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Old 10-01-2012   #11
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 59
Thanks for all the replies guys, but can we also talk about size? The guide paddle i bought to use now is just a cheap Carlisle 66 and it feels short IMO. But i've only made one trip down the Nantahala with it so far. I've read online where you grip the paddle, etc., etc., but how do you determine size for a guide paddle when you don't have any stores near you that stock raft guide paddles? For some reason i'm thinking a 70 or 72 is what i want, but with no experience I'm not sure???

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Old 10-01-2012   #12
DoubleYouEss's Avatar
Silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 577
I feel like I am in the minority on this, but my guide stick is probably between 48-50". I started out with a 65" stick, but it was a bear on my shoulders and decided to hack it down. It was the best decision I made about a paddle and I can still crank the raft around just as well as any other paddle captain out there.

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Old 10-01-2012   #13
tango's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 689
i have broken 2 sawyer paddles while raft guiding, one of them i had repaired by sawyer and it broke very quickly again. i prefer a 60" paddle. i have used longer ones but this seems to increase the amount of flex and potential for fracture. the past few years i just use an NRS PTC. they're pretty reliable. you shouldn't let go of your paddle, but if you do won't be worried about where your fancy paddle went.

if i was going to buy a fancy guide paddle, which isn't likely, i would get a 60" werner bandit. werner is the bomb.
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Old 10-01-2012   #14
RockyMt.Razorback's Avatar
Crested Butte, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 76
I am with DoubleyourEss a shorter paddle length will give you less stress on your shoulders and will put your body in a better ergonomic position. I also would advise you to no spend a lot of money on a top of the line paddle if your not going to be a commercial guide or go boating with your friends everyday, the paddle you have will probably do just fine for trips every once in a while, remember "its the Indian not the arrow that has the skill"
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Old 10-01-2012   #15
welch, Oklahoma
Paddling Since: 1976
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 207
I like my paddle to come to at least my Chin--but remember I am a corn fed guy
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Old 10-01-2012   #16
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 14
I've been guiding with a Werner for the last 6 or so seasons and I love how much easier it is on my shoulder. I agree that once you try one you will never want to use a Carlisle again. My only complaint is that I don't get many seasons out of them. I guide on the Poudre which is a low volume river - this last season especially so - and the rocks just grind away at the fiberglass. After 2 seasons the blade is a good inch smaller all the way around. I saw a guide on the Grand last year who had a Sawyer and I found myself filled with guide stick envy. The Sawyer was reinforced along the blade tip that looks like just what the Poudre calls for. The Sawyer also come in some fun patterns. I'm due for a new one and I'm going to give Sawyer a try. As for size - I'm 5'7" and I use a 60" paddle.
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Old 10-02-2012   #17
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 31

Lightning sticks rock, too. Don't know if they still make them.

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