Saturday, June 28, 2008

New tools (or rather, toys)

Within the last two weeks, lots of new gear for the trip has arrived from various kayak dealers and sponsors. Most significant are the new paddles from Werner and Lendal, and Jespers new kayak (more on that part later from Jesper).

The feel of paddling with the Lendal paddle (straight carbon shaft with carbon Kinetic Small blades on, 210 cm long) is quite different from the Werner camano (straight carbon shaft with fibreglass blades, 215 cm long). The powerface of the Lendal Kinetic blade is almost flat, where the Camano's blades have a pronounced rib along the centerline. My impression is that the Werner blade has more catch, and less tendency to flutter during the pull phase of the stroke. The blade tends to stick in the water when ending the stroke, thereby making the effort to begin the next stroke a little larger.

The Lendal, on the other side, feels much more smooth to paddle - both catch, pull and exit from the water requires less "grip" and effort on the paddle's shaft. During the pull phase, the Lendal blades have a tendency to flutter - with some hours of practice, i figured out much sliding away from the boat was required to avoid the flutter., that was only forward-paddling experiences. Next comes rudder strokes and rolling/bracing performance - but more on that later. be continued.

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