What paddle to buy

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

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SamS
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What paddle to buy

Post by SamS » Mon May 06, 2013 6:11 pm

Hi everybody, my Carbon Werner Bandit was stolen so I am looking for a new paddle. I liked the Werner, but am interested in potentially trying something else. I am video boating on the New River Gorge this summer so will probably be running that around 3 times a week (big water), but I'm going to try to do as much creeking as I can on class IV/V stuff like UY, Lower Blackwater, LBS, Mill Creek, etc. I've been looking all over for a paddle but I just don't really know what to look for. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

If it is relevant -- I am 6'1, 175 or so, and paddle a decked L'edge.

Sir Adam
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Sir Adam » Mon May 06, 2013 6:22 pm

There are lots of great paddle options these days - we're really fortunate right now to have not only "big" makes like Werner (and Mitchell), but smaller shops making great paddles.

First figure out how "hard" you are on paddles, how heavy you are willing to go, and how much you want to spend.

A few random sticks you might want to look in to in my opinion:

-Jimi Styx - great wood blades. The one he made for MikeW is the epitome of what I think a perfect wood paddle is.
-Echo - not only one of the sponsors here, but makes great blades, both wood, and carbon. Their Concept carbon paddle is my go-to blade these days, but I like light, stiff paddles.
-Norse (another one of our sponsors), reborn with a new owner who has been wielding a single stick for a long time, but has branched out a bit in their line up (both the traditional "Norse" paddles we know has being great for prying a raft or a car out of the mud, as well as lighter layups that are easier on the shoulders).
-If you are abusive, and can still get them, the Rough Stuff Savage C1 blade (made in Ireland) I've found to be a great creek stick... but I may be easier on my paddles than some.

Other folks like AquaBound, Zaveral (which makes top of the line flatwater blades), Mitchell, and of course Werner.

You may want to check out your "local" craftsman first if you can afford their sticks, as it is always great to talk to the maker of your paddle - I would think Jim Snyder (Jimi Styx), Walter Jepson (Polar Paddles), and Zaveral (near the PA / NY border as I recall) would be worth looking in to, though again it depends what you want to spend.
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SamS
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by SamS » Mon May 06, 2013 6:32 pm

Thanks for the information, I appreciate it! I will look into all of those. I try to be careful with paddles, but running stuff like the Yough and Blackwater tends to bang them around quite badly at times. I would like to keep the price under $200 if possible unless there is a good reason not to.

Randy Dodson
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Randy Dodson » Tue May 07, 2013 1:08 am

good reason not to: Echo all wood Creek Stick
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TonyB
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by TonyB » Tue May 07, 2013 1:19 am

go wood
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Sir Adam
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Sir Adam » Tue May 07, 2013 1:31 am

If you can bump that to $300 you can get an epic stick as noted. $200 doesn't buy what it used to!
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SamS
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by SamS » Tue May 07, 2013 1:44 am

If it's really that big of an improvement I might be able to dish out the cash for the Echo. Forgive my ignorance, but what difference do the higher end paddles like the echo have over something in the mid 100's range?

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bôchamp
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by bôchamp » Tue May 07, 2013 2:19 am

99$

Aquabound

It does the job .. And you dont want to cry when you broke/lose it..

(^But it is a good question and i am curious as well to know what is the difference between all of these range of price paddles ?)

Creeker
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Creeker » Tue May 07, 2013 2:45 am

Well I stumbled into using Aqua-Bound paddles though Tommy and I'm happy I did. I'm extremely happy to paddle a flexible paddle. I've done some frame by frame evaluation of tommy landing on his low brace on rock and saw that paddle flex more than I thought the materials would ever give....quite a few inches. Those milliseconds of give save wrists, elbows and shoulders. I've also landed 15+ skyed out boofs from being speed booted and landed on shutteringly hard water. without a doubt something like a bandit would have knocked me out of the game on the hit I'm thinking of. If you're 20 maybe this doesn't matter as much but if you listen to things like this you might head off some future issues before they are issues.

