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I've been thinking about this one for a while. Looking for others input. I paddle with a werner bent shaft, and the width of the grip is set at a fairly wide stance. I like it, I feel like having the hands further apart allows for a good degree of leverage with the upper pushing hand, and I feel like I can get a powerful stroke.

I notice that folks with straight shafts sometimes have a wide grip similar to the bent shafts, but I see some paddlers with a narrower grip. I've tried this and I feel like I get less power. Your blade is further away from your pulling hand, so you can reach further for boofs, braces, draw, strokes etc, but your hands are closer and the lever arm from one hand to another is shorter making it feel like you get less power from the pushing hand. I'm not sure if this is a finese vs. power issue.

Just wondering what folks thought about this, what people use and why they like it.
 

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I like the old 'paddler's box' protocol, where you keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle so your stance is always at the same point, and it keeps the pressure from taking strokes distributed evenly against muscles on your upper and lower arms (in theory) I have a problem with bent shaft paddles because they all seem to want me in too wide of a stance, and my biceps start to hurt too soon, i like a straight shaft so i can use a wider stance when i want too and ill be used to it. Ill go narrow when i am tired, or sometimes playboating and not wanting to take too powerful of a stroke.
 

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Andy, can't you just buy a bent shaft paddle size that puts your grip as wide you want it to be? In terms of hand position, the only reason I see to have a problem with a bent shaft is if you're particular about the distance from hand to blade.
 

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maybe i dont know how to use a bent shaft, but i thought the idea was to hold the bent portions of the shaft, which are at a fixed distance from eachother no matter how big or small your torso and arms are. im sure if i threw the money down (i could before next season, though i am a blue collar boater) i could get the shaft bent exactly where i needed it to be bent. but how could i find out if it would be worth it or not without already having a properly sized paddle?

(heh this is the time of year i become an internet junky)
 

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I think it's just personal preference. I went through the "should I change it up?" process this season. I demoed a few paddles and tried out some friends' and found out exactly what I like which is a shorter paddle, which puts my hands a little closer, but with bigger blades for the power. It's a bent shaft so you don't/can't really adjust your grip width, but it works well for playboating because it's a little shorter/quicker yet has the power I like for creeking. In short, do what feels right. My two cents.
 

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I'd feel bad about hijacking this thread, but it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.

maybe i dont know how to use a bent shaft, but i thought the idea was to hold the bent portions of the shaft, which are at a fixed distance from eachother no matter how big or small your torso and arms are.
What I mean is, if the grip is too wide downsize a step in paddle length. The grips are set proportional to the size of the paddle. Also different brands set their grips in different places. Plus all the bent shafts I've grabbed have some leeway in where on the bent you can grip.

If you want to roll with a straight, that's great, just saying I don't see why width of grip should be holding you back unless you're just super particular about the distance your hand needs to be from the blade and then length of your paddle.
 
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