Question on paddle feather - Mountain Buzz

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Old 04-04-2008   #1
spartankayaker's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 70
Question on paddle feather

Hey all,

I'm looking to upgrade my paddle over the summer and want to get some feedback on paddle feather. I'm using a 30 degree feather right now, which seems to be the standard today. However, I've looked at some companies that can offer custom feathers. Aside from the usual, "I just like a 30 degree, etc. feather", are there any factors that come with a feather either above or below the 30 degree mark?



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Old 04-04-2008   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
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I was asking these same questions a couple of years ago. I think that it's mostly your muscle memory and how that relates to what position the blade needs to be in for each particular stroke. I use a 30 degree offset and have a hard time paddling with a 45 when I switch with one of my bros because I don't cock my wrist back far enough back on my left side.

With that said I think that down river racers liked, or still do, a 45 or greater because the nonactive blade "cuts through the wind easier", same with touring. 30 and below seem to appeal more to playboaters which makes bowstalls etc. easier with both blades close to being on the same plane.

Get the one that feels right to you that's what matters most. If you're solid now you don't want to be putting in on Class V trying to "learn" a new paddle offset.

Done geekin' out for the day!
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Old 04-04-2008   #3
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Bozeman, Montana
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i perfer 30 its works great for running with and great for playing with. at2 is the choice i use. cks had one for super cheap.
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Old 04-04-2008   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 38

I prefer 0 or no feather. you can get any company to special order it, just got to call them up. I think that no feather is better all around due to the fact that you dont have to rotate your paddle before you take your next stroke. This translates into less stress on your wrist and faster strokes, i think, becuase your paddle is always in the right position when you take a stroke. alot of people think that i am wrong and then i tell them to watch their wrists when they take a stroke and sure enough they have to rotate it before they take a stroke. Anyway it is all about personal preference anyway. However if you search on the NOC website there is an article about paddle feather and they did some research in their beginner classes. They found that people progressed faster using no feather versus 30 degree. Now they sell no feather paddles in their store, which i think is a first for outfitter shops. My At flexi no feather is the best paddle i have ever used. late
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Old 04-04-2008   #5
Fort Collins, Colorado
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I just made the switch to 30 from 45. Muscle memory is certainly hard to overcome!
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Old 04-04-2008   #6
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Chico, California
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: May 2005
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I am with Mr. Diesel. I have been most happy (whether creekin or playin) using a 12 or 0 degree paddle and don't see myself changing anytime soon. BUT as with everyt thread of this nature, try some different feathers out and see what you like and go with it. I can attest to borrowing a paddle with a high degree of feather and having to slightly change my set up for my roll so it CAN effect the roll but the adjustment was minor.
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Old 04-07-2008   #7
boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Apr 2008
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I switched from 45 to 15 due to sore wrists. It helped soooo much. I love 15 degrees havent tried 0 that might be my next step. It is rad to not have to loosen your grip to rotate a paddle.
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Old 04-08-2008   #8
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
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My current paddle is 15 and I love it. I like not having to rotate the paddle in my hand as much as a 30. I think there is some call for a feather in my movement so next paddle I get is probably going to be a 8 or 10 degree if I can get it. Only downside is paddling into a strong headwind. I noticed it big time paddling out of westwater two weeks ago.
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Old 04-08-2008   #9
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Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Offset is a relic of the past that has its origins in slalom racing. The theory was that if the paddle blade out of the water is in line with the direction of travel then there is less wind resistance allowing for faster times.

I was reluctant to try 0 degree but once I did there is no turning back.

Don't be a hero go to zero.
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Old 04-08-2008   #10
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Bozeman, Montana
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note..... if you are pulling a hulk on your paddle. you won't get maximum power because your wrists are tight and they effect how your paddle will naturally flow throught the water.
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