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Discussion Starter #1
I figure I'll go cheap on the paddle for my first one. Any suggestions on what to look for in the $80-$100 range? Or reasons why I should spend a little more?

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You don't want to deal with paddles that break on you. I'd say your best bet is to spend money on a Werner, but go with a budget version. At least it won't easily break on you.

Something like this would be about as cheap as you should go: Paddle Details | Werner Paddles

Of course you might find good deals on the used market.
 

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Not sure what you want to use it for, but that's a touring paddle. The drip rings and length are for touring. (REI got out of whitewater a long time ago). Also you probably don't want a break down for your primary paddle.

If you want a whitewater paddle any of these paddles would be better. (probably not the aquabound)

http://www.coloradokayak.com/Gear-A...order=custitem_ns_sort_cat_place:desc&show=48

Of those I'd recommend this for a budget paddle: http://www.coloradokayak.com/Werner-Desperado-Standard-Shaft
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So how do I figure out what paddle size is best for me? I looked at some size charts, and could have swore they were for whitewater, and I was sized at 220cm. But after seeing the sized offered for these paddles I'm sure I must have been looking at a touring chart or something.

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