Choosing The Right Kayak Paddles
If you want expert paddles, prepare to pay a high cost. The inexpensive paddles often will not last, and if you are in whitewater competitions you put yourself at risk, since the cheaper paddles could break under the force of the waters.
In whitewater kayaking the kayakers are generally experienced, and has past training, which they have the basic strokes and the Eskimo Roll down. If you intend to join slalom competitions, then you want to consider maneuverability. The basic and advanced strokes are designed to help you maneuver through whitewaters, thus knowing what move to make next. The Duffek stroke is another tactic employed by professional kayakers.
Why are we discussing strokes? Because the strokes make a difference in deciding which paddles to choose from in kayaking competitions: When you join whitewater competitions, you must use paddles that help you to maneuver the kayak through obstacle courses. Often gates are labeled and put, which if you touch the gates, you loose time and points. The strokes could, since the common telemark stroke maneuver can help you get through obstacles courses in competition, providing you have the correct or fitting paddles. Typically, kayakers will use double bladed paddles. Still, the design and fit counts. The Telemark stroke enables you to maneuver through kinetic energy while making the shortest turn through rushing waters. In addition, telemark strokes; include the high and low strokes. We can talk about the telemark stroke in a moment.
When choosing kayak paddles you want to consider turns, obstacle courses, strokes, positions, and the like. If you are preparing to join a competition, you should have the basic strokes down, as well as the advanced strokes, since you will use a variety in kayaking.
Now we can consider that the telemark strokes include the high and low maneuvers, yet we also must consider the variations of the telemark, such as the bow rudder strokes. The bow rudder is often used when the kayaker wants to change direction, yet wants to maintain his speed.
Choosing paddles then you want the size that fits you best. Choosing the correct paddles is important. If you choose to right paddles it could add to the adventure you will experience, as well as reduce fatigue.
Overall you want double bladed paddles, which give you the ability to feather in some positions and use force in other positions. Aluminum paddles are sturdy and lightweight, while wooden paddles is the most commonly used paddles. Aluminum tends to dirty up the hands much quicker than other types of paddles. Laminated paddles are also available, which these paddles are designed to utilize with wooden blades. As the general rule, competitors prefer the square tipped blades. Be careful when selecting wooden paddles, since some, such as the Sitka Spruce brands tend to crack after so much usage.
The best way to choose kayak paddles is to visit a store that sells kayak products and test the paddles yourself. Testing paddles will help you get a feel of what you may prefer. You also want to consider the blades. Choosing the blades will depend on your stamina and power. If the blades are too large, Whitewater kayaking will wear you down quick. Likewise if the blades are too large, you will also tire out quickly.
The overall notion in choosing paddles and blades is to think balance. Since kayaking requires skill, power, and balance, you want to get blades and paddles that provide the same effect. Again, the cheap paddles are a waste of time if you intend to win in Whitewater kayaking competition.