Paddle Length - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 02-02-2009   #1
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Paddle Length

I currently paddle a 197(ish) Werner Rio. I am looking to purchase my second paddle and would like some advice on paddle length. I am specifically purchasing the paddle for river running.

Most people seem to say to correctly size a paddle you should (1) rest the paddle on ur head (2) position ur hands so your elbows are bent at 90 degrees (3) select a paddle the leaves about a palms width between ur hand and the point where the blade and shaft meet.

I recently met a respected paddler that believes you should go larger. His sizing techiques takes into account ur size, ur boat, and ur paddle technique. I haven't sized a paddle using his technique but he recommended a 206 based on my size and boat (6'1' 215 lbs; paddling LL Hoss).

Has anyone out there used a paddle significantly larger than what conventional wisdom would state. Do you trip over the paddle? do you scoop a lot of water? Are these things that are easy to overcome?

thanks
-Mojothehelpermonkey

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Old 02-02-2009   #2
 
Boyertown, Pennsylvania
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I'm 6'4", 215 pounds and I use a 191 Werner Player and a 194 AT2, and can loop, blunt, cartwheel, boof, roll and scratch my ass with ease. It's really what feels good to you, if you're just learning maybe go with something a little longer to give you some more leverage or something shorter with bigger blades. Demo paddles and see what works for you, because other people don't know squat about how you paddle.
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Old 02-03-2009   #3
 
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Colorado Springs, Colorado
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I'm 5'6'', ~180 pounds, I paddle a 199cm AT-3, and i'm paddling a 2008 Jackson Hero. According to paddle sizing charts, I should be using a paddle between 194-197 cm. Personally, I like have a little extra length; after trying the 194, and 197, I feel that I get a better, and quicker catch/contact with the water.

The above advice is great---> "Demo paddles and see what works for you, because other people don't know squat about how you paddle"

I'm sure that you'll get many different responses on here from people with more river experience than me, although I've only got one kayaking season under my belt, I think it comes down to personal preferance, and how you paddle.
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Old 02-03-2009   #4
 
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Moscow, Idaho
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Another thing to consider is the type of shaft you are using. It is generally accepted that you can go shorter with a bent shaft. At 5'6'' 160# I use a 194 AT2SL for everything: playboating, creeking, big water, and racing. I don't like switching paddles if I can help it so 194 seems to be a good compromise length. If I was exclusively playboating I would use something between 188 and 191. If I was exclusively river running I would probably use a 197. But, paddle length is largely about what feels right and works well for you. A lot of short guys with slalom backgrounds use 200+ cm paddles, while a lot of big guys who hang out at the local playspot use 191s.

I find that tripping over the paddle has more to do with blade size and technique than paddle length, although I have never used a stick that was way out of the conventional range for someone my size. As for 'scooping lots of water', I think how much water you engage with your paddle blade is directly tied to your stroke technique. You should be able to 'scoop' a lot or a little water with any paddle by adjusting your technique or the stroke you are using.
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Old 02-03-2009   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
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You already have one major thing going for you - "mojothehelpermonkey" is the funniest MB handle I've ever seen.
If I had thought of it first, that would be my handle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojothehelpermonkey View Post
I currently paddle a 197(ish) Werner Rio. I am looking to purchase my second paddle and would like some advice on paddle length. I am specifically purchasing the paddle for river running.

Most people seem to say to correctly size a paddle you should (1) rest the paddle on ur head (2) position ur hands so your elbows are bent at 90 degrees (3) select a paddle the leaves about a palms width between ur hand and the point where the blade and shaft meet.

I recently met a respected paddler that believes you should go larger. His sizing techiques takes into account ur size, ur boat, and ur paddle technique. I haven't sized a paddle using his technique but he recommended a 206 based on my size and boat (6'1' 215 lbs; paddling LL Hoss).

Has anyone out there used a paddle significantly larger than what conventional wisdom would state. Do you trip over the paddle? do you scoop a lot of water? Are these things that are easy to overcome?

thanks
-Mojothehelpermonkey
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Old 02-03-2009   #6
gh
 
pnw, Colorado
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Some of the best paddlers use a very long paddle. Dont let that be your only guide. They paddle all the time and they want the leverage. This will put some strain on your wrists and shoulders. werner has a good reference on their website if you want to go just by the numbers.
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Old 02-03-2009   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
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I think it's largely personal preference and you'll get a wide range of opinions. If you get a bent shaft that will probably also influence your decision since it dictates somewhat where you grip and where they place the bend will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I would go grab some and see what feels comfortable. I think I'd error on the shorter end if you're unsure (less stress on joints). I've seen great paddlers paddle with pretty short and pretty long paddles.
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Old 02-03-2009   #8
 
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a bigger paddle will give you more purchase and pull. it is not a good thing, you will become more dependent on that paddle and less of a paddler. I use as of this year, an AB 197 shred on all my comfortable stuff and a 200 werner powerhouse in the shit. My thoughts are, I have more power in rough water, helping me out more when I need it, and less when I don't. my .02
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Old 02-04-2009   #9
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Thanks for all the response!!

It seems the consensus is that to Demo and get what feels right. I've actually tried about 5 different paddles through several paddling buddies. I am certain of the brand and type of shaft, now its a question of length (OK...I never thought I would type that). Are there any shops in Southern CO that will let you Demo paddles (I thought u could only demo boats).

And ID725...I can't lie, I like the Simpsons WAY too much, and Mojo is one of the great single episode characters.
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