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Old 08-08-2014   #21
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 184
I'm admittedly hard on oars and blades. I row NF, Gore, Tumwater, Upper A, etc...i.e. technical rocky rivers. I have extensive experience with three blades:

Simple Carlisle plastic: I have run these the least of the three but only broken one and it should have broken. I would say they are tough and nice to row. Only issue is the neck down from shaft to blade (entire threads on solutions to this). I solved mine with duct tape. Good Option!

Cataract Magnum: I gave these a solid go for a couple seasons. I had "shark bites" taken out of seven! Some of the shark bites happened when it seemed like I barely tapped the rock. I finally got so frustrated with replacing them and ran out of spares to put all of the "shark bite" blades on, so I boxed up half a dozen of them and shipped back to Cataract (along with a broken shaft). To their credit their customer service was fine and I was satisfied with whatever deal we worked out. I did have to give them money but it seemed fair. I now keep the new/non-damaged magnums on my spares. Overall not impressed.

Sawyer Dynelite: Spendy but worth it in my opinion. I have rowed Dynelites for three seasons now and really like them.. Light and strong. I have broken one dynelite, but it should have failed. When they break they do so catastrophically! You will need to switch to the spare blade immediately unlike a "shark bite" from a Magnum. Sawyer could not repair, but gave a deal on replacement. The replacement had a bum set screw, but I sent it back and they repaired at no cost. Pretty good customer service.

Can't speak to the Sawyer Duramax or Cataract Razor.

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Old 08-08-2014   #22
zbaird's Avatar
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 884
Hi, my name is zach and I abuse my oars. I have beaten extensively on carlisles, magnums, duramax's and dynalites. I row them, use them to pry off of shore, off of rocks, post hole through shallow mud, generally beat the hell out of them on super low water, etc. I have sharkbitten magnums and carlisles. Surprisingly, i have never done anything to dynalites or the duramax but scratch them. I have put all the blades in spots where i was super surprised they didnt snap and i couldnt have bitched if they did. I try to be a little more careful with my one piece squaretops with dynalites but who am i kidding, i have abused them too. I broke one of those, but it wasnt at the blade. The carlisles, magnums and duramax's are all usable after the bite. All the broken dynalites I have seen were busted in half. Side by side, I would say that the duramax's seem like the most sturdy but I wont buy anything but dynalites going forward. They row nicer and are lighter than anything on the market and are worth every penny as far as I am concerned.

zach baird
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