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Touring Paddles

Touring Paddle Devon

  Kayak Paddles for touring

Devon Kayak Paddle
 
How to Choose a Kayak Paddle

You would have thought that Finding the right kayak paddle wouldn't be to difficult. After all, its just a pole with a flat blade at each end. However finding the paddle that’s perfect for you does take some effort and thought.

There are three main points that you should consider, that may help determine which type of paddle could be right for you:

  • The type of paddling you be doing. For touring you should be concentrating on efficiency and comfort. You are likely to be paddling for long stretches, so your paddle be comfortable to hold, lightweight and with slightly undersized blades to stop you becoming tired too quickly.
  • Your height and body strength. If you’re less than about 5 1/2 feet tall, you may require a shorter than average paddle. If you’re over 6 feet tall, you will probably need a longer than average paddle.
  • Finally the width and height of your kayak. A tall or wide kayak will more often than not need a longer paddle to reach the water effectively.

Once you have considered these three main points you can then consider the the three main differences in paddle characteristics. These are as follows:

  • Blade shape and length.
  • Shaft shape and length.
  • What the paddle is made of

It is also worth considering a spare kayak paddle for touring. If you are travelling a long distance you don't want to be stuck having to swim if your paddle gets lost. You could end up being grateful for even a simple single bladed short oar strapped to the back of your boat.

Advantages of Different Materials

As with most things, it is a matter of cost vs performance when choosing a paddle. Cheaper paddles are normally robust but lack performance, while normally only the best and most expensive paddles are both lightweight and durable.

In terms of performance the best paddle to have is a stiff blade with a flexible shaft. This ensures that you get maximum propulsion for the efforts you put in. Aluminium shafts have a similar flex as a glass shaft but will bend under less pressure. Glass shafts can cope with greater amounts of stress, are lighter but inevitably more expensive.

For more information on the best paddle for your budget please contact us at AS Watersports and we will be happy to help.

Paddle Length

There are only general guides to choosing the length of your paddles and much of this will be determined buy your own personal preference. Normally paddle length is a product of your height and the style of paddling that you normally do.

Touring Kayakers use longer paddles due to the fact that they use longer boats. A longer paddle would also be better suited for open canoeing.

Paddle Shape

Paddle blades can be long, short, wide, narrow, feathered, unfeathered, symmetrical, asymmetrical, spooned or dihedral.

Each shape has it own individual benefits.

A wide blade with a larger surface area can provide greater acceleration but will also create more resistance in the water. This may be an important point to consider, particularly if you are an in a infrequent paddler, as it takes much more effort to use s large bladed paddle than a smaller one.

Touring is more about endurance than speed, so a long, narrow blade will take more strokes through the water but the paddler will be much less tired.

Paddle blades can be either symmetrical of asymmetrical. Normally, touring paddles are long, narrow and symmetrical. Many paddlers find an asymmetrical paddle can help reduce the twisting on the paddle shaft while stroking in the water, as it helps even the amount of water on each side of the submerged paddle.

While most paddle shafts are straight, there are several bent-shaft paddles that may help to increase the paddler’s comfort as well as providing a stronger, more effective stroke.

For expert information on choosing the right paddle for you please contact AS Watersports.

Devon Kayak Paddle
 
 
 
     

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