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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:39 pm 
I used a pair of hand paddles today. I bought them on ebay a couple of months ago and thought they might be fun to use. I haven't used them before as I've been injured for almost two months and only got back on the water last week.

I realise that nobody is seriously going to hand paddle on an expedition, and I bought them to play around with (might improve my sense of balance, etc) but I'm wondering if anyone here has experience of using hand paddles?

I used them paddling my Alpacka Raft as it spins 360 degrees on the water easily with one sweep of my regular paddle and I thought the hand paddles might improve on that, and the tracking, and go faster, etc, etc.

Boy was I wrong! Using both hand paddles together it was a sort of butterfly swimming stroke and was much slower than normal (the Alpacka only weights 4 lbs and that's why I thought hand paddles would be a doddle). Using a forward sweep and a reverse sweep, together at the same time, I only turned 180 degrees! I stopped after five minutes and reclaimed my regular paddle.

Anyone any experiences, hints, or want to tell me to stop buying toys on ebay?

Rods

P.S. Oh, and I used them on flatwater.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 10:12 pm 
I haven't exactly used hand paddles, but I've thought they might be handy for sailing in the single. If I'm trying to jibe and can't quite get into the wind sometimes I've paddled with my hand to bring the bow around (before I started sailing with more ballast forward). I was thinking of using hand paddles to move faster, since the action happens too fast as to deploy the regular paddle.

-Andreas


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:00 pm 
I have a set of hand paddles that i use for spares. I found the most effective way of paddling with them is to alternate hands when stroking, similar to the way we paddle with shafted paddles. As you said, they are generally not good for distance paddling (it takes a lot of energy to use them and you can potentially wear yourself out quickly,) but if you want to give your arms and back a good workout, or need to generate a lot of power in a short time (like when white water kayaking,) they have their uses.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:53 am 
tialloydragon wrote
Quote:
it takes a lot of energy to use them and you can potentially wear yourself out quickly,) but if you want to give your arms and back a good workout, or need to generate a lot of power in a short time (like when white water kayaking,) they have their uses.


I knew I would be using more energy but the surprising thing for me was that I generated half the power! I'm wondering if the flat bottom of the raft might have had some effect here?

I also had a problem with keeping them on my hands (oh, and Andreas, getting them on took more time than just grabbing a paddle) which obviously affected the stroke. If I tightened the cords to keep them safe on my hands, I couldn't see if I flipped, how I was going to be able to pull my sprayskirt open as they would be difficult to get off.

Rods

I will try again some time but the initial immpression was not what I was expecting.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:45 pm 
Quote:
I knew I would be using more energy but the surprising thing for me was that I generated half the power! I'm wondering if the flat bottom of the raft might have had some effect here?


While using a traditional paddle you technically incorporate both hands in the paddle stroke, don't you? So, logically speaking, only using one arm during the hand-paddle stroke would only elicit half the power of a regular stroke. The fact that you were using them in a raft versus a kayak may also account for the lack of forward propulsion.

Getting the hand paddles on is a totally different story. I need to use my teeth to get the second paddle tight enough to stay on my hand. There are other hand paddles made that allow you the use of your hands though. (http://hometown.aol.com/mschue5938/handpaddle.html)


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:15 am 
Quote:
While using a traditional paddle you technically incorporate both hands in the paddle stroke, don't you? So, logically speaking, only using one arm during the hand-paddle stroke would only elicit half the power of a regular stroke. The fact that you were using them in a raft versus a kayak may also account for the lack of forward propulsion.


I seemed to generate only half the power whether I used both hands together or one at a time.

Thanks for the link. These are much larger than the hand paddles I was using and definitely look easier to get on and off.

I'll try them eventually in my Puffin. I just thought they would work better with the Alpacka as it is so light. But I think also, I had to bend my body quite far forward to use them - not much no use of rotation.


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