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Old 04-14-2004   #1
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 21
Canoe paddle question

I know this is a gear-related issue, but I just don't seem to have much luck in that forum. I recently lost my treasured Perception Harmony C-1 while trying to drag a raft client back in the boat. There was actually a moment there where I had a chance to choose between the 'mer' and the paddle. Most of my buddies say I made a bad choice.
In any case, I'm now in the market for a replacement paddle and having a tough time. I recently learned that Perception is out of the C-1 paddle game, which was something of a shock. I naively assumed I could simply dial Perception and buy a replacement. It seems that the Werner is now the leading manufacturer, but their products are either fancy carbon fiber something or others (and all black - now there's a bad idea) or flimsy-looking translucent yellow things - both of which are way too expensive.
To make things worse, I recently decided to branch out and take up whitewater canoeing. So now my paddle needs to serve two functions: guiding rafts down sometimes exciting whitewater sections and steering my canoe through those same but now far more interesting sections. Admittedly, my old paddle was a bit to long for the canoe, making my cross-bow strokes complicated if not downright impossible. I have no idea, however, what paddle length is best for a 6'2" novice (but aggressive) open-boater. I'm willing to live with a somewhat short guide stick (truth is, I don't really stear that much anyway. Getting lazy in my 'old age' and making the "mers" do most of the work) but need something strong, dependable, not-black, and preferably not scooped (what's that all about anyway?).

So if anyone out there in forum-land has any advice about possible options to the Werner non-option or suggestions about correct C-1 paddle size, I will certainly appreciate it.
Thanks in advance!

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Old 04-14-2004   #2
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12

Using one paddle for both, I would use a 60" maybe a little long for the canoe depending on your torso length/ saddle height, but I wouldn't want to go any shorter for guiding. you might check out there should be lots of info there.


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Old 04-14-2004   #3
Chief Niwot's Avatar
West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 643
I have been using a Werner Bandit for the past three years and I just bought a Mitchell. The Bandit is fairly lightweight and scooped. The Bandit has taken a beaten, especially in the 2002 season, and has worn badly on my on side of the paddle. One other thought, is the Bandit seems to have a little smaller face, especially after the edge wear that I have experienced and the face sometimes feels like it flexs now that it is older and worn, which I don't like.

From your comments, your probably not intereted in a Mitchell. The Mitchell is a wood shaft with a black carbon fiber scooped blade and expensive.

I have heard some folks like the lightening paddles. I have never used one, but I understand their less expensive, durable plastic and have a scooped blade.

Regarding a scooped blade, I like it. They do take a little getting used to in terms of feathering and prying, but they add power on your forward stroke when you need it.

One other paddle you may want to consider is the Bob Foote paddle, if there still made. The ones that I have seen have a red handle composite shaft, white straight composite blade with a red diagonal stripe accross the blade.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-14-2004   #4
Automotive Engineering
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23
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Mitchell is now working with nylon blades as well, they're mighty durable, though not as light as their wood or wood/carbon blades. Economical though, and you can probably get your choice of wood or carbon shafts. They make a really good paddle in general.

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Old 04-14-2004   #5
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 71
Tom, I am with you! Mitchells are the best!
I have been c-boating for years and used to guide rafts. My advice is buy an all wood mitchell and get a shaft that has some flex for less torque on the shoulders and wrists. I mainly C-1 now but also still canoe. I use a 58 or 59 and it helps me maintain an agressive posture. Get a 15 dollar carlile that is over 62" to guide that you don't care about breaking or losing. Nothing wrong with getting a beater, as long as you got the best feeling blade when you open boat and it is your time.
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Old 04-15-2004   #6
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 14
check out Jim Snyder paddles


I understand if this is out of your price range, but its a huge step up from Mitchell for not much more money.
Jim Snyder makes really excellent paddles which will last a long time with proper respect. In my opinion they are second only to ones from Keith Backlund(good luck getting a Backlund).
Jim will make your paddle to order, taking into consideration what you'll use it for, your hand size, strength, etc. The tips and edging are excellent and the paddles have great feel in the water. The final bonus is that these paddles are the best ever secret weapon for preventing tendonitis.

My Snyder paddle has performed great for the 3years I've had it in everything from raft guideing Gore Canyon to running OC2 on the Salt River Canyon.


Check out
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Old 04-15-2004   #7
peterB's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 567
I have used Lightening and Werner paddles and found both to have great bite, strength, and feather. The Werner bandit has worn well and is my program paddle here at the school. For open boat and your size I would suggest a 62, C-1 60 or 58. Don't paddle with out a scooped blade if you want to get somewhere. And when your running rubber be proud paddle a cheap bent carlise like the "guests". guide sticks are for posers who can't make their quest work and need to fell superior to the 8 people in the orange jackets in front of them. Let your Kevlar helmet and low rise life jacket do the talking.

friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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Old 04-15-2004   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 567
PS if you really want another perception paddle I might have a couple I would sell you. But I would recommend getting something lighter that will perform better for you. Your worth it.


friend of the fork, knife, and spoon
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