Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

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BrianAZ

Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by BrianAZ »

I found a link to these folks http://www.windpaddle.com on another kayak site. Seems like an affordable, simpler alternative for those of us who want to sail, compared to the BSD, Folbot and Klepper types sail packages. Anyone try one yet?

It's almost too cheap to not get one and give it a shot IMO :mrgreen:

Christov_Tenn

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by Christov_Tenn »

I think Chris from Atlanta (Kayakamper) has a Spirit Sail rig he's selling in classifieds for about the price a Wind Paddle.

Alm

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by Alm »

BrianAZ wrote:I found a link to these folks http://www.windpaddle.com on another kayak site. Seems like an affordable, simpler alternative for those of us who want to sail, compared to the BSD, Folbot and Klepper types sail packages. Anyone try one yet?

It's almost too cheap to not get one and give it a shot IMO :mrgreen:
Similar to Spririt - flexible "mast", only circular (in Spirit it is V-shaped). I would assume - less efficient than Spirit (but please, don't take my word to the bank - I simply apply what I know about these small sails). It can't be trimmed to different directions of wind (Spirit you can trim to 90 degrees or +/- 45 degrees relatively to the hull axis). True, it is cheaper (spirit is $200 + $40 optional strap-on saddle for folders, if I'm correct) . But the price should not be a factor here - it would've been funny judging rigs under $300 on the basis of efficiency per $1 of the cost. They all are so low-efficient, with so many limitations, that lower yet efficiency is simply not needed. I could hardly use my PA rig more than 10% of time in a recent 2-week trip in Bahamas - and PA is considered to be more efficient, more wide-angle downwind rig than Spirit.

I'm more concerned about it's convenience of use. It is not clear how exaclty it is lowered, but seems like it is mounted at the 2nd (farthest) pair of hull D-rings, which is a bit loo far for a single kayak. I can't reach that far in Big Kahuna without taking my butt off the seat - and this isn't something that I do in windy weather. It is also not clear how to lower it - I can see some lines a-la Pacific Action, going towards the cockpit, but don't see how they are attached and used. Also, have worries that it might flap in the wind when stowed on deck. Even PA flaps when stowed, even though it is furled - some stubborn end of sail cloth gets loose all the time.

Downwind rigs are hardly an affordable alternative to upwind rigs like BSD, Folbot or Klepper S4. The are totally different leagues, and can't be compared. The problem is that upwind rig with outriggers, providing much better sailing than downwind rig - faster and virtually in any direction of wind, and due to outrigger in virtually any wind force, and for longer hours/miles, again due to outrigers (you can change positions, sit, stand, move around the cockpit, change clothes, eat, drink, even go to "washroom"), - at the same time upwind sail with outrigger limits your paddling options. You can paddle better with a downwind rig, but you can sail better (much better) with an upwind rig.

PS: this circular shape of "wind paddle" resembles me an umrella so much that I can't help but wondering whether a big umrella, properly hooked by its J-handle to the deck bungeys, will not work same well as this sail rig. And it can be get real cheap in Walmart and other low-end Chinese stores, under $10, perhaps.

BrianAZ

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by BrianAZ »

Alm, first, thank you for the well thought out reply :D

Here's my thoughts;

1) I didn't mean to compare it to the Folbot (no experience), BSD (waited over a year before, in frustration, canceling my order), or Klepper S4 (which I do have, and works, but is quite a handful to install and use, to say the least...) in terms of utility, perhaps more in terms of affordability and availability :mrgreen:

2) For the price, seems like a clever idea for "catching a free ride" if the wind happens to going the same way as the user

3) From what I can understand from the site, it sounds like you can attach it pretty much anywhere. And if folds up/stows away with a simple "twist", like many car sunshades... If I read it right :?:

4) The site has plenty of positive reviews, for whatever that's worth. It looks live a clever design to me, and the price isn't unreasonable, I've spent far more on a paddle. So I was just looking for impartial opinions, in case any forum members happened to have used one. :)

No offense intended, I love this forum! :D

john allsop
Brotherhood of the Golden Paddle
Posts: 1255
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:40 pm
Location: isles of scilly UK

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by john allsop »

I havn,t tried the "wind paddle" someone who saw it at a show told me he was not impressed with it, and there,s the video, sitting on the grass,I have the klepper sails but i like the PA, it,s simple to rig and dosn,t take long to put it up, can be pulled down and though not perfect is better than it being up when it,s becoming a problem, it will sail well except for up wind and is not overly expensive. If i want to go up wind i pull it down and paddle, I have seen a video with it in action on the water and that also didn,t look so good. For a simple sail get Pacific Action and have a "line" to each mast instead of the PA way. The "sit-on-top" site has a good write up.

