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Left handed paddles?

Posted by JimC 
Left handed paddles?
June 18, 2017 04:20PM
My stepson is left handed. So far in his limited kayaking career, he has used one of our right handed paddles. I have not noticed any complaints. My question is should we get him a left handed paddle?
Re: Left handed paddles?
June 18, 2017 04:43PM
No. I'm left-handed, and the explanation given me was that given the prevalence of right-handed folks, if you lose a paddle and have to use someone else's extra, you would be disadvantaged. I suppose you could counter that by making sure you always have your own extra. But also, many left-handed people are somewhat ambidextrous, since we're constantly adapting to a world dominated by right handed folk.

I do find that when I first learned to roll, my "on side" was most folks "off side." Since the current wisdom is that one shouldn't have an on side or off side roll, but a left and right side, that part really shouldn't make a difference.

my 2 cents,
Re: Left handed paddles?
June 19, 2017 05:10PM
I feel like this is a fairly personal call more than a "should I or shouldn't I". Some lefties use 'em, some don't. As far as the disadvantage if you lose your paddle and have to borrow one, I don't think that is really an issue worth weighing. First, how often do you actually lose your paddle? Second, if you know how to use a paddle, do you feel like you'd be unable to use an opposite orientation paddle in a pinch (especially true for a lefty who is probably, as Zina suggests, at least more ambidextrous than most)? Third, if a true loan (for the rest of the trip) is being offered, not just a "here, use this to get down to where that dude has your paddle" thing, that usually means someone has a breakdown paddle that can be set up for left or right.

Anyhow, it's a personal judgement call. Each person varies.


Hanley Loller

"It's plum amazing what you can do when you damn well got no choice."
--Rickie Dale Larson
Re: Left handed paddles?
June 25, 2017 03:19PM
All great replies. As a lefty I've always used a righty paddle. I tend to keep hand paddles as a backup. Joe Wheatley will probably be your strongest advocate for a lefty paddle.

859 983 2413

Traveling the USA is fun!
Re: Left handed paddles?
June 25, 2017 09:16PM
I am a lefty all the way to the bone. I have lefty guitars and paddles. I think that hanley nailed it when he said that it's an individual choice on whether a person wants to try right handed crap or not. It is a pain to have to special order things but for me my dominate hand dominates.

Joe W.
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