Q. What length paddle do I need?
A. There is a recommended paddle length table on each of the paddle product pages. This gives you a recommended length foryour height, taking into consideration the type of paddling that you are under taking. Although a very good judge of what length will be suitable for your needs, it is only a guide. If you are unsure of what length you require then please contact us for experienced and friendly advice; we are always here to help. We offer an adjustable split joint on all of our paddles. For the touring range this allows adjustable length of up to10cm on straight shafts and 5cm on cranked shafts. This is useful especially when paddling on the sea, where pravailing conditions such as head winds and tides can change often. Having the option to change the paddle length allows you to change the gearing of your paddle strokes ensuring that you can achieve maximum stroke efficiency.
Q. What difference does the length of the paddle make?
A. Paddle length effects the gearing of your propulsion. A short paddle length allows you to paddle at a higher cadence (stroke rate) which provides you with very good acceleration but not much forward speed. It is also in-efficient and consumes a lot of energy. However, this is ideal for freestyle/playboating, where the kayak has a low top forward speed and requires regular bursts of power to keep it moving. Also, short paddles don't get in the way when performing tricks. At the other end of the scale, a long paddle length allows you to paddle at a lower cadence with far more efficiency; this is ideal for touring, when kayaks have a slender form and lower resistance.
Q. What angle feather should I be using?
A. Feather angle is the offset angle bewteen the left and the right kayak blades. The high angular offset's allow paddles to cut through head winds with less drag. This is very useful when paddling a touring or sea kayak; a feather angle of 45-85 degrees is common although, less angle is becoming more popular in recent years. Having less or no feather angle is beneficial when paddling in heavy side winds on open waters - for this reason we reccomend the 2 piece split option for touring and sea kayak paddlers as it allows endless angle adjustment and as well as 10cm of length adjustment as standard.
For modern day white water paddling feather angle is less important. Common white water feather angles are 45 and 30 degrees, with freestyle paddles having as low as zero degree offset which allows them to put pressure on both blades simultaneously (useful for loops and other freestyle moves). We offer a split shaft option on all of our paddles; this allows both the angle and orientation (left/right handed) to be quickly and easily adjusted without the need for tools. Note that the crank Touring / Sea Kayak paddle only has 5cm of length adjustment and the WW crank has no length adjustment.
Q. What is the difference between glass and carbon blades?
A. Due to their rear spine geometry and material properties, the glass blades are the stronger of the two in terms of all out breakage. Not one VE glass blade has ever broken to date. The carbon blade is stiffer and thus slightly more powerful - it is also lighter. The rear spine is wider and flatter than the glass blades; this provides a buoyant blade which helps keep the blade on the waters surface when rolling and supporting. It also gives additional 'pop' helping the blade on the exit phase of the stroke, linking forward strokes together effortlessly. The flatter spine cuts through the water nicely when performing bow and stern rudder strokes.
Q. What shaft construction is best for me?
A. Both the black glass and white glass shafts are identical except for the colour. The glass shaft provides more flex over its length. This is preferred by many paddlers as it reduces the strain on the wrists. It is important when paddling over long distances and also especially for white water when hitting rocks on shallow rivers, as the shocks get absorbed by the material. The carbon straight shaft is stiffer than the glass shaft which allows more energy transfer from the arms into forward speed. Competition and performance paddlers favour this choice. The neutral carbon crank shaft has specially designed geometry that allows the paddlers wrists to be in their natural alignment during paddling. This reduces the strain not only on the wrists but also on the elbows, shoulders and neck. Cranks are chosen by people who prefer the geometry and are the choice of people who suffer from RSI (repetitive strain injury) or want to prevent it.
Q. Where can I try a demo VE paddle?
A. We are based in Nottingham, England. You are welcome to come and try our paddles; please contact us to arrange a convenient time. If you cannot make it to Nottingam, please contact us and we can try and make alternative arrangements for you to try a set of our paddles.
Q. Are VE paddles made in Great Britain?
A. Yes, we are proud that all parts of the blades and shafts are sourced and made within the United Kingdom!