To make use of the paddles advantages, the feathering has to match your paddling style.
Paddlers who feel unsteady in the boat, need a lot of support to keep the balance. A better balance can be achieved by placing the paddle in the water far away from the boat. In order to be able to do that, the upper blade must be lowered. The result is a low paddlingstyle with a low angle of attack of the blade in the water.
By practise the technique and balance improves and the efficiency can be increased. To make the best possible use of both the paddle and the muscle-structure, the paddle has to be placed in the water close to the boat. This allows the upper blade to be raised which results in a steep style. Putting the blade in the water close to the boat, also allows will lead to a longer stroke .
Frank H. Hansen Foto: Per Hallum
This angle tells if the style is steep or flat.
There is a direct connection between the angle the blades are feathered and the shown angle. If they don't correspond, one can't row at least not properly.
The paddles we supply the beginners with, are often feathered for a steeper style then they can cope with. This makes it difficult for them to feel how the paddle is supposed to move through the water.Therefore it can be an advantage to feather the paddle to correspond with a more flat style. This will allow the beginners to feel how the paddle goes, when it follow it´s natural way through the water. Later on it is easy to make the style more effective, just by feathering the paddle more bit by bit then the paddlingstyle will get higher by it self. ( please refer to " Feathering the stroke ")
Even experienced paddlers, with good technique and balance, can gain from developing their style, just by adjusting the feathering of the paddle.If the paddle is feathered too much, you will get an insecure style; if the blades aren´t twisted enough you get a flat and ineffective style. It is often the reason why John can't get his arms higher up, although he has been practicing, the whole season!!
The perfect style:
There is no doubt in my mind, that style is individual. There is not one perfect style.
Having said that, we must agree; that the best style is the one, which provide us with as much propulsion as possible, using the smallest amount of energy.
The paddle has to be held steep during the stroke then you get advantage from the wing- principle
Your wrist has to be straight during the hole stroke; and the paddle has to find its own way through the water then the featering of the paddle correspond to your style.
Your upper hand must move in a horizontal line in front of you during the stroke that makes sure you rotate your upper body, using your back muscles.
The paddle has to cut its way up through the water in the end of the stroke then you don't spend energy lifting unnecessary water.