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14 foot boat, I went t to purchase the square tops by sawyer. Instead went with 9.6 pole cats counter balance and the sawyer schol cut blades. I wanted the square tops but that is a bunch of money if you break a blade. The square tops are so nice however, did I go wrong for another $200 I could have went with them.
 

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I have three sets of the Squaretops so I'm a little biased, but I didn't do it just because I wanted to spend more money. I got my first pair when I bought my Avon Pro and they came with it as the "icing on the cake" (along with a frame and a bunch of other stuff...bought the complete package), and liked them so much I got a pair of 9 footers when I got a smaller 13' raft. I upgraded that raft to a slightly larger one (the Aire 136DD), and the 9 footers didn't push it quite as well so I got a set of 10 footers now too. I use the 9's as spares for the small boat and the 10's as spares for the big boat now, so I have a set of premium spares for each setup. I actually recently got a Hyside Mini-Max and used the 9's with it and it worked great.

Honestly, every time I try out someone elses boat (usually because they want to try the Squaretops) and row with their Oars...I'm wanting my Sqauretops back immediately. If you just pick one up in the shop, they don't feel much different but once you put them in the oar locks and feel the swing weight its a night and day difference. They flex perfectly for me as well... just enough to add power after the stroke and to help with easing joints but not so much it feels like you loose power. Having the wood as the counterbalance really makes a huge difference over using metal counterweights for me. The metal ones with composite shafts are great because you don't have to hold the oars down as much, but it adds a ton of momentum to the stroke that you then have to stop before the return stroke. I don't feel this AT ALL with my squaretops.

The one big downside, as you acknowledged, is that they are one piece oars, and if you break one you'll have to buy a whole another oar. IMHO, the benefits of the Squaretop outweight that by quite a bit and I find them to be very strong (I'm told the wood section goes from the tip of the blade to the end of the handle and then adds the carbon over the top of that) and not particularly prone to breaking. I don't baby mine, and regularly scrape them on rocks when it gets shallow and they have their fair share of close calls between a cliff face and they seem to hold up. It kind of sucks that they don't fit in my truck very well when an oar with a removable blade would...but I can deal.

All of that said, I do plan on buying a set of composite oars for my Mini-Max...mostly because I want to get the 2 or 3 piece shafts so I can potentially make a light weight setup I can fly with.
 

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I have the Square Tops and will never be going back to any other oar. A few years ago i got a new Sotar/frame/ext and ended up just biting the bullet for the nice oars. Honestly I think Id rather row a shitty rubber with Square Tops than shitty oars with nice rubber. They are the difference maker.
 

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I'm all about wood oars. While I prefer to roll my own, I've been hammering on a set of doug fir oars for 14 years and still haven't broken a blade.


Square tops are sick...and dynalam and v-lam blades are super light...the lighter weight the blade, the less counterweight you need.

Counterbalances in fiberglass tubes are chunks of steel. If you drop an oar overboard, it sinks. The counterbalance of the square top is still additional mass inboard of the oar lock, but the wood is all bouyant, so it still floats.

I don't think you'll snap an oar blade completely off a Sawyer square top. Worst case you crack the laminate or hammer on the glass layup. Buy me a bunch of beer and I'll fix it for you.
 

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I have the Square Tops and will never be going back to any other oar. A few years ago i got a new Sotar/frame/ext and ended up just biting the bullet for the nice oars. Honestly I think Id rather row a shitty rubber with Square Tops than shitty oars with nice rubber. They are the difference maker.
I totally agree on all counts. I was spoiled from the beginning because the Squaretops came with my boat but having tried some other stuff, I don't have a desire to use anything else. Agree on the nice oars being one of the most important things too.

Now I just need to get Sawyer to make a break apart version...I suspect that is a pipe dream and not possible otherwise they would have done it already.
 

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Sawyer has launched a new oar, the "Smoker Bandit" under the Smoker brand. It is a carbon fiber shaft, with Ash handle, and new carbon fiber blades that will only fit the new Bandit shafts (the Tite-Set screw is set at 3"). 4.5 pounds at current specs (with rope and stop) for a 9' oar and blade. Will be available in 6" increments from 8' to 10' in length. Available in October. Watch Sawyer Paddles & Oars for photos, or follow the social media pages for images now.

Derek
 

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Sawyer has launched a new oar, the "Smoker Bandit" under the Smoker brand. It is a carbon fiber shaft, with Ash handle, and new carbon fiber blades that will only fit the new Bandit shafts (the Tite-Set screw is set at 3"). 4.5 pounds at current specs (with rope and stop) for a 9' oar and blade. Will be available in 6" increments from 8' to 10' in length. Available in October. Watch Sawyer Paddles & Oars for photos, or follow the social media pages for images now.
To compete with the Edge oars? Those are stupid light as well. ID is the same as Carlisle/Cataract/Sawyer, but OD is only 1 3/4". Very thin wall.




Its all depends on how old you are...
That's no joke!
 

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Sawyer has launched a new oar, the "Smoker Bandit" under the Smoker brand. It is a carbon fiber shaft, with Ash handle, and new carbon fiber blades that will only fit the new Bandit shafts (the Tite-Set screw is set at 3"). 4.5 pounds at current specs (with rope and stop) for a 9' oar and blade. Will be available in 6" increments from 8' to 10' in length. Available in October. Watch Sawyer Paddles & Oars for photos, or follow the social media pages for images now.

Derek
I take it you work for them. Do you know what the cost would be on these? I think I saw $460/pair somewhere but not sure if that includes the blade.
 

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I take it you work for them. Do you know what the cost would be on these? I think I saw $460/pair somewhere but not sure if that includes the blade.
One of the reps sent me some literature about them and the price stated on there is $440 to $460 PER OAR. They said something about a "Cobra Package" that costs $990 to $1010 for the set and presumably comes with Cobra Oar Locks. It says 4.5lbs total for a 9' Oar and the handle is wood and the blades are carbon fiber reinforced Ash and the shaft is carbon fiber with fiberglass reinforcement.

My biggest interest with those would be as expedition oars, but the rep I talked to said they were not planning on making them with a 2 or 3 piece option (the blades removable...I mean a 2 or 3 piece shaft).

For that price and the downside of being able to only remove the blade....I think I'd get a set of Squaretops still, but I do want to try them. I feel like these are setting out to compete with the Edge Trident Oars....which are ~$650 a pair and are supposed to be decently strong but even more lightweight then these Bandit Oars.
 

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The post above is correct for 2019 retail pricing. We were able to on-water test them with an industry group at the 2018 Paddlesports Retailer event in OKC, at the white water park. Great feedback so far, very low swing weight, responsive, durable, and the ability to replace/switch blades between the "shoal" and traditional Smoker blade style is a plus.

Derek
 

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The post above is correct for 2019 retail pricing. We were able to on-water test them with an industry group at the 2018 Paddlesports Retailer event in OKC, at the white water park. Great feedback so far, very low swing weight, responsive, durable, and the ability to replace/switch blades between the "shoal" and traditional Smoker blade style is a plus.

Derek

So does $460/pair include the blades?
 

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The 9' Smoker Bandit will launch as complete oar (handle, shaft, blade) at $460 retail each. Additional blades will be available at $230/each.

Pricing for the 9' package pair which includes the Cobra Oar Lock is $1000 at retail.

Derek
 
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