Definitions

Paddle

paddle tennis

Game like tennis that is played with a rectangular paddle and a slow-bouncing rubber ball on a small court. Frank P. Beal introduced it on New York playgrounds in the early 1920s. National championship tournaments are still held in the U.S. Seealso platform tennis.

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A paddle is a tool used for pushing against liquids, either as a form of propulsion in a boat or as an implement for mixing.

Canoe/Kayak Paddles

Materials and designs

Paddles commonly used in canoes consist of a wooden, fibreglass carbon fiber or metal rod (the shaft) with a handle on one end and a rigid sheet (the blade) on the other end. Paddles for use in kayaks are longer, with a blade on each end; they are handled from the middle of the shaft.

Kayak paddles having blades in the same plane (when viewed down the shaft) are called "un-feathered." Paddles with blades in different planes (such as in the image) are called "feathered". Feathered paddles are measured by the degree of feather, such as 30, 45, or even 90 degrees. The paddle in the image to the right is feathered around 15 degrees. Many modern paddles can be adjusted by the user for feathered or unfeathered settings. The shaft is normally straight but in some cases a 'crank' is added with the aim of making the paddle more comfortable and reducing the strain on the wrist. Because the kayak paddle is not supported by the boat, paddles made of lighter materials are desired, it is not uncommon for a kayak paddle to be two pounds (32 ounces) or less in weight.

Use

The paddle is held with two hands, some distance apart from each other. For normal use, it is drawn through the water from front (bow) to back (stern) to drive the boat forwards. The two blades of a kayak paddle are dipped alternately on either side of the kayak. A paddle is distinguished from an oar in that the paddle is held in the user's hands and completely supported by the paddler, whereas an oar is primarily supported by the boat.

Other types

On mechanical paddle steamers, the motorized paddling is not done with a mass of paddles or oars but by rotating one or a few paddle wheels (rather the inverse of a water mill)

Racing paddles also have special designs. They are generally less flat and are curved to catch more water which will enable racing paddlers to maximize the efficiency of their stroke.

Paddle shifters are special kinds of paddles since it is used in cars equipped with a semi-automatic transmission. They are operated back and forth.

External links

See also

Canoe#Paddle_strokes

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