Q. How long will my paddle take to be delivered?
A. Each and every paddle is made with love and care at our factory in Clevedon. Like all good things in life, this takes time. We endeavour to dispatch all orders within 30 working days of having been placed. If we have any issues due to manufacturing constraints which might lead to a delay we'll let you know.
Q. What length paddle do I need?
A. There is a recommended paddle length table on each of the paddle product pages. This gives you a recommended length for your height, taking into consideration the type of paddling that you are doing. Although a very good judge of what length will be suitable for your needs, it is only a guide. If you are unsure of what length you require then please contact us for experienced and friendly advice; we are always here to help. We offer an adjustable split joint on all of our paddles. For the touring range this allows adjustable length of up to10 cm on straight shafts. This is useful especially when paddling on the sea, where prevailing conditions such as head winds and tides can change often. Having the option to change the paddle length allows you to change the gearing of your paddle strokes ensuring that you can achieve maximum stroke efficiency.
Q. What difference does the length of the paddle make?
A. Paddle length affects the gearing of your propulsion. A short paddle length allows you to paddle at a higher cadence (stroke rate) which provides you with very good acceleration but not much forward speed. It is also inefficient and consumes a lot of energy. However, this is ideal for freestyle/playboating, where the kayak has a low top forward speed and requires regular bursts of power to keep it moving. Also, short paddles don't get in the way when performing tricks. At the other end of the scale, a long paddle length allows you to paddle at a lower cadence with far more efficiency; this is ideal for touring, when kayaks have a slender form and lower resistance.
Q. What angle feather should I be using?
A. Feather angle is the offset angle between the left and the right kayak blades. A high angular offset allows paddles to cut through head winds with less drag. This is very useful when paddling a touring or sea kayak; a feather angle of 45-85 degrees is common although, less angle is becoming more popular in recent years. Having less or no feather angle is beneficial when paddling in heavy side winds on open waters - for this reason we reccomend 2-piece splits for touring and sea kayak paddlers as it allows endless angle adjustment and as well as 10 cm of length adjustment as standard.
For modern day whitewater paddling feather angle is less important. Common white water feather angles are 45 and 30 degrees, with freestyle paddles having as low as zero degree offset which allows them to put pressure on both blades simultaneously (useful for loops and other freestyle moves). We offer a split shaft option on all of our straight shaft paddles; this allows both the angle and orientation (left/right handed) to be quickly and easily adjusted without the need for tools.
Q. What is the difference between glass and carbon blades?
A. Due to their rear spine geometry and material properties, the glass blades are the stronger of the two in terms of all out breakage. Not one VE glass blade has ever broken to date. The carbon blade is stiffer and thus slightly more powerful - it is also lighter. The rear spine is wider and flatter than the glass blades; this provides a buoyant blade which helps keep the blade on the water's surface when rolling and supporting. It also gives additional 'pop' helping the blade on the exit phase of the stroke, linking forward strokes together effortlessly. The flatter spine cuts through the water nicely when performing bow and stern rudder strokes.
Q. What shaft construction is best for me?
A. The glass shaft provides more flex over its length. This is preferred by many paddlers as it reduces the strain on the wrists. It is important when paddling over long distances and also especially for whitewater when hitting rocks on shallow rivers, as the shocks get absorbed by the material. The carbon straight shaft is stiffer than the glass shaft which allows more energy transfer from the arms into forward speed. Competition and performance paddlers favour this choice. The neutral carbon crank shaft has specially designed geometry that allows the paddlers wrists to be in their natural alignment during paddling. This reduces the strain not only on the wrists but also on the elbows, shoulders and neck. Cranks are chosen by people who prefer the geometry and are the choice of people who suffer from RSI (repetitive strain injury) or want to prevent it.
Q. Where can I try a demo VE paddle?
A. We have a network of specialist dealers, we suggest you locate your nearest VE Dealer using our shop finder if you're interested in trying a demo paddle.
Q. Are VE paddles made in Great Britain?
A. Yes, we are proud that our blades are manufactured and assembled in our factory in Clevedon, Somerset!