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Thread: White water paddle

  1. #1
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    Default White water paddle

    Finally in a position to go shopping (just in time for Christmas )

    Looking for a white water shovel and its between:

    Werner Bandit

    or

    VE C1

    They both seem not outrageously priced and both appear to have a following.

    I've tried a spooned CF paddle before (thanks Impcanoe) and like the weight and feel of it.
    Am I wasting cash on fancy spec boat paddles for occasional white water use in a Wenonah p15, should I just get an Ainsworth C100 ?

    TIA

    Ade

  2. #2

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    I recommend a Werner Nantahala!

    Simply awesome!!

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    Default Choices, choices . . .

    I've got the C100 which gets me around okay (any failings will be down to me, not the paddle). I do like the look of the Werner Bandit though . . . . and Christmas is coming

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    I have both a Bandit and a Nantahala. The Bandit is great but the thin material tends to wear on one corner. I don't have as much confidence in it as maybe I should. The Nantahala is more robust and therefore slightly heavier. Some may think it lacks a little finesse but it works well for me.

    I think you need to ask why you are looking at a spooned blade.

  5. #5

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    I reckon i could chop wood with my Nantahala!

    It gets totally abused and only gets cosmetic scratches....

    As Adrian says.......why a spooned paddle?

  6. #6
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    .why a spooned paddle?
    Simply because I tried Peter's (Impcanoe) carbon fibre bitsa and liked its light weight, feel and the way it responded to positive inputs - ie it shifts serious amounts of water with corresponding boat movement.

    Not wedded to the idea at all, Nantahala is an option, I've set myself a budget of 150 for a white water paddle so open to suggestions.

    I can see a spooned paddle being used on the wrong face during panic moments, but presumably they still do something even back to front; is this why you wouldn't go for one - for experienced ww ninjas only?

    Cheers and thanks for replies so far.

    Adrian
    Last edited by Davy 90; 6th-December-2011 at 11:55 AM.

  7. #7
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    It will be interesting to watch this one as I'm wanting to replace my Nantahala which is too short.

    I can't really find fault with the Nantahala and it has been a good paddle which has stood up well. I did notice a difference between it and my other plastic blades which were a Moll Contra and Shlegal Duralen. The main difference was the thinness of the blade which just felt nicer for certain strokes and slicing the blade. Having a WW blade that also retains some finesse (sorry sounds a but poncy) is what I'm looking for in it's replacement. I do have a spoon bladed paddle but I don't see this offers what I want. I think I'd like a wooden WW paddle but I just can't see they'd stand up to the sort of treatment the Nantahala has.

    There was a review of 13 canoe paddles in this months Canoe and Kayak magazine which included a few that would be within your price range. There were a couple from Robson and Lightning which I had seen mentioned elsewhere. The Endless River Phantom is another one that liked by some (but not others). There are also a couple of recent posts on UKRGB about WW paddles and some good info on some spoon bladed paddles if you go down that route.

  8. #8
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    I have one of these...

    http://www.endlessriver.co.uk/phantom-p-651.html

    Big slab of carbon fibre with a nice floaty foam core, bashed it into rocks and was sure I'd damaged it but merely scratched it a little.

    Selling mine if you're interested.
    -------------------------------------------

    Feeding the addiction one paddle at a time.......

  9. #9
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    Some good prices here for the Werner's WW paddles here. [scroll down to the bottom part of the page]

    I use a Bandit, I swim a lot............there you go, decision made

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soggy Bottom View Post
    I have one of these...

    http://www.endlessriver.co.uk/phantom-p-651.html

    Big slab of carbon fibre with a nice floaty foam core, bashed it into rocks and was sure I'd damaged it but merely scratched it a little.

    Selling mine if you're interested.
    Im interested PM sent.
    reassuringly negative

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sprout View Post
    I swim a lot............
    You keep saying this Tim but I recall a day on the Usk when the river was just about at the scarey level and you and I were the only two helping with the rescues. On the Dart in highish water, there were three of us and only the other one got wet. No names, no pack drill.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    You keep saying this Tim but I recall a day on the Usk when the river was just about at the scarey level and you and I were the only two helping with the rescues. On the Dart in highish water, there were three of us and only the other one got wet. No names, no pack drill.
    If you are referring to me, I would argue that my paddle that was disproportionately larger than my canoe compared you two and therefore your analogy is somewhat floored. - and I think I only got stuck on a rock anyway.

