What Paddle is right for you?

At Lendal we believe that picking the right paddle should be simple. No need for all those crazy methods, confusing formulas, and unnecessary measurements. When it comes down to it, there are just three basic variables to take in consideration.

 

Type of Paddling – Low Angle vs High Angle

 

Low angle paddling is relaxed, your top hand remains at or below shoulder height throughout the entire stroke. This top hand position creates a low shaft angle as the paddle blade enters the water. Low angle is favored by many as it reduces tension and stress on shoulders & arms, helping to reduce fatigue over the course of long paddle days. The tradeoff is boat control. With low angle paddling, the blade path angles away from the hull which allows the boat to meander a bit side to side. The Voyager is our low angle specific paddle. A longer more slender dihedral blade profile sheds water in the air, and lessens water resistance.

Low Angle Paddles

High angle paddling, on the other hand, is a much more aggressive, performance-oriented style of paddling. The top hand reaches eye level, creating a high shaft angle as the blade enters the water. This style of paddling is all about power and form. This is the type of paddling for those looking to go from point A to point B in the shortest time. High angle paddling also increases boat control, and better tracking as the path of the paddle remains close to the hull. Tradeoffs are increased stress on arms and shoulders, and greater energy consumption. It’s also a stroke that demands good form, so it takes more concentration and work. The Storm, Cadence and Cadence X are our high angle paddles.

LEVERLOK OR PADDLOK?

LEVERLOK Connection 

 

The Leverlok is a strong robust joint that provides both length (extendable up to 5 cm) and feather (left or right) adjustments on the fly. The quick detach feature makes this system an ideal choice for the serious paddler on the go. This durable, reliable system easily detaches and re-mounts without tools. The Leverlok design allows for a secure, tight fit on your favorite paddle. With solid construction, you can rest assured that this system will perform in the most extreme of situations.

 

PADDLOK Connection 

 

Our patented Paddlok system gives our two and four piece paddles the feel and security of a one piece paddle. You can quickly and easily lock our shafts and blades together or take them apart thanks to the Paddlok system.

Used to tighten and loosen the Paddlok System is the Paddlok Key. This key enables one to take apart the paddle or to tighten up a loose connection.

Paddle size and shaft style

Paddle Size

 

At Lendal, if we have a bias, it’s our belief that too many people are paddling with paddles that are too long. This can create all kinds of bad habits that have a negative effect on your kayaking experience. We find that in general paddlers are using paddles that are one size too big (i.e. paddling a 215cm when they would be better off with a 210cm). Consult the chart below to gain an understanding of what paddle length might be best for you based on your height and boat width.

 

Height (feet)
Boat width <= 22.5”
Boat width 23  -27.5”
Boat width 28+
<= 5 feet 200 -205 cm 215 -220 cm 230-240 cm
5  –  5.5 205 cm 215 – 220 cm 230 -240 cm
5.6  – 6 205 – 210 cm 210 – 220 cm 230 – 240 cm
6+ 210 – 215 cm 215-220 cm 230 – 240 cm

 

 

Shaft Style – Straight vs Bent

 

There will never be one right answer. At the end of the day, it comes down to your personal preference. It is worth noting that Lendal’s bent shafts (Modified Crank Shaft or MCS) are designed to take the stress off your wrists and forearms. Several of our pros prefer bent shafts for this reason.

When considering shaft type and length, we advise paddlers to lean against a countertop, and place your hands where it naturally feels the most comfortable to support your resting weight (easier for some folks than the pushup analogy, but same idea). The distance between your hands is roughly the same distance your hands should be apart when paddling. So, make sure that the paddle shaft and grip area accommodate this width, otherwise you could be putting your shoulders at risk.