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Easier on the Motors

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I haven’t had shoulder surgery but I broke my shoulder pretty badly a couple years ago requiring 6 months of PT. When I was able to start paddling again I found it more comfortable to go with a shorter paddle. For many years I primarily used a 60” because I mostly paddled whitewater. After the break I went to a 57” (same size blade and found it to be comfortable while my shoulder continued to heal. I still use a 54” bent, but the shorter straight paddle keeps the shoulder rotation at shoulder height. YMMV.

Here’s to speedy recovery!

Barry
 
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when I tore my shoulder muscles I switched to an ottertail blade- less wetted surface area means less strain on the shoulders and back, but you still have the ability to dig deep and plant the entire blade in the water when needed, it's not so good in the shallows though, the long blade means you basically end up doing sweeps or sculling.
 
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I have had both rotator cuffs repaired and I paddle marathon style. I use a ZRE power surge pro paddle and have found the biggest difference is to make sure my top hand/elbow does not come above my forehead. So long as it stays nose or chin level and below it keeps the strain off the shoulder for me. Goes along with a little shorter paddle. I paddle with a little more rpm and a little less horsepower. Everyone is different but the last surgery took about a year of paddling to get all the sore spots out of the shoulder.
 
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you'll still have to use your shoulders but power should come from the abs and torso rotation. Lots of us have the freedom to forget that but anyone having had shoulder surgery is more conscious of that.
 
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As others have said, keeping the grip hand as low as practical will help protect the shoulder. My paddles have tended to get progressively shorter over the years. The shoulder joint is most stable when the humeral head is low and back in the glenoid and least stable when it is high and forward. Unfortunately, I have found that effective cross forward strokes, essential in paddling small, solo canoes in whitewater, tend to be hard on the off-side shoulder, especially if done incorrectly. Concentrating on keeping the shoulder low and back will help some.
 
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