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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:55 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
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I was just curious to get thoughts, opinions, impressions, etc, of paddle feathering. I've never been inclined to use any kind of paddle feathering. I know it supposedly creates more aerodynamic paddling, but when I've experimented with it the difference seems pretty negligible. Also, feathering seems to cause left/right asymmetry in terms of balance and strength which I really don't like.

I'm not set in my ways, so am open to the possibility that feathering might be great and I've got it all wrong. Perspectives on this topic seem all over the place, with some paddlers staunchly opposed to any type of feathering, and enthusiastic supporters of it. So let's discuss...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:46 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 8:05 am
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Location: atlanta, georgia
I learned to kayak with no feathering and I am now set that way...every once in a while I try feathering but it is so unnatural that I revert to straight orientation after invariably catching my 3rd blade in 20 strokes. Maybe I am just a klutz but I don't get the point. Maybe I am missing something?

g

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:29 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:19 pm
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Location: Oakland, California
Well, it is a matter of degrees for me:
I have tried the 90 degree feather angle on my old(er) paddles and did not really like it for normal paddling.
But using 45 or 30 degree feathering on more modern paddles seems perfectly natural to me.
And using a high or low angle stroke will make a difference, greater feathering works better for me with a higher angle stroke. See Derek Hutchinson's discussion on feathering in this video (starting at about 7:35 into the video):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsNwhHRSVrY
He succinctly explains how to make 90 degree feathering work, and why you need to have a higher angle stroke for it.
Personally, I still favor a lower angle stroke plus, and since I paddle now more in choppy conditions, an unfeathered or mildly feathered paddle works better for supporting/bracing strokes.
Yes, I would like to use more feathering when going head to wind!

Chris O.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
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Location: Southeast Michigan
I tried feathering, but once I learned the Greenland style I found it unnecessary. It's really more of a whitewater technique.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:49 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Location: Oakland, California
Michael,
Good point on the whitewater technique! Certainly for the 90 degree feather.
Brings to mind the old fixed 90 degree Klepper slalom paddles in "Das Klepper Buch".
Do you still use the Bending Branches Journey paddles? It is my favored cruising and long(er) distance paddle. Yes, I use it indeed unfeathered with a fairly low angle stroke.

Chris O.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:05 pm 
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 10:05 pm
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Location: South Salem, NY
We went to see the fireworks this 4th at a friends house in Yonkers, her condo is right on the Hudson River. She got invited to the Yonkers Paddle and Rowing Club for the bbq that night so we all went. This club has been around for a long time and they have an amazing boat house filled with handmade Baidairkas (sp), lots of wooden kayaks, some modern kayaks, some canoes, and at least four folders. Probably the most interesting thing I saw that night though was the collection of handmade paddles from the group. All in various greenland styles with the makers own set of parameters at play. It was really very cool and the neatest thing was that none of them were finished... "Yeah... that takes too much time... I want to paddle with it" was pretty much the thought process of at least one gentleman I was talking to. "It's really pretty simple, get a piece of wood and cut away everything that doesn't look like a paddle."

Cool stuff. These folks build all winter and then paddle all summer.

I have a hard enough time getting a good stroke when both ends of the paddle match... I keep it simple; and use my GP when I don't mind getting wet.

d

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:44 am 
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Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
I always use 60º feathering for touring and and all my Werner Camano paddles can be adjusted to a 30º, 45º & 60º feather left or right. When I used to do a bit of whitewater kayaking, I had a Schlegel Prijon Slalom paddle that was permanently set at a feather of 90º, so basically I am used to feathering and after 30 plus years of kayaking, it just feels normal. I have never had a wrist problem when paddling, even on long expeditions paddling 10+ hour days; once for as long as seven weeks with ne'er a day off. I think that you just settle on what works for you; it becomes familiar and you become comfortable with it. Some sea kayakers use a 90º feather into the wind and as little as 30º when paddling with a tail wind. I just leave my paddle on 60º wherever the wind is coming from. It's a rhythm thing too, as well as a body rotation thing. Obviously, if you use a Greenland paddle, none of this applies. The science of feathering can make more than theoretical sense, especially when you are in open seas ploughing into a very strong head wind hour after hour, but then other things make sense too, like standing on the beach looking at the water going up and down as against being on it, in it, or sometimes, under it.

scribbler

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:40 am 
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Location: Southeast Michigan
Chris: Most of the time my girlfriend and I use my no-longer-made Werner Arctic Wind paddles, which are their interpretation of the classic Greenlandic design. I also still have my Feathercraft paddle, even though I no longer have the K1. The BB paddles are basically for backup and for guests.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:30 pm 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:09 pm
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Good, courteous discussion. I'm used to discussions on bike forums, which are more complicated, technical, and there are highly-opinionated zealots for many positions. I guess kayakers are generally more laid-back :D , probably because kayaking is simpler and less technical.

