Teardrop vs parallel edge wing for flatwater

6 years 9 months ago #16551 by Newbflat
I wasn't trying to start anything. Just curious about where my ONNO fits in the full spectrum of wings. Im not looking for a who did what first or if its a copy of whoever. I don't have nearly enough experience to judge mine or any paddle. For me, understanding how it feels in the water relative to other paddles or where it's strengths and power profile are would help me too understand how best to use it. I really couldn't give a damn about who did what first or who is copying who. I just want what will work for me best and how to best use what I have. Anyways.... Thanks again for your thoughts.

Bill

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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6 years 9 months ago #16553 by kayakchampeen
Newbflat I didn't mean to suggest that you were actually being contentious, and I glossed over your real question with my sarcastic commentary. If you are a normal able-bodied adult, and not some Herculean sprint guy, or haven't paddled for years, or dont paddle 300+ days a year i'll wager an Onno small-mid or mid is just about the ideal paddle for you in the ski. The OP asked about flatwater so I directed most of my commentary towards what is used in the 200m and 1000m. The Onno is well- behaved, efficient, and not going to be so taxing that you can't paddle for an hour's duration. I suppose it could be considered a mild teardrop shape in planform, with a less aggressive lip than a Brasca, making for a smoother exit. It will not have the explosive catch of a large brasca 6, for instance but will still allow you to ramp up the rate accelleration-wise a bit better than a parallel blade, and will not exhibit any bizzarre tendencies in confused water.

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6 years 9 months ago #16555 by Kayaker Greg
Have to say I have been tempted to try a parallel blade and might try to get a demo on a Jantex Alpha. I tend to track the blade path close to the boat and feel the wings lift is overstated, however then I see most of the top guys using and recommending the Gamma.

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6 years 9 months ago #16556 by fredrik
Not the superchamp Hank McGregor with his Gara GP 3, which looks like a parallel blade to me. (just judging by their web picture) :cheer:

A guy who aces the waves and the flats and the rivers

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6 years 9 months ago #16558 by AR_convert
Anybody know kayakchampeen in real life? We need to get you on camera with some paddles in your hands to just explain again while referring to examples of blade types. That is probably the most informative single post I have read on this forum, Thank-you. :cheer:

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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6 years 9 months ago #16561 by Newbflat
Thanks for the description.. At my current rate i will be getting in at least 275 days a year so its good to have a paddle that will suit me for a while. And apologies to the OP for stealing of topic.

Bill

FENN Bluefin S
FENN Swordfish S carbon hybrid
Lot and lots of DK rudders.


Had:
Stellar SEL excel (gen 2)
Stellar SR excel (gen2)
Stellar S18s g1 (excel)
Epic V10 Double (performance)
Stellar SR (gen 1)
V10 sport (gen 2)
V10 (Gen 2)
Beater SEL (gen 1)

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #16564 by zachhandler
Thanks kayakchampeen for taking the time to lay this stuff out. Great info that doesn't seem to be anywhere else on the web.

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6 years 9 months ago #16567 by latman
nice post Kayakchampeen ! the "Swedish" wing was used by the Swedish National team members (only) at the 1985 Junior Worlds in Italy and the Senior Worlds in Belguim and the Nordic wing by the Norweigians only (inc designer Einar Rasmussen) at the 1988 Seoul Olympics

In my opinion the Original swedish wings were a horrible feeling but very useful stepping stone to Einars Nordic wing design and that design is still as good as anything available today (as long as each side is the same size and shape)

I have collected a number of paddles inc a flat Liminat , Flat Struer and original white Swedish wing and a Rasmussen and the Swedish wing is the last one i would ever choose to use.

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #16568 by Edge540
I know kayakchampeen personally. I used to train with him. He is very good paddler and he knows what he is talking about.

My opinion on "parallel vs tear drop" shape blades. I like them both.
In 20 years of sprint racing and now 9 years surfski racing I did use both shapes.
Few years ago I switched from Jantex Gamma to Fenn 1 and I like it better. I paddle only a sufskis now, but I did K1 sprint workout with the kids last year with Fenn 1 set at 218 cm and it felt great.
On my Fenn Elite I paddle 210 cm with no seat pad.

