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Old 04-25-2010   #41
I'm right 50% of the time
brendodendo's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I've had a stick or two over the years. Some break, some get lost on the river, on the road or in a friends truck. The standard stick is great. I usually go for a longer stick in the very back and slightly shorter for when sitting on the side. I've been changing it up a little and trying to guide from any position in the boat. I now let people jump in and pick a position. Then I get in and adjust depending on the strength of the rest of the crew. I'm also slightly more physically lazy these days. Possibly more vocal, or at least more concise.

If I had the $$ for a new stick, I think that I'd go with wood. Something natural. But that's just me.

My advice for the OP. Same as for kayaks and rafts. Demo. Demo, Demo. beg, borrow (do not steal) any paddle you can get your hands on during your first season.

Lots of quality companies. Some posted above, others linked below.






Whiskey Jack

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Old 04-25-2010   #42
earthNRG's Avatar
Snowmass, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 429
Originally Posted by JHimick View Post
I was three martinis deep when I wrote that post so it's a little over the top. I think having your own guide stick is totally an east coast thing.

And earthNRG, the comment about flip lines is about knowing how to use it not just wrapping some webbing around your waist. I worked with plenty of guides who couldn't throw a rope for shit. The tool is useless unless you know how to use it. Besides, any guide worth a shit should be able to flip a boat back over with a paddle.
Sometimes, alcohol and public forums can be a pretty funny mix. Other times, it just makes the drunk poster look like a "douche-bag."

I agree that carrying equipment you don't know how to use is at best a waste of time, space, and convenience; at worst it can turn a benign situation into a day nobody wants. I'd like to think that any commercial guide would have been through guide school, and that the guide school ensured everyone knows how to use basic river tools (such as throw ropes, flip lines, and even paddles for overturned craft).

"A witty saying proves nothing."
- Voltaire (1694-1778)
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