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Thread: Edenwood Paddle Review

  1. #1
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    Default Edenwood Paddle Review

    Cailbach (Tim) posted up a few paddles he made a while back in the Made by Members section. Since then he has taken this a step further and now has a website (http://www.edenwoodpaddles.co.uk/) and is taking the paddle making a step further.

    As part of this he asked me if I would review one of his paddles. An offer I was only too happy to accept.

    From giving the details of the paddle I wanted to it being complete was about a week. Tim tells me this is not far from normal but can be longer due to other commitments and orders. It was another couple of days in transit, then it was with me.

    Eagerly I opened the box. What I found sold me on this paddle right at the get go.


    Tim sends you the whole of the piece of wood the paddle came from. He has just separated it into shavings and the paddle. It immediately made me think of the old saying,

    Q: "How do you carve a paddle?".
    A: "Get a piece of wood and cut away everything that is not a paddle "

    The simple act of seeing the paddle and the shavings that had been cut away to reveal the paddle immediately bonded me to it. It made me feel linked to its creation, which is a bit unfair on Tim because he did all the work.

    I spoke to Tim about this and it is not any sort of marketing ploy. Indeed until I mentioned this to him he had not thought of it in that way. He had purely been wondering how he could pack the paddle with a focus on it not being wasteful of materials. Speaking of which the shavings made great kindling for my fire at home.

    So with the box open it was time to get a look at the paddle itself.


    A thing of beauty isn't it?

    I had chosen an Ottertail and as is usual with a custom made paddle I got to specify the shaft length, wood choice and grip shape. Mine is Ash.

    Tim has these branded with is own logo which looks very professional as does every aspect of the canoe. Indeed these are so well finished it is almost hard to believe this is a hand made product.



    Of course it is all very well having a beautiful paddle if it paddles like a plank. Now paddles are a very personal thing. I have tried lots of peoples paddles and almost every one I have handed back with no pangs. I have always preferred mine. Of course a lot of this is due to familiarity, however, I can tell you now if I was handing this paddle back I would have serious pangs.


    It is a joy to paddle with. I am pretty much a one paddle guy. I take two with me every time I paddle. An Ottertail Lloyd made for me and a whitewater one made in wood. The whitewater on never gets used.

    Below is the Edenwood paddle next to the one Lloyd made.


    As you can see from the picture above I use Lloyd's paddle all the time. It is a deapwater paddle that I use in shallow water, whitewater and even breaking though ice on occasion, although I am planning on not doing that again as it was a bit hard on it. However, it looks like the new choices will be the Edenwood paddle as the number 1 paddle with Lloyd's as my spare.

    When ordering the paddle I asked Tim to leave the end a bit thicker to put up with the abuse I give my paddles. Pushing off from shore etc. Tim told me not to worry as he reinforces the tip with a resin insert. Seems like he has thought of everything.


    I have not talked that much about how the paddle feels to use because it is hard to elaborate over "superb", also yours will feel different. Depending on the style, shaft length, wood choice and grip, yours may feel entirely different. What is worth emphasising is the quality of the finish.

    I have rarely handled a paddle that felt so well made. It is clear a lot of care has gone into its production. This care is not, I feel, reflected in the price. At present the paddle reviewed costs 85 plus 10 for postage in the UK. I may not be looking hard enough but pound for pound I have not seen a paddle to compare to it. I expect at these prices Tim will have quite a few orders on his hands.

    In summary, in case you have skipped to the end, a strong recommendation from me of Edenwood Paddles.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  2. #2
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    darn it John, why could you not find at least one reason not to buy one

    I need a new deep water paddle and have been looking for a while. There are certainly no bargain mass produced paddles, and the single piece Grey Owls just keep getting dearer

    now you have convinced me that that there is only one logical choice under 100. So how do I explain it to my OH ?

  3. #3
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    Easy. You say something along the lines of, "There's two choices. Over 100 and under 100. By the way, do you need a new pair of shoes."

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  4. #4
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    Just realised this should be in the paddle review section Moved now.
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  5. #5
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    I too got a paddle made by Tim. I went for the Malakeet with a Northwoods grip as I fancied something "different". It is a lovely piece of workmanship. It looks good and I paddled with it last weekend and it was very nice to use but I do need to work on my Northwoods style of paddling. The paddle compliments my Bell Merlin II and both bits of kit get very favourable comments from those who I see on my way to and on the river.

