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Thread: I need a paddle

  1. #1

    Talking I need a paddle

    I need a paddle.
    Im looking at purchasing a paddle
    Iv been canoeing seriously for a while but i work for a camp and have always used theres but i think its time to get my own.
    Ill be leading canoe trips all summer and its time i invest in a decent paddle.
    Im willing to spend a hundred bucks
    But i want a good rugged paddle ill be going on some extended outtrips with some heavy amounts of portaging.
    Ill mostly be using it for flat water lake paddling but i would like it to be fairly versatile.
    You people really seem to know what your talking about so i was hoping you could help me out.

    What should I get?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Posts
    1,503

    Default Enjoy the quest.

    Paddles are like arrows or golf clubs. You need more than one paddle. Forget one size for all paddling. I frequently take two or three on a two hour canoe trip. There are many questions you need to answer. What weight, flex, width, length, height and shape. Robust is difficult with light weight and both are nice to use.

    You may want to consider building your own paddles. Notice that was with an, "S".

    I like a bent shaft for flat water. Narrow blade for comfort on long distances. Huge wide blade for sprints and freestyle paddling. Pointed for paddling and polling in a muddy estuary. Double bladed for surfing in the ocean. For campers I like ugly and rugged plastic with a metal shaft. Then there are the experimental kind you must build on your own. One paddle was 16 feet long with double blades, but that was a freak boat built to look like a space shuttle in a cardboard boat race. The wings were 12 feet wide.

    $100 will get you a better paddle but $200 will get you a great paddle. You can buy a lot of wood for $100 and a day with a few hand tools is well spent time.

    Find someone that will let you try many different kinds. My paddle choice changes with the boat and where I am sitting, kneeling or standing. Your post does not tell where you live but you are welcome to come to Southern Oregon and try some of the ones I have.

    My best advice is to enjoy the quest for the perfect paddle it can take a lifetime.
    Dr. Joe
    Electric Hospital
    Coos Bay Or
    http://electrichospital.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So Paulo - Brazil
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    Default

    Although I have many paddleS like Joe mentioned, I also came to the conclusion that I use one of them about 95% of the time..... Its a Mitchell Leader (bentshaft). A bit over the 100 bucks, but its the best paddle I ever used so far.

    Another option to look at is the Bending Branches Cruiser Plus, a bentshaft that is really sturdy! I have some that were abused for many years and still looking great. A bit heavier but also cheaper than the first one....

    Those 2 will give you a good efficiency margin over the boys you will be guiding. Its important to be able to be faster than them...

    Oh, and welcome to SOTP.... where are you? US?
    Tony BR
    www.companhiadecanoagem.com.br
    www.canoacanadense.com.br/english.htm
    Past 20 years teaching Biology!
    Next 20 building Canoes!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    South Lakes
    Posts
    13,059

    Default

    Have a gander through these:

    Sizing paddles thread from 'Lloyd'.
    Making an ottertail paddle thread.
    Another making paddles thread.
    And a link here for making your own paddles.
    And a link to Moosehead Paddles , including a guide to making your own.

    "bucks" I gather you're in the 'States' or some such place. Supply of paddles can differ depanding on locality. But may be something with a squared off blade, (a Sugar Island) or a beavertail. Both will manage flatwater but be adaptable to some moving water. You'll know that an ottertail will not suit ww. Wooden will do both well, last ages and will save you quite a bit over glass or carbon. Which will still take a beating but make a whole in the pocket. Given your budget, I reckon wood is the way to go.

    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.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you all for the advice I live in Canada southern Ontario to be specific and ill be leading trips in the Temagami region for two weeks at a time pretty much all summer. Its beautiful country mostly nice deep lakes, but there will of course be times when im in shallow rocky areas or swamps as it is an adventure! When i was 15 i first went on a canoe trip in that region for two weeks and fell in love with it all. The following year i paddled the Albany River ( its a big river that flows into james bay 825 km give or take of spectacular paddling) the next year i lead a few week trips on little rivers and lakes. And last year i lead two, two week long trips in Temagami, lots of great paddling and long portages. Thats pretty much my canoeing lifetime. Although yes it would be nice to eventually own a few paddles right now i just have to start with one. As for making my own perhaps that too will come in time, but i think i need to know a bit more before i start that.

    Again thanks your advice has been great.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Rochester, New York, United States
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    39

    Default

    I have two favorite paddles:
    Mitchell Sureal -- carbon fiber blade, unbelievably light
    Nashwaak Cruiser -- a hand carved ottertail paddle made from one solid piece of cherry.

    When the water is deep enough I will always choose the Nashwaak Cruiser when paddling my solo canoe. It's dynamics in the water are superb for strokes that have submerged recoveries: like the "Canadian Stroke" that Paul Mason taught in his books and video.

    For the back seat of my tandem canoe I favor the Mitchell. It is so light and comfortable, yet it looks good enough to use in my cedar strip canoes. The carbon fiber blade is so slender that it slices through water like a hot knife through butter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John DeHority View Post
    I have two favorite paddles:
    Mitchell Sureal -- carbon fiber blade, unbelievably light
    Nashwaak Cruiser -- a hand carved ottertail paddle made from one solid piece of cherry.

    When the water is deep enough I will always choose the Nashwaak Cruiser when paddling my solo canoe. It's dynamics in the water are superb for strokes that have submerged recoveries: like the "Canadian Stroke" that Paul Mason taught in his books and video.

