söndag 1 mars 2015

Paddle project: Experimental grip design

I put a lot of thought into this paddle. It was on the sketch board for a few weeks before I was pleased enough with the design to start building it.
My idea was to make a paddle with a kind of north woods grip for adjustable length. But allowing a more comfortable grip by tilting the hand a bit. At first I worked with ideas of a symmetrical grip. But then I realized an asymmetrical grip will give more specific length options and a stronger construction. I'm still waiting for the oil to dry so I haven't taken it for a sweep yet.
Shaft length: 80cm (31.5")
Blade: 74cm (29")
All the way through the middle of the grip are 9mm (1/3") of unbroken fibers for strength. And to further strengthen the grip there is some extra material on the opposite sides of the concavities.
Each grip is approx 9 cm (3.5 inches) and the hand comfortably slides over to a grip on the other side when I flip the paddle for for example an Indian stroke.
I couldn't get a good photo of this. But the grips are a bit thicker than the concavities, which gives a more relaxing grip.
Holding the top grip one way is nice for distance paddling.
And flipped the other when you need a more firm grip of the paddle.
And holding the side-grips. IMO the most comfortable way to use this paddle.
I did not put as much thought into the blade as into the grip. But I wanted a form which has the same feel. It turned out as a curvy design. The narrow part got a bit more narrow than I had planned because of a malfunction in the band saw. But I think it still turned out okay.
The wide part in front should give some extra power for steering strokes, while hopefully still being quite relaxing to paddle forward with because of the narrow middle.

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