New paddle time - what's best? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-06-2014   #1
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
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New paddle time - what's best?

My blades are getting awfully thin again and I'm in the market for a new paddle this year. I always buy a Werner Powerhouse bent shaft, but it seems like at some point there would be something newer and better on the market. I can't stomach AT. I'm set on a bent shaft.

A year ago I tried one of those Lightning Custom-something-or-other paddles and loved how it felt, but I'm suspicious that they're not as bombproof as Werners and it kind of looks like there aren't US distributors anymore - at least I can't find them.

The only non Werner paddle that I really liked was my now defunct Woody paddle. It was a little heavy, but the feel was fantastic.

My only problems with the Powerhouse is that the blades widdle away faster than I'd like and I prefer higher angle bends than what they have. However it has a nice feel through the water and I trust it to take serious abuse.

So is there something else out there I should be looking at it, or is it back to the old tried and true red and black?

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Old 01-06-2014   #2
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
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You need one of these. blunt family paddles
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 01-06-2014   #3
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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You could go foam-core like the Shogun or the Stikine. Yes they can puncture, but the blade size stays the same after years of abuse, you just round the edges off a little bit.
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Old 01-06-2014   #4
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blunt family paddles are sweet! and like WS said, you can upgrade to the foam core blade from werner. It is the only offering from them that has blade edging to prevent the wear.

An idea, because the foam vs fiber blade feels different in the water, is to use edging on your new fiberglass blade to prevent wear. It has to be maintained, but will protect the blade.

I recently went back to a straight shaft paddle with fiber blades after owning the stikine blade with the foam core. I've had the paddle 5 years with about 80-100 days per year and it has been fine.

The reason I got a straight shaft was to try some techniques I saw in Substantial media house films. I noticed how many were being used, and am trying to figure the pros and cons out, of each one. After going back to the straight shaft, I'm no longer sold that a bent shaft is better.

that is not what you asked, i was just sharing, my only point is, that you can protect the edge of a fiberglass paddle with some effort, and get 5+ years out of it.

Paddles to look at would be:

Lightning paddles, used to be ava at CKS? not sure...

h2o and mitchell have the crank shaft like lightning.

mitchell warranty could be hard though, my buddy broke his in march and is STILL waiting a replacment

h2o also has a nice grip on it simmilar to seven 2 and Core.

core is ava at 10 mile, leif could get you a h20 to try, and 7-2 is no mas.

Bryan Kirk has a paddle that looks rad, it is an orange blade, but the name escapes me.


one last thought was blade strength, I think that they are all different in that some plastic will flex(cheap core) and some plastic is stout (h2o) so there is that to consider. and if you get a carbon blade, it too will need edging, so....

I've heard the protos for core were a flexy plastic blade, i didnt get to try one, but i have tryed h2o, and Leif has had his for some time...
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Old 01-06-2014   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
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Bob, what kind of blade edging do you use on your fiberglass blades?

The Blunt Family paddles look sweet, but $600? Ouch. I like to yard sale my gear when I swim.

Werner foam core paddles are interesting. I've always shied away from them in the past because they seem to be more prone to catastrophic failure. I've tried the "be gentle on your paddle" thing and it doesn't work well for me. I've also found they're a tad stiff for my taste. They're also $100 more, which I guess would be worth it if they lasted a long time.

If I use an H20 paddle do I have to also paddle a Fluid?

Core paddles looked interesting, but I think I remember seeing pricing somewhere and it scaring me off. I guess I should follow up on that. The built in grips are not that appealing to me, but maybe not a big deal. The business is also new and maybe a little shaky? I'd hate to snap a blade and be SOL.

Lightning - I think CKS carried them when they first came out but that was short lived. Jackson was the only distributor I know of in the US for a while, but it doesn't look like they're restocking them currently.
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Old 01-06-2014   #6
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Silverthorne, Colorado
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I have had the same Werner foam core blades since 2007 as have beat the snot out of them. There are some instances of them failing catastrophically, blades snapping in half and what not, but that can happen on any paddle...

If you wanted to explore other options you can look at Galasport, Lettmann or Ophion along with any of the other European manufacturers.
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Old 01-06-2014   #7
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Evergreen, Colorado
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AT, biotch.
"We're gonna need a bigger boat"
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Old 01-06-2014   #8
Denver, Colorado
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With the amount of gorilla tape you put on that powerhouse you could have paid for the extra $ for the shogun.

I love the shogun, but I put small cracks and punctures in them, and have cracked a few as well. It's a trade off I am willing to take to keep full blades vs wearing down fiberglass blades, but its not perfect.

Rumor has it that there is a promised land where the water is always up and there is no mank and that paddles and boats last forever. Maybe just move there and solve the root cause of your problem, which is mank. Just promise not to send us nasty grams in the winter while you are paddling the goods.

I'd just stick with the powerhouse. Solid paddle from a good company. Replace every so often. Done.
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Old 01-06-2014   #9
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No mank?

Not sure what the point of that would be. Besides there always reaches a point where the worn down paddle just looks cool. And really isn't that what's it really all about?... Looking cool paddling mank.
"We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here" -Edward Abbey
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Old 01-07-2014   #10
Lakewood, Colorado
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What do you mean you can't stomach AT?
And I only ask because I'm also in the market for a new paddle
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