6.5" or 8" oar blades? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-08-2013   #1
 
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Golden, Colorado
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6.5" or 8" oar blades?

I have a 16' boat with 10 ft oars and am ordering new Carlisle Outfitter blades. They come in 6.5" and 8" variety. Which would be better?

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Old 12-08-2013   #2
 
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8".
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Old 12-08-2013   #3
 
Taos, New Mexico
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I have used both on that length of oar shaft, alot, and prefer the 6.5s.
I hate the blade shape of the 8s, just big and clunky. I pretty much only use the 6.5s these days, on 10 or 11 foot oars, rowing 14 to 18 foot rafts.
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Old 12-08-2013   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldcamp View Post
I have a 16' boat with 10 ft oars and am ordering new Carlisle Outfitter blades. They come in 6.5" and 8" variety. Which would be better?
When I started rowing (~10yrs ago) I went with a mindset of bigger must be better - more bang for the buck / power for the stroke.
I've since migrated to the smaller blades with the understanding that getting an extra stroke in can be more useful at times than just pushing harder.
They also seem to be easier on the shoulders.
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Old 12-08-2013   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malloypc View Post
When I started rowing (~10yrs ago) I went with a mindset of bigger must be better - more bang for the buck / power for the stroke.
I've since migrated to the smaller blades with the understanding that getting an extra stroke in can be more useful at times than just pushing harder.
They also seem to be easier on the shoulders.
^^^ This ^^^

Standing on the footbar, pulling like hell on an oar that won't move don't get you there as fast as multiple strokes with a smaller blade. Bigger blades might be good for impressing yourself if you're young and strong, but if you hope to still be rowing when you're one of us old guys you'll need to take care of your joints. IF you actually have the strength to row the big blades quickly, you're still harming your shoulders. If you're not strong enough to row the big blades quickly, you'll be much more effective with the smaller ones.
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Old 12-08-2013   #6
 
Austin, Texas
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GoldCamp, Whats up! The pros and cons of small verses large. Everybody has valid points here. I use 8". (I'm 44 years old and shoulders are fine) Been pulling on these guys for 15 years. Smaller blades take more time to to get your boat to move. In a rapid that demands a quick move you may not have the time for the extra stroke with a heavy boat. I wouldn't move down in size personally. If your rowing a light daytripping boat, or just a light boat I'm sure a 6.5 blade would be ok. If you have some friends that have both sizes, try them out before you buy or maybe rent with a local dealer that would let you apply the rental cost to a purchase. I think most of the outfitters that row "Custies" you will find will be the bigger blade. There pay loads of passengers are heavy hence the bigger blades you will likely find. I may add, I think it is relative to the size of the person also. Example; I would now put my 14 year old niece on an 8" blade with a light 10- 12' boat.
Long time. Good to see you are getting a big boat! See you on the water!
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Old 12-08-2013   #7
 
Reno, Nevada
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Been rowing lots of years with the 6.5"s and they work fine. A lot less likely to bend em, although I've bent my share of 6.5"s.
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Old 12-09-2013   #8
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6.5s for me and I am pushing a 17 foot, usually quite heavily loaded Maravia.

Ever get an oar stuck in an eddy? The 8s will nearly rip your arm apart.

I am lazy and don't want to work that hard. But what Malloy said about strokes per minute ( he didn't say that - I am extrapolating) is pretty much spot on.

Also to get the timing of that last push before the big hole I think is easier with the smaller blade.
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Old 12-09-2013   #9
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I like the big bite that I get with big blades. But I weigh 250 so I have plenty of weight to crank from.
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Old 12-09-2013   #10
 
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I've always liked the smaller blades.
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