Re: Bent Shaft Paddles

Posted by Dave Houser on Aug 3, 2004

The big advantage of a bent shaft is it relieves stress on your wrists. The disadvantages are it limits the placement of your hands on the shaft and it costs more.

I had elbow tendon pain and stiff wrists when I first started paddling. I learned to leave my thumbs loose. And, on the stroke side, I use only the first two fingers to hold the paddle during the reach for the catch. This allows rotation between my grip and the shaft during the portion of the stroke that would require the most sideways wrist flexure. My wrist and elbow pain went away. A high stroke with a short paddle eliminates the forward/back flexing of the wrists when using a feathered paddle. With a short 60-degree feather paddle and keeping the off-hand at eye level wrist twisting the paddle is not necessary.

I also like the straight shaft so I can easily do extended paddle stokes, like sweeps, and to hold the paddle off center to compensate for rear quartering waves (my kayak is trimmed to be wind neutral so I don’t have to worry about weathercocking).

In Response to: Waterstick Paddle by Howard on Aug 1, 2004

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