Ways to Pick the Best Kayak Paddles/Oars
Kayaking paddles there are many, and these have been mine during these years, following my evolution you will see the options when buying a shovel . All these shovels will serve you for sea kayaking, fishing, inflatable or leisure (marshes). Know them to know what you need.
I started with a simple shovel, which I bought in Decathlon , made of aluminum and plastic. I acquired it together with the Rotomod Ocean Duo , and left in the same lot. These are basic paddles, not recommended and you can find in kayak rental companies. Heavy and worse, unbalanced.
At first you can give equal, but when you try a better, you realize how bad it is. If you start with one of these, I recommend that it be two pieces. So the day you get a good one, this one serves as a replacement paddle.
The emergency shovel is on deck if you break or lose the good shovel in a crossing. It happens a few times, but one day you need it, checked.
Looking for lightness I got a carbon track Roman . The spoon is very good for running in calm waters or with a surfski, but as soon as the sea moves, it gives very little confidence. The concave shape of its leaves means that the supports in the water are not safe, and that you get a scare, or directly a rollover.
Designed to “catch” a lot of water, if you do not put them in the angle they have been designed for, they do not give you enough or support. That’s why you suffer in maneuvers or with the silly sea. That’s why I do not recommend them at all for beginners .
Shovels of SEA Kayak / Fishing
This was my shovel for a while: an Aquabound AMT Expedition, now it’s this model . I tried different shovels from my teammates and I loved it. It was built in carbon fiber with nylon coated sheets which made it very resistant. I liked very much to see how fine it was. It was not removable and I sold it, but I liked it so much that when I needed one for my girl I chose another Aquabound two-piece Eagle Ray Carbon. These are mid-range blades and have a very good price.
The Werner Cascadia or Skagit was my first ergonomic shovel, and also removable. This is the most basic model of the range and it works very well. Also made with nylon, it is hard on the nose. By putting defects the splicing system of mine was rudimentary. Now they have improved it in the Skagit model.
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Pleased with the operation of the Werner blades, then his older sister Werner Camano would come with an ergo pole, looking for a shovel with a larger surface blade. I felt strong and that was the excuse. It is available all in carbon, but for not wasting I bought the most economical model. We would be talking about one of the best shovels for sea kayaking.
To say that all these shovels adapt to my low paleo style. In addition they have a surface of contained leaf so that the paleo is smooth and thus to row hours and hours.
In the middle I met, fooled and married the Greenlandic shovel . Shovels that I have built myself, and that offer different sensations when paddling. Which to choose, Greenlandic or European? In my case it depends on the situation, on the kayak, the state of the sea and the mood, but the important thing is to enjoy the variety.
At different times I use almost all the shovels that I have. I usually paleo with Greenlandic, because it offers more softness. What I like most is that you can move your hands along its length, which facilitates many maneuvers . However in double kayak always shot of the European shovel. If you do not want or do not know how to build the Greenlandic shovel, you can buy it in wood or carbon. I ended up so caught up with this type of shovel that I fell, and I bought aGearlab .
How to Choose Kayak Paddles/Shovel/Oars
After my experience I can only recommend trying a shovel before buying it . Or at least if we are going to make a large outlay. The shovels are somewhat more difficult to sell and buy in the second-hand market, compared to kayaks. It is a key element in navigation, and it can depend a lot on fatigue or potential injuries.
The first thing is to know how long we need the shovel. It is very easy to place the arm stretched and the shovel is good when we are 4-5 cm to the edge. If you are going to carry an inflatable or self-emptying kayak that is more than 80 cm wide, you should add another 5-10 cm to the distance you have calculated before. Then you have to take into account the angle.
If it is a removable blade we will be able to regulate it, but if it is one piece the angle that differentiates one side of the other should be 45 or 60 degrees. That difference can be positive or negative if you are right-handed or left-handed. Look at the drawing that the leaves are not in the same plane.
The pole can be straight or ergonomic (twisted if you are brutote). The latter are supposed to punish the wrists less by allowing a better alignment of the hands when we put the shovel in the water. It may sound like a Chinese story, but the truth is that paleo with the ergo pole is more comfortable. If we do not want an aluminum pole, but we can not get to the carbon pole, we can buy a fiber pole.
Without leaving the pole some blades have a highlight on the right to improve grip. I do not recommend it, if you need it you can do a tuning to your liking with tennis tape. A foolish and important accessory is the dripper, which prevents the passage of water. It seems that no, but the hands go dry thanks to that washer what reduces that you leave the fearsome blisters.
Now we come to the sheets, which can be (in order of quality) plastic, nylon, fiber or carbon. The shape is vital to the sensations of the shovel. If you look at the leaf it is not symmetrical, at the top it is longer than at the bottom. In addition that form and width will determine that the blade is high or low angle. In the image you will see immediately the difference of high or low paleo.
The first is more powerful, it tires you more but it makes you go more straight. The second gives you more balance (important with moving sea), lets you row more hours but you must have a tad of care so you do not change the course of the kayak.
As I told you before, I’m low paleo. If the design of your shovel accompanies your style when paddling, great. If not, you will waste your strength and you will not have so much fun. A kayak of more than 70 cm conditions the rowing and only poses a low paleo style. Finally say that the shape of the face of the leaves makes the difference of a good shovel and that is achieved with hours of research and testing.
Know that there are removable blades of three and four pieces , but they are only recommended as a spare blade. Or in the case of having an inflatable kayak and wanting to carry the shovel in the bag of all the equipment.
At Amazon they sell kayak paddles. There is a limited offer but there is, here you have it . There are very interesting models like emergency shovel. If you liked it, please recommend this article on your social networks. If you’ve been wanting more, read my tips for paddling in kayak .
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