Feathering angle - a revelation

1 month 2 weeks ago #37969 by tve
My "paddle set-up" world got turned upside-down today... I started paddling 3 years ago with a gara odin set to 30 degrees (30R). I took a workshop with Sean Rice a few months later and we determined 45 degrees gave me the cleanest entry and stroke. He suggested I work my way up to 60 to give me a bit more vertical a stroke, which I did over the course of a couple of months. 'been using that since and find that my wrists don't need to move and it feels very straight-forward. I read the many arguments around big O's zero feather angle, tried and decided he's completely nuts 'cause setting the paddle to zero requires quite some wrist movement and is just a disaster.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago. The joiner/lock came loose on the end it's supposed to be attached to. Talked to Ken at Gara who said to epoxy it back on while setting the paddle on two books to get the zero feather calibration (LaPerouseBay here suggested similar - thanks!). I did that. Result looks great. Happy like a clam I jumped into my surfski and ... almost pulled myself into the water. The feather angle is all wrong! After some trying I find that if I set it to 15 degrees it feels the same as it did before. Dammit! How did I manage to screw this up by 45 degrees? Am I really that big a nut case!?!?!?!

I didn't look at it after paddling, too upset. Went paddling today again, set it to zero, and placed it on the back of a nearby pickup truck. Hmmm, looks close, the blade has some twist so "true zero" isn't obvious, but for sure not 45 degrees off. Then a friend who has the same paddle showed up, I quickly compared, yup, both are within 5-10 degrees!

So bottom line? I've spent the last 3 years paddling thinking I was at 60 degrees feather angle and thinking that those zero degrees folks are nuts when in reality I was somewhere around 15 degrees and "zero" would be quite OK!

Minor issue: given the twist in the blade I wonder what zero angle really means!

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1 month 2 weeks ago #37970 by waverider
I reckon each paddle is unique and you have to trial and error a bit to get the optimal for each paddle. Some will give you more leeway than others. Going from low to high and viz versa entails a completely different style of paddling

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