Bent or "crank" shafted wing paddles?

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5 years 9 months ago #26995 by red_pepper
With a few arthritic finger joints, I'm finding lately that my kayak paddle is becoming increasingly more painful to use. Wrapping the grip area with bicycle handlebar tape has helped significantly, but I'm wondering if a bent-shaft paddle would help even more. I find I can paddle my double-bend outrigger paddle comfortably for long periods of time; the load seems to transfer more into the hand and less into the fingers. The problem in trying out such a paddle is I can only find one "crank shaft" wing paddle (Werner and other make them in touring paddles), and it's on Alibabba (with no real information about the paddle). Lendal makes a separate "crank shaft" with no blades; not sure how universal blades and shafts are in terms of matching them up. Anyone tried a crank shaft wing paddle? Or know where to obtain a quality crank shaft wing paddle?

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5 years 9 months ago - 5 years 9 months ago #26996 by Uffilation
I used a Werner Cyprus before I switched to wing paddles and had similar thoughts during the transition phase and wondered if the bent shafts of Lettmann and Galasport could be combined with their wing blades and stumbled over
> www.paddling.net/message/showThread.html...&tid=1284476#1284873
but one would need "featherable, adjustable" bent shafts anyway ... ,
also looked at the cited "Why Don’t We Offer A Bent Shaft Option? By Greg Barton" , now only archived from 2009
>web.archive.org/web/20091206070036/http:...-a-bent-shaft-option

I am also curious if there are such wings and if reasons against them remained the same. It appears you have to even grip it harder due to wing blades optimized for side movement and bent shafts for "round" movement. However, innovation starts when old prejudices are overcome, so who knows ...

I might have found that crank blade you referred to on alibab, hmm, feather and length adjustable, but guessing from the manufacturer's origin and website, this might be merely a ramdom shot just to combine something? Does not seem to be meant as a WW paddle though, see Barton link.
Last edit: 5 years 9 months ago by Uffilation.

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5 years 9 months ago #26999 by Stew
Going back a long time, early 90s, I remember a bunch of GB sprinters trying crank shafts on their blades. The experiment didn't last a lot longer than a season for these particular guys, and I haven't seen anyone race with them since. I did have a chat with John Wilkie a few months ago about it. John raced for Australia in the Olympics as a canoe slalom paddler, but has gone on to do all sorts of paddling across all disciplines and is a seriously fast guy. He runs a company in Perth Called Zenith Sport Science and has his own paddle range, which includes a crank shaft. You could try him to get a solution where he could pair a shaft to a set of blades for you.


zss.com.au/


I'll also throw in for good measure that often when I see an issue like this with my clients, one of the first things we try is to put them on a more stable ski. Quite often, being more relaxed on a more stable platform immediately means they're not gripping their paddle as tightly and we see a lot of relief in their discomfort. If they continue on the more stable boat over a week or two, symptoms are often complete relieved.

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5 years 9 months ago #27010 by red_pepper
Thanks, Guys.

Stew - no stability issues here; I'm fully relaxed, with a loose grip. And it's a problem no matter the boat. Actually, more of an issue than the finger joint pain (the bicycle tape wrap pretty well takes care of it) is some nerve issue where my thumb goes numb from any pressure on the webbed region between my thumb and first finger. Even when I ride, my cycling gloves can cause numbness from the pressure between the fingers. Sometimes a crank shaft alters the forces enough to relieve those types of issues. If I could find a decent paddle with a cranked shaft it might be worth trying.

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