Guide Paddle - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 01-22-2008   #1
 
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Guide Paddle

I am looking for any suggestions about getting a guide paddle: pros/cons, brands, sizes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 01-22-2008   #2
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2007
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I had a paddle made for me last year by a guy in West Virginia named Jim Snyder. Its an all wooden paddle, and he lets you choose the size, wood type, grip size/shape and anything else custom that you might want on it. It was a Christmas gift, so im not sure about the price, but im sure that it was not cheap. I use my paddle every day, and it makes a huge difference. The amount of flex, and control that you get from using a wood paddle as opposed to any other material is unreal. I would highly reccomend contacting Jim.
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Old 01-22-2008   #3
rhm
 
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steamboat springs, Colorado
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rambler, do you know who jim snyder is?
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Old 01-22-2008   #4
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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I can remember this topic's been discussed at length on Raftzone over at Boatertalk. You could do a search and find what folks said over there. Opinions ranged from the above to just use a custy paddle because of the chance of losing/breaking it over the season. That said, I've got a Werner that I use on the rare occasions I paddle guide that's really sweet, however I've never guided professionally.
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Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 01-22-2008   #5
 
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
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I used a 72" carlisle guide stick for 8 years until it broke in half last season. The rest of the season I guided mostly with a normal customer paddle. I preferred the Carlisle guide stick, although some guides think big paddles are a crutch for weak guiding. I gladly take all the help I can get.

I also tried using a Norse guide stick - it was okay but far from great. Kinda felt like guiding with a barn door, but it was lighter than my Carlisle.

On the east coast a lot of guides use fiberglass guide sticks and love them. On a rocky river I would worry about durability. I would have the same worry guiding low volume technical stuff with a wooden paddle. For places where hitting rocks is infrequent they could be great as would fiberglass or carbon fiber.

For the money the Carlisle would be my choice - plastic is durable and inexpensive. The Carlisle has an aluminum core and has very little flex. Fiberglass and Carbon fiber are definitely the lightest and the fiberglass might be the most flexible - in a good way. Wood is the prettiest.

If you have free time on your hands there ais a lot of info out there on how to make your own wooden paddle. Might be a nice winter project.
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Old 01-22-2008   #6
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2007
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I dont know him personally, his name was given to me by my formere manager.
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Old 01-23-2008   #7
 
Canon City, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Thanks guys, I have a look at boater talk and look into making my own... kinda sounds like fun.
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Old 01-23-2008   #8
 
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Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
check out the Guide Pro

Carlisle is making an new guide stick called the "Guide Pro." It's exactly what a lot of my guides have been looking for I think. It's the same blade as a customer paddle, but it has a super thick and strong shaft like their guide sticks. We just bought one because as an owner I don't like guides using the customer sticks. Even the nice ones bend and break in time with guide use. But a lot of guides don't like the bigger blade on the guide stick because they think it's hard on their shoulders. We found ours at http://www.downriverequip.com - but if you're not in Colorado I'm sure a lot of other outfitter stores will carry them.
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Old 01-23-2008   #9
Kjirsten
 
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Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,479
If you want a fancy paddle for occasional (3-4 times a week) private trips, have one made. If you guide commercially all summer long (4 trips a day or many multi-days)- get a cheap guide stick and a customer paddle- I prefer the weight of a guide stick in fast moving, high water, but for low water I want a lightweight customer paddle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt J View Post
Carlisle is making an new guide stick called the "Guide Pro." It's exactly what a lot of my guides have been looking for I think. It's the same blade as a customer paddle, but it has a super thick and strong shaft like their guide sticks. We just bought one because as an owner I don't like guides using the customer sticks. Even the nice ones bend and break in time with guide use. But a lot of guides don't like the bigger blade on the guide stick because they think it's hard on their shoulders. We found ours at http://www.downriverequip.com - but if you're not in Colorado I'm sure a lot of other outfitter stores will carry them.
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Old 01-23-2008   #10
 
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
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This site has the Sawyer paddles for sale, looks like $90 for the whitewater blades.

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