August 25, 2020
Sales of kayaks and stand up paddle boards have been high despite the pandemic, or perhaps because of it. This trend prompted Fox 13’s Charley’s World to feature Bill Jackson’s and how the store has been fairing. Customers have been buying kayaks and boards almost as fast as we can get them in. Read on to learn of the benefits of a better kayaking paddle and tips on choice.
When people purchase such an expensive item, they often save money by getting a cheaper paddle. If you are one of these many adventurers and have found you love the activity, you may want to consider upgrading that paddle.
More expensive paddles tend to be more rigid and lighter with better swing weight. It will take you a certain amount of effort to move through the water. Even a small increase in efficiency can mean less fatigue and more enjoyment.
If your paddle has more flex, you will loose efficiency with some of the effort being lost as the blade and shaft bends. A stiffer paddle with resist this bend, and produce more power with each stroke. With less effort wasted, you would be able to do the same work with fewer strokes.
The weight of the paddle also effects efficiency. Say it takes you 500 strokes to paddle a mile. If you choose a paddle that weighs even an ounce lighter, you will save moving 500 ounces (over 31 pounds) over the course of the mile. To sense the difference between various paddles, one is looking more than just the weight of the paddle itself. Consider instead the swing weight determined by the feel of the hand. Hold the center of the paddle in one hand. Tilt the paddle back and forth, and feel the effort required to do so. Less effort equates to less work. Again, savings in work leads to less fatigue and more time on the water before you tire.
If you’ve purchased a kayak, get to know your paddling style. It will either be low or high angle. This style will determine the shape of the paddle blade used. If you are putting out the money for a new paddle, it is good to look at the whole design.
Low angle paddlers will often use longer narrower blades since it is not deeply placed in the water. This style is usually used in kayaks in which the paddler sits low relative to the water. This is often the case in touring kayaks. Strokes are easier and more relaxed.
High angle paddlers use a shorter wider blade. Most of the boats Bill Jackson’s has been selling lately are geared to this style. In many sit on top kayaks, one sits high up. Of course with stand up paddle boards, this blade shape is default. In low seated kayaks the high angle method is sometimes used for faster cadence and speed.
If you are considering a paddle upgrade, visit our store, and put one in your hand. Discuss your options with our staff. Don’t underestimate the power of a good kayak or SUP paddle. It really can make your time on the water more enjoyable.