SRS paddles are unique in the freedom they offer to you, providing you with unprecedented customization and flexibility. All our touring and high performance models come in four shaft formats: single shaft and our patented E-Z Set adjustable five, three or two-piece shaft systems.
Efficiency in Blade Design
The primary design objective of our kayak paddles is helping the paddler achieve the most efficient stroke in order to propel the kayak forward according to his/her expertise. The greater the mass of water the blade is able to "grip", the greater the resistance against which the paddler can lever him/herself and the kayak forward. This is where the importance of an efficient touring blade design comes in.
Both scoop and spoon help to increase resistance. Scoop is the widthwise dish and spoon is the lengthwise dish of the blade. The configuration of the pattern made by the tip of the blade reflects the efficiency of the stroke in terms of the power transformation from paddle to kayak. Any slippage of the blade in the water means that a proportional amount of energy has been imparted to movement of the surrounding water rather than the forward momentum of the kayak. This slippage is manifested in the size of the void or bubble created behind the paddle blade as the force is applied to the shaft and the kayak passes by. The theory behind the wing paddle is that as the blade moves outwards through the water, a lift force is created towards the front. This in turn reduces the slip backward of the blade that is associated with the scooped asymmetrical paddle blade shape, and particularly the dihedral blade shape.
Scooped Asymmetric Blade Design
Figure 1 - Scooped Asymetric Design
Figure 1 shows the flow of water off a scooped, ribbed blade. Notice how the powerface is curved, this is referred to as scooped. This concept was derived from competitive marathon and sprint racing, as it is designed to "grab" more water per stroke in order to propel the boat forward faster. To eliminate "flutter" and ensure the paddle pulls through the water in a straight line during a forward stroke, a rib (curved spine) along the middle of the powerface and backside of the blade was added to the design.
The rib along the middle of the blade guides the excess water build-up equally off the paddle in the front and in the back as illustrated in Diagram 1. Adding the rib to our blade design creates two advantages: water is given direction to flow easily off the blade without "flutter" and "overgrip", while the scooped asymmetric blade optimizes the "catch and pull" of the water with each stroke.
Note that the degree of scoop (width) and spoon (length) of the blade will vary, and the final choice of design will depend on the type of paddling you want to do, as well as your personal preferences. It helps to remember that the wider the scoop and longer the blade, the more water is pulled with the paddle during the forward stroke.
Wing Blade Design
Figure 2 - Wing Blade
As in scooped, spooned asymmetric blade designs there are many variations of wing blade designs: size; scoop and spoon; and angle relative to shaft. The wing blade design evolved in the mid-80's moving competitive kayakers in sprint, marathon and downriver away from the scooped asymmetric blade design, the standard in efficient blade design prior to the arrival of the wing.
A wing blade creates lift (Figure 2) after the "catch", as the blade begins to move diagonally to the water flow during the "pull-through" phase of the stroke. Water then flows over the leading edge, thus creating lift. The high resistance on the powerside and lift on the backside provides an increased efficiency over conventional paddles by at least 4-5%. A well designed wing will "find" its own trajectory without flutter, and at the exit phase of the stroke, the water is shed cleanly from the blades.