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Old 02-24-2010   #1
utidcapaco's Avatar
Lost Almost, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 65
Oar Blade WIDTH?

There has been lots of talk regarding oar length, brand, construction, etc., but I haven't found anything regarding the width of whitewater blades. Typically 6.5" or 8", from what I can tell: which do you prefer, and why? I need to pick up my first set this year, so I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks!

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Old 02-24-2010   #2
youngpaddler06's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 173
How big is your boat?

If you are lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.
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Old 02-24-2010   #3
utidcapaco's Avatar
Lost Almost, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 65
15-foot cat at present. Hope to upgrade to a 14-16' raft in the near future, however (and would like to use the same blades).
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Old 02-24-2010   #4
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,442
Since oar blade are the part that you tend to replace from time to time, I go with what is the cheapest and most widely used. That for me are the Carlyle 8" blades. Last time I was up at Red Canyon I was able to find a replacement at one of the outfitters. Any other brand and I would have been SOL
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Old 02-24-2010   #5
Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
Oar Blade choice

I like the Carlisle Oar Blade 8" Outfitters for deep water runs. I do switch to a 6 1/2" Carlisle Blade, when you need to get skinny on the early and late shallow creeks. Keeps the blades from getting to beat up.
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Old 02-24-2010   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 93
I think the main things to think about in regards to blade width is surface area and force. Think about the force you want to apply and think about the force the water will apply on you. A narrower blade will be easier to control and will get jerked around less in turbulent water. With a narrower blade you will not be able to move as much water i.e you will not be able to move your boat as much with one stroke. If you like to muscle your boat around or like to take long deep pulls (that statement could be used in other forums as well, but let's stick to the topic at hand), you may prefer a wider blade. If you want to feel like you have more control and like to take shorter quicker strokes (again, let's stay on topic here), then you may prefer a narrower blade.

You probably should consider the load you are hauling as well. To move a "big" boat you may find the wider blades better.


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blade, oar, width

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