It is currently December 6th, 2019, 3:13 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 54 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 17th, 2005, 2:42 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 27th, 2003, 10:25 am
Posts: 1351
Quote:
What are you smoking out there in BC?


:tsk: John, I'm crushed that you would even consider such a thing..........

Can't fool me though, I know you'll be rolling the "limited edition "JW Tripper" in oiled cherry " idea around. :lol: :lol: :lol:


Cheers back,
:wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 19th, 2005, 8:26 am 
Offline

Joined: March 17th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Jwinters wrote:
Just needs some one to pull it all together and then do the tests that would apply specifically to paddles. This sounds expensive but it isn't.

I haven't done the kind of testing John is thinking of, but I've done a lot of "backyard" science to attempt to quantifiy a lot of the theories I've developed about canoe and paddle design. There's one school of thought among the ORCA Lakewater Instructors that there's no point in apply names to paddle strokes as each is a unique response to a set of circumcstance and will be comprised of various elements of all the control surface applications possible. Paddle strokes as done by humans are "organic" and in a comparison to aviation are more like the flight of birds than airplanes. I don't doubt that it would be possible to do the measurements in the lab that would help understand what's going on, but I think it would require a lot of analysis because the number of variables is huge. I'm also confident that just as there's no single canoe that's perfect for every situation, there's no single paddle. A perfect paddle would need to be more like a bird wing than an airplane wing, able to change shape in repsonse to the desires of the paddler. To bring it back to the orignal topic of this thread, there will be times when some flex in a paddle would be a good thing but it'll be a bad thing at other times. Since we don't currently have paddles with the ability to do that kind of adjustment on the fly, a paddler has to figure out the best compromise between flex and rigidity to suit their needs and that pretty much brings it back to feel in my opinion.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 19th, 2005, 12:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: April 27th, 2003, 10:25 am
Posts: 1351
Rolf Kraiker
Be curious to know how many different paddles do you have in your arsenal and what would be your choice of blades for a 2 week trip with a variety of conditions expected, from flatwater lakes to a class 2 or 3 thrown in?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 19th, 2005, 12:24 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 17th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Komatiq wrote:
Be curious to know how many different paddles do you have in your arsenal and what would be your choice of blades for a 2 week trip with a variety of conditions expected, from flatwater lakes to a class 2 or 3 thrown in?

I haven't counted lately, but there'd easily be a dozen or so paddles to pick from. I have a modified Ottertail in solid cherry that I'd pick as the one to paddle to keep if I had to get rid of all but one. I'd be perfectly happy to use that on in anything from C2-C3 WW to fancy style paddling. On any trip that involves river travel, I'd also bring along a "white water" paddle which would be something along the lines of a Mohawk plastic blade aluminum shaft though it could be something a bit more upper end like a Perception carbon shaft with composite blade.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 20th, 2005, 5:55 am 
Offline

Joined: September 28th, 2004, 6:52 am
Posts: 442
Rolph wrote;

Quote:
To bring it back to the orignal topic of this thread, there will be times when some flex in a paddle would be a good thing but it'll be a bad thing at other times


Maybe. That is what objective testing helps establish. For example: Suppose a group of test paddlers all agree that a particular flex "works" better under a specific set of circumstances. The question then becomes "Why?" One can easily establish the physical characteristics of the paddle and compare them to a stiff "paddle" to determine which characteristics create the desired feel.

This has been done with equally complex systems including but not limited to skis and tennis rackets and even pole vaulting poles. I had the opportunity to watch this type of testing in the late sixties. We didn't even have the high speed computers we have now for the analysis.

When I worked for the marine division of Browning Firearms a supervisor once told me that if you felt you could not do a thing then you were right - you couldn't do it. At the sme time, some one who didn't accept that it couldn;' be done will probably get it done.

This paddle thing is a similar problem. Many believe it can't be done because they have never tried, don't know how to do it and don't want to do it. Many won't even accept the results of the testing that has been done.

I guess people really prefer mysticism to science. No big deal really. The sad thing is that misleading advertising will persist.

On the positive side, no one that I know has ever died because he/she is using a poorly designed paddle.

_________________
Cheers,

John Winters


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 20th, 2005, 8:50 am 
Offline

Joined: March 17th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Jwinters wrote:
Suppose a group of test paddlers all agree that a particular flex "works" better under a specific set of circumstances. The question then becomes "Why?"

