Guide paddle - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-23-2016   #1
 
Garden Valley, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1993
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Guide paddle

Looking at getting a new guide paddle for next season. Spend most of my time on Idaho rivers. Have used a Carlisle the last 10+ years and am looking to upgrade. Sawyer seems to make a few nice choices. One thing I noticed is their "Pro stick" guide paddle has a 7.5x15 blade which is much shorter/smaller than the CanyonX or the Free fall which are both 8.5x21. The Carlisle I have been using is 8x26 so the pro stick sounds SO small. What would be the benefit of such a small blade besides speed through the water? It seems like you would not have near as much power. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 11-23-2016   #2
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
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RivrStyx by Jim Snyder | Custom Wood Paddles

Nothing else needs to be said. Get your deposit paid and it'll be ready in 6 weeks. It's the next level. I guide low water to big water and will never go back to Chinese plastic again.
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Old 11-24-2016   #3
 
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Hampden, Massachusetts
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http://www.norsepaddles.com

Try a Norse . Made in USA. Big blades and durable
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Old 11-24-2016   #4
 
Aurora, Colorado
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"What would be the benefit of such a small blade?"

The benefit would be not destroying your shoulders. There's not a lot of point in having a lot of blade that's not in the water. I would bet that with your 26 inch "battle axe" you're not using nearly all of that 26" on the vast majority of strokes. That means that you're hauling a lot of weight that you don't need up out of the water on every stroke. Instead of needing a gi-friggin-normous blade, work on using your crew and setting up where you don't have to make the "hero" moves to save the day.
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Old 11-24-2016   #5
 
Garden Valley, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by climbdenali View Post
"What would be the benefit of such a small blade?"

The benefit would be not destroying your shoulders. There's not a lot of point in having a lot of blade that's not in the water. I would bet that with your 26 inch "battle axe" you're not using nearly all of that 26" on the vast majority of strokes. That means that you're hauling a lot of weight that you don't need up out of the water on every stroke. Instead of needing a gi-friggin-normous blade, work on using your crew and setting up where you don't have to make the "hero" moves to save the day.
Appreciate the advice. Makes sense.
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Old 11-24-2016   #6
 
Garden Valley, Idaho
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Will look into them. Thanks.
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Old 11-28-2016   #7
 
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Grand Junction, Colorado via Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knute51 View Post
Will look into them. Thanks.
Knute51, if you need any help deciding which Sawyer Paddle to get you can contact me with your phone # and I can give you a call. I am the Four Corners as well as Southern US Factory Rep for Sawyer. PM and I will give you a call.
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Old 11-28-2016   #8
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Huson, Montana
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+1 on the Norse Guide stick = ugly but indestructable

On the small blade issue I'd say the bigger the better
depending on your size
if you weigh a couple hundred pounds you have the strength to move more weight
big blade big bite better turns
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Old 11-28-2016   #9
 
Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knute51 View Post
Looking at getting a new guide paddle for next season. Spend most of my time on Idaho rivers. Have used a Carlisle the last 10+ years and am looking to upgrade. Sawyer seems to make a few nice choices. One thing I noticed is their "Pro stick" guide paddle has a 7.5x15 blade which is much shorter/smaller than the CanyonX or the Free fall which are both 8.5x21. The Carlisle I have been using is 8x26 so the pro stick sounds SO small. What would be the benefit of such a small blade besides speed through the water? It seems like you would not have near as much power. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I would go for the Sawyer for sure. We have used them for years now and have taken them down many runs that are very destructive on paddles (lower levels little white salmon, lower flows NF Payette, ect) and they come through unscathed every time. We have taken multiple people paddling with us who purchased one right after they tried out one of ours.

I know I will likely catch some grief for this post as we are sponsored by sawyer but not having the best equipment in some of the places we find ourselves paddling could cost us big time. I have had a couple nightmares about a paddle breaking in a big rapid (Jacobs Ladder for example) and we know we can depend on the Sawyer. They are built really solid and will last you many years. You can put as much power into a stroke as you want and the paddle will not fail. I have bent a Carlisle in half powering through a hole on the NF Payette in Disneyland rapid and was very happy the rapid was pretty forgiving after the hole or I would have been in a pickle. If your using it for guiding I would go for the CanyonX or Freefall HD as I do think a little bigger blade may be preferred but I would also say the pro stick blade size is a bit excessive and not needed (also very heavy). Hope this helps.
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Old 11-29-2016   #10
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I disagree about the big blades. Strength gives you a powerful stroke, not an oversized paddle. I work with dozens of Class V raft guides. Many use the Jim Snyder (or Backlund/Blunt Family - but you can't get these anymore) and the rest use the Werner Guide Stick. Nobody uses Sawyer paddles. They are heavy and IMO not durable enough. Norse paddles are super cool, but really perform like the Carlisle Guide Paddle; too much blade.
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