I am preparing to enter my first REAL race. Thank goodness it is only 10 miles long. It involves going upstream against a strong current and then back down stream.
I did the course as a practice 2 weeks ago with my Wind Swift (a very fine paddle!) and then again this past weekend using a Fenn 4 wing paddle. WOW! Although the wing took more out of me to weld, it forced me into more high angle paddling and cut 20 minutes (yep, 20 minutes!!!!) off my time from the week before!
Overall, I had to put a lot more effort into using the wing. But I am amazed at the time difference!
Going upstream, it was remarkable! I was able to keep up with the boys (well I was pretty close). However, going downstream my GPS showed I was slower than when I did the same route the week before with the Wind Swift.
I'm attributubg the difference to the effort it took to go upstream. I did have a lot less umph when I started down. By mile 8 I was almost spent, but pushed on.
Should I just continue to work at using the Fenn4? Could it be too much paddle for a 5"4" female and consider a smaller blade wing? I do believe if I am going to enter more races, I'll need the wing.