I've just finished editing an excellent Podcast with Danny Mongno of Werner Paddles. He explains exactly how to pick the right blade. It'll go live on 1st April - please don't miss it. But don't expect it to answer ALL your questions (or mine!)
To precis: a smaller blade typically suits a lower, more relaxed style of paddling, so a longer shaft would be used; alarger blade typically suits a higher, more racing style of paddling, so a shorter shaft would be used.
Fine. But at the weekend we found precisely the opposite worked for us!
The big blade was a 215, normal diameter shaft. The smaller blade was a 210 small diameter shaft. That's the opposite of what we'd expect. Yet both felt great in different conditions. How come?
We're hope to do a lot of paddling this summer, including a solid six weeks. That's another story coming soon.
Our splits are awful. We planned to pull on the stocking masks, raid the bank, then buy two sets of Werner paddles each. One big blade for when we're feeling strong, one smaller size to use when the arms get tired.
But what length? What shaft size? Do we go with the sizes we've used? Or take the gamble that combining characteristics Danny recommends (big blade, shorter length, smaller diameter shaft) might be even better?
Any suggestions? Sorry - you have to register to comment as some damn spammer was hitting the blog.
Edit: Nick at System-X just e-mailed with the following: "I would suggest that you just switch blade size when tired and keep length and shaft size unchanged. So an Ikelos and Cyprus both on 215cm or 210cm, and both with the same shaft diameter."