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Old 07-22-2008   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Looking for a bomber paddle?

I went through several werner fiberglass blades. I love the bentshaft werner grip, and in general they were good paddles. By the end of one season of colorado mank, the blades where missing a couple of inches and power was noticeably gone.

Decided to try out the werner carbon fiber shogun. At first I loved the shogun. Lots of power, very light. I did get a warning about brittle failure and the paddle snapping prior to buying one, which I shrugged off.

After breaking one blade of a shogun in 1/2 on SSV and snapping another shogun in 1/2 after chocking it between two rocks on the lead in to starter fluid, I'm wondering about this brittle fracture issue.

I'm thinking maybe a paddle that is stonger and more flexible would withstand the beatings encountered on creeks. While chocking my paddle was a boneheaded move on my part, it made me wonder which paddles are the most durable to long term creeking abuse.

I paddled most of the big south with a crappy aquabound breakdown that was flimsy and felt weird in my hands. Made me not really want to attempt that again.

Any thoughts on what the ultimate paddle is for durability and reliability in the colorado mank arena? I generally prefer bentshafts, 30 degree offsets, and powerful blades, but I am open to suggestions.

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Old 07-22-2008   #2
C_Boater's Avatar
The 3 Zero 3, Colorado
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 28

These sticks are pretty freakin nice! Independent start up as well! Check out the construct info!

WaveDog Paddles

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Old 07-22-2008   #3
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Hey man,
I know some people diss ATs for breaking but I have had so much luck with the AT3 paddles that I won't paddle with anything else.

The blades are those thick ones that don't whittle away to nothing. I have a thin blade Werner in my garage that you could use to feed yogurt to your babies. I will never buy a thin blade paddle again.

I have an AT3 Zen (not made anymore) and when that was temporarily lost I bought the new AT3 Edge:

I have heard a few horror stories of ATs breaking at bad moments but it has never happened to me. I imagine that any composite paddle will do that. If I see too many dings on the shaft I'll retire it.
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Old 07-22-2008   #4
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
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Seconding wave dog
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Old 07-22-2008   #5
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
my at2 standard is well worth the money specially with the OUTSTANDING waranty. i have used my at2 paddle going on 4 years. it has some obvious dents and is worn down about 3/4" on the ends but overall its a killer paddle overall and my tool of choice.
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Old 07-22-2008   #6
Big Building with Gear
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 112
Well the question of brittle failure and strength comes down to the material science of the paddle. Carbon fiber has a much lower elastic limit than fiberglass or plastic. This is both its strength and weakness. It allows more of your paddle stroke to propel you forward rather than flexing the shaft. However, if you rapidly put a force on the paddle (i.e. chocking or rock bracing) you can overload the elastic limit and snap the paddle. Most of this force becomes concentrated on areas of weakness within the weave of the carbon. Many of the broken carbon paddles i've seen break along obvious distortions in the weave of the paddle, and avoiding these when buying a paddle will help keep it in one piece. Fiberglass and materials like Kevlar/Aramid havea much higher elastic limit and will deflect more before breaking. AT uses this in their Carbon-Kevlar and Carbon-Fiberglass paddles. But if you look at product testing, Werner shafts on average across their product line fail at 20-30% higher stresses than AT shafts, but this still doesn't solve the brittle fracture issue. My solution: Werner used to make a paddle with a Fiberglass blade and Carbon Shaft. They don't offer it retail any longer but you may be able to special order it (Werner's cool about that sort of thing) or find one used. I've had mine rebladed and its still rockin' stiff and flexible.
2510 47th St #A1, Boulder
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Old 07-22-2008   #7
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
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Posts: 612
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There are some of those wave dog paddles in the sale trash can at CKS... I picked one up and didn't care for it much. Not sure about the durability of wood. Looks like you could get a lot of power off those blades though.

I have an AT3 and I really beat the crap out of things. It has been solid and have only lost about a 1/8 of an inch off the tips.
Life: Live it!
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Old 07-22-2008   #8
Roy's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 682
Not sure about the durability of wood.
If my Woody is any indicator, they can be pretty durable. It's on its 4th season of unkind use and holding up nicely (although I did epoxy the beginning of a delaminating blade back together in the off-season last fall).

Can't beat the feel of a wood shaft, IMHO!
I've a suggestion to keep you all occupied...learn to swim!
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Old 07-22-2008   #9
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 82
Originally Posted by Alpine Sports View Post
Werner used to make a paddle with a Fiberglass blade and Carbon Shaft. They don't offer it retail any longer but you may be able to special order it (Werner's cool about that sort of thing)
I asked Werner about getting a carbon straight shaft and they said they wouldn't do it. They apparently made a few, but people complained that they were too stiff.
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Old 07-22-2008   #10
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Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 911
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Very sad what happened to Woody... I still use mine, having 5 seasons on it and the damn thing is rock solid. I do nothing but abuse that paddle and it is in fantastic shape. I did re-glass it and had minor repair done, but that was it.
Although Wayne left me high and dry on a paddle he was fixing for me when he closed shop... I can never complain about the final product. Fantastic.

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather...To skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... WOW !!!! What a ride!!!!!!"
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