Originally Posted by knute51
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.