Paddle Grips [47]

By Chris Halliday

Recently the OSD was mentioning offset on a straight-blade paddle. He spoke of getting some blistering on a multi-day paddle, and felt that the offset angle needed to be something other than zero in order to get best performance and stop blisters.

I have experienced something similar.

When I first got into sea kayaks I decided to use a straight blade from day one. After doing the Murray with a relatively cheap paddle, I noticed a few blisters on one hand only, and realized that the shaft was turning a little.

So when I ordered my new one piece straight blade paddle from Skee, I got him to build it with an oval hand grip at each end. He said “What the?” but he did it for me anyway.

Problem gone – no blisters, no pain. Neither hand moves on the shaft. No doubt the wrists make the small angle adjustment now, and since I don’t get wrist pain, I must assume that BOTH wrists share this. Equally importantly, the boat goes in a straight line without rudder, so the stroke must be pretty much the same on each side.

Whatever, this idea worked a treat. Recommended to try. You can get the grip and shrink wrap from Skee and retrofit for yourself (if you have a split paddle). Cost of the bits is bugger-all.