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The piece of equipment used to apply power to the water and propel the boat. A kayak paddle generally has a blade at both ends of a shaft. The different variations of paddles differ primarily in the length and width of their blade and the length of their shaft. The "standard" paddle that purchased by most kayakers is refered to in this site as a EuroPaddle. This is to differentiate from traditional paddles such as the GreenlandPaddle.

Historically some kayaks have been propelled by paddles with a blade on one end only. These are typically called [canoe paddle]?s. It is also improper to call a paddle an oar.

Ventilation or Cavitation?

When paddling, you will sometimes notice bubbles of air in the water drawn along by the paddle. This is ventilation. Some people refer to this as cavitation, but that is incorrect.

The features of a paddle are:

"Paddle" also refers to how the kayak is propelled; "You need to paddle faster if you don't want to get eaten by that wave", or the activity of using a kayak; "I'm going for a paddle this weekend."
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Last edited December 19, 2005 10:05 am by RichardP (diff)