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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Group Forum: Solo Tripping
      Yak Paddle?     



05/14/2016 08:55AM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
For those of you who use kayak paddles with your solo boat, I am curious what paddle you use. Thanks!
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05/14/2016 09:12AM  
This topic has been widely discussed and I suspect with the variety of options out there it really comes down to fitting the person, boat and situation. Does the curiosity have any focus, like just an inventory of what people do use? a marketing survey?
I use a werner 240 bent shaft corryvreckan and I would not recommend it for most. It fits me, my boat and the kind of paddling I do.
05/14/2016 09:41AM  
Good point; I should have used the search feature. I am curious why you would not recommend the werner.
05/14/2016 05:24PM  
Werner is great. I think my paddle is on its third season and still going strong and I paddle a lot.
The blade is very large and the paddle is designed for high angle use. It can be tiring on long paddles and unless I paddled regularly it would be too much. That said, it can provide some really intense thrust when I need or want it. But not the paddle for most. I intend to downsize on my next Werner.
05/14/2016 06:01PM  
That is exactly the information I am seeking; thanks. I looked at their website and noticed that they had paddles designed for low and high angle. Having never used a yak paddle before, I am not totally sure what that means. The site referred viewers to a video, but I cold not find it.

I have always used the hit and switch method, which is fine, but I am going with a group of two tandems and I want to make sure I can keep up with them.

I want something light, but I know that also comes at a premium, and while I do not mind spending money for quality gear, my bank account is not bottomless so I hope to cull information from folks like you with experience.

I did find a number of other threads on this topic using the search feature, and, like you said, there is a lot of good information out there.

Thanks again!
05/14/2016 07:23PM  

I am pretty sure that a high angle stroke refers to one where the paddle is nearer to vertical and the blade closer to the canoe and vice versa. Obviously it's easier to do a high angle stroke with a shorter paddle and vice versa. I have rented both shorter and longer double blade paddles to use with canoes. The longer ones and the low angle stroke are more for "lazy" paddling in my experience since it tends to be more of a sweep stroke that makes the canoe want to move side to side vs. the shorter paddle and high angle vertical stroke which seems to be more of a straight ahead power stroke.

Maybe if you post the question in the gear of listening point forum, you'll get some more expert advice. Is it possible you might get to try a few before your trip? Or maybe rent one for the trip before buying?

05/14/2016 07:53PM  
Thanks for the explanation; makes sense! I have found a lot of info on previous posts using the search feature. I would like to try before buying-I should give Midwest Mountaineering a call to see if they have any paddle demos coming up.

Thanks again for the input!
05/14/2016 08:05PM  
There is lots of discussion about high and low angle with the greenland low angle paddlers raving about ease and speed. I canoed before kayaking so have always been more comfortable with the high angle. I have had some nice low angle experiences using short but rapid strokes, but in any kind of wind or current the high angle gives me much better control. I also recognize what works for me might not work for others and that I may be daft in my head, but I like the experience of being on the water.

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05/15/2016 12:30AM  
For what it's worth if you're a decent paddler sitting and using a bent shaft hit and switch you might well find you're faster with a bent than a yak paddle.
05/16/2016 07:21AM  
Don't forget you'll need a longer paddle than if your where in a kayak because of the seat height. As a long time bent shaft paddle, sit and switch kind of guy. I can tell you without a doubt that a kayak paddle will be faster. Werner paddle are awesome. I just picked up an Ovation. Pricy but sweet. They will special order longer shafts at no extra cost
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05/16/2016 09:14AM  
I'm going to say that everyone is different in their proficiency, and in varying conditions, with each stroke and consequently to say one is faster than the other just doesn't hold water.
I would love to see a expert marathon paddler go head to head with a expert yakker in a canoe.
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05/16/2016 11:19AM  
I don't often use a yak paddle in my solo, but I have a BB Slice 260 cm if I do. My Advantage is scary fast with a yak paddle.
05/16/2016 07:55PM  
FWIW, Frenchy19-

I rented a Magic solo last year and the paddle was a 240cm double blade, which seemed OK for size to me. I'm 5'6' with short arms and paddle seated. One thing to think about is that with a medium length one you have a range of use. In other words, you can use it with a slightly higher or lower angle, although not at the extremes. You can also change the leverage when paddling in wind by not gripping in the center of the shaft so that you have a longer paddle on one side. I hope that makes sense to you - it may not be a very clear explanation.

