went for Jantex Gamma Mid with soft shaft and they are ways better manufactured and easy to trim, in length, to your needs.
I don't want to blame Patrick for his personal issues he has to deal with, but I also do not to wait for ever for a paddle that is just a good as any other good paddle on the market, no wait, the other ones are comparable to other paddles and are available within 2-3 days.

Good luck

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8 years 2 months ago #11474 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
I second CJBorg's recommendation of expecting to be using a small-mid or mid wing in the 207-210 range, so 205-215 range would likely be best for your size in general.

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8 years 2 months ago #11481 by Rightarmbad
Replied by Rightarmbad on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
I don't think there is any surf ski paddlers out there that should be using longer than 215cm.
I find that many sellers still prefer to stock 210-220cm and don't even offer the option of the more appropriate sized shorter shafts.

I guarantee that a surf ski paddler will find their length with a 205-215cm paddle.
I just wish the retailers knew it.

Follow the path of the independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that are important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.--- Thomas J. Watson

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8 years 2 months ago #11482 by Kocho
Replied by Kocho on topic Re: New Paddle Advice
After shortening my 215-225 mid Epic (Peregrine) to what I think is about 212cm minimum length, I find that I probably do not want to go any shorter than that. And in fact I did find it advantageous for my form to lengthen it on occasion back to 215 or so.

My problem is that I have long arms and I would guess relatively wide shoulders (because I am 6'4", not because I'm terribly strong). That means that in order for me to maintain an efficient position on the shaft I need something close to 215cm for brisk paddling. At the same time, also because of my long arms, I have a good reach down to the water, which means I have to keep my upper arm way up to prevent the paddle digging too much and avoid a late exit from the water - that is tiring for long distances, where I tend to shorten my paddle to 212 or so for a more relaxed paddling position and a faster and not as powerful stroke.

It's hard for me to extrapolate how length works for shorter folks though...

On a side note, I've been very happy with my Epics so far (have had 3 different ones over time). Only issue was with a poorly finished mid-wing with gaps in the clear coat (that unfortunately I did not notice in the store and that Epic offered to exchange but I just kept and used it till I moved back to a mid-sized blade). The new lever lock looks flimsy (the lever part) but it works well so far. I use my paddles in rough water from time to time and put lots of pressure on them in bracing and powerful strokes here and there and, knock on wood, they seem to be holding-up fine (though the old twist lock did tend to slip occasionally during poorly executed forced rolling)

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8 years 2 months ago #11484 by cjborg
Replied by cjborg on topic Re: New Paddle Advice

WIEDE wrote: I bought a paddle from "busy" Patrick last year. Here is my experience:
..... the paddles he makes are copies from the epics, but the quality is spot on, the rest is just annoying...


I would not try to quibble with others' personal experiences, but can only say I've not had the same experience with Onno at all. It is difficult to compare a one-man operation with a larger manufacturer . . . different strengths and weaknesses . . . but as I say, I'm not arguing with your experience . . . it is what it is, and it is valuable to share different perspectives.

However, is it really fair to say the Onnos are copies of the Epics? For instance, the Onno has had a lever lock, and a good one, long before Epic offered a lever lock. Does that mean Epic copied Onno? I find the blade shapes to be only slightly different among several paddles, but the Onno feels more like my Knysna Swing than like my Epic small mid. Does that mean Onno copied Knysna, or did Knysna copy Onno . . . or did they both copy Epic, or did Epic copy them, or did they all copy Jantex . . . or Basca?

I think that all of these manufacturers are operating off very similar designs because there is a general design that paddlers prefer. The various models have subtle differences in blade shape, shaft, etc. that make more of a difference to some people than to others, and a lot of it is personal preference.

For me, a big issue is quality/reliability. I usually paddle alone. I've had rudders drop off the rudder pin at sea and paddles break in mid session, both for no apparent reasons... no abuse; no lack of maintenance; all fairly new equipment.... just the odd material failure. I'm pretty sure an Onno paddle won't break on me if I've treated it half-way reasonably. That means a lot to me. I'm not saying Jantex isn't fantastic quality - it probably is; I've never used one - just admitting that's a major issue for me and that my perspectives are definitely skewed by that concern.

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