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Thread: Paddle for Moving Water?

  1. #1

    Default Paddle for Moving Water?

    I'm looking to buy another paddle. I've currently got a Grey Owl Voyager which I love, but I'm heading up to do the Spey later in the year. Im thinking I need another paddle, so that I have a spare, but also so I have something a bit more durable in the arsenal.

    Used lots of basic "center" type paddles and whilst they do the job, I really don't like how you don't get much feel from them. Whilst I'd love a top end Werner, the budget doesn't stretch that far, so I'm after suggestions for a mid range paddle that still has some pleasure to use, but can be bashed off rocks a bit. Not sure how much I need to spend to achieve this, but after some pointers...

  2. #2
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    A few weeks ago, I managed to pick up a pretty much brand new, un-cut Werner Nantahala off eBay for 80.00 so worth keeping your eye out

  3. #3
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    Lots use the Ainsworth C100. I have one, but though it does a job, I dislike it, it's just so stiff with the standard alloy shaft that it felt I was taking a right battering in the joints. Also the "floating" blade feels odd.

    I've used their River paddle, and with a carbon shaft but poly blade, it might be a good option at a reasonable price, as long as you are happy to go with a slightly spooned blade. It felt far better than the C100 for me, though its all very subjective.

    I picked up an excellent second hand carbon blade once, sadly gone now, for about 70. You might get lucky. It was this paddle that convinced me that for proper whitewater, the spooned shape combined with carbon weight and stiffness, was worth the money.

    The Schlegel equivalent to the C100 seems a little more forgiving when I've used one. This could be the best value option.

    I've used a wooden whitewater blade (Hammerhead), but it split far too easily. I've recently had a Big Dipper glassed, and will try this on stuff that isn't too bony.

    The Spey will probably be shallow enough that a wooden blade only gets used on the straight bits, so I'd probably be looking at synthetic.
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

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  4. #4

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    Those are some great starting points, thank you. Realised I've used the standard C100 and Schlegel options a fair bit. What I refered to as centre padels. So I probably need to budget more then I thought. Will keep an eye on ebay, but not seeing anything that fits the bill just yet.

    I'd not actually thought about what the shaft was made from and how it would affect the handling. Ideally I'd test them, but that's hard. This is also may sound silly but after using my Voyager, the shafts of the aluminium ones seem to fat. Is there a reason for this like durability or is it just what most people prefer?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnderAnOpenSky View Post
    This is also may sound silly but after using my Voyager, the shafts of the aluminium ones seem to fat. Is there a reason for this like durability or is it just what most people prefer?
    I'd imagine some "fatness" adds to strength. The Nantahala has a carbon shaft that is oval towards the blade though so feels quite pleasant. I must confess to not having used mine on anything bouncy yet. I keep my eye out for "might need that" items and at half price, I had to snap it up. I also have a C100 and it is quite horrible in comparison but was cheap.

  6. #6
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    I have some C100's with "Glass" shafts and they are fantastic to use. They flex enough to make them easier on the joints. I'm not sure if they still do them but they were a lot cheaper than the Carbon ones and miles better than the alloy shaft ones. Once you get used to the floaty blades they are okay. I also have a couple with glass shafts and curved blades, which are very light.

    Just thought I'd stand up for my favourite paddles as they often get a bad press on here, and I've had mine for over 15 years with no problems.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
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  7. #7
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    Not all black shafts are carbon, glass shafts are usually finished in black too! I have a C100 with a (black) glass shaft that I used to use as a spare.

    When I did the Spey a couple of years ago I ended up using my VE carbon paddle most of the time (I had a couple of others with me) - it is quite an agressive C1/OC1/Race type paddle. The only issues with VE are that a) Stu has stopped making them for a while, and b) they have no tip protection so wear down. If I were going to do the Spey again tomorrow I would probably just use my current slalom C1/Race paddle which is a G-Power Revolution which is nice and light and has a metal tip. I'm actually not convinced about the fluting on the blade but it was on sale as an ex-test paddle and was already cut to the exact length I like - my next C1 paddle would probably be a G-Power Challenger or similar. The only thing is, if you are looking for a new slalom paddle, you will need to extend you budget some (~250). Alternatively look out for second hand ones on the various for sale groups or at races - easier said than done since the sport is full of juniors and a lot of the SH paddles out there are too short for most adults. People often assume that slalom is all in deep water with no rocks, but believe me that is not always the case and I have hit rocks pretty hard at full power without smashing my paddle, occasionally I have had to punt along the bottom with it!