    I do like "handmade" nice bits of kit and sadly or not I keep all my paddles on a hanger in the hallway so that I can enjoy them when not paddling with them. My current collection hanging in the hall (all of which I do use) comprises:-
    Edenwood Malakeet (Northwoods Grip)
    Whiskeyjack Chaser Bent Shaft (nice for solo)
    Whisky Jack Goodsky Beavertail (An all day really light paddle)
    Grey Owl Cherry Guide Ottertail (An great paddle with a lovely grain, an all day paddle)
    Grey Owl Voyageur ( A real shoulder burner-great for speed but not a days paddling!)
    Mitchell Surreal ( So light and easy to use but you need a big pair of hands for the shaft. A "quick" paddle)

    I appear to be collecting paddles at a faster rate than drivers for my old golf bag but they are infectious and I am always looking for something else!!

    Blott

  6. #6

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    wow,

    Think i want one of these...

    How many weeks till christmas??!!

    Al

  7. #7
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    Here's a shot of my collection. The Edenwood Malakeet is far right,

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blott View Post
    Here's a shot of my collection. The Edenwood Malakeet is far right,
    I do hope that radiator cover doesnt hide a fiunctioning radiator ?

    and I love the paddle on the far left, how does it work ?

    darn it Santa I want one !

  9. #9
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    Haven't ever seen someone using an Ottertail like the one reviewed here. What I find hard to visualise is how the paddler gets the entire blade in the water with the grip up where it would be with my paddles, that is, up at least at shoulder level. It is true that I'm very tall, and long in the torso even for my height, so an ottertail made for me would have a longer shaft.

    I bought a Nashwaak 60" which has a blade much shorter than the reviewed Ottertail, but longer than any of my paddles. I found that it *feels* too short (my other paddles are ~61" with 20" long blades), and I think I will have to graft some length onto it in order to use it. The Nashwaak is a very nicely made ash paddle of traditional style, though.

  10. #10
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    Default More questions.

    Thank you John for the review but I have more questions.

    What does it weigh?
    Is it balanced at the throat?
    How well does it grip the water?
    How well does it feather when sliced in the water?
    How quiet is it in decibles?
    How much does it flex?
    Would you consider this a stiff paddle?
    What is the finish?
    How well does it shed water?
    What other options are available?

    As you can see these can only be answerd by sending one for me to test.
    Dr. Joe
    Electric Hospital
    Coos Bay Or
    http://electrichospital.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    , so an ottertail made for me would have a longer shaft.
    I am 6 foot 3 inches tall so well used to finding I am too tall for standard kit and clothes. With the Edenwood paddles, and other custom paddles, you can specify the shaft length you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Joe View Post
    What does it weigh?
    Is it balanced at the throat?
    How well does it grip the water?
    How well does it feather when sliced in the water?
    How quiet is it in decibles?
    How much does it flex?
    Would you consider this a stiff paddle?
    What is the finish?
    How well does it shed water?
    What other options are available?

    As you can see these can only be answerd by sending one for me to test.
    Mine weighs 0.943kg but yours would be different it is an oil finish and the web site lists the other options available.

    Your other questions are hard to answer as they can be subjective. Pop over to my place for a paddle and give it a try for yourself
    John

    I started at the bottom and I like it here

  12. #12
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    More questions.
    Thank you John for the review but I have more questions.

    What does it weigh?
    Is it balanced at the throat?
    How well does it grip the water?
    How well does it feather when sliced in the water?
    How quiet is it in decibles?
    How much does it flex?
    Would you consider this a stiff paddle?
    What is the finish?
    How well does it shed water?
    What other options are available?

    As you can see these can only be answerd by sending one for me to test.
    Dr. Joe
    Electric Hospital
    Coos Bay Or
    http://electrichospital.com
    Hi there Dr Joe, thats quite a list of questions.

    Paddle weights vary depending on choice of wood. I currently offer Maple, Ash, Walnut and Cherry. Ash and Maple are the heaviest options but they make excellent, hard wearing paddles and have been used for centuries for this purpose. Walnut and Cherry are lighter options and are perhaps the best choice for a paddle that is not going to have a hard life.

    Ash can vary a lot in weight and John asked for an ottertail that could withstand fairly heavy use that would include a fair amount of shoving off the bottom in shallow water. I selected a piece of wood acording to his requirements and shaped the tip a little bit thicker than I usually would. As a comparison I have a Cherry Lutre with a 30" shaft here that weighs 700g and a Walnut Malaseet that is the same size and weight, I recently sent out a slightly longer Maple Lutre that weighed 850g.

    I get quite a lot of enquiries about paddle weight and I focus closely on making my paddles as light as they can be without compromising on performance. Ultra light paddles are a compromise and I personally think they are only worth it if a lot of portaging is intended. Otherwise, within the weight range we are talking about here, the ballance of the paddle is a far more relevent factor in how heavy the paddle feels in use. I ballance all my paddles around the throat but the actual point of ballance varies depending on the length of the shaft.

