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megspk
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  Quote megspk Replybullet Topic: Paddle Talk
    Posted: 12 Jul 2016 at 8:57am
I'm looking into eventually getting a new paddle. Right now I'm using a 194 Werner Sherpa 30 degree bent shaft. It's also a small shaft.
For my next paddle I want something even lighter for sure and paddle blades about the same size as the Sherpa.
I'm also considering getting a paddle that's a bit longer.
What's the thoughts on that? Do people size up paddle length to get better reach? I'm 5'4" and was thinking of going with a 197 cm.
Thanks for your responses in advance!!
Cheers!
A strong person and a waterfall always channel their own path. -Unknown

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Jed Hawkes
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  Quote Jed Hawkes Replybullet Posted: 12 Jul 2016 at 11:50am
IF your going to look for a lighter paddle your also likely looking at a stiffer carbon shaft and ditch the bent shaft and go with straight to shave a few grams.

The carbon blades on a fiberglass shaft are as light as your going to get with out going to a slalom paddle, but then you sacrifice durability.

My advice is always a straight fiberglass shaft.

I'm 6'2" with a 6'4" wingspan and I paddle a 197, really paddle length can be changed by altering how wide you grip. In PNW rivers and creeks I've always used a very narrow grip with about as much shaft between my hands as between my hand and the blade. This provides more leverage and makes it easier to create lift, and your sweep stroke has a wider radius.

The foam cores are bit heavier but have their own advantages.
The line will become apparent
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superposer
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  Quote superposer Replybullet Posted: 12 Jul 2016 at 1:39pm
Megan I have the 197 Sherpa. If you want to give my shaft a stroke just Let me know
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megspk
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  Quote megspk Replybullet Posted: 12 Jul 2016 at 2:15pm
So I've heard a lot of talk, but what is the difference between a straight shaft and bent shaft? I can SEE the obvious difference and understand it's lighter, but in regards to the roll and paddling I've heard differing views.
I took my straight shaft breakdown to the pool and it felt totally different than my bent shaft. I felt like my roll sucked with the straight shaft and I felt like I was missing simple paddle strokes just in the pool. It may just be a case of not giving the straight shaft a fair chance, but I also don't want to invest in something I don't like.
Cheers superposer, I may have to take you up on that ;)
A strong person and a waterfall always channel their own path. -Unknown

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ckoontz
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  Quote ckoontz Replybullet Posted: 12 Jul 2016 at 4:03pm
Originally posted by megspk

So I've heard a lot of talk, but what is the difference between a straight shaft and bent shaft?


I think in the end it's personal preference. And of course once you get used to one, the other is going to feel "wrong". So if you like a cheaper paddle, get used to a straight shaft

I like a bent shaft mostly because it's what I'm used to at this point...but I feel like I don't have to grip the paddle as tight to get the same power, and because I always know where the blade is immediately.

With a straight shaft I always felt like the blade was getting rotated in my hand and I couldn't get the feather where I wanted it, as quickly as I wanted. I can paddle with one just fine, but that slight annoyance is always there and it drives me nuts. Keep in mind I'm really nit picky about paddle feel though.
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NateW
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  Quote NateW Replybullet Posted: 12 Jul 2016 at 5:29pm
I think you will find that a 197 is too long for someone your height. The typical length for someone my height is 197, and when I used a 200 I struggled to get the paddle vertical for boofing and it was hard on my shoulders. It's amazing how much of a difference 3cm can make (that's what she/he said?).

I agree that straight/bent shaft is totally personal preference. The upside of having a more easy to find hand position is offset by having to pay ~$100 more per paddle. You also have the issue of not being used to a straight shaft if you need to use a breakdown. When I have tried a bent shaft it's felt totally awkward so I get why you'd feel the same about a straight shaft.

You own a really nice paddle, don't overthink it.

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AdamG
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  Quote AdamG Replybullet Posted: 13 Jul 2016 at 9:03am
As all others have said, straight vs. bent shaft is a matter of preference and 197 seems long for your height.

Otherwise, the adage "It's not the arrow, it's the Indian" may apply.
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megspk
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  Quote megspk Replybullet Posted: 13 Jul 2016 at 1:36pm
Thanks everyone! I'm going to continue to work on closing my grip on the paddle, that sounds like the most reasonable option since the 197 will likely be too long.
I think the goal for the next paddle will be adding a carbon shaft, but I'm feeling like I'll keep the "bend" and practice paddling with my breakdown occasionally so I can still have an enjoyable paddle if I ever need to use it!!
Thanks again!
A strong person and a waterfall always channel their own path. -Unknown

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scottrichardson
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  Quote scottrichardson Replybullet Posted: 14 Jul 2016 at 9:16am
I've used a bunch of variables over time and each time one was changed, everything sucked for a bit until my body reacted to the change. Just don't switch something significant and go creeking...that would not be fun.

Two cents to add: I went from a 45* feather to 0* a few years back and found myself in a more powerful controlled position, meaning I no longer had a "grease hand" from the feather. It caused me to keep the my shoulders, elbows and wrists closer and in a better "paddlers box" postion. Made my boof stroke alot more powerful as I stopped over-reaching in the set up. It worked for me so maybe worth a try for you?

Also, with no feather, all your playboating strokes are equal making life easier to learn things on both sides rather than just my dominant side.
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