Alm

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by Alm »

Yeah, there are many positive reviews on the company website, and many of them make me smile. Like sailing "almost cross-wind", or "covering 2 miles without paddling". Of course, you can cover miles, as long as wind is at your back and blows hard enough to move fast and not hard enough to flip you over - with any cloth propped up somehow. You can't sail 90 degrees to the wind with these sails. You can point the boat at 90 degrees, but it will drift downwind same much as it moves forward, and the actual course will be diagonal, at 135 degrees to the wind.

John is right, PA is a simple and efficient rig. It's only drawback - it needs some saddle to use it on folder, and certain minimal length of the foredeck - at least 70 inches from the bow to the cockpit, otherwise it is either protruding to the side or into the cockpit when stowed (which isn't a problem when you have a double kayak and sit in the rear).
I would add - Spirit is simpler yet, and slightly less efficient than PA (mostly due to smaller size, 8.5 s.ft Spirit VS 11.3 s.ft. PA, but both rigs exist in twice bigger sizes as well). Foldability of this Windpaddle, if anything, isn't better than that of Spirit.

People are attracted to those rainbow-coloured small sails like children to some butterflies or exotic birds, seems to me. There is nothing wrong with a small jib or genoa as a downwind and the only sail on Klepper AEII. It only requires one mast, very few lines, and can be quickly dissembled and stowed on board.

BrianAZ

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by BrianAZ »

Just an update. I went ahead and ordered one of these, and I gotta give it a huge thumbs-up!
It works and performs exactly as described on the site, attaches and deploys in around 5 seconds, stows in 5-10 seconds, and folded takes up almost no space, about the size of a Frisbee. In a strong wind, I was really hauling butt, but never for a moment felt out of control. Also, it's made in the USA, and I got mine about 3 days after I ordered it.

It is what it is, a very simple downwind sail, that can reach to some degree, that works great, and will fit pretty much any kayak, canoe, raft, whatever, with no special mounts or adapters. FWIW

(And before anyone complains about price, it appears to be very high quality. I have no connection to the company, just a very satisfied customer.)

mje
Site Admin
Posts: 1918
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by mje »

My only observation is that it appears to be designed by someone who doesn't really understand how sails work. I mean, I once sailed a mile using my parka and a spare paddle, but I wouldn't call that an ideal design ;-)

But hey, if it works...
Michael Edelman
FoldingKayaks.org Webmaster

Alm

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by Alm »

Mike, I saw many small sail designs intended for kayaks and none of them is ideal. But all of them work, each one with its own problems. The most efficient one, and unobtrusive in folded mode, was the one by Aussies - hinged mast halfway between the bow and cockpit, quadrilateral sail with tiny boom, folds back onto the deck by pulling the line. But it's designed for hardshell kayaks, on a folder it appears to have too many lines and cleats to attach and deal with. PA is too far in the bow. Spirit is less controllable than PA, and some hassle to fold-unfold in wind (especially bigger 16 ft one). This round-shape "Wind Paddle" is hardly controllable at all, and with semi-sphere shape you right that it can't be very efficient. All other - Balogh Twins, Klepper Freewind etc - require long mast within your reach or lines to deal with. Depending on the kayak some might work better than other, but none is ideal. At best, it will take you downwind (where you can get anyway), then you might have to have to paddle upwind, and then its efficiency doesn't matter any more, while the most important feature becomes the ease of lowering it and how unobtrusive it is when stowed :-) ...

Der olle Hansen

Re: Anyone tried a "Wind Paddle"?

Post by Der olle Hansen »

The cheapest way to sail with astonishing good results:
sun shelter
sun shelter
schirm1.jpg (49.27 KiB) Viewed 774 times
rain
rain
rain.jpg (63.7 KiB) Viewed 773 times
sailing
sailing
schirm2.jpg (49.95 KiB) Viewed 773 times
Multi-purpose-umbrella: rain shelter, sun shelter, tent pole, downwind sail with ~10 sqft.
Much fun and benefit for 16€ :mrgreen:

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