Curved versus Flat Blade

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

Moderators: adamin, kenneth, sbroam, TheKrikkitWars, Mike W., Sir Adam, KNeal, PAC

Post Reply
C Maven
Posts: 1104
Joined: Mon May 01, 2006 9:13 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by milkman » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:14 pm

In the new "what paddle" thread, Kaz raises an interesting question--why does a paddler want a curved blade? I'm not sure about the science behind it, but I've felt I get better catch and a little more power. I know it felt that way to me when I first made the switch from flat to spoon. But occasionally I've switched paddles in a run and didn't really noticed much loss of catch or power when using a flat blade. So are the benefits psychological or real?

Bob P
CBoats Addict
Posts: 764
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:04 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by Bob P » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:47 pm

Typically, the difference is small, but I suspect that most spoons are slightly narrower than their flat equivalents. Mostly though, I much prefer the smoother underwater recovery of the spoon, but that's from the different shape of the horizontal cross-section. It's been a long time to recall though: The last flat-blade I paddled with was deep in the 20th Century...
Bob P

C Guru
Posts: 123
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 12:17 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by Riverken » Sat Feb 27, 2016 9:01 pm

Honestly, I can't identify the exact reason, but I do think they work better than flat blades. If you're Kaz, it might not make a difference. Me, I need all the help I can get.

I mentioned that my shoulder hurts. Because of that, I have been forced to paddle correctly, as many people have tried to teach me over the past 19 years. Let the big muscles in your core do the work. It works, and doesn't bother my shoulder! Well, they say experience is the best teacher. Bob Foote, if you're out there----you were right all along.

CBoats Addict
Posts: 483
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:06 am
Location: Milton,Mass

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by craig » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:59 pm

Sometimes a smaller blade will help minimize shoulder pain

chuck naill
CBoats Addict
Posts: 482
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 10:44 am
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by chuck naill » Mon Feb 29, 2016 12:05 pm

I have a Clinch River paddle whose profile is more triangular than a rectangle. I notice Norse makes a similar design called a SW Wildwater," onclick=";return false; It's been 11-12 years since I had Bailey Johnson make the paddle and I cannot remember the advantage of the design. Perhaps it moves through the water more easily and put less strain on the shoulder.

User avatar
CBoats Addict
Posts: 331
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:28 pm
Location: Asheville, NC

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by Atucky » Mon Feb 29, 2016 2:16 pm

I use both flat and spoon blade paddles. One benefit of the spoon blade is that it feels to like the true J stroke is more effective at the end of the stroke.

I agree that the flat blade feels a bit easier on the shoulders.
Adam Trunnell

Paddling Benefactor
Posts: 903
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 3:02 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by Wendy » Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:08 pm

I got my Zap paddle last week and have used it three times. It is very nice for the shoulder, very powerful, soft shoulders, and a unique shape.

Paddle Power
C Maven
Posts: 1011
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:18 am
Location: Manitoba, Canada

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by Paddle Power » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:22 am

Riverken, go for a small blade as well. Paddle with a faster cadence. It will be easier on your body.
Brian" onclick=";return false;

Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 3:12 pm

Re: Curved versus Flat Blade

Post by benman » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:14 pm

I find the curved blade helps with static draws while surfing.

Post Reply