Wing Paddle Roll Call

1 month 3 weeks ago #34578 by DrA5
Wing Paddle Roll Call was created by DrA5
As one last follow up to a prior post I had regarding paddles, I thought I would gather as much additional new information as I can before deciding on a new wing paddle in the next month. I currently have:
- An older Jantax Gamma M:
Pro-  I like the feel in the water
Con- I don't like the weight and that it is only adjustable from 210-215. 

I had an Epic Mid Wing:
Pro- liked the weight, and it was a 205-215
Con- Didn't like the cavitation I felt in the water on occasion of the leading edge. 

What do you have and what are your pros and cons?  Would you recommend your paddle or another paddle?   You can even rate it on a scale of 1-10; 1poor, 10 good. 

My Jantex is a 7/10, my Epic was a 6.5/10. 

Thanks in advance.  The more info is always better. 

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1 month 3 weeks ago - 1 month 3 weeks ago #34579 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Wing Paddle Roll Call
I have an Epic Small Med knock off (same blade but from china). It was my first paddle.
Pros - extremely inexpensive, good quality, easy to use, tolerant of less than perfect form, light, good marathon paddle, no twist in blade makes it very beginner friendly. Smaller blade size is nice. Full carbon shaft is stiff (although my joints would like it, I hate the feel of flexy paddle shafts)
Cons - round shaft is less predictable in rough water, blade has less lateral stability than my other paddle. Lateral stability is extremely useful to use to stabilize yourself in rough conditions without bracing, the stroke is the brace, but the epic wing does not have enough side motion resistance to do this effectively. 

My second paddle is a Think (chinese knock off, same as the E SM). Think only has one paddle listed on their website so it must be the powerwing blade.
Pros - extremely inexpensive, good quality, light, oval shaft makes keeping proper orientation much easier, especially in rough conditions. Blade has a lot of lateral stability - I rarely need to slap-brace. When things are really rough as long as there is a blade in the water I'm ok, its that reassuring. you can literally push off or push down on the paddle to right yourself as you are thrown to the side by a steep wave. This is my go to paddle now and I prefer it over the E SM. Full carbon shaft is stiff (although my joints would like it, I hate the feel of flexy paddle shafts)
Cons - Slight twist in blade aids lateral stability, but requires a more precise form. Blade has more grab than I would like. I want this exact blade feel but with 20-50cm2 less surface area. Its supposed to be like 680cm2 area, but feels more like the Epic SM which is ~730cm. When I lay them over one another they appear to have a nearly identical shadow cast.

Gara Odin - just test paddled a friend's Odin and didnt care for the feel. Im sure its a great paddle, just not for me. It was a few months ago so I forget exactly what characteristics I disliked specifically, but used it for a good 6 miles and was ok giving it back. Seems like I remember it wanted to roll, but dont take this as gospel by any means. 

I'd like to find a new, ultra small blade (640-680cm) with a feel very similar to the Think - that is, tear drop blade with a slight twist to it and a fairly large lip on the leading edge of the wing

Edit - I see the picture's file name is cut off but the white background is the Epic and the wood floor is the Think, for reference.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
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1 month 3 weeks ago #34580 by SpaceSputnik
Replied by SpaceSputnik on topic Wing Paddle Roll Call
Z&J Epic clone, burgundy shaft, 720cm2 smaller than the Epic small mid.

Epic Club med mid.

They feel pretty similar, but the Z&J is lighter and easier on the shoulders. I don't notice much difference in green vs burgundy shafts. I haven't used the Epic after I got the Z&J so a head-to-head comparison is needed.
Like the aluminum lock on the Z&J better than the plastic on the Epic, I can actually operate it with heavy winter gloves on. On the Epic I will admit trying to use my teeth in an act of desperation.
Overall quality is similar with Z&J being in the lead slightly.

I suspect the Epic would be more reassuring when bracing.

Current: Think Evo II
Past: Epic V7

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1 month 3 weeks ago #34581 by kayakercon
Replied by kayakercon on topic Wing Paddle Roll Call
I have been using the Gara Odin (regular size) for the past 6 months for training, racing  and downwinds. I have been VERY pleased. Very nice weight. Excellent construction. Price is pretty good and the paddle case is very nice-- good padding.

Like most tear drop designs, it has nice catch, even in messy water, and a VERY clean exit. Also like other teardrops, it responds best to higher cadence. I race a lot of flat-water bay races with it and I find it fast, although in those races it can be very taxing because you just need to keep the cadence up to get the most out of the design.

I absolutely LOVE it in downwinds! Very stable blade, very good for fast-cadence pick-ups to link runs or catch a wave, very clean exit, and easy to brace with the back face of the blade. 

You can get various shafts. I got the 60% carbon/40% glass. This is a good compromise of stiffness and power without being too hard on the body. You can get a variety of colors too, which is a nice option.

I have also demoed the Odin L for an interval session. It was massive! I would say good for very strong paddlers in flatwater applications-- probably not for surfski (unless you are an absolute beast). It was fun to try and spool up the cadence on sprint intervals, but after 30 seconds my cadence dropped off the cliff.

For comparison, I paddled with the Fenn 3 before. Also a very nice paddle. More of a hybrid Parallel/teardrop design-- I think pretty similar to the Epic Mid and the Braca IV. I found the Fenn 3 a great, balanced blade-- nothing special, but nothing bad either. I haven't paddled with it for a while now, so can't remember any specifics. The only thing I would knock it for was the weight-- noticeably heavier than most. It was super stiff too. Great for sprints, but that combined with the weight was noticeable on long paddles.

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1 month 3 weeks ago #34582 by mrcharly
Replied by mrcharly on topic Wing Paddle Roll Call
I very recently purchased a Jantex Gamma Rio Medium Minus and, despite what the website said, the shaft adjustment is 10cm.  Seems they received enough feedback disliking the 5cm that it was changed.

The catch has changed to being aligned with the shaft and is now carbon/plastic.
easy, predictable catch. No vices. Is a 'bigger' paddle than the size naming suggests (the Medium Minus is the same blade area as the epic Mid). 

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1 month 3 weeks ago #34583 by Cerca Trova
Replied by Cerca Trova on topic Wing Paddle Roll Call
For River training I use a Jantex flexi-soft Gamma Rio small. For deep water training a Braca XI small (705cm) ultra-light 19k soft shaft. For 3 mile time trails a Jantex Gamma Rio small plus flexi-soft. 
For the upcoming Chattajack  (Tennessee River Gorge) race I will use my Braca .
I started out using a Epic mid, and small mid. Both of them aggravated my already bad shoulders. I think the Braca and Jantex paddles, along with form adjustments solved most of my shoulder problems. And as you can see I use small blades.
Epic V11
Nelo 560
Epic V10 G3
Nelo 520

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1 month 3 weeks ago #34584 by Steve Hansen
Replied by Steve Hansen on topic Wing Paddle Roll Call
Wouldn't it be great if there was one place where one could excess wing paddle reviews and impressions ? Like a paddle data base. I'm not a computer guy so I'm not sure how this would be set up but it seems like it might be helpful in comparing paddles.

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