I guess it really is a preference thing. For those who want a more efficient, aerodynamic stroke there's feathering, while those of us who prefer more simplicity and symmetry won't feather. Works for me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:15 pm 
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I switch back and forth. In my Java I only use my Wind Swift or Lendal with a 45deg feather. In my Mariner I usually use a King Island styled Mitchell or a Greenland Paddle unfeathered. My 'Kapp and Sportee, use all of them., mostly the Wind Swift

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:00 pm
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Location: Upper New Zealand
MJE, is your arctic wind the looong ovalised blade shape? As opposed to constant taper?
If so, then I to have one. Approx. 30yrs old now..
Thought I was the only one using it as have NEVER even seen another.
Mainly used as a spare on deck for extreme wind paddling. It has actually been loaned out to others more often when they get into trouble due to wind or fatigue (or their paddle is crap) Werners are VERY expensive in New Zealand, but every one I've seen, (whichever design) the owners love them. Certainly are tough. when I pull mine out of the bag, people laugh at first.. I usually try to give them a chance to paddle with it and the feedback varies.
My #1 paddle is usually my 30 year old Nimbus wood. That one usually gets oohs and aaghs..
Enjoy the journey
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:04 pm 
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kiwisailor wrote:
MJE, is your arctic wind the looong ovalised blade shape? As opposed to constant taper?


Constant taper. I bought mine at a paddle shop in Ann Arbor around 15 years ago, and then found another one here in this forum some years later. Favorite paddle of both my girlfriend and me.

The long oval was the Little Dipper- got one of those, too. Werner brought back the name with a shorter paddle blade. I wrote them some years ago to encourage them to bring back the old design, but they told me they couldn't make it with their current manufacturing technique.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:49 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:00 pm
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Location: Upper New Zealand
Thanks MJE, that's it, the Little Dipper.
Only one I've ever seen.
Has quite a noticeable "flick' to it when being used. Something that people always comment on when using it. Definitely a different feel to any other I've used. When I was guiding/instructing, it saved the day a few times when people became overwhelmed in conditions due to bad technique or more often, blades that were simply too big for them. THEN the trouble started for me, generally due to having to take on board a one piece paddle.
Ever tried to paddle your kayak with a one piece on your front deck in nasty conditions?
NOT fun. Was tempted a few times to get out Leatherman and convert into a two piece.
If you are wondering why I didn't put it on rear deck, it would interfere with rudder. Once I had one get slammed by a wave and stick under rudder cable. Have not been a fan of 1x piece paddles since.
Splits are more versatile. Joins these days are very light and strong. Have never had one fail.
cheers, Wayne


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:03 am 
recent arrival

Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:10 am
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Apathizer wrote:
I was just curious to get their explanation | find more thoughts, opinions, impressions, etc, of paddle feathering. I've never been inclined to use any kind of paddle feathering. I know it supposedly creates more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIR1dfB2p20 | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwIAZKS9t1o aerodynamic paddling, but when I've experimented with it the difference seems pretty negligible. Also, feathering seems to cause left/right asymmetry in terms of balance and strength which I really don't like.

I'm not set in my ways, so am open to the possibility that try super cheap storage here feathering might be great and I've got it all wrong. Perspectives on this topic seem all over the place, with some paddlers staunchly opposed to any type of feathering, and enthusiastic supporters of it. So let's discuss...


I've tried paddle feathering about thrice and I still haven't got the hang of it. I seem to be more inclined to the normal paddling. During my trials, I was sure to learn about the difference in the angles with greater angles being preferred to smaller angles but feathering still didn't feel natural to me. It's a good option for someone who is not set in their kayaking ways because it's quite difficult to adapt to.


Last edited by aimeusdietger on Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:22 pm 
faltbootemeister

Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:08 pm
Posts: 102
I don't generally feather paddles or oars.
My favorite paddle was made by my Dad from a spruce 2x4. The narrow blades are slightly angled, it is very flexible, the blades are painted yellow, the shaft waxed.


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