KAYAKS AND PADDLING
Kayaking for many is a very enjoyable, sometimes thrilling, sometimes relaxing activity. Depending on how you want to enjoy it, you can either go for a leisurely lounge paddling over clear and tranquil waters to clear your mind and ease up, or you could traverse the rough but exciting flowing waters for that exhilarating ride and spark of adrenaline!
Paddling is a skill in kayaking that essentially moves you around while in the water. You’ll need to learn this as you won’t get anywhere without the proper paddling skills. Just as there are different kinds of kayaking, there are also a variety of paddling techniques but the most basic will be paddling with a two handed double bladed paddle.
Related Reading: How to choose a kayak paddle
THE LOOK AND FEEL
Kayak paddles may be tricky at first glance. And a lot of people are surprised as to how they are made and designed.
If you’re new to Kayaking, then you’re probably wondering why most paddles are offset, or “feathered”; they aren’t symmetrically proportional as you imagined them to be. That’s because a kayak paddle is well designed to provide the maximum effectiveness with the least amount of effort exerted. It may look different and feel a bit funny, but you’ll soon realize its purpose.
THE DESIRABLE ANGLE
As opposed to a zero angle paddle (one that is not offset) there is a preferred angle for a paddle:
A feathered paddle is offset by an angle between forty-five (45) up to that of ninety (90) degrees. This angle is the most desirable as claimed by most kayakers.
ITS MAIN PURPOSE
The main purpose for an angled paddle is to facilitate the motion of rotating the paddle with the least amount of stress on the muscles to let the paddle hit the water and propel the kayak forward. The angle lets the paddle meet the least amount of air resistance while out the water and promotes the best swipe while underwater. That little angle adjustment alone has done wonders and saved a lot of sore muscles and aching backs!