  13. #13
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    My recommendation would be to go with something inexpensive to begin with. You may decide that you prefer a different length paddle for WW than for ordinary paddling and as quality WW paddles are usually cut to order this could be an expensive mistake.

    In the short term a cheaper paddle like Ainsworth or Schlegel is unlikely to make much difference to your paddling.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  14. #14
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    What about a Werner Rec, nicer than than an Ainsworth, considerably cheaper than a Nantahala......... win,win,win

    Mick
    Stay safe, enjoy


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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    quality WW paddles are usually cut to order
    I usually get mine uncut and assemble them myself. I have adjusted one before and it wasn't a big deal.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    I usually get mine uncut and assemble them myself. I have adjusted one before and it wasn't a big deal.
    Interesting. How do you stretch them?
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


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    I think they can only be adjusted one way

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    Thanks for responses so far.

    2 recommendations for the Nantahala
    1 for the Bandit
    1 for Werner Rec
    1 for C100
    1 for cheap (C100)

    Looking at this and a few other threads I get the feeling that paddles are a bit like motorbike tyres, there are plenty of good ones about but its really a matter of personal preference and what you are used to. No one has stated why spoon paddles are not a good idea.

    I'm currently leaning towards the Nantahala as it seems a good all round choice and is within budget...

    Aiming to drop into Kent Canoes at some point to have a prod - I've never seen an Ainsworth in the flesh.

    Ade

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Interesting. How do you stretch them?
    Of course, on the basis that most people like a shorter paddle for whitewater, this problem is less likely. But I think it was my first whitewater paddle which I cut too short by about 2-3 inches. I had kept the off-cut and used a sleeve (for splits) to extend the shaft. The sleeve was slightly too large but I managed to sand it down to fit.

    Lesson? Always keep the off-cut, you never know.

  20. #20
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    Compared the C100 and the Nantahala today - unfair contest and the Nantahala won.

    Nice chap in Desperate Measures in Nottingham recommended a length (60") and cut it down and glued the handle in the shop. Never seen so many tasty paddles in one place...

    Hopefully baptise it this weekend.

    Thanks for input.

    Ade

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    Took the Nantahala out for its debut on St Patrick's Stream this weekend. Short trip due to temperamental 4 year old with a holed welly but initial thoughts:


    - its nice and light but feels bullet proof

    - it has a lot more power (obviously) than my wooden Carlisle Scout

    - it is thin and slicey making for a nice feel on bow cuts/rudders

    - it catches the wind a surprising amount which requires a modified recovery stroke

    - it has little or no give in the shaft: the palm of my left hand, wrist and elbow are all suffering slightly today from paddling into the wind..

    - although the paddle feels fine in use, my strokes are a bit more clumsy compared to using my Scout which has a much smaller blade area and will remain my general paddle. I suspect a bit more time with it will improve this.

    - it makes a lot of noise - which may be related to the above point...

    - its a bit bling and I felt compelled to bring it into the pub with me rather than prop it outside.... to mild ridicule


    Looking forward to using it in its intended environment.


    Ade

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    Quote Originally Posted by Davy 90 View Post
    - its a bit bling and I felt compelled to bring it into the pub with me rather than prop it outside.... to mild ridicule
    If you are going to leave a boat unattended, taking its means of propulsion away will mean they at least have to carry it to steal it and that should slow them down.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper View Post
    If you are going to leave a boat unattended, taking its means of propulsion away will mean they at least have to carry it to steal it and that should slow them down.
    Agreed, in this instance the paddles were initially propped up in the closed beer garden away from the boats but out of sight.
    Part way through I went out and brought the more valuable ones inside where we could see them

    Of course I then forgot the two remaining paddles left outside (my Scout and Junior's home made mini paddle) naturally remembering when we had got back in the boats and set off for the final stretch...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davy 90 View Post
    its a bit bling and I felt compelled to bring it into the pub with me rather than prop it outside.... to mild ridicule


    Of course I then forgot the two remaining paddles left outside (my Scout and Junior's home made mini paddle) naturally remembering when we had got back in the boats and set off for the final stretch...
    Yeah, and who had to go back and get 'em?


