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Old 08-16-2014, 12:02 AM   #1
Prometheus
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Question Which paddle? Straight, single bend or double bend?

On a recent trip to the Bog River I noticed most paddlers in tandem canoes were using bent shaft paddles. One of the guys in our group purchased a new double bend paddle on the ride up. I got a chance to try it out a few days into the trip. Compared to my straight shaft paddle; it was effortless to set in the water. I didn't have to change my grip or the paddle angle or reach; it was ready to go to work when I brought my hands forward. I was shocked at how easy it was compared to my straight shaft paddle.

So, I'm just curious what folks here use; straight, single or double bend paddles... Was it a progression from one to the other? Any good paddle stories out there; passed down from old friends or relatives?
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:02 AM   #2
madmike
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I carry 2-3 paddles. Straight, bent, and double blade. When my body tires from one, I switch. Solved some tendonitis some years back.
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Old 08-16-2014, 09:51 AM   #3
Swamp Booger
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When my wife and I are paddling our tandem, we use bent shaft paddles. When I'm fishing or just exploring with my Solo 14, I use a straight blade, as it seems to be quieter.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:29 PM   #4
Wldrns
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When I'm racing or training for racing, regardless of boat I am in, I use a carbon bent shaft. When I am recreating and exploring lake shores, I prefer a quality wood straight shaft for the greater variety of available strokes and the most pleasurable connection with paddling. Problem is, most of the time when solo I feel the need to continue training, so bent shaft it is then or when soloing while "rec" paddling with other racers. When I paddle with non-racer friends or boy scouts I will then always go straight shaft wood for non-race mode stroke training and pleasure.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:37 PM   #5
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A lot of people carry both. It's good to carry a spare paddle anyway.

Some do this to paddle with different techniques such as 'hit and switch' or more traditional strokes depending on conditions.

My recommendation is to spend some loot on a really nice carbon bent, and then find yourself a nice quality straight wood. Carry both.

I think this agrees with what's been suggested already.
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Old 08-16-2014, 10:15 PM   #6
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'Yes, get a pair of top quality paddles' they will last a lifetime. Some folk spend 3 grand on a new light weight boat and then use inexpensive paddles, they never get the most from the boat. Also, spend a hundred bucks and purchase a good PFD.
I,m at the USCA Nationals right now, and am amazed at the number of Really good paddlers with boats that cost upwards of $5000 2 paddles at $300 each and a $10 horse collar life jacket, whaddup with that?

John
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:31 AM   #7
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Which paddle? Straight, single bend or double bend?

Great topic! For me, straight shaft for pleasure touring & day trips, with a bent as a second if I'm pushing miles in a loaded boat. The straight shaft gives me versatility for precision boat control, the bent for straight line power. I have many paddles of differing styles, but have found that Mitchell's hybrid construction (carbon blade, wood shaft) to be my favorites in both styles.


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Old 08-17-2014, 03:22 PM   #8
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As I have said before, a high quality canoe paddled with a cheap poorly made paddle makes life miserable. However, even a tub of a canoe can be made pleasurable, even if slow, with a finely made paddle and the knowledge of how to use it properly. Trust me, I have paddled in many a beat up boy scout camp canoe with junk paddles... just give me a good paddle and I can make it sing.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:19 PM   #9
charlie wilson
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To get technical

Straights optimize force transfer for kneeling paddlers, bents are more effective in shorter lengths for sitting paddlers. Bents tend to have smaller blades and perform at higher cadences, due to smaller blades and shorter shafts. Most solo paddlers will have one of each in the boat, that little bent very useful in wind.
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Old 08-17-2014, 05:04 PM   #10
desmobob
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Bent shaft for tandem paddling and solo hit-and-switch, straight shaft for solo relaxing.

Like Glenn, I like a hybrid bent-shaft. My favorite is a Bell Voodoo with a carbon blade laminated into a nice wood shaft with a big, comfy, pear-shaped handle.

Good paddling,
Bob
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Old 08-19-2014, 07:43 AM   #11
NY_Rocking_Chairs
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What about greenland style?
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:46 PM   #12
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We like and use a bunch: straight, bent, wood, carbon, home-made, laminated, one-piece, store bought.

If you are tinkerer or a wood worker, try making one. :-)
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Old 08-21-2014, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJW View Post
We like and use a bunch: straight, bent, wood, carbon, home-made, laminated, one-piece, store bought.

If you are tinkerer or a wood worker, try making one. :-)
I'm definitely not a wood worker. I'm pretty sure in my 40 years on this planet, I've never cut 2 pieces of wood the exact same length; even using a guide... (however I'm pretty good at breaking stuff)

I'm more than happy supporting commercial paddle makers.
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