I can't speak for any group of paddlers, but I can comment on why flex works or doesn't for me. After years of experimentation, I've come prefer paddles that don't flex. I'm at the point in my abilities where I can make the canoe do exactly what I want it to do and I'd prefer that whatever input I'm giving to the paddle be turned into output in the water. There was a time when I preferred a little flex in a paddle, but that was also a time when I wasn't as good a paddler as I am now so that might be a factor in preference. That said, almost all of the paddles I use are made of solid wood and have some flex in them, both in the shaft and in the blade. The only ones that don't have flex are the graphite shaft, composite blade paddles. Any solid wood paddle that's shaped to fit my hand is going to have some flex, how much will depend on the wood but I can get a sense of that by putting the tip on the ground and using my hands to apply force. Laminated paddles will tend to have less flex than a similarly shaped solid wood paddle. What I don't know is how much the paddle actually flexes in the water when I use it but I'd expect that to be very minimal as the fluid is going to move long before the paddle flexes any appreciable amount on any of the ones that I use.

The only place where I might be noticing a benefit from flex is on a trip where I'm paddling for long stretches of time - but I'm doubtful there's a significant benefit to be had from the flex. I believe other factors like the weight of the paddle, surface area of the blade, shape of the blade, ergonomics of the paddle will all have more impact than flex. The only way to confirm this (as I'm sure John would point out) would be to construct two paddles identical in every aspect except for the flex. The closest I've come to being able to conduct that experiment is using paddles from one manufacturer who makes the same model in both solid wood and from laminated pieces. From a paddling persective, I like the way the laminated paddles handle better than the solid wood ones but I don't own any of the laminated ones for asethic reasons, I like the look of the solid ones more. For me, the satisfaction gained from looking at the wood is in excess of the marginal gain in paddle response. I'm not sure you could quantify the benefit in the long distance test anyway. There are too many variables that can change on a trip down to something as simple as the way I feel when I get up in the morning though I supose it'd be possible to put a canoe in a tank and have a paddler watch a large screen video of the same river scenery going by for 5 or so hours for days on end using different paddles each day. Don't ask me to volunteer for that one :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 21st, 2005, 6:46 am 
Offline

Joined: September 28th, 2004, 6:52 am
Posts: 442
Rolph wrote:

Quote:
Don't ask me to volunteer for that one


Rats. Here I was hoping some talented paddlers likie Rolph would volunteer to become paddling guinea pigs in the great Canadian Paddle Test. Once completed Canada would lead the world in paddle development. Shortly after the production of the first Canadian Wizard prototype paddle the government would call an election and the new government would cancel the project, encase the new paddles in concrete and throw them in Lake Ontario.

Shortly thereafter he US would purchase the only remaining plans from a disgruntled paddle scientist for three million Canadian and start making the new paddles but with little American flags on them. They soon become "THE ONLY PADDLE YOU WILL EVER NEED. Canadians will continue to use their old outdated paddles as a protest against American cultural influences. The Chinese would start making clones and selling them for $1.87 at Wal-Mart undercutting American manufacturers and raising the deficit to new highs. Paddling forums will spring up debating the merits of Chinese clones versus American originals. There will be rioting on the portages as Americans with the new paddles fight off an incursion of orientals and pseudo-American paddlers using clones while Canadians using traditional paddles try to negotiate a peaceful settlement.

Who started this thread anyway? :o

_________________
Cheers,

John Winters


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 21st, 2005, 10:10 am 
Offline

Joined: April 27th, 2003, 10:25 am
Posts: 1351
Jwinters wrote:
Quote:
What are you smoking out there in BC?

Hey John, based on your last post it looks like the "little sample" I sent you made the trip and you are pleased with the results. The "larger order" is awaiting shipment on your instructions.............. :lol: :lol:
Quote:
Canadian Wizard
Good choice, far more marketable than the JWinters Tripper. I'm guessing it will be a JWinters design though huh? :wink:
Quote:
There will be rioting on the portages as Americans with the new paddles fight off an incursion of orientals and pseudo-American paddlers using clones while Canadians using traditional paddles try to negotiate a peaceful settlement.
Rats !! I think I must have got the sample mixed up and sent you the "good stuff"...... :lol: :lol:


Cheers back,
:wink:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 1:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: April 14th, 2004, 4:26 pm
Posts: 1895
Location: Toronto
I made my first couple of paddles this summer. It was a great experiance. The first was for my girlfriend for our 1-year, the second was for my dad on father's day. Neither paddle is perfect, their is probably the wrong amoun of flex, the shafts are not exactly round, and due to my ineptness with a bandsaw they arn't even perfectly symetrical. However, only I have noticed these minute flaws, both my father and my GF love thier paddles because they were made with love.

