I often get customers who have only used large blade sizes in their past- the common sizes you can get in retail stores averaging 100-110 square inches per blade. Iím a minimalist at heart and feel the smaller blades are stronger, lighter, and put the shaft (and your body) less at risk by damping down the torque. Nevertheless there are conditions, such as racing and big water boating where larger blades are a valuable tool.
Itís hard to really get a grasp of how sizes and shapes affect the feel and torque you get from a certain blade shape. To get a rough comparison you might want to scan my blade size chart and get a feel for the relative sizing. To make it easy for you though- Iíve also included this page where you can see my blade shapes ordered from largest to smallest- to keep things simple.
My largest blade is the Slalom Blade. It has very full tips with corners and a flat end for maximum Ďcatchí and the Ďhipsí of the blade are full shaped.
The next smaller blade is the Wildwater Racing blade. It is asymmetrical with a slanted tip to minimize wobble and the hip of the upper blade half is minimized to reduce the swing weight. Both of the racing blade designs are rendered in curved power faces- but the Wildwater Racing blade is also available in my popular trik style- making it my largest trik style blade.
The next smaller blade size is the Big Flo- an expanded version of the Flo and still a large blade shape. This is a good one to wean off larger blade sizes with if you want to do that. Itís less than 10% smaller than common synthetic paddle sizes and, featuring the trik blade style- feels significantly smoother than standard market paddles. Itís the smallest of my big blades.Still- itís large enough to roll anywhere- or fetch a big brace out of foamy water with.
The brother blade shape- the Flo- is a half inch narrower and a centimeter shorter. Itís the biggest of my small blades! You can adjust the length to dial in the torque level you want. I use a 203 cm for speed cruising in my Cheta and it is the perfect size- blade light and not big enough to hurt you- but still enough size for paddling long and hard.
The next smaller size is the Riot Styk. Itís only a tiny bit smaller than the regular Flo- but because of how the area is distributed it actually feels a trace larger. Consider it almost equal in available torque to the Flo, but it is articulated so it applies better to surfing and play boating but is not as well adapted for shallow water paddling. Itís the last of my sizes that can be considered big in any sense.
The Big Fun blade is a nice in between for most people. Itís big enough for creeking and most river running- but still quite blade light. Itís a very efficient symmetrical shape.
And now the small blades- the S O Terrik and Cruising blades. The S O Terrik is traditionally a squirt paddle but people have been known to creek and cruise with them. I use a 196 cm SO for rodeo and cruising easy class V.
The Cruising blade is my smallest, strongest, and lightest blade. You length adjust the paddle to dial in the torque. I love this blade ( itís the shape for my ducky paddles too)- but if you donít get it- you donít have to get it.
I also make Striding paddles (ten feet long) in two different blade sizes and sea kayak and Greenland paddles- but they are not generally used for whitewater kayaking so Iíve not included them in this list.