    The true benefit of the hard woods I use, as compaired to some of the lighter alternatives such as cedar, sitka spruce or basswood, is they can be carved with much finer edges which allows them to cut cleanly through the water, this can be especially apreciated when an underwater recovery stroke is used such as the canadian stroke and Indian stroke. I think you would find they perform very well for the stroke you described in your video competition film.

    Each paddle has a hidden resin tip to protect the most vulnerable part of the blade which also allows the tip to be carved that bit finer to ensure it enters the water silently without any splashing.

    All of the Edenwood Paddles have what I would describe as a medium flex, just enough to give the paddle a responsive feel. They all come with an oil finish that feels dry and silky smooth to the touch, sheds water well and is much easier to maintain than varnish. Hopefully all the options listed on the website are clear but I'm always happy to answer questions, either by PM or through the email links on the Edenwood website.

    I would be delighted to send you a paddle to test but I would have to charge you for it

    Best wishes,
    Tim

    Hand crafted in the Eden Valley, Cumbria

  13. #13

    Default

    I have just this lunchtime received that 850g maple Lutre.
    Overall length is 61"

    Just as a comparison, I have a 62" cherry ottertail by Grey Owl. 830g.

    Both paddles have matching 35" shafts.

    Tim's paddle is a thing of beauty. The workmanship and finish are superb. And the quoted time from order to delivery was spot-on. In addition I have had to contact Tim a couple of times with questions-all promptly answered.

    Now I have to hang up my new toy for a couple of weeks while I go off to work. I will do a head-to-head report in December.

    But I'm sure any paddlers who have been good would love to find an Edenwood paddle under the tree next month...

  14. #14

    Default Head to head-Archie Belaney vs The Cumbrian

    I would consider that Grey Owl is the benchmark traditional paddle manufacturer. I have three Grey Owls, and I’ve been happy with all of them. Today I put one of them head to head with my new Edenwood. I believe the G.O is a Sagamore. The blade is slightly smaller than my Chieftain.
    In comparison, the Lutre has more slender shoulders and a sharper tip.



    (Back to front-Grey Owl Chieftain, Sagamore, Edenwood Lutre)

    Down to the pond.
    On the kitchen scales the Edenwood slightly outweighs the Sagamore. As soon as the blade is in the water it feels lighter and more urgent. This could be partially to do with the blade size, but the balance also feels finer on the Edenwood.



    The corners of the Edenwood palm grip are more rounded, making a very comfortable Indian stroke.
    And the Edenwood shaft has smoother ovalling than the Grey Owl-something I had never noticed to criticize until today.





    So-a bespoke product that may cost less than a mass-produced import? Those dull coloured nocturnal avians should be in a flap.

    And one other thing-I love the way the maple appears to change colour depending on how the light hits it!

  15. #15

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    Hmmmm - seem to be 140 plus 10 p&p now and only available in Maple or Cherry?

  16. #16
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    Default Paddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
    Hmmmm - seem to be 140 plus 10 p&p now and only available in Maple or Cherry?
    Yep, I noticed the price hike aswell. Fully understand business is buisness, but 100 to 150 seems a bit of a price hike, I stand to be shot down in flames though.
    But then again, they may have been way under priced to start with.

  17. #17

    Cool Edenwood Ash Ottertail Paddle

    I took delivery of my Edenwood Ottertail made in ash about two weeks ago and finally got to use it at the weekend. It cost 85.00 plus the 10.00 p&p, which IMHO is very good value for money. It is quite simply the best paddle I have ever used. The quality of the design and finish are excellent. I find the weight just right, light but not too light, the feedback whist paddling is very good and the blade cuts through the water very cleanly.
    I did notice that ash is no longer available on the website, but I would have happily paid the 140.00 if it was only available in maple or cherry.

  18. #18
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    I must admit I did wonder how the maker of these paddles could sell them at 80 a pop. I've made a few paddles, of a much lesser quality than these, and I know how long it takes and the effort required. Given that the blank would cost between 10 and 20, that means that after tool costs etc the profit must have been no more than 50 per paddle. I reckon its at least a days work to make a paddle, and 50 a day is pretty low pay for a craftsman.

    140 for a quality hand made paddle seems fair to me. There will, no doubt, be a few people reading this thread wishing they had bought one at 80 I reckon!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fredster View Post

    140 for a quality hand made paddle seems fair to me. There will, no doubt, be a few people reading this thread wishing they had bought one at 80 I reckon!
    On this demo day in June you will be able to buy/order them for less than 100 http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...amily-demo-day.


  20. Default

    These paddles seem to be very nice.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ansrick View Post
    These paddles seem to be very nice.
    I'll correct you! "These paddles are extremely nice!"

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