During the process, I became interested in the quality of workmanship on the other paddles I own. I began to seriously examine the shapes of the paddles laying around the cottage. My brother had just purchased a new $100 redtail modified otter tail, and I noticed a slight twist in the blade, nothig serious, but it definatly was not flat.... He is a little hypersenative and prone to overreacting. He developed a serious case of buyer's regret and became extreamly stressed that his new purchase was "flawed". At this reaction I looked at him and calmly said "Mark, Its just a piece of wood to push you through the water".




We later went on a faboulous canoe trip down the missinaibi. My GF using her slightly out-of -round shaft, and my bro using his twisted ottertail. We had a great time.

_________________
I like canoes


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 5:42 am 
Offline

Joined: September 28th, 2004, 6:52 am
Posts: 442
Komatiq wrote:

Quote:
Rats !! I think I must have got the sample mixed up and sent you the "good stuff"......


Anytime you want a testimonial for your product just let me know. Of course, I only use it for medicinal purposes.

_________________
Cheers,

John Winters


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 11:02 am 
Offline

Joined: June 25th, 2003, 10:25 am
Posts: 3
Location: Madison, WI
Dan. wrote:
However, only I have noticed these minute flaws, both my father and my GF love thier paddles because they were made with love.


Bingo. I once "restored" a paddle that should have been split into kindling but it was a special paddle. The varnish I put on it was worth more than the paddle, but if people were totally logical about everything, wouldn't the world pretty much suck?

_________________
Darren Bush
Rutabaga Paddlesports, Madison, WI
www.rutabaga.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 2:16 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 17th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Dan. wrote:
I noticed a slight twist in the blade, nothig serious, but it definatly was not flat....


Dan, first off, good on ya for building the paddles. I once carved a paddle out of driftwood to appease our youngest son on a canoe trip. I made the mistake of assuming he was too young to want to paddle and only brought one for his older brother (the kids were 2&4 at the time). I've given youngest son a number of paddles since then, most of which are long gone but he still has and cherishes that first paddle. It's special to him because of the love that went into the making of it.

Regarding that slight twist (and don't mention this to your brother) but that's the one flaw that would bug me the most in paddle performance. I use a lot of underwater recovery and distortion in the blade impacts subtle control. That said, someone once asked me the difference between a good paddle and a poor one and my somewhat tounge in cheek answer was "about five minutes". By that I meant that once you've used it for even a short while, you adjust and it isn't a big deal. It's not hard to compensate for any flaws in the blade unless they are drastic, I'd be more concerned about flaws in the grip. If it doesn't fit the hand well, at the end of a long day you won't care about what the paddle's doing underwater.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2005, 8:33 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 2nd, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3731
Location: Grand Haven, Michigan U.S.A.
Rolf Kraiker wrote:
Regarding that slight twist (and don't mention this to your brother) but that's the one flaw that would bug me the most in paddle performance. I use a lot of underwater recovery and distortion in the blade impacts subtle control. That said, someone once asked me the difference between a good paddle and a poor one and my somewhat tounge in cheek answer was "about five minutes". By that I meant that once you've used it for even a short while, you adjust and it isn't a big deal. It's not hard to compensate for any flaws in the blade unless they are drastic, I'd be more concerned about flaws in the grip. If it doesn't fit the hand well, at the end of a long day you won't care about what the paddle's doing underwater.


I agree, I hate that type of imperfection.... like when a blade flutters during the power stroke, or during the inwater recovery. Those are the sort of thing that grates away during the thousands of strokes you do in a long hard day of paddling. In addition, problems with the portions of the paddle you grip can really irritate one also, first psychologically, and then physically as small red irritated skin develops.

PK


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2005, 8:31 am 
Offline

Joined: March 17th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1772
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
pknoerr wrote:
I agree, I hate that type of imperfection.... like when a blade flutters during the power stroke, or during the inwater recovery. Those are the sort of thing that grates away during the thousands of strokes you do in a long hard day of paddling. In addition, problems with the portions of the paddle you grip can really irritate one also, first psychologically, and then physically as small red irritated skin develops.

