Useful information for beginners
about a paddle:
A paddle alone does not make you a canoeist out of yourself, because the boat also plays an important role. But only the right paddle gives you the power over the water. It depends on the right paddle. Beginners of canoeing therefore get a short overview of canoeing at mergner.
White water versus touring
The kayaker uses a double blad paddle for both whitewater and touring. In contrast to the single blade paddle, this is a paddle with one blade at each end. Despite this common feature, whitewater and touring paddles differ fundamentally in their shape: the most effective way to encounter the extreme currents in the torrential mountain stream is with a broad and compact, yet thin-walled blade.
On a water hike, the so-called touring, on the other hand, a narrow, elongated leaf surface is the smoothest way forward. Endurance is particularly important on long tours. A low weight is an advantage here.
Playboating (Freestyle) is a playful variant of white water kayaking. Playboaters and rodeo stars control their canoes with almost the same paddles as whitewater canoeists.
The correct paddle length
Pi x thumb x canoe length? Which paddle fits my body size and boat shape? You can determine your very individual fine tuning most precisely in a discussion with your specialist dealer. There is no general rule of thumb. In general: Avoid extremes! Extraordinarily long or short paddles reduce driving pleasure. In principle, white water paddles with 1.90 m to 2.05 m are shorter than touring paddles. The classic whitewater racer will choose a paddle of about 2.00 m. In playboating or rodeo, the athlete uses a shorter paddle of 1.90 m to 1.95 m to achieve a high stroke frequency and increase his mobility.
If you kayak through flatter waters with elegant trains, a paddle between 2.10 m and 2.30 m long is a good choice. When touring, with an average paddle length of about 2.20 m, you do the least wrong.
Folding boats are an exception. They often require paddles of up to 2.40 m in length.
Feathered and ovalised – what?
Every sport speaks its own jargon. In canoeing, a feathered paddle is the slightly twisted arrangement of the paddle blades in relation to each other. The two opposite leaves are entangled in a certain number of degrees. The wind attack surface of the non-submerged blade is reduced by this setting. This will be particularly appreciated in headwinds. A clever invention, then. In addition, a set of about 45° corresponds to the natural inclination when turning the upper body.
In order to bring the paddle into a blind position, the canoeist orientates himself on his active side by an easily palpable modification of the shaft. They are called ovalization because the round shaft is formed into an oval. Most of the paddles are turned right, i.e. the ovalization is on the right side. Traditionally, the setting of paddles – especially in the touring area – had at an angle of about 90º. In the meantime, however, it has become clear that the joint of the active hand is strongly overstretched in a 90º-set. For a more ergonomic driving style a set of 45º has established itself as the new standard. mergner offers paddles with different degrees as required (see technical details). Here, too, 45º is recommended.
By the way, it can prove to be very practical to adjust the angle as well as the side turn of the blade to that of your canoe friends. It is not unusual to help each other out with a paddle on a tour. Then a different set turns out to be a real brake on fun, if not a total stress factor.