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Before deciding on a new paddle, you should study the general product features. This will help you make the right choice.
Structure and components
While paddles often differ in terms of their construction, the basic components are similar:
– Handle (only for paddling)
– Stem root
– Sheet (for double paddles)
The pommel takes on the function of a handle for single paddle paddles, while double paddles are held in the middle of the shaft. The shaft root is the connecting piece between shaft and blade. You can usually recognize a high-quality paddle by the fact that the shaft root protrudes far into the blade.
The following materials in particular are used in the manufacture of paddles:
– Modern materials such as carbon and fiberglass
The material of a paddle not only influences its stability, but also its handling. Aluminum paddles, for example, are heavier than carbon paddles and make paddling more strenuous. For the beginning, models made of aluminum are still completely sufficient, as the higher weight makes the feel more beginner-friendly. Carbon and comparable materials, on the other hand, are stable and yet very light, which allows you to save energy when paddling.
The blade, usually made of fiberglass, is crucial for the functionality of a paddle. Its shape also indicates the area of application for which each specimen is best suited:
Long and narrow: shallow and deep waters like lakes
In short: white water, rafting
Most of the leaves are symmetrical, but there are also asymmetrical variants. These require a little practice in handling, as you have to turn the paddle during use in order to be able to displace the water optimally. Whitewater paddles often have reinforcements on the blade edges.
The properties of the paddle blade are also decisive for the paddling speed. A small and thin paddle blade requires little effort. It is well suited for longer paddling tours, as the small area of the paddle puts less stress on the joints and muscles compared to larger versions. A larger paddle blade requires more effort when paddling, but is more suitable for tall paddlers and for paddling on (calm) rivers.
How big the paddle length should be depends on the seat height in the boat, the paddling style and the size of the paddler. Depending on which water sport you do, you need paddles with different dimensions. A length of 1.90 meters to 2.00 meters is recommended for white water paddling. Those who prefer a slow paddling frequency should choose a paddle with a length of 2.15 meters to 2.30 meters. As a general rule, the shorter the paddle, the shorter the commute. With a shorter paddle you are faster.
Tip: So-called vario paddles allow you to adjust the length. A paddle can also be used by people of different heights and with boats of different sizes. There are also multi-part paddles that you can disassemble and thus easily transport.