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Discussion Starter #1
OK, I don't want to start another debate on which blades/oars/balance type is better. I am just curious to hear actual, first hand reports of Dynalite blade failures.

Quick backstory: I've had a pair for 5 years and love 'em. I got them because in the good 'ol days I just resigned myself to buying at least one (maybe two) new carlisle blades to replace those that failed over the summer. Mind you I wouldn't replace them until the whole tip was gone or a major portion of a side. I've still got a few I use on my spares that I still consider "functional" (the attached photo shows the better of the two).
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I had tried a pair of cat magnums and one of them failed after a summer, so when stumbled on to the dynalites, I swallowed hard and bought a pair... fastforward 5 years (to last week): I picked up a couple new 10' MX's from Sawyers closeout and was planning on simply putting sawyer duramax (or polecat, or whatever their called) plastic blades on my old oars as spares. In the process of veryfying my opinion that they are the best low cost blade out their (given past failures) I ran into a couple folks here on the Buzz implying that Dynalite's are weak sauce and break alot. Since my plan is to use my dynalites on my new oars this new found set of opinions caused me no little greif and since my experience differs drastically from this concept I researched it somemore. What I found on the buzz was several people that repeatedly site a friend that broke two new blades, one first hand reference about breaking blades and lot's of "I've heard they break". One guy even stated that he thought the ratio of people with problems was 10 to 1 over folks that didn't...maybe it was like to dislike, I don't remember but it still wasn't on par with what my experience indicates.

I know of at least 10 budies running dynalites now and of these 22 blades (including mine) I have not heard of one problem, not a crack, chip or break. all but two of these folks are fishing guides and are on the sticks 100+ days a year, in shallow, boney, fast rivers. I've talked with lots of folks over the last few years about the shoal cut shape, at least a couple dozen folks at boat ramps but in that I still have not heard one single solitary failure, other than here on the Buzz.

Sooo, I would like to hear any and all first-hand accounts of Dynalite failures. I'm leaning towards the bad press being a few folks refering to the same stories but could certainly be wrong. I really don't want theoretical opinions I only want to know what you've seen with your own eyes...

What do you all think?

...and yes I'm bored, waiting for snow to accumlate to ski on, then melt, then float on and this is way more interesting than work right now!
 

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I have seen many that have begun to delaminate and were repaired with glass and resin with good results. I have not seen one broken..... yet.
 

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Not first hand - but I was told that most of the commercial guides on the GC are running dynalites. I was told that entire outfitters run dyalites on their complete fleet mainly because of their longevity/toughness. Anyone who is in the know want to verify or debunk this?
 

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The company I work for has been using them in GC since they came out. As I said I have never seen one broken from normal river wear. Even the baggage guides run them, and they typically have little or no GC experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have seen many that have begun to delaminate and were repaired with glass and resin with good results. I have not seen one broken..... yet.
How do they delam? the carbon separate from the foam core? glass from carbon? just currious.

I had to revarnish mine this fall, the glass outer layer was exposed down to the fibers so I sanded them and put a coat of spar varnish on and they almost look new. The only issue is the dynel edging is worn through on the corners...
 

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The edges tend to separate slightly below where they leave the oar shaft and along the edge of the blades. I believe at some point Sawyer did something to fix the problem, and they did to some extent. If you recall, the early blades did not have the edge wrap.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you recall, the early blades did not have the edge wrap.
Yeah, mine only have it on the tips ~6", the remainder is uncovered. Since they'll be relegated to barn duty for the winter maybe I'll check em out and if I see any issues send them back for a check up!

Thanks for the input!
 

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i know a guy whose friend said he would rather pay half the price for a heavier and shorter blade that flutters through his stroke that needs to be replaced twice as often:rolleyes:

I have been very impressed with nearly 1000 miles on them. I decided to bite the bullet and purchase them when I learned that they can be repaired if 2/3 remain.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
i know a guy whose friend said he would rather pay half the price for a heavier and shorter blade that flutters through his stroke that needs to be replaced twice as often:rolleyes:
In my looking around the Buzz the last few days I found many more people bashing them then sticking up for 'em, that's one of the reasons I started the thread was to get some input. I know shit breaks and invariably someone will chime in with the "mine broke on the first day out, biggest pieces of shit in the world" post. But I'm actually curious to see how they break (cause I'm sure they do) just as much as how often (or really how durable are they).

I'm looking forward to some more data.
 

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I love mine. I spend 50-60 days a year fishing and running whitewater. I broke one fishing, not minding my downstream oar, and I thought the boat was going to flip until it broke. I also tried the razor blades and had two sets delam on the ends within 6 months. Dynalites for me, they have proven themselves.
 

