Monday 4 May 2015

Vajda Paddles

I picked up a small mid-wing paddle in my move away from the Euro paddle.  These paddles seem to be similar to the Epic paddle with a slightly different paddle face shape (perhaps a shade longer and narrower) - but that is just my opinion from putting the two paddles side by side and shouldn't be interpreted like I know what I am on about ;-)

They also have the same ferrule locking system.  In a trick for new players, to tighten up the locking mechanism, undo the screw and take the locking lever off.  Under the lever is a hex screw which you need to screw in to tighten (try a half turn at a time and retest). The outside screw is only to keep the locking lever attached.

My first test paddle went well and my first roll worked a treat, but when I got off the water I had found the locking mechanism had slipped and the paddle instead of being set to 210 and 60 degrees had somewhat shifted to 206 and some obscure angle.

After locking the paddle shaft in place I still didn't have any difficulty rolling with the new blade shape and am still able to slow the roll down without the need for gills.

Without too much effort I found I can sit on around 9 - 10 kms/hr, noting that I would be expending a bit more effort with Euro for the same result.  The Euro is a larger blade (Werner - Ikelos) so the kick back is that it takes more effort to drive it through the water and more pressure on the body.  Part of the reason going to a more efficient paddle is for those longer days on the water where you want to be paddling as efficiently as possible.

The paddle is very light which is what you are looking for as you are swinging the paddle all day.  The downside to this paddle is that it may be a bit brittle as it is the stiffer shaft and surfing with it in overhead conditions may not be an option.

If you are going to buy one of these paddles, make sure you buy from Vadja themselves.  There is a rogue dealer running around who was affiliated with the company at one stage and is now using the label (albeit illegally) to badge paddles made to the same shape from what I assume will be a different factory.

I have done a few 20 km hit outs over the past couple of weekends and am fairly happy with the result at this stage.  We have had a large east coast low that went through last Friday night which left us with some nice swell running inside the bay so I ended up with some nice waves to surf at my local paddling spot inside the bay.  Almost had a tidal race going with flood waters pouring out on an outgoing tide and waves pushing in from the north east.

I've been flat out preparing for a trip which I am doing in June/July this year, up to North Queensland.  Plans are coming together and sorting out the paddle has just been one of  the things on my to do list.

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