Author Topic: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles  (Read 995 times)

LoudounSUP

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Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« on: August 15, 2020, 02:19:33 PM »
I'm thinking about upgrading my paddle but curious about fellow SUPer thoughts on shaft shapes and handles? I'll be mostly paddling long distances in flat water.  I'm wondering from a feathering perspective - would an oval shaft be better/easier compared to a traditional round shaft?

Also, about handle types - is there a preference between oval, t-shaped and t-shaped/curved?
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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2020, 06:06:38 AM »
This is such a highly personal thing that its impossible to say anything except your own personal preference. My own is for an oval shaft and a t-handle because I like maximum blade control. Sadly there aren't many paddles that have that combination. One that does is the Hypr Hawaii Crossflow, so that's what I'm using most these days for distance paddling. It has a reduced diameter shaft too which makes changing hands quicker and easier, I feel.

I own around 30 paddles, and have tried many more. But some equally experienced people prefer other paddles and shafts. Some people swear by round shafts and big clumpy palm handles, which I hate (the small QB type palm handles are nice tbough). Some people love a firm catch, some prefer a soft catch. Over time you will find out what is best for your physique and technique. Some things like the size and bone structure of your hands will probably affect your choices, and will be highly personal.to you. As you think about these things and put it together with your own experiences so far, it should become clearer to you why you prefer some designs over others.

supthecreek

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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2020, 08:32:29 AM »
I use the same paddle for surf and casual flat-water, and I am not concerned with speed.... just proper thrust and control when surfing and overall ease on my body.

My preference is decided by comfort and utility

The oval shafts are comfortable and may feather better, especially into a headwind.... but:
Round shafts allow me to assemble with hot glue, which makes changing out handle, length, blades and shafts  extremely easy.

I prefer a slight flex in my shafts and lightly textured shaft for grip
I use paddle wax on shaft and grip, then coat with local condition wax

Ke Nalu makes a great ErgoT handle that slides right in between the typical "T" handle and a more "Palm" style grip.
The ErgoT gives me great control and easy grip.
Added benefit is the "extended ErgoT" which allows for easy length changes by heating the shaft with a heat gun and pulling the Extended handle in or out.
Great for dialing in length or changing body position.
The extended handle adds no noticeable weight... I don't even know which paddle it is in right now.

Also:
I only use paddles that use a blade that inserts INTO the shaft... I feel they are much stronger at that critical stress point
« Last Edit: August 16, 2020, 08:38:09 AM by supthecreek »
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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2020, 04:32:47 PM »
I have many oval shaft paddles and they all assemble with hot glue, so I have no idea what your point is there.



LoudounSUP

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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2020, 03:36:14 AM »
Thanks guys. I can see that I'm going to be testing many paddles over the years. The folks at Barca-Sport offer several handle constructions so I may purchase a few from them.
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supthecreek

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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2020, 04:46:25 AM »
I have many oval shaft paddles and they all assemble with hot glue, so I have no idea what your point is there.

I know what your point is  ;D
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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2020, 05:20:16 AM »
I have many oval shaft paddles and they all assemble with hot glue, so I have no idea what your point is there.

I know what your point is  ;D
Rather than addressing the point, you have tried to distract. You have been learning lessons from your hero, Donald Trump. Will you be voting for him again in November?

There are many reasons to buy Ke Nalu paddles, and they were pioneers in using hot glue to assemble paddles. However virtually everyone I know now uses hot glue, regardless of what brand paddle they have, and some brands have embraced this in new and helpful ways (eg. the 45 degree angle cut that Quickblade use at the joint between blade and shaft). I own both round shaft and oval shaft paddles and assemble them all with hot glue, and swap parts between paddles, even sometimes across brands.

It is a shame that Ke Nalu don't make oval shafts. If they did, and if they made smaller blades, and didn't use winglets, I might still own one.

But I understand the link between Ke Nalu and your own business, so I suppose you are always going to recommend them, no matter what. Again, that is very Trumpian.


Bean

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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2020, 06:47:17 AM »
No doubt, an oval shaft has many advantages over round.  I used to love the feel of my Kialoa ovals.  I will occasionally break out my super short Shaka Puu when I ride my mini-Simmons.
But, I question whether the advantages of oval are worth the additional costs.  The manufacturers might also given that there appears to be very few ovals available. It seems most of the "recent" paddle technology is focused on blade design and shaft flex which is undoubtedly more easy to reproduce with a precise round machine made shaft.
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PonoBill

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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2020, 08:17:30 AM »
I like oval shafts to a degree, but I'm not a fan of how stiff they are and the odd way they twist during flex if they are soft enough to bend a bit. They require a molding process that historically yielded inconsistent compression and incorporation of the matrix because the inside form needed to be either an inflated bladder or a soft urethane casting that was flexible enough to thin a bit without breaking while being stretched to remove it from inside the shaft. At the time I was considering it the reject rate was much higher than hard mandrels and the sample shafts I inspected that were considered acceptable were inconsistent. By comparison, the round shafts were consistent in flex within a few pounds and could be precisely specified. That has hopefully changed, it was a long time ago.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 08:21:54 AM by PonoBill »
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Re: Let's Talk Paddles..Shafts and Handles
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2020, 09:28:25 AM »
I like oval shafts to a degree, but I'm not a fan of how stiff they are and the odd way they twist during flex if they are soft enough to bend a bit. They require a molding process that historically yielded inconsistent compression and incorporation of the matrix because the inside form needed to be either an inflated bladder or a soft urethane casting that was flexible enough to thin a bit without breaking while being stretched to remove it from inside the shaft. At the time I was considering it the reject rate was much higher than hard mandrels and the sample shafts I inspected that were considered acceptable were inconsistent. By comparison, the round shafts were consistent in flex within a few pounds and could be precisely specified. That has hopefully changed, it was a long time ago.

That's very similar explanation I've heard from Bob Zaveral (ZRE Paddles) why most competitors won't do ovals. On the other hand, he's been doing ovals for years with solid consistency.
My flex taste was not liking his original shaft so he managed to produce really nice consistent flex for his shafts. Made in the US and still priced competitively.
in progress...

 


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