Fenn 1 ( parallel shape long and skinny blade) is less tiring , allows me to keep rate up and it has a nice softer catch. I don't lift the weights anymore since I retired from sprint racing and getting older :-) maybe that is why the Fenn 1 fits me better now.

It really boils down to preference. I encouraging paddlers to try different blades. It is like a shoes, you have try them to see which fits better.

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #16611 by Kayaker Greg
Does anyone have any experience or comments on the Jantex Alpha which I believe is a parallel blade? I should be able to source one for a demo.

And the guys that use parallel blades, do you have a technique that tracks close to the boat before tracking out or do you move the blade to the outside very quickly after the catch?

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #16612 by sAsLEX

Kayaker Greg wrote: Does anyone have any experience or comments on the Jantex Alpha which I believe is a parallel blade? I should be able to source one for a demo.

And the guys that use parallel blades, do you have a technique that tracks close to the boat before tracking out or do you move the blade to the outside very quickly after the catch?


I have a Fenn 1 you could borrow this week/end if you like (busy renovating a house so no time for paddling :( )? Adjustable shaft.

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6 years 9 months ago #16613 by Kayaker Greg
Cheers Alex, will it do 208cm?

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #16617 by sAsLEX

Kayaker Greg wrote: Cheers Alex, will it do 208cm?


Nope - 210 +

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6 years 9 months ago #16618 by Beluge

kayakchampeen wrote: In a nutshell:

Gamma as I have mentioned in other threads, feels less "wingish" and more just like a big Euro blade. Uniquely, the available power really comes on as the boat speed and cadence increase, It's been described as having multiple gears. Catch and exit are real smooth and the power is delivered in a distinct spike right in mid stroke. Which means that although it is really ergonomic, it does not provide as much structure at the catch as a brasca or as much at the back of the stroke as a parallel blade.

Gamma is smooth, fast, and good in the rough, but places more demands on knowing exactly how to time the brief spike in power to the leg drive and rotation, and a heightened feel for the water and comfort in the boat because it does not impart a great deal of stability to the boat throughout the stroke. It is also more taxing aerobically and less of an anaerobic grind than either parallel or teardrop.


Kayakchampeen, could you elaborate a little on your analysis of the Gamma? What do you mean when you say it is like a big Euro blade and less wingish - that it tracks less to the side during the power phase? You also describe it as being "good in the rough" - how does this fit in with the Gamma offering less stability? Finally, why do you describe it as more aerobically demanding?

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6 years 9 months ago #16629 by kayakchampeen
First off, thanks to Edge540 for attesting to my corporeal existence and modicum of paddling experience. I'm guessing from your commentary that you are someone in Seattle I know from the sprint club at green lake. Aasim, Juraj, Ludo, Eric, Don, Karol, Doug perhaps?
The Jantex Alpha, is IMHO, Jantex's version of the GUT design and the Gut is also a very well made paddle, at least as nice as Jantex. Ken Wallace used this paddle for years (he may still) so at least broaden your search to include the Gut as well (only one design 3 sizes) if you are curious re. parallel blades.
The lettmann nordic/fenn 1/gara? that hank mcgregor uses is the other (slightly different) parallel design worth mentioning. looks like you might audition one of these. Don't be concerned if the paddle is a couple cm longer than what you are used to now cause the lettmann style blade is longer that most teardrop blades and the shaft length (which is what IMHO should stay consistent) is likely about the same.
The only thing I do differently w/ a parallel blade than a teardrop technique-wise is to drive downward a bit more at the catch (spearing the fish) which I find to be less necessary with a teardop. The trick is to do this with whole torso not just arm reach. I'm a bit more patient for the pressure to build on the blade before really applying max power, and then lastly, have to remind myself to attenuate the stroke at my hip at the end of the stroke. I don't really consider how widely the blade flies from the boat mid-stroke. I think the (closer to the boat) commentary on parallel blades is just a function of the fact that the first 1/3 of the stroke is relatively more downward and does not immediately track away from the boat until a bit later in the stroke. (although it also generates lift with this downward motion) This will be apparent or come naturally with a bit of time spent with these designs.

