Author Topic: Blade size and racing?  (Read 7007 times)

Boludo

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1144
    • View Profile
    • Email
Blade size and racing?
« on: August 17, 2013, 03:45:10 PM »
So i've been a stand up surf addict for many years now and am just really starting to enjoy some of the coastal distance training.  I'm 5'8" and 160ish pounds.  I've been using the KeNalu Wiki blade and am thinking of trying out one size larger.  The wiki is 84 sq. inches and the Maliko is 95 sq. inches.

What are your thoughts on blade size for races in the 5 - 10 mile range based off my size?  I can feel a little bit of slipping with the Wiki which tells me I may be pulling to hard for the blade.  In the racing world have you seen a trend like we have in surfing where smaller is sometimes more efficient (being able to pick up cadence).

Thanks

sup_surf_giant

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1601
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2013, 04:05:05 PM »
Boludo,

FWIW, Dave at Infinity uses a Werner Nitro for surfing and racing.

It's a 100sq inch blade.

Werner calls it mid-sized but seems much smaller than anything else I've used.
Taller than most, shorter than others.

VonR

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2013, 04:43:58 PM »
I'm using both the Wiki and Maliko. I actually prefer the Maliko for both surfing and regular paddling. I found I can actually move faster on the Maliko using a slower cadence compared with the Wiki. I run the Wiki on a Xtuf shaft and the Maliko on a Xtuff S shaft.
Aloha,
Jeff

Area 10

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4057
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2013, 05:19:49 PM »
I think you just have to try and see. Your weight etc isn't much of a guide to what will turn out to be best for you. Some light people find large blades best, and some big people find small blades best.

Just to complicate matters, you will probably find that what is best for you evolves as your stroke does, and you will prefer different blade sizes in different conditions. The most obvious examples are a smaller blade in chop and upwind, but larger when it is flat and/or downwind. But even there it varies. For instance in longer period DW conditions you may find a bigger blade best, but in short period chop where there is a lot of stopping and starting, and paddle speed is critical, you may find a smaller one better.

To make things even more difficult, blades from different manufacturers that are apparently the same blade area can nevertheless feel VERY different from each other. Blade angle and shape is at least as important as blade area, in my opinion - and actually, probably more so.

I started off with an average area blade, then went quite large, then very large, then went back to average and then smaller than average. Now I use an average size one for flatwater, and mostly a smaller blade for chop and short period DW. Each time I changed the size of my blade, I got faster, even though I have gone both up and down in blade sizes. In my experience, it's a matter of evolving your blade choice alongside your stroke and matching it to your own peculiarities in dealing with different conditions. And then there's the matter of changing your blade sizes as you change the length of your shaft....It's an ongoing process...

Sorry that I don't have a simpler answer for you. But as the saying goes, everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

TN_SUP

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 626
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2013, 06:10:17 PM »
I've spent the last few weeks trying to "man-up" to the Maliko from the Wiki and really like it, it's a entirely different work out, requires more muscle and less cardio than the wiki. I'm transitioning to it by going on gradually increasing paddling distance. The cadence is so fast with the Wiki it gets my heart rate up, then I get a little dizzy and my form goes to crap. The slower cadence of the Maliko with an XTUF shaft stresses my heart less and my form/technique stays constant (let's not say good or bad) and it's easier to stay in the groove and focus. I did have to add a inch of length to the Maliko (compared to my Wiki) so I could bury the longer blade - this was scary because the Wiki gives me shoulder pain when its too long (longer than 8" overhead). Like Area 10 said, I now pick a paddle based on conditions - upwind or upstream, wiki, downwind or calm, Maliko. I did get caught is a storm with the Maliko last week and was wishing for the Wiki - The slower Maliko made it tough against the gusts and made me really sore afterwards. I'm 6', 160 pounds with bad shoulders and really loving the extra power. I used a bent shaft Nitro for a year (before wiki) and really liked, especially the easy hand transitions, but hated it after getting used to the small diameter shaft/light weight of the Kenalu. I'd say go for a Maliko.
'13 SB Sprint, '15 SIC X-14 ProLite, RH Coastal Cruiser, Think EZE Ski, Kenalu Konihi 84  & Mana

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 24831
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2013, 08:36:25 PM »
It's really all about cadence. If you're most comfortable at a higher cadence you'll be faster with your wiki. Some people like to torque, some people like to spin. But if you switch to a Maliko, you'll go faster for a while at a lower cadence, then when you go back to your Wiki your cadence will go way up and you'll be faster--for a while.

One strategy that's pretty effective for racing is to train with one blade and race with the other. Really doesn't matter which.

It is worthwhile to find the blade size you're most comfortable with and use that mostly, but I switch blade sizes a lot, and I've been playing with these blades for a long time. I still don't really have a favorite.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

DavidJohn

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 6612
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2013, 12:43:28 AM »
I find that if it's calm conditions the med-big blades are great but if there's choppy conditions and particularly any strong head winds the small-med size blades work so much better.


