Oar lock preferences? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-01-2018   #1
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Oar lock preferences?

Is there really much of a difference between the NRS models? Superston vs aluminum atomic?
When do you prefer the sawyer style?

I'm considering the switch from pins and clips. I don't often row white water but I would like to be able to hit the class 3.5-4 rapids once in a while.

Rowing a Star Wonderbug with 8'6" cataracts with Magnum blades. I do like my oars a little shorter than most recommend. Most often I fish with pretty inexperienced rowers so I will likely be using rights as well.

I like the looks of the Pro Loks and Edge Oar Locks but not sure I want to fork up the cash for Pro Loks. Anyone ever been able to buy the Edge Locks without buying an oar set?

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Old 08-01-2018   #2
 
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Seattle, Washington
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That is great open-ended inquiry. You are clearly ready to leave behind the pins n clips!

I have and love the gen 1 style pro-lok. IMO, the cost is in line with other systems, when you consider you need to add an oar sleeve, stopper, oar lock, tether, oar-right, etc.

The Sawyer locks give you a better range of motion in your oar, letting you get a blade up and over a rock too high to clear with traditional locks.

NRS brass locks are IMO a little easier to adjust, and have more range of motion when popping an oar. The Aluminum locks are light but stiffer and I've seen oars jam rather than pop with them.

You can get Edge oars w/o pro locks. As I understand it, the carlisle oar sleeve doesn't quite fit, so rope wrap might be a good plan if you go that route. I think 8.5's are special orders, but I also hear there might be a virgin pair of 8.5s that were returned, maybe a deal opportunity?

Recretec in Oregon can order edge oars w/o pro loks, I'm sure others can also.

Re liking shorter than normal oars -- you might try both counterbalanced or one-piece oars. Especially on short oars, the joint weight of the blade attachment makes for a blade-heavy oar. Shorter oars is often a way to solve an oar that is too blade heavy, rather than the wrong length.

My go-to setup has become sawyer squaretops and gen 1 pro loks. It's decadently comfy and versatile.

look forward to hearing what you decide on.
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Old 08-01-2018   #3
 
Kingsport, TN, Tennessee
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Thanks so much for the detailed reply!

That is exactly what I was looking for. I called Edge and they got back to me saying that they could sell just their pro-lok style oar loks for $100 which would have been a great deal.
However, I already have cataract oars with sleeves that came with them (just bought a used pair since selling my old carlisles with my old frame and pins and clips). This pushed me towards more traditional locks since I would have also needed new sleeves.
I went on AustinKayak and they had the Aire Brass Lock Set for ~$68 and I could use 15% off. They also some oar rights large, that were priced at the point of the "smalls" ($1 rather than the typical "large" price ($25) and I was able to pair coupons and get 10% off those, free shipping, and no tax.
If I hadn't found these deals I would have likely still considered a pro-lok style option but I got impatient and wanted to get the things shipped ASAP.

I may be lucking in to some oar used extensions and counterbalances soon as well so I will be interested to see where my preferences lie once I get a somewhat balanced setup.
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Old 08-01-2018   #4
 
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What is the deal with edge locks and cataract/sleeve oars?
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Old 08-01-2018   #5
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Weld county, Colorado
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Why leave pins and clips? They are a better whitewater system. Not as good on flat water as oar locks but for shear power right when you ask for it, pins and clips will never let you down. If you pop your clip off then you were not watching your downstream oar. I've never entered a hole sideways because of a popped out clip, I've seen plenty of stuff like that with open oar locks.

Just my opinion, not looking to start this argument again. It don't matter what you say, I'm staying with old reliable pins and clips. I just think pins and clips are better, and I don't understand why you would ever switch, besides if you want to fish too they are quieter.
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Old 08-01-2018   #6
 
Grand Junction, Colorado
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I switched from pins and clips over 15 years ago and very happy about it.
My brother-in-law still rows with pins and clips and has no plan to change, even when he finally updates his rig. Mine are Superstrong and have nothing at all to complain about but haven't rowed a boat with any of the others. I recently lost 2 oars I haven't had a chance to use then yet. I would like to use open oars but I damaged my thumbs and wrists a few years ago (too much skiing and mountain biking) and have a hard time keeping a good grip so have oar rights.
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Old 08-02-2018   #7
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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I don't see why pins and clips wouldn't be good for 3.5-4 whitewater? Especially if that's what you're used to.