    Looked like a nice paddle. I really liked how comfortable the shaft felt with its oval section just in the right place. Would be nice to try out in proper whitewater rather than just St Patrick's Stream - I expect you'll find it comes into its own then.

    I had a brief play with my new (still uncut) Ainsworth C100 too, actually felt surprisingly good. I'll post more detail on that once its been used properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal Grey View Post
    I really liked how comfortable the shaft felt with its oval section just in the right place.
    I have to say I would prefer a very slightly smaller diameter shaft. I much prefer the feel of my Grey Owl paddles than the Werners.

  26. #26
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    I only use curved slalom blade paddles in whitewater. However some straight blades handle as well, even if they lack a small advantage in "grab" for a firm catch. Though one of my three "slalom" paddles has an oval shaft, I simply can't detect any advantage.

    I make my own paddle grips, asymmetrical or "one way" so that there's no doubt which way the paddle power face is pointing.

    People use the term "spooned" for curved slalom blades that won't spoon soup to save your life. Probably a curved blade should have just a tiny bit of dihedral across the face to cut flutter. It is really best for there to be no cupping or spooning, or the paddle might not slice neutrally for sculling or underwater recovery. You might think that the curve in the blade might also disrupt neutral handling, but it does not. The makers calibrate the curve carefully for neutral slicing.

    Curved blade slalom paddles roll very nicely, on the non-power face, for those into rolling. They "fly" to the surface very nicely when one sets up for a roll.

    Paddle makers such as Mitchell will, on request, put an 18" vinyl sleeve on the shaft to protect the glass or carbon shaft matrix from knicks or wear. Damage to a carbon matrix can cause sudden failure under stress. Mitchell can supply a curved blade made from wood slats faced with fiberglass rather than carbon. My FG faced Mitchell has a wonderfully flexible blade that slips rather than sticks when I catch the end on an unseen rock.

    An advantage of the cloth faced, wood slat construction is that a substantial aluminum tip can be installed. Aluminum tips cut paddle wear dramatically.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ezwater View Post
    I make my own paddle grips, asymmetrical or "one way" so that there's no doubt which way the paddle power face is pointing.

    Mitchell can supply a curved blade made from wood slats faced with fiberglass rather than carbon.

    An advantage of the cloth faced, wood slat construction is that a substantial aluminum tip can be installed. Aluminum tips cut paddle wear dramatically.
    Do you have any pictures? - Please?

    Sam

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    Default Grey Owl Hammerhead

    Grey Owl Hammerhead

    Anyone got any experience of these from use on moving water G2-3? Blurb fro grey Owl below:

    Same layup as Sugar Island, with oiled walnut mushroom T-grip. Partial urethane edging; 10-ounce fiberglass cloth covering blade. Tough and lightweight for use in moving water and class 1-3 whitewater conditions. Effective wide, short blade.
    Last edited by elveys; 20th-December-2011 at 08:46 AM. Reason: link added

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by elveys View Post
    Grey Owl Hammerhead

    Anyone got any experience of these from use on moving water G2-3? Blurb fro grey Owl below:

    Same layup as Sugar Island, with oiled walnut mushroom T-grip. Partial urethane edging; 10-ounce fiberglass cloth covering blade. Tough and lightweight for use in moving water and class 1-3 whitewater conditions. Effective wide, short blade.
    Doug and Mary use them and so do a few others. I have Sugar Island that's in 2 pieces that is sufficient for me to conclude that wooden blades and most English/Welsh WW rivers don't mix.

  30. #30
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    I bought a Voyageur Rio Grand on the recommendation that it would cope with rocks. It didn't! Fortunately the shop replaced it for me but I don't trust it as a river paddle. I'll admit it does not have a glass skin but it does have an ali insert.

  31. #31
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    Default Getting a grip.

    "I make my own paddle grips, asymmetrical or 'one way' so that there's no doubt which way the paddle power face is pointing."

    samB--- "Do you have any pictures?"

