You might ask - why not just use a stick? Well it was my choice to use the Werner's for these courses. Firstly when I am coaching I am coaching folk who are using a Euro paddle, its easier for them to watch how you paddle, even if its not the teaching point, if you use the same type of blade as them. For leading I may well one day use a stick and carry Euros for other paddlers should they or I lose a paddle, but for now I am still the coachee and I am watching a L5 coach use Euro blades and my personal paddling skills are being evaluated with big bladed paddles. Having said all that, a butterfly roll is a nice fall back.
In an ideal world I would like to be able to switch from one to the other without having to think about it too much, but the reality is different. I paddled for a long time exclusively with big blades and I am keen to establish good habits with the stick, beyond rolling. I had a short introduction to paddling strokes with Kayakways last year so I know there is a lot to learn. Despite this I find it easier, more comfortable and familiar, to go from Euro to Stick, than the other way around.
Back in the Tahe this weekend I had the first of a few pre-KayakWays sessions. I have to get used to the Tahe again after getting in and out of the Isel (which almost comes along and scoops you out of the water) but the stick did the trick.
While writing this a video is circulating between GP users which illustrates my point with humour. Warren Williamson evaluates a British type paddle towards the end of the video.