Beluge to clarify my apparently contradictory statements about the Gamma. When is said it is like a Euro blade in some repects, what I meant was that, like a flat blade (assuming a clean catch) the purchase in the water correlates to the level of exertion on the paddle and cadence. Put it this way, A big parallel wing (for example), provides the same leverage in the water per stroke whether the stroke rate is high or low, or whether boat speed is fast or slow. It basically has one threshold level of power delivery that is available. Same power available for every stroke, fast or slow.
With a flat blade, and for argument's sake the Gamma, (and to some extent all smaller blades) the blade doesn't have much power if it's moving slowly through the water, or if the rate is low. Under acceleration associated with vigorous (read hi-RPM) paddling, the blade finally "hooks up" or gains traction in the water and suddenly provides purchase that simply was not there at low speeds. I've seen people try a Gamma at marathon speeds and say they felt underpowered. Then I tell them to do a full-on 200m sprint and they can't even accommodate the additional bite the blade has in the water. It's like a Jeckyll and Hyde paddle whose power is only fully there when the paddler places demands on the paddle in the form of exertion.

This is of course true to a certain extent with ALL paddles, but to an astonishing extent with the Gamma. I think in theoretical terms this has to do with the "apparent wind" (for you sailors) that the blade sees in the form of more relative velocity of the blade through the water. Much like a foil kite can generate lift (once airborne) without any wind at all, if it is flown aggressively through the window and always encountering APPARENT WIND. for this reason the paddle always seems to be encouraging you to increase the cadence, which can be a good or bad thing, but is more taxing aerobically than a more deliberate stroke at lower rpm.

Given that it doesn't provide much structure/stability throughout the stroke, then how could it be good in the rough or forgiving? seems
contradictory......
Well one thing is true of the Gamma, it is more tolerant of sloppiness at the catch when tired than parallel or teardrop blades. Wildwater racers use med Gamma at about 200-205 and every other stroke is less than laminar or optimal and somehow the blade manages a adequate catch. I think the wide blade works in aerated water where a wing shape can't really generate lift and the larger, flatter, surface area mid-blade creates power in drag mode
nonetheless. Some wings much prefer an exact, repeatable stroke and laminar catch typical of a sprint race or else they just don't work consistently. (B6 and warp come to mind)
Also, as long as the stroke mechanics are sound, the exit is smooth and without surprise.
Lastly, I have a theory that some people like the Gamma for no other reason than the fact that the effective cant of the blade is much less than most other blades. There is some cant, but the almost immediate severe twist on the leading edge brings it back to just shy of being on-axis with the shaft. Not sure what effect this has on the performance of the blade, but it definitely makes rudder strokes and low braces using the back face of the blade more intuitive and more immediately effective on a downwinder, as well as a few other complementary braces/draws. Moreover this lessened cant makes the paddle feels more balanced in the hands. (blades with alot of cant are balanced on the shaft such that they want to roll forward in the hands into a open attitude at rest) Gamma feels more neutrally balanced in this regard. Also, on those occasions when you have to react quickly (breaking wave, hi-centered between wave peaks, surprise wind gusts, etc). The Gamma does not hang up in the water and can release on demand to take one of those surprise half-quasi strokes that occasionally save your ass.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kayaker Greg, Zivo, Stephen Bunney, jrmac

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6 years 9 months ago #16636 by tony h
7 May - Hank has paddled the GP2 for 9mths plus (like jantex gamma), supposedly because the GP3 was a bit big / difficult to pull through the water! He did win his world kayak marathon champs with the GP3 blade.

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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6 years 9 months ago #16639 by jrmac
Great posts kayakchampeen & others. It is good to hear some very experienced feedback and knowledge transfer on the forum with regards to paddles.

I've used a Gara GP2 (40% graphite round shaft)for about 6 months in distance & spec ski racing so support tony's comment that it is very Gamma characteristic like hence Hanks change from the GP3. I've personally noticed the GP2 to be much stronger in build than a lot of other expensive blades out there. Case in point being I snapped the blade on a mates EPIC when we jousted around the cans a few months ago ;-).

Of note Jasper Mocke is now a Gara team paddler & is using the GP4. To me the GP4 in the water feels strangely like an old large SET/Epic. This limited test feedback was most probably due to the familiar oval glass hybrid shaft feel plus the in between teardrop/parallel blade profile. Reminds me of my old green shaft Bennett Sprint.

