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Paddle surfing in Dénia (III): how to choose a paddle to fully enjoy the experience

May 30 from 2020 - 00: 06

Little by little we are getting to know the fashionable nautical sport, Paddle Surf, SUP or Stand Up Paddle (“stand up paddling”). In previous articles we saw what this sport consists of and how to choose a good board, today we will focus on the lever that transmits energy to advance: rowing.

For this we have Vicente Selma Rodriguez-Flores, entrepreneur and Valencian owner of the national brand of Quiver oars.

Question: Hi Vicente, tell us what has been your relationship with sea sports and specifically with SUP?

Respuesta: Hello, my father linked me to the sea from a very young age, I started windsurfing and immediately got hooked on surfing. After many years surfing and to fill those holes without waves, I started with SUP, but I got hooked more than I could imagine and today is the most practical thing, any day is good, with or without waves, with or without wind, no matter the part, there is always something to train.

Q. We have seen that there is an incredible variety of boards, is it the same with oars?

R. Yes, there are different types depending on the modality and the user, varying the types of knobs, poles and blades that make up the oar.

Q. What do you have to take into account to buy an oar?

R. We must learn about the different types of materials (aluminum, fiberglass and carbon) and know how they behave during the paddle.

It is best to let us advise at a local store or school and thus make the right decision.

Q. When we start, does any paddle work?

R. In schools they usually teach with aluminum oars and plastic shovel, more resistant and cheaper, but heavier and with less benefits. The opposite pole would be a carbon oar, very light but more expensive and fragile.

With anyone we could start, at the beginning the material is not so important, an adjustable paddle would be a good option.

Q. Fixed or adjustable?

R. For initiation an adjustable paddle will allow us to try different pole heights and easily find the one that works best for us, it is also perfect if you are going to share the paddle with your partner or friends ...
Once you have a base, you will already know what height works well for you and you can buy a fixed oar and cut it to your height.

Q. Is the material of which the shovel and pole are made of important? And how does the weight or length of the oar affect it?

R. Depending on the material from which the pole is made, you will have a greater or less rigidity, this translates into making better or worse use of your paddle.

Aluminum is very flexible, so you stop taking advantage of a lot of force that you apply, in addition to being the heaviest option. Fiberglass flexes a little less and is lighter and carbon less.

Plastic blades have nothing to do with fiber blades, they are very resistant, but in water they do not behave as well. Depending on the shape of the paddle at the bottom, the paddle becomes more forgiving and lets you apply more force without dancing side to side in the water.

The weight, to start, is not so important, since it is a short time that you are going to row, but according to long distances and frequency a lighter paddle will be necessary.

In recent years, there is a clear trend to reduce the height of the oar. Depending on the modality, you will need different length measurements, this is measured by resting the paddle on the ground and putting the pole parallel to our body, for example for waves the ideal measure is to find that the paddle of the paddle is between your nose and forehead , and for long distance or competition (race) we will look for the knob to be a fist above your head. If you go for a walk or initiation (touring), they usually take it longer because you are more upright rowing.

Q. When buying the oar, many of us look at the price before, can you tell us if it is correct? That is, in the end it is possible that we maintain the same row for years. Should we consider making a reasonable investment?

R. For me, rowing is the most important thing, so do not skimp, you will have to see your budget first and then there are many price options that will allow you to carry something reasonable in your hands

Q. Are there different paddles depending on whether we are going to surf, distance or walk?

R. The shape of the paddle is the one that will most mark us for what each paddle works best.
The drop-shaped shovels are the easiest to carry and for almost all kinds of conditions or modalities. Usually they are used more for waves or allround.

The blades with a straighter and narrower shape, are more specific for race boards, allowing you to easily remove the paddle from the water and take it straighter stuck to the board

Then depending on the surface of the blade, we can see the largest ones, to do sprints and the smallest ones for long distance or light people.

Q. You are a regular of the "downwind" (paddle with wind and waves in favor) of Dénia. What do you think of our beaches?

R. Dénia is an incredible area, there are different sections to navigate depending on the time you have, and many days with perfect conditions with wind and bumps (waves) in the same direction.

It is what I like the most today, it is not only physical and technical, there is a very important variable that comes into play: sea reading.

Q. To finish, do you consider SUP a sport limited to summer, a seasonal nautical discipline?

R. Of course not and less living on the coast. It is a relatively new sport and it will be difficult for people to realize its possibilities. The price and space occupied by the boards have not helped to grow faster, but cheaper boards come out every day and schools rent and store material, right in front of the beach, so there is no excuse for not going out to row daily .

Q. Would you like to add something else? Any personal advice?

R. To encourage SUP not to stay in a class or a rental, people must be encouraged to continue enjoying it and promote it among the little ones.

If you have any questions about Stand Up Paddle, you can contact clubdesurfdenia@gmail.com and we will answer you quickly.

Text: Dénia Surf Club
Photos: Quiver and NSP

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