Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about getting a guide paddle for my small 10" raft. Any input on which would be better?

The Carlisle guide paddle has more surface area (8x27") compared to the NRS PT (7.75x20").

I don't understand how or why the NRS guide paddle actually is smaller in width than the standard Carlisle paddle (8x20") (the non-guide paddle).
In my head I would think that guide paddles should have more surface area for more power for steering.. or is it the length of the paddle that really helps out?
Thanks :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
In that small of a boat, you won't need one of those massive elbow breaker Carlisle Guide Sticks. The large paddle face combined with the increased shaft thickness can create a LOT of torque. That will do damage to your elbow and shoulder in a short period of time.

Length helps out when using the pry stroke, and with taller drivers. If you pry like me(off the boat and hip), then the longer the shaft, the greater the fulcrum output.

My experience and heart is with the $45 Carlisle Outfitter Paddle(7.5" W x 21.5" L). That paddle is the cheapest of decent quality Carlisle makes IMO, and come swim time I don't like to worry about expensive paddles. Looks like Caviness makes the same paddle but for $31 on theboatpeople.com.

My $0.02... Go with the NRS PT over the Carlisle Guide Stick if you must spend $70. If you want to worry less about donating a paddle to the river, get the Outfitter Paddle or Caviness.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
346 Posts
For a small raft like a 10 foot boat, go with a 60" standard Carlisle paddle. The guide stick is wayyyyy to much for a small private raft.

If you are guiding a bigger boat (13'+) with more weight, go with the 66" guide stick ( see my profile pic.). 72" if you are guiding a boat 18 or 20 feet long (like an Ottawa bus!)

If you want a custom paddle made in USA get a Norse (stiffer than Werner)

Norse Paddle Company LLC » High Quality and Durable Compression Molded Composite Boating Paddles
 

·
I'm right 50% of the time
Joined
·
899 Posts
The Carlisle Guide paddle is a LARGE paddle. Way to much for a small boat. You will loose a nice guide stick if you buy it, and you might be more worried about your paddle than you should be about yourself, your friends or your boat. Or, you will break it and be bummed. Stick with standard paddles. I have a buddy that swears by outfitter paddles and claims he has never owned a paddle in his life, he says he only borrows them. Something to be said about being able to pick up any paddle and just use it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
The Carlisle Guide paddle is a LARGE paddle. Way to much for a small boat. You will loose a nice guide stick if you buy it, and you might be more worried about your paddle than you should be about yourself, your friends or your boat. Or, you will break it and be bummed. Stick with standard paddles. I have a buddy that swears by outfitter paddles and claims he has never owned a paddle in his life, he says he only borrows them. Something to be said about being able to pick up any paddle and just use it.
Couldn't agree more.

Short Answer:
Get a Werner, if you must have a guide stick.

Long and Complicated Answer:
Over the last five years of guiding, I've only ever used the same paddles we give to our customers. If I were to get a "guide stick", it would never be a carlisle, and the NRS blade you mentioned didn't hold up for a whole season for a fellow guide. My first instinct would be for Werner, and if I wanted something that looked really good, and not break the bank, a Sawyer. If money was no object, I would make a call to 'ol Jim Snyder and get something that would last a lifetime and look and feel amazing.

If you feel you need a guide stick to help in handling your 10' raft, I would say your money is better spent taking a class. If you just want your own stick that looks great, then Werner, Sawyer, or Snyder are great choices.

