- Some paddlers like a wider blade for more bite when surfing.
- Some paddlers like a narrower blade to fit a small hand for rolling.
- Some may need a stronger or armoured blade for rock gardens.
- Some paddlers want a lighter paddle and will accept the risk of breakage.
- Small hands may require a narrower loom.
- I am happy to adjust my standard design to meet particular needs and preferences.
To measure the best loom length for you, stand with your arms hanging down at your sides completely relaxed. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, knuckles facing up, maintining the same width between your hands. Form a circle with your thumb and forefinger on each hand. This is the distance for a custom loom length. I normally build looms in the range of 48 cm to 56 cm ( 19 to 22 inches ).
60 cm (23.6 in) is about the longest anyone would want the loom ( measured from shoulder point to shoulder point on the paddle ) I find a 50 cm ( 20 inch ) loom works well for most people. Kayakers switching to a pautik from a Euroblade often prefer a longer loom initially but as they get used to pautik and their skill level and torso rotatation improves, they usually prefer a shorter loom.
Find what feels right for your body and your paddling style. The ultimate test is how it feels to you.
- The width of the end of the blade is a trade off.- Narrow blades around 80 mm (3.1 in ) are easier to hold for rolling.
- My standard blade is 88 mm (3.4 in ) wide and works well for most people for all aspects of paddling.
- Wider blades around 90 mm (3.5 in ) provide more surface area for fast acceleration and bracing when surfing.
- A modified hand grip can be used for rolling so that smaller hands can grip a wide blade. I recommend optimizing the paddle width for touring. You can use a modified pincer grip if you find that your touring paddle is too wide.
- If you have small hands and you spend a lot of time rolling, then consider a separate Rolling Paddle that is optimized for rolling.
- If you spend a lot of time surfing and rock gardening, consider a separate surfing paddle where the last 20 cm of the blade is a full 92 mm wide. The extra bite this provides will amaze you. It provides all the power you need for bracing and accelerating in rough water.
When I am rolling I often alternate between a standard grip and a modified pincer grip. This works particularly well with a wide surfing paddle when I am wearing thick neoprene mitts. It allows people with smaller hands to grip a wider blade and reduce the risk of thumb injury. This grip allows you to use a paddle width that is optimized for touring and still make it work for rolling.
I always paddle with two different paddles. My second paddle is a 200 cm storm paddle or rolling paddle that fits on my front deck. I use a sliding stroke with the shorter paddle.