Sunday, August 10, 2014
Here it is….
Proper Course PaddleHand Review!!!!!!
And I can confirm after exhaustive (not to mention exhausting) product testing of the PaddleHand on my Laser last Thursday... that it performs exactly as promised and I will never go sailing without it again.
I received a PaddleHand to review at the end of April and I took it with me sailing on 27 days in May, June and July. But not once on those days did the wind become light enough to require the use of a paddle.
Then in July I hurt my back so I didn't go sailing for a few weeks.
Finally this month I felt my back injury had healed enough for me to hit the water again. The weather forecast on Thursday promised a gentle 8 knots from the north, but the weather forecast was wrong. The wind died almost completely after I launched in Bristol so I got out my PaddleHand and paddled out from the mooring field into open water where some zephyrs were teasing me to sail. I did sail for an hour or so. Sort of. To say the wind was light, shifty, and variable would be a euphemism. But it felt good to be on the water again and sorta kinda moving. Then I had to use the PaddleHand again to return to the beach.
This is what it says about the PaddleHand on the PaddleHand website.
When using the PaddleHand I lay face down on the foredeck and paddled with it using my right hand. It seemed to be propelling me along quite nicely. Just for comparison purposes I tried paddling with my hand only, and it was way way slower.
On my way back to the beach after my sail I did a more scientific test. I used the PaddleHand to paddle a measured distance, from opposite the Thames Waterside Bar and Grill at the end of State Street to Quito's, another waterside restaurant, this one at the corner of Independence Park. (Don't ask why I measure distances on the water by using waterside bars as landmarks. I just do.) I would paddle for about 30 strokes and then let the boat glide for about 30 seconds or so. Then repeat. So a fairly relaxed effort. It's about a fifth of a mile from the Thames Waterside to Quito's (if you are relatively sober) and it took me about 6 minutes on the water. So by my calcuation that's about 2 mph.
It may not sound super fast but it's better than sitting around waiting for the wind to come. And one of these weeks after Tuesday night sailing when the wind has totally died and the sun is setting, the PaddleHand will help me beat all my sailing companions to the beer.
And after all, winning the race to the beer is what it's all about, isn't it?
Go to paddlehand.com and buy one. You too can be first to the beer.