Re: paddle size

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13 years 11 months ago #1313 by richardh
Re: paddle size was created by richardh
Hi Craig.

I recently bought a new paddle from Ash Nesbit. He suggested I buy one between a 212 and a 214 and I went for a 213 and am very happy.

In my experience - perhaps its because I lack technique - a paddle that is too short results in hitting the ski on the catch and a paddle that is too long can be tiring.

When I bought my first plastic ski and paddle, I used the old fingers over blade method and ended up with a 222. Looking back, it is no wonder I was easily knackered! When I bought my last plastic ski, I emailed Ash when I was looking at buying a paddle and his comments regarding shaft length made a lot of sense, some people were still suggesting I get a 216/218.
I bought one of his second-hand paddles - a large blade 210 which I found great. The large blade complemented the short shaft and it felt like a 213 with a medium blade! the only downside was hitting my ski, but I had an old plastic ski then so not too much damage was done!

Best advice is to talk to a pro.

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13 years 11 months ago #1314 by Hiro
Replied by Hiro on topic Re: paddle size
I'm 6'1". I started paddling with a 218. I now set it to 210-212 and I feel better with this shorter lenght.

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13 years 11 months ago #1315 by Will Hardman
Replied by Will Hardman on topic Re: paddle size
I am no expert, but in my experience, your paddle length should relate to how high you sit above the water line.

In a K1 kayak you sit higher in the boat so therefore need a longer paddle eg 217-218.

In a surf ski you sit closer to the water line for stability in the chop and waves so a shorter paddle as you are closer to the water eg 211-212.

These are my measurements and i am 5'11.

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13 years 11 months ago #1316 by grahamoregan
Replied by grahamoregan on topic Re: paddle size
i reckon you should be looking at 5-6cms shorter than your flatwater blades for sea paddling, the epic tool is good for working out your flatwater length if you don't already know it. also take into consideration the blade area, there is no point using b1s at 2.10!

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13 years 11 months ago #1317 by nell
Replied by nell on topic Re: paddle size
Mike,
Try to get an adjustable if you can. But, if you can't, I haven't heard of a good tall paddler using anything more than a 214 or so in the last couple of years for ski paddling. More important than your standing height is your seated height. If you're all torso and sit tall, then 213 or 214 might be a good ballpark figure. If you're all legs, then 211-213 might be better. Roughly guessing, of course.

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13 years 11 months ago #1318 by yhomas
Replied by yhomas on topic Re: paddle size
Since Oscar is one of the best surfski racers in the world, and is a bit taller than you, you might look at his example. He uses an adjustable paddle set longer (as long as 217 cm) for when he is fresh and going downwind, and significantly shorter (as short as 210 cm) when he is tired and going into a headwind. www.surfski.info/content/view/689/156/

In another interview, Oscar reported using a paddle at 213. www.surfski.info/content/view/118/155/

In another interview, Oscar reported using a paddle between 210 and 215 cm.
www.surfski.info/content/view/359/155/

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Lewis Laughlin uses an Epic small mid wing set to 207 cm.
www.epickayaks.com/blog/details.aspx?nid=696&id=5111&tImg=7890

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I am no expert (particularly in the Surf), but I am 6' and I have a 210-220 cm Epic mid wing that is most always adjusted to 210 cm when in a ski. I am buying an epic small mid 205-215 cm. I would definitely recommend an adjustable paddle, but if you have no other option, I would recommend a small mid sized 212 cm as a starting point.

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13 years 11 months ago #1319 by mbuck428
Replied by mbuck428 on topic Re: paddle size
Lewis Laughlin did use a 207 mid wing Epic in San Francisco, but I noticed in the Molokai pictures from this year he was using a Jantex paddle. It was hard to tell what length it was, as it looked like a one piece paddle. Perhaps someone can clarify.

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13 years 11 months ago #1320 by stuartknaggs
Replied by stuartknaggs on topic Re: paddle size
Another factor to take into account is the blade length / shape. Seems to me that your hands need to be in the same place relative to the water - so with a longer blade, the paddle length will be a bit longer. (not sure if I explained that properly).

For example a parallel blade like a Lettman 1 is much longer than an equal sized teardrop paddle like a Braca IV. To keep you hands in the same place and bury the whole blade, the Lettman would have to be longer by about 3cm.

I know that the parallel blades have become unfashionable recently but there are a lot of people using them as they have been shown to be more predictable in rough water.

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