    Assuming you meant the grips.

    Below is the best one I have done yet. It is done for my large hand and would need to be scaled down a bit for most folks. The wood is elm, salvaged from a tree I cut down. Weight of a grip is not a concern. It just helps balance the blade. Carving is done mostly with rasps and Stanley Sureforms. The grip is carefully sanded smooth, and then oiled with Minwax 209.

    My goal was to properly fill my palm so that the line of effort would pass right back through the forearm, and to leave the thumb and fingers comfortably bedded so that they would not be scrunched. Another goal was to allow the fingers and hand to slide right, pivoting around the thumb, during cross strokes.


    From the top.


    IMG_0075 by ezwater, on Flickr


    From the side.


    IMG_0072 by ezwater, on Flickr


    From below.


    IMG_0071 by ezwater, on Flickr


    The palm or driving side.


    IMG_0073 by ezwater, on Flickr


    The finger side.


    IMG_0074 by ezwater, on Flickr


    Folks may notice that the paddle has been lengthened, after I cut it too short in an experiment. I drilled two holes in the dowel that was still inside the carbon/Kevlar paddle shaft. Then I epoxied in two dowels, 3/8" or 1/4", I don't recall. Then I drilled two holes for the dowel in the base of the grip, and epoxied the grip on, making sure it was aligned properly as the epoxy set. After cleaning up any epoxy drips and adding some tape as guide, I mixed epoxy with elm sawdust and microballoons, and applied it like peanut butter over the dowels, smoothing it to an approximation of the desired final shape. I added some Kevlar tape bands as decoration along with a final epoxy application. Then I sanded to shape and varnished. The extension is a bit like wood-reinforced concrete and has been strong enough.

  32. #32
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    Lopped 3" of the Nantahala today. Tried to shift the t-grip with heat as recommended by the guys at Desperate Measures, but after almost setting fire to the off cut on the hob (no heat gun..), I gave up and ordered a new one for about 9. Araldited it in at lunch time and now just need to give it a run.

  33. #33
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    So where is the whitewater to try your whitewater paddle out on?
    ​Change is inevitable; progress is optional.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandfordSailor View Post
    So where is the whitewater to try your whitewater paddle out on?
    Don't rub it in - was meant to get an outing on the Canche this weekend which has a few spots to play.

    Always open to suggestion - next probable bit of the bubbly stuff is Massif Central in a few weeks, providing the car co-operates.

  35. #35
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    Ainsworth OC RIVER (CARBON)


    Has anyone got any experience of these for use on moving water G2/3?

    Many thanks

    Paula (KP)

  36. #36
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    I haven't tried the Ainsworth OC River but I'm looking very closely at it. I think I can only afford one carbon paddle and am trying to decide between this and the Endless River Ottertail.

    These are I know quite different, but I'm looking for a cabon paddle for both flatwater paddling and occasional whitewater use. I've got wooden paddles for deepwater use and a cheap WW paddle for when its too bony so either would do depending on where I want the balance of strenghts. Finding an ideal carbon paddle to replace my old Sugar Island I split on the Drome isn't proving quite as easy as I hoped ...
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by gwing View Post
    I haven't tried the Ainsworth OC River but I'm looking very closely at it. I think I can only afford one carbon paddle and am trying to decide between this and the Endless River Ottertail.

    These are I know quite different, but I'm looking for a cabon paddle for both flatwater paddling and occasional whitewater use. I've got wooden paddles for deepwater use and a cheap WW paddle for when its too bony so either would do depending on where I want the balance of strenghts. Finding an ideal carbon paddle to replace my old Sugar Island I split on the Drome isn't proving quite as easy as I hoped ...
    I can't see the Endless River ottertail working on white water, the blade shape won't give you the power when you want it. Equally, I can't see the Ainsworth OC River being very nice on still water... I'd stick with wooden for the deepwater bit and go with carbon for the whitewater though. Never seen the Ainsworth, but at the price it would be difficult to go to far wrong.