DJ

Boludo

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1144
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2013, 09:22:40 PM »
What you guys are saying makes sense.  I'm gonna order me a Maliko blade just to confuse my body a bit and have the ability to swap blades based off different runs.
You guys are awesome!  Thanks for the responses.

sup_surf_giant

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1601
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 09:24:46 AM »
Been borrowing a 110" Werner Fuse, 10" bigger than my normal Nitro.

Feels like the blade pulls slower and that my desired cadence is somewhat interrupted.

Gonna stay with the 100" Nitro I think.
Taller than most, shorter than others.

Takeo

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 479
    • View Profile
    • Takeo Gyotaku - "Fish Prints With Aloha"
    • Email
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2013, 10:21:19 AM »
Area10 nailed it.  There are so many variables besides just a person's weight.  Paddle technique and form, ocean conditions, board characteristics on the water, etc.  I just can't find just one paddle for all conditions and all my boards.  I own a Maliko and a Wiki and use both of them depending on the conditions.  For good downwind conditions, shorter races, and strength training, I grab the Maliko.  For windy days, farther paddles, or cardio training, I grab my Wiki.  Probably should get the Molokai also for even more strength training. What I have found is what Ponobill, Lane, and others have said, the KeNalu rewards good paddle technique.  I use to feel the Wiki was slipping too much, but now that my form is better, it's plenty catch for such a small paddle.

RomaniaSUP

  • Malibu Status
  • **
  • Posts: 53
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2013, 05:37:52 AM »
I find it interesting that most of you prefer a smaller paddle in upwind conditions. I had the opposite experience.

I tried powering upwind against 30 knots with a Nitro and just couldn't find the power. I increased my cadence but the blade just didn't have the surface area to set in and hold on. So I eventually burnt out at the higher cadence.

When I used the Spanker in the same conditions it was quite easy to set the blade far forward and really bring myself forward towards the blade. It was large enough to really hold its position in the water. Plus because my cadence was lower, the blade spent less time out of the water, reducing the amount of time to give the wind to push me back.

I now use the Grand Prix M1000 for most of my races but was actually considering stepping up to a larger blade for the shorter 5-6 mile races. Am I just an oddball case?
Starboard Drive 10'5
Starboard Carbon Prototype 14'x26"
Starboard AllStar 12'6x25.5"

bretrwarner

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 106
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2013, 10:42:53 AM »
I have been wondering something about blade size and paddle length for a while and I thin kit is applicable here so here goes:
In my kayaking days I learned that those of us who had a more aggressive and high angle stroke should go with a shorter paddle length and a slightly bigger blade than those with a less aggressive and lower angle stroke.  I have tried to apply this to stand up with the idea that those of us who lean more forward on a stroke should also have a shorter shaft/bigger blade. It seems to make sense, but I wanted to get other's opinions.

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 24831
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2013, 12:22:36 PM »
I find it interesting that most of you prefer a smaller paddle in upwind conditions. I had the opposite experience.

I tried powering upwind against 30 knots with a Nitro and just couldn't find the power. I increased my cadence but the blade just didn't have the surface area to set in and hold on. So I eventually burnt out at the higher cadence.

When I used the Spanker in the same conditions it was quite easy to set the blade far forward and really bring myself forward towards the blade. It was large enough to really hold its position in the water. Plus because my cadence was lower, the blade spent less time out of the water, reducing the amount of time to give the wind to push me back.

I now use the Grand Prix M1000 for most of my races but was actually considering stepping up to a larger blade for the shorter 5-6 mile races. Am I just an oddball case?

Not really. Most people that have a problem getting a lot of power out of a smaller blade are using a short reach. If you push your reach while you're increasing your cadence you'll get more power, but it's hard to do. People tend to shorten their reach when they increase their cadence, and that makes a big difference in power.

When you change to a bigger blade, you start off trying to reach your accustomed cadence and it doesn't work, so you slow down a bit and reach further.

At least that's what I've observed watching and shooting video people using various paddles. Something I did the year before last in Nichols basin. I planned to do a big video thing about lessons learned, but life got in the way.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

PaddleAnything

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 241
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2013, 01:24:46 PM »
You know the simple solution to your problem is to just get a

Kialoa Hulu. 

Problem solved ;)


mrbig

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2466
    • View Profile
Re: Blade size and racing?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2013, 01:48:50 PM »
GL Hulu SL. 15.5 ounces of paddle heaven!
Let it come to you..
SMIK 9'2" Hipster Mini Mal
SMIK 8'8" Short Mac Freo Rainbow Bridge
SMIK 8'4" Hipster Twin
King's 8'2" Accelerator SharkBoy

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal