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Old 11-17-2015   #11
Tim Kennedy
Tim Kennedy's Avatar
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 106
Wood sticks

I just finally got a wood kayak paddle made by Jim this year. I love it. The flex and feel of the wood is great for my used and abused shoulders and elbows. I learned to paddle and raft guide in the Ohiopyle area over 20 years ago. Lots of paddlers around those parts use Backlund and Snyder sticks, as well as others: RainbowWave, Gonzo, etc. I can't believe it took me so long to finally get one.

I think I will order a wood single bladed paddle from Jim this winter, as well. I raft guided for many years, and have used a Norse (64"), Werner (62"), and Carlisle (60" and 62") raft paddles. From my experience, I prefer a paddle with a standard sized blade, and a length around 60"-62". I am about 6'2" with a long "wingspan". I prefer to sit closer to the side and a bit lower and J stroke/sweep/pry when I am in the back of the boat. In my opinion, if you sit in the middle of the back and rudder (draw/pry) or need a larger blade to move the boat, you are doing it wrong. I don't guide much at all anymore. But, I do have a Shredder now. So, I will probably order a 60" paddle (same length as a custy Carlisle). The longer ones tend to "trip up" when R2ing, and that length would be better for Shredding. If I do hop in the back of a "round" boat, I can still use the 60" by sliding down closer to the water. That's my story. Don't know if it helps you at all. Regardless of what length, shape, wood you decide on, I think you'll be happy. They really are functional works of art.
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Old 11-17-2015   #12
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
Thanks Tim! Beautiful paddle! Unfortunately I have to sit up higher, "wrong" or not, so I can see over the people in front of me! In steeper terrain I can usually scootch up and see fine. I think I might be down to 61" now...

I'm in Leadville and guide on the Ark. If you want to get out in that shredder with our matching Jimmy Sticks this Spring let me know!

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Old 12-14-2015   #13
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
I ordered my paddle! A 61" round tip paddle with curly maple T-grip, bang strip, and tip veneer. Aspen fairing strips and fat walnut pinstripes should give some beautiful contrast in the blade. An extra layer of glass should help it hold up to Colorado May and August. I'll post a photo when it shows up in a couple months.

I resisted the temptation to follow my inner Terrentino and have "Bad Mother Fucker" inscribed on the blade, opting rather to keep it simple with my name and phone number. If you find this paddle, please call. Please.

Thanks again for the photos and input folks!
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Old 02-23-2016   #14
Randaddy's Avatar
Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,403
My paddle arrived! Thanks for the photos and discussion y'all! Jimmy added a little glitter and a slightly red finish. The hanger is really cool too, made by Bruce Smith in Ontario.


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