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Many paddlers tape pads into their ski's buckets. A pad can help create a better angle and therefore more leverage at the catch, as well as provide comfort. See Padding in Equipment Adjustment

Setting Foot Brace

You may set your foot braces for different conditions. In big waves, you might want to set your braces long so you can get your weight lower in the ski for added stability. In flatwater, you may like to shorten your braces so you can exert more torque.


Hand Position/Setup

  • Tape - tape wraps on paddles tend to be quite personal in style, material and location. Experience will guide you toward what works best for you. But tape can make paddling more comfortable, give better grip and feel, cause less skin abrasion, and can provide a guide (the edge of a wrap, or a built up bump) for your correct hand locations. This is a good one to talk to other paddlers about - see what they do - try it - and see if you like their method or not. If you decide you need a big change in hand position, you may want to move your tape and hand position gradually to give your body time to adjust.

Click to enlarge

Paddle Tape for Hand Position


In general, paddle length depends on torso length when sitting in your boat. At the catch, with the blade fully submerged, you want your upper hand at about forehead height. Get a friend to watch you and help you adjust your length. You can also change your paddle length mid-run. If you are getting tired, shorten the paddle. If you are feeling strong, lengthen the paddle. Paddlers who do this practice to make it as quick and foolproof as possible. You may want to experiment with marks on your paddle that you can see more easily.


The number of degrees to which you set your feather is personal. Some prefer no feather at all. The advantages of no feathering include making it easier to brace on both sides, and possibly reducing strain on your wrists (some report the opposite to be true). One disadvantage of no feather is wind resistance on the blade going up-wind.

setup.1610141710.txt.gz · Last modified: 2021/01/08 16:35 by preavley