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Discussion Starter #1
I have a shot at a Smoker :) good deal on a pair of 9' Sawyer lights. I understand these are a very popular drift boat oar but wonder about thier sutability as a white water oar on my Maravia Diablo. Im am looking at them as a spare set. Currently I row Cataracts with Magnum II blades. The Sawyers are 1.5" narrower. Thoughts?

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Got a set They're sweet oars. I take them out for mellow fishing runs when you can feel the flex. As thin as they are, they are pretty stiff and snappy feeling.
Don't know as to durability as compared to smokers but they've been fine for me my main set are counterbalalanced mxg's with pro v blades. They're a nice alternative. Don't think they ding up any differently than the ash pro v's.

I always epoxy, sand and spar varnish my woodies In the off season. They all stay looking new. That's one thing I do love about wood. Very repairable.
 

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I've rowed them and like them. However, running spares that much thinner than your standard oars could make for a less than ideal "in the shit" moment when you have to swap one and find your lock is too loose. I'd consider a thicker diameter rope for wrapping them so they fit in your locks the same as your Cataracts do....
 

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All good points. Especially the rope wrap thought. I was more concerned with durability in rocky white water and detrimental power effects of the narrower blades. Hadn't realy thought of fit to my locks.

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According to Sawyer, the Lights are 2.3" diameter at the factory wraps. My Cataracts are 2.25". I'd say that gonna be primo for lock fit.

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9' light oars

Hey Whetstone: Buy em! If you never have rowed with slender oars you don't know what you have been missing. Even in the Grand rowing a loaded 16' rig weighing 2,000 lbs. I always used 9' wooden oars. Back in the day we called them "Whippies", because of their whip like response when pulled on. With a loaded canyon rig it would take about 3 strokes to get the raft moving in calm water. The first stroke would merely bend the oar without moving the raft at all. However once in the flow, and using the current to do a lot of the work, they were fine. One can get some rapid revolutions with this type of oar. The technique to use is to keep your arms straight when pulling back using your torso, which will get purchase while also bending the shaft, and then finish with bending your elbows and pulling as the shaft whips back. You will experience a lot of power once you perfect this. In normal rivers like the MFS, Rogue, etc. the feel is sweet and delicate. They are graceful, which is why they remain the choice of Dory Boatmen. Frankly I am surprised they are not a prevalent these days. I believe they are not because of the costs involved in shipping shafts without removable blades.

P.S. If you don't want them let me know and I will take them
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Whetstone: Buy em! If you never have rowed with slender oars you don't know what you have been missing. Even in the Grand rowing a loaded 16' rig weighing 2,000 lbs. I always used 9' wooden oars. Back in the day we called them "Whippies", because of their whip like response when pulled on. With a loaded canyon rig it would take about 3 strokes to get the raft moving in calm water. The first stroke would merely bend the oar without moving the raft at all. However once in the flow, and using the current to do a lot of the work, they were fine. One can get some rapid revolutions with this type of oar. The technique to use is to keep your arms straight when pulling back using your torso, which will get purchase while also bending the shaft, and then finish with bending your elbows and pulling as the shaft whips back. You will experience a lot of power once you perfect this. In normal rivers like the MFS, Rogue, etc. the feel is sweet and delicate. They are graceful, which is why they remain the choice of Dory Boatmen. Frankly I am surprised they are not a prevalent these days. I believe they are not because of the costs involved in shipping shafts without removable blades.

P.S. If you don't want them let me know and I will take them
I grabbed them. Figured at this price it was gold no matter what. Im also trialing some square tops this weekend. If i go with those I'll get back to you on the whippies.

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The one thing you have to get used to with any tapered oar that you dont have with a straight shaft is that they will pop easily when you get out of the wrap. That goes for the lights and the squares. I have popped oars a few times when taking the final stroke in big wave and leaning far forward anticipating a highside. The oars come in far and out of the wrap and they'll pop coming out of the back of the wave. For instance it has happened the last two times I have come through big kahuna at the bottom of lava. You just have to be aware and keep the locks on rope.
 
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