  38. #38
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    After a couple of years use I can't fault the Werner Nantahala for WW. Its taken a proper thrashing, made a couple of trips down various grade II and III features on its own and it also doubles as a beach spade, tarp prop in high winds and has been successfully used as a bridge/stepping stone in deep mud at put ins/take outs. I added brightly coloured tape to make it easier to spot when it makes a break for it

    It is fairly horrible for prolonged flat water use as the blade is just too big although it shifts enough water to make it handy in windy conditions but the lack of flex becomes noticeable over a long trip.

    I've now got a Shlegel Duralen as a back up which I've left a little longer than the Nantahala, this is also fine for general WW/rock bashing, with more feel than its chunky blade profile would suggest.

    I spent a weekend recently using an Ainsworth C100 (I think) for occasional rock bashing/ water shovelling on a gentle moving river, it was absolutely fine.

  39. #39
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    A lot of us are using the Aqua bound Edge ... Have a word with Mat Howes on here he imports them and is sponsored by them ...

    Very durable spooned paddle also available as a split back up for shorter boats ...

    https://aquabound.com/whitewater-paddles/canoe/edge

  40. #40
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    I have a 'bent shaft' Ainsworth C100... One trip on grade 3 water in a trad did that to it. OK, it's an aluminium shaft and dirt cheap, but more vulnerable.

    Been using a Nantahala for the last few years. Find solo on moving water, but hard work when paddling tandem on flat water if the person in the bow has a much smaller paddle: one has to put in a lot more work to keep in rhythm :-)

    Most recent acquisition is an Aqua Bound Edge: despite plenty of coloured tape it made a break for freedom on the first outing (but fortunately was tracked down and returned in shame ;-) ).

    Stuart

  41. #41
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    I've tried quite a number of WW paddles now, here are my views:

    VE C1 - Very nice full carbon paddle, light, big blade, powerful, moves a lot of water, very stiff so any slight defects in your stroke can start to hurt you.
    Aqua Bound Edge - carbon plastic compound, flexible blade which means not so much potential to do damage to delicate joints. Heavier than carbon and shaft diameter larger than VE - need big hands. Can be prone to damage in very heavy rocky water
    Ainsworth Carbon (maybe the freestyle (not sure) - very thin carbon blade, chips easily, very light, quite stiff. Apart from the heavy wearing like this a lot. Doesn't seem to give my shoulder any aches.
    Kober Athens - VERY light, very powerful, very stiff. Easily the most refined paddle I've owned, but probably not matched by my ability to get the best out of it.

    What will I buy next - probably another Aqua Bound Edge - keeps my shoulder safe until I perfect my stroke, but I might grab another VE C1 just for when I'm in need of some extra POWER on a boof.

  42. #42
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    Really like my VE C1, but wondering whether to move it on sometime as I think it has contributed to the problems in my shoulder quite a lot.

    The Aqua Bound Edge looks interesting but they use those nasty mushroom T-Grips which I really hate. Prefer something straighter. I wonder if they have other options?
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Really like my VE C1, but wondering whether to move it on sometime as I think it has contributed to the problems in my shoulder quite a lot.

    The Aqua Bound Edge looks interesting but they use those nasty mushroom T-Grips which I really hate. Prefer something straighter. I wonder if they have other options?
    Have a word with Jim Wallis he's making wooden T grips for them and agree about the VE I've been having shoulder niggles and started having treatment with a sports injury clinic and its cleared up a lot but always seems to get aggravated when I use the VE so my paddle of choice is my AB lot more forgiving on the joints ...

  44. #44
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    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and comments.

    Paula (KP)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matto View Post
    Really like my VE C1, but wondering whether to move it on sometime as I think it has contributed to the problems in my shoulder quite a lot.

    The Aqua Bound Edge looks interesting but they use those nasty mushroom T-Grips which I really hate. Prefer something straighter. I wonder if they have other options?
    There are aftermarket T Grips but I guess a lot depends on the inside diameter of the Aquabound paddle....
    Cheers
    Tim


    Paddles a Prospector

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    The ID of the AB shaft is a shade under 28mm, I turn my spigots to 28mm and then sand to get a perfect tight fit.

    Ainsworth composite shafts are 26mm ID, not sure abut the alloy ones.

    How hard can it be?

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