Originally Posted by brendodendo
The Carlisle Guide paddle is a LARGE paddle. Way to much for a small boat. You will loose a nice guide stick if you buy it, and you might be more worried about your paddle than you should be about yourself, your friends or your boat. Or, you will break it and be bummed. Stick with standard paddles. I have a buddy that swears by outfitter paddles and claims he has never owned a paddle in his life, he says he only borrows them. Something to be said about being able to pick up any paddle and just use it.
Couldn't agree more.
Get a Werner, if you must have a guide stick.
Long and Complicated Answer:
Over the last five years of guiding, I've only ever used the same paddles we give to our customers. If I were to get a "guide stick", it would never be a carlisle, and the NRS blade you mentioned didn't hold up for a whole season for a fellow guide. My first instinct would be for Werner, and if I wanted something that looked really good, and not break the bank, a Sawyer. If money was no object, I would make a call to 'ol Jim Snyder and get something that would last a lifetime and look and feel amazing.
If you feel you need a guide stick to help in handling your 10' raft, I would say your money is better spent taking a class. If you just want your own stick that looks great, then Werner, Sawyer, or Snyder are great choices.