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 repetitive strain and those bendy shafts

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Paul Foley
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PostSubject: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Mon 04 Nov 2013, 3:16 pm

Dear members,

could you give me your opinion on this:

I have a dodgy left shoulder from a fracture a few years ago, it gives me trouble after paddling, sometimes more than others. So far it has been worse after a sea kayaking session and last weekend after being in Lough Hyne, (it was choppy enough and paddling was hard enough). After looking around on tinternet I read that neutral bent shafts help not only repetitive strain in the wrists but also in the elbows and shoulders. So I put my arms out in front of me and rotated my wrists (while my shoulder was acting up) and definately noticed more strain on the shoulder. Might a neutral bent shaft help this?? or are they just saying this to try and sell the more expensive paddles on the tinternet.? I dont expect any paddle to cure it completely though. Anti - inflamatorys from the canaries are not an option cause they wreck me stomach. I have a straight shaft TNP rapa now, some kind of nylon blade or something.

many thanks, Paul
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steven darby
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Mon 04 Nov 2013, 4:47 pm

If your shoulder is dodgy, then I would suggest investing in a vist to a good physio rather than a fancy paddle. I have a lot of experience with the physio in UCC and it's quite amazing what she can do with a bit of shoulder mangling and prescribing the correct exercises. I've tried various fancy paddles from club members and while they feel lighter and smoother I didn't notice any effect on my wrists/shoulders. That's probably becasue I'm already used to holding the paddle loosely to prevent wrist strain. You'd be best to swap with someone yourself next time you're out.
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Paul Foley
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Mon 04 Nov 2013, 8:35 pm

yea, there a savage price like. I'll practice a looser grip first, I had a very tight grip on it last Saturday. And the more I paddle the more conditioned I might get. I'd say my technique needs a lot of work. Might take up yoga. Wont bother with the physio though, you'd end up spending more money with them than any paddle. I'll try the prevention route rather than cure.

cheers Steven, Paul
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Paul Heff
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 2:28 pm

Paul, a death grip on the shaft won't help, also your forward stroke more than likely is not helping either, anyone can swing a paddle - doing it efficiently is another matter... Competitive paddlers direct a huge amount of time to perfecting this stroke. Rotating your torso as you pull the blade is key because it shifts the strain from shoulder to the stronger abdominal muscles.

Search YouTube for forward stroke technique, there are loads of videos out there. I'd recommend concentrating on the K1 racing videos as they utilise the most efficient (and injury preventative) version of the stroke. Start at a level that suits your fitness & shoulder ability and build it up from there.

My left shoulder isn't the best either and gave me trouble for years, until I improved posture, stroke (still more to do!) and finally listened to Sully and bought a paddle with a smaller blade area (thanks Sully Very Happy ).

Give me a shout if you need any help/info.

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Paul Foley
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 11:15 pm

Paul,

I checked out some of those youtube videos, Jaysus, no wonder my shoulder was at me. I cant say I have to improve my technique, I need to get one first.

thanks, Paul
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Paul Heff
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 11:47 pm

Just make sure you use the marathon stroke and not the olympic sprinting video's!! Very Happy

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Stephen Hamill
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Wed 06 Nov 2013, 3:26 am

Taking a look at slalom strokes vs k1 strokes might suit better to sea and whitewater paddling due to the different leg positions in k1 but paul is absolutely right.

we did a slalom session in Dublin a while back and it completely changed my stroke,

although i do paddle 2 different types of neutral bent shaft paddles (30 degree AT eddies and 10 degree VE full carbon)and highly recommend bent shaft.
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Paul Foley
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Thu 07 Nov 2013, 5:54 pm

thanks Stephen,

If I was getting a bent shaft paddle, should i get the same length, or should it be a bit shorter or longer?? Im 5'4" (thought I was 5'6" until I measured myself) Im shrinking in old age, (Fu** sake Im not small enough). Say for river running up to grade 3, and a bit of surfing on the way down, that kind of stuff, wavesport diesel .

rgds, Paul
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Paul Heff
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PostSubject: Re: repetitive strain and those bendy shafts   Fri 08 Nov 2013, 1:02 pm

Hi Paul, I'd say you should have a 191 or 194cm myself. There would be a good selection of 194's in the club to try, playboaters tend to have shorter paddles so getting 191's for comparison should be easy enough too.

I paddle a 194cm Werner Player (Playboat paddle), could have had the Sherpa (river running) but I preferred the feel of the Player. I'm 5'7" although it's been a while since I measured myself....

FYI If I use a 197 Player, I know its a longer paddle cos I calk feel the extra strain on my shoulders, ditto a larger blade.

Crank shaft is usually the same length as straight.

This Click for Werner Paddles Fit Guide, should give you a pretty close idea where you should be on length.

Give me a shout of you need more info.

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