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Old 12-15-2011   #1
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 25
Need skirt and paddle recommendations

I'm just getting my first whitewater boat. I need recommendations for a good spray skirt and paddle. I want something I can grow into experience wise (will last more than one season). I will be doing a pretty even mix of playboating and river running.

The boat I just got is a Wavesport Project X 56. There are no local dealers to give any recommendations (that is what I get for living in a corn field). Even the new whitewater park has no recommendations for outfitters. Are there any other companies besides Harmony that fit Wavesports well?

Paddle wise I am told I should have a 191 or 194, what would be a good paddle? Are the bent shafts worth the extra money?

Thanks for the help!

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Old 12-16-2011   #2
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leif's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
Truth is, almost any skirt will work just fine for your boat. Same kind of deal with paddles. You probably have a few more years to go before you get refined enough to actually notice the differences.

So, many brands will work, but everyone will have an opinion about which is best, and will swear up and down that every other brand is absolute trash. For my two cents, I would recommend Snap Dragon skirts and H2O paddles, but I should mention that they both sponsor me, so you probably won't trust my opinion. Snap Dragon has been in the business for a very long time and they make some super dry skirts that are still easy to get on. H2O makes a bent shaft paddle that is one of the cheapest in the market but still perfectly high quality.

If you want a less biased opinion, you could probably call up CKS on the phone and have a chat with a salesperson.

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Old 12-16-2011   #3
Columbus, Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 135
werner, core, and AT paddles are worth looking at.

snapdragon and IR make some good sprayskirts.

That should give you enough brand wise to start looking.

Bent vs. strait paddle.....It's personal preference really. Just know that once you start paddling, you'll probably get used to whichever you pick, and you'll be all about using that particular type only for eternity.

Personally, I prefer bent shafts. They seem more ergonomic to me, and when I'm upside down and can't see, the bend gives me a reference to be able to get my paddle ligned up quickly and correctly if I've lost my grip.

My wife uses a strait paddle, and swears by those.

Only thing is, bent shafts are quite a bit more expensive.

I'd say go hold one of each (or better yet paddle one of each for a day). You'll figure out REAL quick which seems more natural to you.
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Old 12-16-2011   #4
shonuffkayak's Avatar
hutchinson, Kansas
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 138
My personal preference is Werner paddles Immersion Research sprayskirts. I also prefer straight shaft paddles 30 feather.
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Old 12-16-2011   #5
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
What? Snap Dragon and H20 paddles are absolute trash!

My vote is Werner paddle and Bomber Gear skirt, but it's true that most anything will do the job. Bent shaft paddles aren't just more ergonomic for some people, they're more ergonomic for everybody. Some people experience no issues using a straight shaft so the extra cost isn't worth it. I only use a bent.
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Old 12-16-2011   #6
Kayak/SUP Instructor
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The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
First year paddler? I wouldn't invest too much in a paddle because you're likely to lose it. Whatever you decide write your name and phone number in it. Straight shaft is a fine all around paddle and will save you a few bucks.

"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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