So to throw another hat into the ring the GP4 definitively has greater bite compared to the GP2 and is a good in between sprinter off the mark feeling good for a quick 40 minute paddle (surf / rough). The GP2 does spool up marvelously & naturally makes you (forces you in fact)to paddle faster when required. You can just keep on dialing the speed & effort up or down so is beautiful in a downwind or moving at pace so what you loose at the beginning is made up once at speed. It is also quicker to brace or paddle half arsed to save said ass so kayakchampeen has nailed it in his descriptions.

If I hadn't picked up the GP2 direct from SA for $290AU new in a nice padded bag compared to $540AU in Australia I'd be using the gamma ($690AU). I love the GP2 and cannot fault it except for the price we pay in OZ.

Hmmmm I guess after reviewing my thoughts & previous learned forum equations (justifications) this means the money saved should really be used to add a GP4, 3 or other piece of easy to hide exotic carbon fiber to my collection. You guys are the best !

Skis: Fenn Spark & Elite S, Fenn LS spec ski, Epic V12-G2
Paddles: Gara GP2, Jantex Gamma Rio Small plus & Medium Minus
The following user(s) said Thank You: Kayaker Greg

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6 years 9 months ago #16640 by AR_convert

tony h wrote: 7 May - Hank has paddled the GP2 for 9mths plus (like jantex gamma), supposedly because the GP3 was a bit big / difficult to pull through the water! He did win his world kayak marathon champs with the GP3 blade.


Way to burst my bubble Tony ;) I have been using the Carbonology CS3 www.carbonology.com.au/2011/02/04/paddles/#comments for a few years and am looking for a change as I seen to have hit a plateu in my marathon speed. looking at pictures and reading this thread I thought the CS3 looked like a GP2? and had thought the GP3 could be the next paddle for me. But if Hank has moved away from it :dry: how do you find it Tony?

Current - Carbonology"Flash" Vajda "Infusion II K1" Previously ~Finn"Molokai Mk II"~Knysna "Vantage Pro K1' Carbonology "Vault"~Epic"V10L & Sport"~ [/b]Fenn"Mill Double" ~Spirit"PRS"~Finn"Affinity"
Always looking for the next boat :)

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 8 months ago #16641 by tony h
Greeting AR,

I really enjoy the GP3, altho' it is a big blade after 90min or in moving water - Ken has kindly trimmed down one that I use in the ocean!

Have been fortunate enough to try lots of ocean ski's, but have tried even more paddle types - can't think of any I have not tried. The cliched advice holds - use what feels most comfortable & effective for you.

There are alot of great paddles out there & we all know that ultimately it comes down to the engine, but I have settled with the GP3 as it feels so comfortable throughout the stroke. I believe they are going to do a smaller version soon.
Other appealing aspects of Gara paddles are the elite shafts at 28mm / thin (standard 28.5mm) are more comfortable for me & they are light (about 730grams) for a split shaft.

Kevin White from canoesonline.com.au in perth should have some demos for you to try.

The cs3 looks similar to the gp2 / jantex gamma altho' the manufacturer explanation sounds more like B4 - perhaps Kayakchampion can caste a knowledgeable eye over the pics?

Plus the prices when direct from SA are very appealing!

Good luck - let us know what you decide.............

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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6 years 9 months ago #16642 by tony h
My knowledge of sponsored Gara paddlers choices are:
GP2 - Hank Macgregor, Grant vd Walt
GP4 - Jasper Mocke

None using GP3 any more & am led to believe it is the least popular of the 3 shapes

Would be interested to see what Kayakchampion thought of the shapes - not seeking reference to anyone copying anyone but what shapes are similar?
www.gara.co.za/products

GP2 - ?jantex gamma
GP3 - ? Letman nordic/ fenn1 (lots of twist in the blade)
GP4 - ? epic / B4

ski's - McGregor C/R // Nelo 560L // Epic: 1st/2nd/3rdG V10/10L/10 sport, V14, V12, V8, V7, double -v10/v8 // Stellar: SES 1G/2G, SEI 2G // Fenn: double, elite SL, swordfish 1G/2G // Carbonology: vault, atom, flash //hayden spec ski / gibbons oc. ski / red7 / stealth spec/ocean ski / think legend

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