Take a lesson . No matter how good you are have an instructor take a look at your biomechanics.. Power ought to come mainly from abs not your hand pulling back.Saw a doctor. Extensive testing to insure it wasn’t shoulder or neck issues prior to my recent shoulder surgery. Carpel tunnel and arthritis is the diagnosis. CT surgery is a looong recovery and won’t relieve all symptoms. I’m thinking most of the pain and cramped fingers is arthritis, while numbness and stinging is CT. Single blade helps if I don’t switch to my right stroke. Pulling with right hand for long periods is most painful. I’m thinking there may be a glove that will help.
Yeah, fighting wind and fast water obstacles is a trigger for sure. My little river doesn’t have any long peaceful stretches. Lots of sweeping, prying and bracing. Probably be the same on big windy lakes, I imagine.You can also try a light grip. I don't squeeze the paddle hard unless I'm fighting the wind. I've also recently whipped a paddle and use the gunnel more to relieve pressure on my hands and fingers.