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Old 02-23-2011   #11
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 88
While Backlund is the Godfather of custom laminate wood canoe and kayak paddles, he's unfortunately no longer making dust- he suffered a stroke in June of 2009 and lost a good bit of his eyesight. He was in a managed care facility in Markleysburg for awhile but is now back in Clarksburg, Md with Ann and Itchy.

In my opinion, your next best bet would be one of Jimmy Snyder's paddles. You can reach him at Rivrstyx custom wood kayak and canoe paddles

In the immortal words of KJ Backlund when folks would ask about the durability of using wood paddles in whitewater: Paddle water, not rocks.

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Old 02-23-2011   #12
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
Nice to see a couple of replies referencing Jim Snyders' styx. As a paddler who's worked in wood working trades for 40 years now, I feel qualified to say that his paddles are the best I've ever seen. They are comparable in weight to composites. They are balanced, nuanced and super efficient. They are *tough*. The edges of his blades are 20 layers of dynel. I have hundreds of runs on my Jimistyk including over 175 runs here in CO. many of them at very bony ELF flows. My stick looks new. I put a fresh coat of Helmsman's urethane on it every 6 months. I'm a kayaker, not a single blade guy, but his paddles represent a lifetime of experience and commitment to the pursuit of excellence. He, and his paddles are legendary for very good reason.

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Old 03-03-2011   #13
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by Randaddy View Post
Hey Robin! I think you should buy a paddle from my friend Kenny at Blunt Family Paddles. He makes super good sticks. Those Bending Branches paddles are junk, they won't take the beating you'll give them on the Poudre. I'm thinking about getting one too, but will probably wait until I break or lose my Werner. See you this summer!!
Yeah, mega bonus points to Kenny. I run a set of his oars on my raft, and they are flat out sexy and get lots of questions. His work is absolutely beautiful, top notch, and exactly what you ask for.
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Old 03-03-2011   #14
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
I've been happy with my wooden kayaking paddle from Anderson Paddles out of Oregon.

I'm not too familiar with raft guide paddles. I'm sure Phil Anderson makes one. His prices are quite reasonable, and as far as I know, this paddle of mine is quite sturdy and could last me awhile, provided I don't lose it. I've abused it pretty good even though I only got it late last season.

He helped me decide what paddle/shape size I should get for creeking, too.
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Old 03-05-2011   #15
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 227
I had a Sawyer guidestick for 1 month till high water last year when my buddy broke the stick on his forehead while we getting a little roughed up in some seriously big(er) water. Not sure if it's a testament to the durability of the stick or the thickness of my friends skull.... Anyway, I went stickless with my company the rest of the season, used a variety of diff ones, and missed my old Werner the whole time. I'll be getting another of their sticks; they're def the lightest I've used, the plastic-fiber whatever blade splinters and whittles down nice and smooth over abuse, and I'm not sure I could break it over my friends' head.
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Old 03-05-2011   #16
Dillon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 29
blunt family paddle

robin, kenny kiley makes great paddles. any wood paddle will take a beating over time, and kenny's has done me well over the last three years on the ark. check out his paddles at bluntfamily. i think you'll like what you find.
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Old 03-06-2011   #17
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1
If you are going to go with a wood stick, its already been said either go with Keith or Jimmy. However, its gonna cost you. Potholes paddles out of SC also makes a good stick for less, if you are gonna go with wood. For the money I would stick with a Werner. Composite paddles have come a long way but again, the arent cheap. Easton came out with the Core series, Select has some good stuff out, If you wanna get big and burly, and can find one let alone lift one, there are some Norse sticks still out there.

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