05/16/2016 09:09PM  
Thanks, all. I am going to head to Midwest Mountaineering this weekend to take a peak at what they have to offer.
05/16/2016 10:35PM  
Looking forward to your report. Have some fun.
05/16/2016 10:35PM  
Looking forward to your report. Have some fun.
They may have some limits in length. Over 230 is hard to find retail, but you can get some good ideas...perhaps even a paddle.
05/17/2016 07:18AM  
quote bhouse46: "Looking forward to your report. Have some fun.
They may have some limits in length. Over 230 is hard to find retail, but you can get some good ideas...perhaps even a paddle."

Fishing kayak paddles are easy to get are in the 250-280 range (or longer). Also Werner will special order longer paddles at no up charge.

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05/17/2016 11:48AM  
I just bought a Werner 240 Straight. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, but it replaces a 220 that I chipped an end off last year.
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05/22/2016 10:43AM  
Switched to a Kayak paddle 2 years ago and like it more than a straight paddle due to better control in wind and waves. I do carry a strong plastic straight paddle for maneuvering in rocks and near shore as the kayak paddle feels a little thin for dealing with rocks.

Installed drip rings and use a low angle stroke to minimize water in the boat.

Really like the carbon fiber Aquabound Manta Ray (240 cm) in the pictures. Very light and strong:

05/23/2016 10:57AM  
Nice sale at REI until 5/30. Need to decide if I want to spend $319 on a Werner Kalliste or $159 on an Aqua-Bound Sting Ray. Ideally I could try both, but that is not an option.

The Werner is 5.75 plus ounces lighter, blades are a bit longer/wider (20.5 x 6.3 vs. 18 x 6).

Not sure if this justifies doubling the price; any thoughts? My gut says go with the Aqua simply on price alone.
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05/23/2016 05:06PM  
I would go with the lower priced yak paddle. That way if you decide that yak paddles aren't for you you won't be out as much.
05/23/2016 05:36PM  
I agree with save some money now. You might want to upgrade and go to a really expensive paddle, but start at a more reasonable level. Unless you paddle all day the weight difference will not matter much and the smaller blade face will not be as tiring anyway.
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05/23/2016 06:05PM  
I have the Aquabound stingray 250cm. This is the second year with it and I love it. In my advantage I can just plain fly. I brought my solo last year on our group trip and I was always halfway done with my portage when the second canoe was landing. I would agree not to spend the money up front, I do not feel the price is representative to the increased quality. I also agree every ounce of paddle is important on long days of paddling. Good luck with your decision.
05/23/2016 08:50PM  
Thanks, folks. The Aquabound it is!
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05/23/2016 10:03PM  
be sure to get the Posi Lok
IMO you will be happy with it, very nice paddle for the money

I have a Sting Ray in 240, the nice thing is I can do both high & low angle paddling with it in my canoe. I don't get the go long so you avoid the drip argument, it is canoeing, drops of water are expected. With either high or low you will occasionally do an imperfect stroke and get wet (especially with a high stroke), so get the length for efficient paddling.

I have a Manta Ray in 220 for my kayak. Having tried the 240 in the kayak, it is simply too long for high angle paddling, and for low it is also too long although in a pinch it can be used. The 220 is too short in the canoe, I could get by with a 230 for high angle, 250 for low, but IMO, the 240 works for both, actually a 235 for high and a 245 for low would probably be perfect, consequently for me the 240 is the wise choice so I can do both with the same paddle.
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