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Author Topic: Offset Paddles  (Read 5158 times)
DBWTim
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« on: September 30, 2003, 09:57:39 AM »

What's the thought on off-setting the top handle of the paddle to make it more comfortable for grip since it gives a more natural wrist position than the bent wrist of regular paddles? I'm thinking that by having the offset, it keeps the wrist straight with the forearm and it should provide a strong transfer of energy along the top arm since it's now a more rigid structure.  I'm just thinking that all these years of paddling with a bent wrist may have lead to slight (ok.. slight is an understatement) tendonitis and maybe an offset would have provided less of a strain. I also heard that it helps with paddlers with shoulder problems, so it may be helpful for the "limp and delicate" as well.

For those that don't know what offsetting is, it's a common "technique" (I can't think of a better word") in sprint paddling where from the top view of the paddle while the blade is horizontal, the T-handle will not at the 9:15 position like our regular paddles. If someone paddles on the right, the T-handle would be rotated to 3:50 and for the left it would be rotated to 1:40.  Of course offsetting your T-handle would mean that you would only be able to use that paddle on one side and if you wanted to paddle both sides, you would need two paddles with opposite offsets.

Offsetting was allowed in Philidelphia and Rome, but does anyone (Nook?) know if this is allowed locally?

uhh.. yeah... I think I should get back to work... Embarassed
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<I>Paddle for fun and race to win, eh? Prove it...</I>
Lifetime Huli Count: OC1 (2), K1 (1), K4 (1), Dragon Boat (1)
Nook
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2003, 03:23:22 PM »

interesting idea, keeping the T-handle straight or off-set won't improve or detract from one's ability to keep the wrist/forearm rigid.

with proper technique, a straight t-handle won't hurt your wrist, but for sure a little offset seems to make more ergonomic-sense.

I think you would need to hook up a paddler with wires and data-logging equipment to find out which is a more efficient method (my guess would be a draw).


For teams that use an early exit, It won't make a difference.  If anyone could put an offset to good use, my guess is that a team using a 'lunge & plunge' style, with heavy emphasis on a long pull, late exit would be better suited to the off-set.  Simply because the inside arm has to travel so much further back.

However, having a straight handle is not without it's uses, It's easier to ensure your pull is squared up (either by feel or sight).  When my paddle starts to twist through the water, I can dart my eyes up at the handle to check that it's lined up.  You can look at the blade of course, but b/c I want to keep the eyes up as much as possible, using the top arm is much more easier.

And, because i'm probably just used to it, It's easy to keep 'centered' over the blade.


As for where offset is allowed, I couldn't tell you, but there were lots of them kicking around at Alcan, Victoria and Kelowna.  I've never been to a race where they check for that sorta thing, so the points probably moot.
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DBWTim
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« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2003, 09:18:37 AM »

Here is the reply I got back from a reseller of Grey Owl regarding offset paddles.

Quote
I have never heard of a Grey Owl High-Performance dragon boat paddle with "offset" T-handle. The specifications for the paddle are very strict; one of them being symmetrical in all axis. Therefore it is not possible to have an "offset" anywhere unless it is an illegal one.


After taking a look at the IBDF Handbook, it states the following regarding paddle specs:
Quote
The Racing Paddle can be made from any materials but there are specific design features that the IDBF wishes to retain in order to preserve the traditional form of the wooden Dragon Boat Paddle. The paddle may be divided into three sections, namely the Blade, Shaft and Handle. The Shaft shall not be ‘cranked’ or bent in any way and the surface of the Blade must be smooth. Any paddles that exhibit a ‘dimpled’ effect will be excluded as will paddles which have a rough or concave surface. The front and back views of the paddle shall be identical as shall the view from either side of the paddle. Its minimum length shall be 105cm and its maximum length 130cm. The Blade width shall be 18cm. The Shaft shall have a maximum width and shall generally be circular. The Handle may be of any shape which will fit within an imaginary box of the dimensions 100mm x 50mm x 40mm as shown in the Outline Drawing.

I'm guessing that "The front and back views of the paddle shall be identical as shall the view from either side of the paddle." is probably the part that can be interpreted as making offsetting illegal.
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<I>Paddle for fun and race to win, eh? Prove it...</I>
Lifetime Huli Count: OC1 (2), K1 (1), K4 (1), Dragon Boat (1)
DBWTim
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« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2003, 09:20:05 AM »

Here is the reply I got back from a reseller of Grey Owl regarding offset paddles.

Quote
I have never heard of a Grey Owl High-Performance dragon boat paddle with "offset" T-handle. The specifications for the paddle are very strict; one of them being symmetrical in all axis. Therefore it is not possible to have an "offset" anywhere unless it is an illegal one.


After taking a look at the IBDF Handbook, it states the following regarding paddle specs:
Quote
The Racing Paddle can be made from any materials but there are specific design features that the IDBF wishes to retain in order to preserve the traditional form of the wooden Dragon Boat Paddle. The paddle may be divided into three sections, namely the Blade, Shaft and Handle. The Shaft shall not be ‘cranked’ or bent in any way and the surface of the Blade must be smooth. Any paddles that exhibit a ‘dimpled’ effect will be excluded as will paddles which have a rough or concave surface. The front and back views of the paddle shall be identical as shall the view from either side of the paddle. Its minimum length shall be 105cm and its maximum length 130cm. The Blade width shall be 18cm. The Shaft shall have a maximum width and shall generally be circular. The Handle may be of any shape which will fit within an imaginary box of the dimensions 100mm x 50mm x 40mm as shown in the Outline Drawing.

I'm guessing that "The front and back views of the paddle shall be identical as shall the view from either side of the paddle." is probably the part that can be interpreted as making offsetting illegal. I'm guessing the race organizers have bigger fish to fry than to crack down on illegal paddles.
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<I>Paddle for fun and race to win, eh? Prove it...</I>
Lifetime Huli Count: OC1 (2), K1 (1), K4 (1), Dragon Boat (1)
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