I don't like P&C because they're noisy and clunky and sharp. But they do the job.
And they're not as easy to ship the oars and set them right back out.




I've only ever rowed with P&C, NRS Superston, NRS Atomics, and Sawyer Cobras, but maybe 3-4 times with P&C and once with Sawyers.



Quote:
Originally Posted by slickhorn View Post
The Sawyer locks give you a better range of motion in your oar, letting you get a blade up and over a rock too high to clear with traditional locks.

Interesting! I don't have enough stick time with the Sawyers to have found that out, but I didn't dislike them.



Quote:
NRS brass locks are IMO a little easier to adjust, and have more range of motion when popping an oar. The Aluminum locks are light but stiffer and I've seen oars jam rather than pop with them.

^^^


I have the NRS bronze locks on my big frame. These have hundreds of runs on them over 14 years and I have never had reason to change them.. I polished them up and really like them--they're super slick. They've popped a time or two, but only when they were supposed to.



I have the NRS aluminum locks on my stern frame. Have a couple dozen runs with these, mostly on the Lochsa. The weight is noticeable if you have a raft that is light enough to carry. Never have popped an oar, but probably should have once.




The NRS on the NRS oarlocks is grippy if you're running unfeathered. I'm ready to move away from Oar Rights and ground the NRS logos off of my bronze locks.
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Old 08-02-2018   #8
 
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Seattle, Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
What is the deal with edge locks and cataract/sleeve oars?
As I understand it, edge oars are just a tad too small in outside diameter for the bolt-on Carlisle oar sleeve to fit.

On my Gen 1 Pro-loks, a bare oar shaft w/ stopper is used, no room or call for the sleeve. I assume Gen 2 is the same, but haven't used a set, so cannot comment.

Dan sez Gen 2 is better for ww use, but that's not obvious to me...

Any Gen 2 ProLoks users that can compare the 2 versions?
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Old 08-02-2018   #9
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
What is the deal with edge locks and cataract/sleeve oars?
Quote:
Originally Posted by slickhorn View Post
As I understand it, edge oars are just a tad too small in outside diameter for the bolt-on Carlisle oar sleeve to fit.

Not that this directly answers the question, but just adding to the general tech:


Carlisles and Cataracts are both 1 7/8" OD and 1 5/8" ID. Sleeves and blades are fully interchangeable.


Sawyer and Cataract are both composites, but they use different manufacturing techniques. Cataracts are also machined after spiral winding which leaves them a very consistent dimension. Sawyers have that very fine spiral (I assume from a peel ply or tape from the layup process).


Sawyer glass shafts are over 1 7/18" OD (closer but not quite 1 15/16"). Sleeves won't fit on them. They're also slightly bigger ID--very close to 1 5/8", but Sawyer uses a wrap of packing tape on the blade root to fill the gap. Without the tape, they should fit tight in Carlisle and Cataract shafts.


Sawyer wood core shafts (Squaretop/dynelite/etc) are all tapered. Use a tape measure and plan to do some fitting. I don't imagine anyone is using a sleeve on a squaretop! haha


If the Edge oar manufacturers weren't worried about you using the Carlisle oar sleeve, they'd have no other reason to make the oar exactly 1 7/8" OD--that dimension isn't critical for anything else.
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Old 08-02-2018   #10
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
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Just thought I'd chime in and say I have a set of v2 Pro-Loks, with 8'6ish Cataract oars on a smallish Aire raft.

I really like the setup and do not have sleeves. Great range of motion, smooth, and easy to switch between rights vs no rights. Doesn't seem overly damaging to the finish (certainly no more than any of the other crap I put my oars through) but that only reflects a handful of trips. I don't think there would be room for normal sleeves and don't plan to add anything. Cost wise they seemed close to a wash with other options

I also bought a set of their blades, a tad spendy but I do really like them (at least after pulling off the cheezy PRO-LOKS decal). They are crazy light and seem tough. The blades are 30" so they add 3" length vs carlisle/cataract.

I think they will sell you any of this stuff separately. I have had great experience with both locks and blades, except trying to get them shipped out on time. Wish I could afford to try out a pair of their HD whitewater oars
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