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Old 04-13-2015   #11
Osprey's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 683
Keep in mind the wood isn't plain wood, they wrap it in fiberglass and varnish the heck out of it. It won't shark bite, I have no hesitation using them when it's rocky. Tougher than plastic. Every time you think you really bashed one and dented up the wood, you take a look at it and all it did was barely scratch the coating.

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Old 04-14-2015   #12
Whoapiglet's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 296
IMO , Nothing better for rocky stuff than wood. had a couple sets of sawyers ash and fir that have been hitting rocks hard for 10-15 years. I can understand why folks who have never tried them think they wouldn't hold up but in use they are ridiculously tough. Many layers of stuff in there. Plastic blades work but they are disposable. You can repair wood blades with sand paper and epoxy and keep them serviceable.

Got a trio of dynalites for my whitewater oars last year and like them a lot but time will tell on durability.

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Old 04-14-2015   #13
pocatello, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 471
Rowing style is probably as important as blade choice. I used regular carlisles for a few years. No problems. Swtiched to Magnums. No problems.

I have co-conspirators who break blades regularly.

But in the rental business I work in we see the following regularly:

Carlisle outfitter blades tend to shark bite. They also bend at the joint if used as a lever against rocks. But they are cheap.

Magnums tend to fail catastrophically, but not often. they are a good value.

We don't do dynalites. The $$ invested to rental return isn't there for us. Renters tend to want cheap and durable, not high performance.

Sawyer wood blades are tougheer than you would think. only 1 catastrophic failure at the joint, which was inexplicable. It looked like it was rotten wood to start with or maybe water had penetrated and set up shop somehow unnoticed. But sawyers are heavy. I don't like the weight.
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Old 04-24-2015   #14
telluride, Moab, UT
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 60
10 ft solid ash South Branch oars were indestructable!!!. Too bad they stopped making them 30 years ago, best oars ever made, I still have an old set, imho. I thought the sawyer mx were nice until I had one break mid shaft on a technical rapid when I never hit a rock?? I like cataract oars now and cam strap a 2-3 pound soft/flexible ankle exercise weight next to the handles for counterbalance on long trips.

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