    For the back seat of my tandem canoe I favor the Mitchell. It is so light and comfortable, yet it looks good enough to use in my cedar strip canoes. The carbon fiber blade is so slender that it slices through water like a hot knife through butter.
    Agree 100%! The carbon-fiber + cedar combination from Mitchell is a work of art! And yes, it blends so well with a stripper (hey, I mean the canoe!!!) or any other canoe.... Yep! Im a big fan of Mitchell Paddles now....
    Tony BR
    www.companhiadecanoagem.com.br
    www.canoacanadense.com.br/english.htm
    Past 20 years teaching Biology!
    Next 20 building Canoes!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    calgary alberta canada
    Posts
    279

  9. #9

    Default

    The Grey Owl Voyageur looks like a good fit for me right now. After reading some reviews it sounds good for the sort of paddling im going to be doing. Any thoughts on this paddle?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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    4,657

    Default

    No matter what you choose for your first paddle, the time may come where you will want to "Thoreau" it away and get something else.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Tasmania, Australia
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    Default

    That may be the worst canoeing related pun I've heard ezwater

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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    Default

    I've been lurking, just hoping for some "Henrydavid" to show up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Greenback, Tennessee USA
    Posts
    37

    Default Black Willow Paddle

    http://www.paddling.net/buyersguide/...&manfID=11&cat=

    Check out the Expresso Plus ST. It used to be called the Black Willow. Been using one for two years and carry a spare. I own five other paddles and they've been hanging on the wall. I paddle flat water only.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Savanna, Illinois USA-on the banks of the Mississippi River
    Posts
    1,822

    Default

    for $100 you could buy two Dri-Ki paddles. for flat lake paddling, I'd be pleased to have the otter tail reviewed here. Should always have an extra especially since you are going on trips. Might be nice to have one shallow water paddle and one deep. good luck in your search.

    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...-Paddle-Review
    Regards,
    Mike

  15. #15

    Default

    When it comes to paddles, HD, everybody has their own opinion. No surprise there, personal taste, skill level, paddling conditions, and physiology make each person’s choice uniquely their own. But there is certainly one choice that you will have to make in order to pick a paddle for yourself and that’s whether you want a straight or bent shaft. Bent shaft paddlers swear by their efficiency and power while traditionalists prefer their paddles the way God intended them. If you haven’t experienced using a bent shaft see if you can find someone who has to give you a demo. Trying to make the transition without any instruction can be a frustrating learning curve.
    I’m from your neck of the woods and there are plenty of paddle makers and suppliers to choose from. Many of them make good paddles and some make great ones. Often the difference is noted in the price but that isn’t always the case. 4 or 5 years back I had John Bell, the owner of Redtail Paddles, custom build a paddle for me out of bird’s eye maple. It is one of the nicest and most comfortable paddles that I have ever used and it didn’t cost me much more than what you’re prepared to spend. Of course I went out to his place in Hastings and talked with him about what I wanted in terms of weight, flex, size and so on, tried out a few of his production paddles as a starting point and went from there.
    Here’s a whole list of paddle makers that I think are worth a look. Some make paddles that are in your price range and some are well beyond. But it’s worth looking at what’s out there and, of course, it’s always nice to dream.
    http://redtailpaddle.com/products.htm
    http://www.turtlepaddle.com/content/view/33/34/
    http://www.kettlewellpaddles.com/
    http://www.echopaddles.com/canoe_paddles_lakewater.html
    http://www.cricketdesigns.com/honeyisland.htm
    http://www.jon-nelson.com/return-of-the-xy-company
    http://www.greyowlpaddles.com/index.html
    http://www.whiskeyjackpaddles.com/index.asp
    http://www.bendingbranches.com/premium-wood-canoe-paddles.php
    http://www.sanborncanoe.com/sanborncanoe_files/Page553.htm
    http://www.shawandtenney.com/classic-wooden-paddles.htm

    Happy hunting.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Maine
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrydavid View Post
    The Grey Owl Voyageur looks like a good fit for me right now. After reading some reviews it sounds good for the sort of paddling im going to be doing. Any thoughts on this paddle?

    Thanks.
    I have both the Grey Owl Voyageur and the Bending Branches Espresso ST. I paddle 80 percent in Ontario though I live in Maine.

    The Espresso is a long shaft in relation to paddle blade length. You might therefore size down a bit. Its a fine paddle. By fine I mean comparatively thin and good for slicing strokes.

    The Voyageur is my beat on it paddle. Its thicker at the edges than the Espresso. I use it in Wabakimi PP for forcing upstream paddling where I ought to be poling. Its not a bad paddle for the price! It sure takes a beating.

    If you are going to be beating upstream and whacking rocks I would pick the Voyageur. If you want less effort and more finesse the BB Espresso rocks.

    I love Mitchell carbon fiber paddles but for the use you need, they are not the best choice. I would have a snit fit if anyone stepped on my Mitchell Leader.
    "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing." WS-prophecy about internet postings.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    calgary alberta canada
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    279

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by woodenkayakguy View Post

    I had mentioned these paddles because of thier durability,availability and price range.
    Another place to look is garage sales/secondhand stores and online (kijiji)some of my nicest and most used paddles came from these places for under $20

    40 yr old peterborough paddle $5 and a couple other wood paddles that cleaned up real nice

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