How to choose a paddle shaft for the creeking or slalom? Will be better for me the straight or the bent one? Here is a brief guide to resolve this dilemma.

Let's see what are the pros and cons of each solution. You can get a better idea of ​​what might be the right choice for you.

Straight shaft


  • is definitely the most effective and performing solution as it allows better traction at all angles
  • is lighter
  • is cheaper
  • lets you choose the position of the hands freely, depending on the physical structure


  • to use it properly you need to learn to paddle with a good digital handle. Keeping in line the wrist and the forearm, the pipe must be able to move freely. Watch tutorial on paddling for more clarification

Bent shaft or ergo

The bent shaft are those ones that modify the axis in the gripping position of the hands.


  • is definitely easier to use for the beginner as it requires less technique
  • you can do a longer stroke if you are used to clench the hand


  • does not allow you to place your hands freely on the shaft
  • costs more
  • is heavier
  • reduces the total performance since it does not present the ideal angle in many situations like ruddering, draw stroke, braking etc ..

A different story is the blade position relative to the axis of shaft. There are paddles with slightly curved shaft between the hand and the blade or a blade with a special shape. The blade is moved forward respect the shaft axis. This feature in my opinion is very valid because it allows a better stability of the blade in the water, reducing vibration.

blades with different axis