By ed on Monday, December 17, 2012

 When it comes to paddles, people get lost in a world of confusion. There are lots of people who buy their first craft and get a paddle thrown in with the craft. This paddle could have been used by an adult male paddler and we expect our teenage daughter to use it, cause it came with the craft. So making the right choice for your paddle is just so important.

The paddle in my eyes is the most important thing you can own.

Things I look for in giving advice on a paddle. 

What is the age of paddling, not age of life. If some has only being paddle a few months they can not expect to use the same paddle as a person that has been paddling for more then a decade. So make sure that the blade size is right for you, if new to paddling look for a small blade (if your age is 45years and up in males and 35 years and up for a female), also all teenagers starting out. As you get on with your paddling and learn some correct boat run and how to use of your major muscles throughout the stroke you then can progress to a larger blade, remember the bigger the blade not always the faster the paddler. The power comes from the blade and the sharft combing together, so if the blade is to big your body wont handle it and you will end up with a poor stroke, leading to an injury, and no boat run, fighting the boat.

So when I choose my paddle, I have been paddling more then 25years in both flatwater and surf, I like the following.

I am now paddling in an oceanski Think Uno Max, so I am in constanly moving water so I need a smaller length paddle then if I was in flatwater which is not moving, I am using a Brasca 4 Min from Bennett Paddles, it has a soft sharft so that Ican keep the rating up and have a good soild stroke easily. So yes I compromise some power but I always have a correct stroke. So if I paddle a race no matter how long, who will be the winner?. The person who gets the most power at the start then dies because he or she is fatigued, or the paddler who paddles the most correct strokes.

The answer is simple the most correct strokes, why because it helps you get more boat run out of your craft and this makes it easier to paddle. Remember you don't have to finish a training session or even a race exhusted to paddle fast. If you combine your paddle with a correct stroke your boat run will improve out of sight, this making you go faster easier.

It is true.

So other tips for your paddle. Make sure you have tape on your paddle to stop your hands moving up and down the sharft. Place the paddle above your head and have your hands just in from 90 degress, use this as a starting point, then tape the width of your hands. This will allow you to even power both sides of your stroke.

So please think about your paddle as the most important tool in your fleet.

Any questions on paddles

I use my paddles from Bennett Paddles.

Other products you may wish to consider.

Think Ocean skis

Australian Sports Nutrition

Shark Skin Paddling Gear

Slipstream Surf Skis