FWIW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all. The problem I was having is with the size raft I have.. really only fits 4. So while I steer.. there is 1 person on the left vs 2 people on the right which normally turns the raft constantly. I figured if I had a little more power I could keep it straight more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
Here's my 2 cents. use a regular paddle. when you ask your friends to paddle forward finish your stroke with a draw and when back paddling finish with a pry. as a 20 year commercial guide with paddle captaining on many different classes of river this has worked for me. i do think that if i ever used a bigger blade i would be hurting. i did get my own stick about 5 years ago but i only got a regular carlise paddle but in a longer length(60 inch verse 58, i believe). this allows me to sit up straighter to help keep my posture correct. rafting is more about finesse than power. again, just mt 2 cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Doubt u will need a guide stick in a 10 footer if there are a total of 4 in boat and u will be doing allot of the forward strokes on your side. The big blade sucks for forward strokes. Once the boats get bigger/ heaver I was amazed how easily normal paddles would bend or break, usually when you would be prying off your hip at the top of a big drop just when u needed it. I liked using a Carlisle guide stick but disliked the oar blade they came with. I would pull off the oar blade (put it in a bucket of hot water for a few minutes and with some effort you can get them off.) Trim off some of the shaft and slap a normal paddle blade on it. Scuff up the shaft a little bit to prevent it from spinning on you and u get a great guide stick that is super stiff and puts all of your energy into turning the boat not flexing the shaft. When I guide I paddle allot, more than anyone in the boat. Never understood guides screaming at people to paddle as their paddle was out of the water across their knees. Lead by example.
Just my opinion…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I do agree with the old sentiment that is.... use a normal custy paddle , chances of loosing an expensive paddle go up exponentially... I guided for 5 summers using normal custy paddles...


however last summer , I broke down and bought myself a sweet werner guide stick...


I am stoked on it and glad I did... I use it for technical Colorado rivers ( where I prefer to do most the work myself) it saves my shoulders.... if you have bad shoulders I think its a great idea to buy one... you can do the same amount of work with less effort... ( werner guide stick, not a huge giant Carlisle blade that will create tons of torque)


If I am running a new stretch of river , where I think theres a good chance of flipping.... I man up and use a custy paddle... but I run a TON of trips where I know theres very little chance of flipping or me swimming.... so I bring my guide stick... I thoroughly enjoy paddling it... it feels nicer. performs better.. and I like having it in my hands.... it makes my job a easier....


but everyone is right... ill probably loose it at some point :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
On a ten foot raft you don't need more surface area than a custy. If you are having trouble compensating for the two passengers on the right just drill holes in the paddles on the right side. If you want to buy a nice paddle, Werner. Light, beautiful, and strong. That said, ten foot boats lead to swims and custy paddles are free if you hang out by the river during guide training week. Last year I got one hundred fifty dollar Werner and 11 free river paddles. I only care about losing the Werner so I won't use it if I have newbs in my boat. Save your money and just check the eddies a hundred yards downstream from any commercially run rapid in May.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
74 Posts
On a ten foot raft you don't need more surface area than a custy. If you are having trouble compensating for the two passengers on the right just drill holes in the paddles on the right side. If you want to buy a nice paddle, Werner. Light, beautiful, and strong. That said, ten foot boats lead to swims and custy paddles are free if you hang out by the river during guide training week. Last year I got one hundred fifty dollar Werner and 11 free river paddles. I only care about losing the Werner so I won't use it if I have newbs in my boat. Save your money and just check the eddies a hundred yards downstream from any commercially run rapid in May.
The river gods show no mercy. No attempts to get that werner back in the hands of its rightful owner is definitely not good karma. As for the company paddles, I would think the guides might trade some beers for those...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
The Carlisle Guide paddle is a LARGE paddle. Way to much for a small boat. You will loose a nice guide stick if you buy it, and you might be more worried about your paddle than you should be about yourself, your friends or your boat. Or, you will break it and be bummed. Stick with standard paddles. I have a buddy that swears by outfitter paddles and claims he has never owned a paddle in his life, he says he only borrows them. Something to be said about being able to pick up any paddle and just use it.
Also agree. Paddle sizes are a lot about personal preference, but it's mostly up to the person holding the paddle more than it is the paddle itself. From my experience, large paddles in smaller boats cause more trouble than anything, especially if you need to start high-siding. In smaller rafts with smaller tube sizes you sit closer to the water, where I find its actually easier for everyone to use smaller paddles.
As long as everyone else is paddling just straight forward or backwards, there should be no way for them to over power your side. Just perform the corrective strokes to keep it pointed to where you want it to go (j-stroke!).
 

·
Beginner
Joined
·
2,603 Posts
I once heard of a rookie raft guide finding a friend of mine's Werner Guide Stick on the river and trying to scrub his name and number off of it. One of his senior guides caught him at this and made him return it to its rightful owner. The reward was a 30 pack of beer. The other guides made the rookie sit in the middle of the circle while they drank the 30 pack and threw the cans at him. Sometimes karma is beautifully instant. :)
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top