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Old 03-19-2012   #11
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
You just have to choose what works for you. Everyone's got their opinion. I used to use bentshafts and went back to straight when I had a highwater creeking day where I lost my bentshaft and had to paddle with a breakdown. I like not having to transition to a new paddle feel because if I ever need the breakdown, it is usually in the sh*t. I feel like the straight gives more power as well, and I don't have any wrist issues using it. I also like the werner fiberglass straight shaft as it isn't as harsh as carbon if you have a rock impact, and has a bit of flex too. 200 shogun straight FTW!

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Old 03-20-2012   #12
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
I'd have to second what ACC says: switching from my primary bent-shaft AT to my Lightning 3-piece breakdown straightshaft is really tough to get used to. Losing your paddle does always happen in the sh*$, too, and that grip change can affect your stroke confidence.

But, that being said, I have all kinds of wrist problems from 15 years of raft guiding and 20 years of paddling, plus 2 construction accidents (left wrist fusion, loose tendons in both wrists, probably arthritis starting), and the bent-shaft paddles are so much more comfortable to paddle with. I feel like I get plenty of power with either the AT or a Shogun (have had both), and in fact feel like I get better power with a bent-shaft in most circumstances. The ortho doc that has worked on my wrists looked at one of each paddle I brought to his office (trying to have a brace fashioned for left wrist), and he said unequivocally that the bent-shaft alignment is a lot better for preventing tendon injuries along the little-finger side of the wrist. That is what I've noticed most: less fatigue and pain on the half of the wrist away from the thumb, more than anything.

What really needs to happen is that Werner, AT, and Lightning need to start making high-quality 3- and 4-piece bent-shaft breakdowns, solve the switchover problem.

So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 03-20-2012   #13
Cpt. No Scout
idahofloater's Avatar
In a Van, Down By the River
Paddling Since: 91
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 517
I use a strieght shaft, been bent and back. My feeling is that bend shafts are for gearheads with too much time to think about stuff and more money than I have. Yea bend shafts have the ergo thing going for them, but only when your in up right forward position. I don't know about you guys, but the angels between my wrist, elbows, sholders, back, and hips are constintly changing. How anyone could say that a bend shaft accounts for all the miss alignment issues I face while kayaking is completely insane. I don't have any wrist or shoulder issues that can be solved my throwing down extra moneys for a bent..
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Old 03-20-2012   #14
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1492
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 283
Originally Posted by idahofloater View Post
I don't know about you guys, but the angels between my wrist, elbows, sholders, back, and hips are constintly changing. ..
Maybe it's the "angels" that live in your body and are constantly changing that help you with paddling discomfort..... where can I hire some?
Slight difference between "angels" and "angles".....
So many rivers, so little time..........
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Old 03-20-2012   #15
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
Bent all the way here. Try different brands. I love mine, but others I have tried not so much. I'm sure a lot of it is just what you get used to.

(seven two 0)-298-2242
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Old 03-20-2012   #16
st2eelpot's Avatar
Professional Transient, See above.
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 310
Wrist pain

I paddled straight for years and years, and finally switched over due to wrist pain.

I put it off as long as possible due to price, weight, and the break-down paddles always being straight shafts.

My wrist pain has gone away since I switched over to the bent shaft, though I also don't paddle as many days a year.

I do love paddling stuff that is continuous and difficult for me, and I also love paddling things like Cataract Canyon with all the flatwater. It was actually 2 back to back Cat trips that caused the wrist pain to start in the first place.

I do debate about going back to a straight shaft, as the length I like and the spot on the Werner shaft where the hands go aren't exactly matched up. Close enough to work though.
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Old 03-20-2012   #17
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 808
I switched to the bent shaft years ago because it helped the tendinitis in my elbows when paddling every day. I don't notice less power or really understand how that would be an effect. I'm not too concerned with the break-down issue because I have a bent shaft lendal breakdown and because I paddled for years with a straight shaft and I figure I can do it again if necessary.

I use a 194 bent shaft sidekick. Kind of a unusual choice for someone who mainly creeks and runs rivers, but if feels right; and as Al said, that is the point.
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Old 03-21-2012   #18
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Idaho floater that's has to be the worst theory I have ever heard. I know ergonomic is a big word for you I don't expect you to look it up in a dictionary but seriously? For true purchase on your blade you don't white knuckle it you just hold it. If you are white knuckling, your blade can't do what it's designed to do as efficiently.. And yes the box is always moving but the structure is still there. I don't expect you to even know what a box is or the purpose of it.
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Old 03-21-2012   #19
Boof like a Utard.
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Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 118
Caspermike nailed it. Idahofloater maybe those angels can help you with spelling and punctuation as well.
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Old 03-21-2012   #20
hotchkiss's Avatar
Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
straight shaft, 0 degrees: God's perfectly designed paddle.

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