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Discussion Starter #1
There has been lots of talk regarding oar length, brand, construction, etc., but I haven't found anything regarding the width of whitewater blades. Typically 6.5" or 8", from what I can tell: which do you prefer, and why? I need to pick up my first set this year, so I'd appreciate any insight. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
15-foot cat at present. Hope to upgrade to a 14-16' raft in the near future, however (and would like to use the same blades).
 

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Since oar blade are the part that you tend to replace from time to time, I go with what is the cheapest and most widely used. That for me are the Carlyle 8" blades. Last time I was up at Red Canyon I was able to find a replacement at one of the outfitters. Any other brand and I would have been SOL
 

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Oar Blade choice

I like the Carlisle Oar Blade 8" Outfitters for deep water runs. I do switch to a 6 1/2" Carlisle Blade, when you need to get skinny on the early and late shallow creeks. Keeps the blades from getting to beat up.
 

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I think the main things to think about in regards to blade width is surface area and force. Think about the force you want to apply and think about the force the water will apply on you. A narrower blade will be easier to control and will get jerked around less in turbulent water. With a narrower blade you will not be able to move as much water i.e you will not be able to move your boat as much with one stroke. If you like to muscle your boat around or like to take long deep pulls (that statement could be used in other forums as well, but let's stick to the topic at hand), you may prefer a wider blade. If you want to feel like you have more control and like to take shorter quicker strokes (again, let's stay on topic here), then you may prefer a narrower blade.

You probably should consider the load you are hauling as well. To move a "big" boat you may find the wider blades better.

Sincerely,
Zach
www.downriverequip.com
 
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