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Question: The Perfect Paddle :: Total Votes:16
Poll choices Votes Statistics
It came with the yak 3  [18.75%]
$80 - $100 3  [18.75%]
$101 - $150 1  [6.25%]
$151 - $225 5  [31.25%]
$226 - $300 3  [18.75%]
$301 - $400 1  [6.25%]
Ya gotta be kiddin 0  [0.00%]
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Topic: Perfect Paddle Part 1, a never ending quest or maybe not...< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Capn Jimbo Offline
The Godfisher

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Posted: Aug. 08 2005,16:40

Last year I caught a reference to an old article in Sea Kayaker, "A Quest for the Perfect Paddle" by Matt Broze.  Matt is a kayak designer, well regarded, and passed along his extensive quest to refine/design the "perfect paddle".

Matt makes a couple of important points: first, that what matters most is how a paddle feels to the paddler - the difference between one that feels good and one that is a trial by fire is like night and day.  A difference of $100 is a small price to pay for the many, many tens of thousands of strokes you'll be taking.

Second his objective was "to move a sea kayak over long distances at near hull speed in all conditions".  A worthy and practical goal.  He experimented with weight, length, blade shape (aspect) and length, blade curvature, et al.  Very thorough.  He relied on his own testing and that of some friends like Chris Cunningham.

Some of his findings are not suprising, most are.  Let's start here:

Total Weight

Matt claims that total weight, while important in the "feel" is not nearly as important as blade weight ("swing weight").  Lighter blades are faster, get back in the water quicker (less boat speed loss) and reduce paddling effort.  Measurably.  He found a mere one ounce difference signficant and two ounces dramatic.  

And a smaller blade is disproportionately lighter than a larger one as the smaller requires less thickness as well.

Next, shaft length...


Please vote and also reply.  What kind of paddle do you own?   Length?  Narrow or Wide?  Heavy or light?  Shaft vs blade material? What do you like/dislike about it?

Tight lines,
Capn Jimbo

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Group: Members
Posts: 616
Joined: Feb. 2004
Posted: Aug. 08 2005,17:16

Northwest Passage Fiberglass Touring blade by harmony
240 w/ right feather 40/60
has taken all that the oyster bars have thrown at it and the blades are still in great shape even after 4 years
Am considering a Ono custom paddle out of California

Tight Lines and Tail Winds
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Les Lammers Offline

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Posts: 22
Joined: June 2005
Posted: Aug. 09 2005,03:50

I use two Onno paddles, full and mid tour blades 225 cm. 19 ounces, custom made, lifetime guarantee, 100% satisfaction policy.

$215+ shipping.

I have small hands and Pat has a smaller shaft diameter that is perfect for me. You gorillas can get the standard diameter.

Pat will take the time to talk to you and help you select what should work best for you.

He builds wing paddles too.
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fishunter1 Offline

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Posts: 265
Joined: Feb. 2004
Posted: Aug. 10 2005,15:32

Bending Branches Al bent shaft, intermediate-sized plastic blade . Feather-able 230cm. I like it.
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Scupper Pro Frank Offline
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Posted: Aug. 17 2005,22:15


2 Caviness 4-piece POSs in bright shiny round aluminum shafts leading to flat heavy thick plastic symmetric slabs with Caviness in shiny silver lettering. These are raw, rank, totally ignorant beginners' paddles.  We actually thought they were OK -until we paddled with "REAL" paddles...!

1 Aquabound Seaclude 240 cm AL oval shafted dihedral assymetric plastic tour profile-bladed 0-60 (RH/LH) feather.  Our first paddle purchase, and still my yakfishing stanby.  It's rugged and abused, but despite multiple lickings, still keeps ticking.  It works for me as I paddle rather horizontally when I'm note in a hurry, I use a slow cadence, I have a long torso and long arms, and I'm strong enough that the paddle never seems heavy...

1 ~ 230 cm Canon round shafted 0-60 R/L feather power-face assymetric plastic spoon bladed.  I painted the blades with Krylon's new [plastic paint maybe 8 months ago -its held up pretty well.  Big power face -good for acceleratin, grabbing a lot of water, and getting purchase in aerated stuff like WW or surf -neither of which we do, LOL ...

1 225 Cm Bending Branches Infusion AL round-shafted crank 0-60 R/L feather with neoprene grios in the crank assymetric mildly dihedral blades.  A Sally Special -the angled crank greatly relieves the stress on her wrists, and the grips are very comfortable.  And it has yellow blades...

1 225 cm Werner Mid-Tour(?) AL oval-shafted assymetric dihedral plastic-bladed 0-60 R'L feather.  It's surprisingly light, and I use this with the Eclipse SINK.

A quiver of paddles to power the fleet as we

Paddle On!
Scupper Pro :cool: Frank
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Nanuk Offline

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Posts: 64
Joined: Aug. 2005
Posted: Sep. 27 2005,13:41

I got my paddle from South Africa. It is a spooned wing paddle - very spooned! A Knysna Racing Paddle - model Bratcha IV. It is all carbon and very stiff, also very light at 218cm it only weighs about 10 ozs. Straight shaft, but I manage Ok with it. The spooned blade does give up some ahndling ability when dealing with surf from astern - steering, but with the rudder of the Dorado this is overcome.

On the Scupper Pro I use a 220cm straight carbon touring paddle with a fairly standard blade shape and 60 degree feather. Nothing special - about £90 over here ($200?) The Bratcha was cheaper! About £70 - or $160
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Posted: Sep. 27 2005,14:19

10 oz.!!!  Really?  That seems awfully light for any paddle.  Is that their official weight from the  company?
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6 replies since Aug. 08 2005,16:40 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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