    How hard can it be?

  8. #8
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    I use a grey owl sugar island, Plenty of blade for whitewater and I've not managed to break one yet
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  9. #9
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    I don't know if Bending Branches paddles are readily available in the UK but if so I think they make nice midrange paddles that work well and are enjoyable to use. Perhaps the Explorer Plus for you.
    https://bendingbranches.com/canoe-pa...-plus/straight

  10. #10

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    And of course this more complex then I first thought. And expensive. So was running over thoughts of just buying a cheap plastic one for the trip and reviewing options. Or using wood as I won't do that much of this kinds of trip.

    Except I've spotted a Bell Voodoo on a Facebook group. Carbon blade with wooden shaft. Crossing fingers that it might still be available.

  11. #11
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    I'd just buy another Grey Owl Voyager, or a Scout - and not worry about bashing it around a bit. They're light, nicely made, feel nice in the hand and are inexpensive. If it gets a bit battered you've got the winter months to tidy it up... a bit of fettling is one of life's pleasures and not something you can do with a plastic paddle.

    Alternatively, use the Voyager on the Spey and try a Grey Owl Plume (if you've never used a longer paddle it might be a revelation)... personally, I'd only go back to a 'shallow water' paddle if I was doing white water or high tempo sit-and-switch.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Feet View Post
    I'd just buy another Grey Owl Voyager, or a Scout - and not worry about bashing it around a bit. They're light, nicely made, feel nice in the hand and are inexpensive. If it gets a bit battered you've got the winter months to tidy it up... a bit of fettling is one of life's pleasures and not something you can do with a plastic paddle.

    Alternatively, use the Voyager on the Spey and try a Grey Owl Plume (if you've never used a longer paddle it might be a revelation)... personally, I'd only go back to a 'shallow water' paddle if I was doing white water or high tempo sit-and-switch.
    This actually seems a really solid idea. Im quite taken by the idea of the Voodoo, but other then that Ive not seen many decent second hand padels. I've also wanted to try a longer deep water paddle for while.

    The plume is also only a bit more then a c100, which I'd actually just kind of assumed would have been cheaper after using them.

  13. #13
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    The Voodoo is a nice paddle. I recently sold one that I rarely used to a young man that uses it often and appreciates it. For a lower cost paddle I agree that the Grey Owl Scout is a fine choice. It's light since it's not a laminated blade but even still you'd have a hard time ruining it unless you stick it between two rocks and pry.

  14. #14

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    Can't fault my Nantahala - which was used on the Spey with great success.

  15. #15

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    I've bought the Voodoo. Now looking forward to its arriving.

    A kind of related question. I still need to finish outfitting the canoe. I'm going to the lacing in a very similar way to Ray Goodwins post on here, with loops to clip things to. I'm just wondering how people stash spare paddles. Seen bungey mentioned, but can't quite visualise it.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by UnderAnOpenSky View Post
    I've bought the Voodoo. Now looking forward to its arriving.

    A kind of related question. I still need to finish outfitting the canoe. I'm going to the lacing in a very similar way to Ray Goodwins post on here, with loops to clip things to. I'm just wondering how people stash spare paddles. Seen bungey mentioned, but can't quite visualise it.
    If I have an airbag in, the spare paddle slips under the lacing on top of the airbag. Holds it in place well enough.

    The Voodoo does sound lovely (Assume its the straight shaft version).
    Paddler,blogger,camper,pyromaniac: Blog: Wilderness is a State of Mind

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  17. #17
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    As Jim suggests, all that glistens is not gold, all that is black is not carbon. The Nantahala comes with a glass shaft

  18. #18
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    Wedge the spare paddle at the side of the buoyancy block. If I want it really secure I use a loop of velcro to secure the shaft to a loop in the lacing.
    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  19. #19
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    ***
    Last edited by pipster3; 7th-August-2019 at 05:38 PM.

  20. #20
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    Freebird WW Big Dipper I’ve had my one for a few years and it’s served me well and my son uses a scaled down version specifically made for him .. we love them and paddle all the time WW OC2 on G3 no worries at all!

    https://freebirdpaddles.co.uk/produc...er-big-dipper/
    Last edited by pipster3; 7th-August-2019 at 05:40 PM.

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