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these suckers are damn near as old as the trees they were made from lol....ive used them all and for me personally I think the standard sawyer laminated fir blade cant be beat for durability
 

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I've put about 500 miles down the Yampa, through Cat (2X), and a Westwater or three on my Dynelites (purchased 2009 and prior). They're great, and the construction is bomber. I've fixed many blades - including Sawyer's fir laminates and others - with polyester and MUCH fancier layups, both on and off the river. The edges of my Dynelites are in great shape, and I'm no genius at avoiding shallow water dings. Anyone who hasn't figured out to pay attention to downstream oar deserves consequences, and you have to learn not to stick blades where they don't belong. But on topic, Dynelites are as close to perfect for my use (Cat 2 X per year, Grand when I can hook up, otherwise everything I can run within overnight drive of Salty City and no less than 50 nights beside rivers every year) as I could conceive. Been rowing or paddling over 40 years now, and the light weight of the Dynelites makes figuring out neutral swing for oars a bunch easier (NOTE: there are lots of formulae for figuring out oar length, but ultimately the least effort goes into rowing an oar whose blade just submerges when you release it from your hand in calm (i.e. flat) water. In late 1970's and through 80's I ran stout South Branch 10' ash oars - 5k miles on dozens, maybe over a hundred trips down Cat and through the Grand - nothing finer, but they weighed just about double what the new composite ones do, from Sawyer and Cataract. I have not tried the Razor blades, but I do run a set of 8' Cataracts on my SD Puma when I'm trying to pretend it's a kayak... just their regular Magnum blades, and haven't broken any of them either. Bottom line on Sawyer products: call them and discuss what you will be doing - the guys that make them will point you to best solutions!
SYOTR - take care!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That's first hand info! I almost asked how it happened than realized you posted the downstream oar post above. I have been lucky, everytime I have caught a downstream oar its popped up and out of the locks harmlessly but I know of plenty of others with more serious happenings...
 

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That's first hand info! I almost asked how it happened than realized you posted the downstream oar post above. I have been lucky, everytime I have caught a downstream oar its popped up and out of the locks harmlessly but I know of plenty of others with more serious happenings...
Shit wrap a few tent stakes and a wad of duct tape and get back on the river.

The river gods are never generous enough to leave me with both halves of my oar blades
 

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How rocky are the rivers you float and how much backrowing are you doing while people fish from the boat rather than in waders? I bet if you want to see delamination, chipping and wear and tear failure pics, you're better off going to a forum that is more trout fishing/drift boat focused. I don't remember seeing a lot of thin blades on the rocky parts of rivers near Dillon, MT or on the Deschutes in OR. Those folks are more likely to have good feedback on that kind of usage. If your guide friends don't have issues you are probably fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How rocky are the rivers you float and how much backrowing are you doing while people fish from the boat rather than in waders? I bet if you want to see delamination, chipping and wear and tear failure pics, you're better off going to a forum that is more trout fishing/drift boat focused. I don't remember seeing a lot of thin blades on the rocky parts of rivers near Dillon, MT or on the Deschutes in OR. Those folks are more likely to have good feedback on that kind of usage. If your guide friends don't have issues you are probably fine.
I'm really satisfied with my d-lites, I would buy another pair in a heartbeat but I'm not made of money so I doubt I'll spend the money to put them on my spares. I'll most likely get the plastic ones for 1/3 the price, maybe one of the wood blades if I can find a screaming deal. In reality my spares will simply be hanging on the side of my boat 99% of the time, I just need them to be there and be ready.

I started this thread because I was just really curious to know if I lived in a box and dynelites really were breaking a lot or if the impression I was getting was just a few folks chiming in a lot here on the Buzz (which is my theory at this point). Also, I have recommended them to numerous folks and if it turned out that they were having problems I would have felt down right shitty! But I didn't ever really buy that they were failing in large numbers. My thought was to run this thread like a mini experiment, my hypothesis is d-lites are great blades, my test was to dissprove this hyp. by compiling as much data about their failures as possible. So far you all are failing to disprove it, which is what I expected.

I appreciate everyone's input, keep it coming.
 

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Herdsire

Been using dynamites for 3-4 years. Bought them because of their light weight. I figure a couple thousand strokes a day, even a couple ounces really adds up. After pretty extensive use, I would never go back to anything else. They do show signs of wear, but certainly not any more than I would expect with anything else. The big factor is the lack of muscle fatigue I get from the dynalites.Definitely put me down as a fan.
 

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I've been running Dynalites for a couple of years- Zero complaints. I had a chance to row some Carlisle oars with their outfitter (?) blades last summer on a rental raft. HORRID realization of what else was out there and just how poorly it performs. Those things wobbled something awful- zero balance, zero feel. Blechhh Made me happier than ever that I'd chosen the Dynalites with a Cataract shaft for my cat.
 
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