I think that's one of the main problems that can happen in a solid wood paddle if the manufactuer is aiming to add some flex to the blade. In more rigid paddles, there's usually a bit of spline that extends from the transition from shaft to blade resulting in a blade profile that is a bit eliptical. In most of the paddles I've used where some flex was intentionally designed in, the manufacturer often "rushes" that transition and the blade profile winds up being more flat. If the plank that the wood comes from has some grain that wanders or is inconsistant in any way across the width of the blade, it'll often result in some warpage that introduces some flutter during recovery. The warpage is usually not symeterical either which means the paddle responds differenty depending on which side of the paddle is the leading edge. For some of the strokes I do, they require revolving the power surface and it's irksome when the paddle responds differently. It doesn't take long to get the feel for the two different sides, but it takes away from my enjoyment in using the paddle. That can happen in paddles not designed specifically for flexing, but I've noted it more often when there's been a conscientious effort by the maker to keep the blade profile thin and flat. I check the grain structure carefully when buying solid wood paddles, but I pay more attention to that in a thin flat blade than I do in one that's got more of an eliptical profile.

There are a few paddles in our collection that both my wife and I share. Her hands are dainty in comparison to mine and she prefers it when the grip and shaft are thinner than what feels right to me. Personally, I find that discomfort in grip and shaft are more tiring than a slight warp or flutter in the blade over a long haul. There's also a difference in the way I'll feel about a paddle being used for style paddling versus one that's being used for tripping. Things that bother me when style paddling are often a non-issue when the same paddle is being used for tripping even to the point where on occassion the "flaw" for the one appllication is an asset for the other. I've got one paddle that I consider the optimum compromise. I've got several paddles made by the same manufacturer who uses a pattern lathe to make them and even though they are all supposed to be the same, each has it's own character. What contributes most to making that one paddle great for me has as much to do with the piece of wood it came from as anything else. While the other "identical" paddles all feel pretty good, none feel as good as the specific one I prefer.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2005, 10:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: December 29th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 6146
Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Rolf,

Quote:
...I find that discomfort in grip and shaft are more tiring than a slight warp or flutter in the blade over a long haul. There's also a difference in the way I'll feel about a paddle being used for style paddling versus one that's being used for tripping. Things that bother me when style paddling are often a non-issue when the same paddle is being used for tripping even to the point where on occassion the "flaw" for the one appllication is an asset for the other.


I always thought that style paddling meant wearing good clothes when out on the lake, and paddling properly and correctly when others were watching.

8)

I think, really for me, 95% of paddling energy is spent in getting there, mostly straight ahead paddling, going to the place chosen on the map... so I suppose I'm a tripper by nature. I agree that grip and fit are important in reducing discomfort and tiredness over the long haul.

I happened to find a related article on this at the wcha website, which seems to sum up my personal preference more or less in paddle choice. Generally the author suggests that thin, longer blades are better suited for us long-haul tripping types.

Quote:
When I get these comments about paddling pain from people, I ask them what type of paddle they use. Usually the response includes a paddle with a wide blade or a tall paddle. Thats when I get my inner groan. I truly do believe that we as recreational flat water paddlers have been misled.

...

These paddles are often touted as having a bigger blade and the mechanical advantage of a longer shaft. It is precisely these features that produce the back, shoulder and neck pain. Over a short haul the average recreational paddler may do well and may be faster but that is hard to sustain for very long unless you are a trained, conditioned racer.

...

The wider blade is said to have a larger surface area. During the paddle drive the blade is square and the water is hopefully locked to the power face. This water wants to move sideways off the blade when pressure is applied to the stroke. The wider the blade, the more pressure at the edge of the blade requiring more effort to square which contributes to produce that dull ache in your neck and shoulders


http://tremolo.wcha.org/good_paddle.html


He doesn't talk about flex much, although my impression is that a long, narrow blade is more likely to feel softer when power is applied going through the water when compared to a wider blade offering more reisistance... maybe flex contributes to this softer feel.

There are some points I don't agree with such as the paddle needing to be slightly blade-heavy at the throat, and the short paddles used by the small-bodied voyageurs seem just weird, but overall the points about narrow blades being better suited to tripping are well made, and for me, they seem to work.

Rick

_________________
><((((º>


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 54 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group