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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Sir Adam » Tue May 07, 2013 12:15 pm

More $ gets you one or more of the following:
-lighter weight
-better water feel
-wood construction

Some, but not all, carbon paddles also have some "give" in addition to being much lighter. Many folks go to a wood stick after a while for the same reason.

Just about any paddle will work - just like just about any boat will work. The question is what brings you the most joy, and what are you willing to spend. I know some folks who are very happy to paddle with a Carlisle raft paddle. Having done that, that's not something I personally enjoy. I like paddles with a great water feel, little or no flutter in a recovery stroke, and that are light (or at least are well balanced to have a nice swing weight).

If you were up in the northeast I'd say drop by and try a few out - to me there is a noticeable difference, but you are right, it all comes down to what your priorities are and where you put your $.
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bôchamp
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by bôchamp » Tue May 07, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks for the info !

I'll try to ''test drive'' different paddle this summer !

milkman
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by milkman » Tue May 07, 2013 3:05 pm

I'll give you some ideas in the sub-$200 range.

My wife likes a paddle with some flex. She really likes the H2O-C1 paddle. Cost is around $185. I know there were some posts about durability issues with these paddles, but hers has held up fine in over 2 years of paddling the rocky rivers of the Northwest and a trip to the Grand Canyon. I'd say she has well over 100 paddle days on it. See: http://www.h2opaddles.com/wwpaddles/c1. I've compared it with the Aqua Bound (her spare), and much prefer the H2O.

I'm harder on paddles and like a stiff shaft and blade with lots of power. I've been using the Foxworx Whitewater 3. It's blade is pretty thick, so it wears well on rocky runs--lasts much longer than a Bandit. Cost is $149. The biggest cons ... It's heavy--28oz. But the adjustment from Galasport and Mitchell paddles to the heavier Foxworx took me just a day--I'm now completely oblivious to the weight. The grip at the end of the paddle is a bit blocky. I adjusted to that really quickly as well and grew to like it. The overall workmanship could be better, but hey, it's a whitewater paddle--not a pretty flatwater canoe blade. Pros: You're getting a carbon fiber blade paddle with a protected wood shaft for a great price and the paddle really holds up. I've had the blade in places it shouldn't be that might have snapped another blade. Its 8.75" blade width also delivers a lot of power in the early part of the stroke. See http://www.foxworxpaddle.com/whitewater3.html


Paddles I used to use include: Bandit, Mitchell all-carbon Premier, various Galasport paddles, and the Sawyer Sting Ray XD.

Coz Teplitz
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Coz Teplitz » Wed May 08, 2013 12:03 am

I'll second the vote for FoxWorx. Someone lent me his Fox paddle last fall when I broke my Aquabound, and I liked it better than anything else I tried. The blade shape is great, more "catch" than my AB paddle, and better in shallow water (common up here in New England). The blade is also durable for a carbon paddle. Certainly not the most polished paddle around, but, so far, I'm loving it.

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Mike W.
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by Mike W. » Sun May 12, 2013 4:51 pm

Go see Jimi & have him make you a RiverStyk. He'll build whatever you want or he'll build what you need. I hear he will make you a tough, heavy stick too, if that's what you need. It's fun to talk about performance, shapes & sizes & pick your own wood. Mine is pretty light & has the flex that I asked for to preserve my old shoulders. This is my favorite paddle & I haven't beat on it too much.

If you're planing on paddling where there are more rocks than water & don't have old, creaky shoulders, you may want a Mitchell. Get the wood shaft. Doesn't matter if you get glass or carbon over the blade as it's a wood blade under there. They use aluminum tips & fiberglass rope edges on the blades.

I like a curved blade, but I hear they're weaker than flat blades. Your first off-side recovery with either of these paddles will make you swear off anything with that big, nasty rib down the non-power-face (Warner).

Image
Grip of my RiverStyk

hammerhead
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Re: What paddle to buy

Post by hammerhead » Mon May 13, 2013 2:02 am

Sams, I've had good luck with Echo Creek Stick, Andy did some customization which helped greatly. I also love the Mitchell Paddle with the wood shaft and carbon blade/face. It truly is a great combo. Peace, HH

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