It might not sound like much, but let me put this all together.
My Current paddle comes in at about 1.25kg. Over the 112km, I will be putting that paddle into the water around 45,000 times.
Today, My new paddle arrived and it weighs just 1.03kg or a whole 230g less. When you do the sums, 0.23kg x45,000 = 10,350kg less weight I will have to lift, so yeah, 230g is a significant difference. I will have to wait a few days to try it out and see what sort of difference it really is.
When I got my last paddle, I did make a sacrifice on the weight – as I bought a split shaft paddle. I really had no choice as I wanted to spend time getting the length and offset right, and once I sorted that out, I simply got one made to suit me in my boat.
Last weekend I did a few counts of my stroke rate and both times, (over 6 minutes) it came in at around 60 strokes/minute. Now I am going to be swinging a paddle that is 20% lighter, i wonder if this might just increase a little -and give me a bit of a boost in my speed.
I used to have a real problem with getting pain in my arms after the first 5km and it usually took the next 5-6 before it settled down. So, what I did was grab a couple of 1.5Kg dumbbell’s and when sitting on the lounge watching TV, just grab them and just do a tiny bit of work. Over the course of about 2 months, I found that i was no longer getting the pains in the arms.
The idea was not to go too heavy and “bulk-up” the arms, but more about picking a weight that is just a bit heavier than my paddle (well, just over double if you add them both together), and put together a range of exercises to just work the specific muscle groups a bit. While I would have liked to find something around the length of my grip on a paddle that weighed in at around the 3-4kg mark, to keep the arms in a paddling position, I just couldn’t find something, so the dumbbell’s did the trick.
The main way that I use the weights to work my arms is to hold my arms out to each side, bend the elbows so that my hands are straight up. From here, I do slow movements one at a time by bringing my hands down to horizontal both out to the sides and down to the front, over about a 2-3 second period for each movement.
How much? well that is easy! Each commercial break on an hour long TV show is about the right time! Whenever an ad break starts, pick up the weights and work the arms then rest while the program is on. Doing this most week nights for as long as you are sitting, watching the TV will go a long way to getting you paddle-ready when you cannot get out and actually paddle.