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Discussion Starter #1
OK I know that you are still out there hitting it, but take a little extra time before losing your head. The water is super low and people are snapping paddles like twigs. I have eight broken paddles sitting behind my desk from this weekend alone.

Just like in 2002, we have low water in the middle of summer. Everyone is still trying to boat where ever possible. Use a little bit of common sense. Paddles do NOT just break. Every paddle that has been returned for warranty "issues" has impact marks. Impact marks are caused when paddle meets rock or when paddle meets paddler.

Be really careful. The Golden WW Park is the leading cause of broken paddles in the state, maybe even the country. Mostly it happens when the paddle snags on a rock as the kayaker gets flipped over. Paddles hardly ever have issues when they clip a rock as your passing by them. They almost always have to be weighted with your body on top of them.

Just be aware that you're more likely to break your paddle at 200 cfs than you are to break it at 2000 cfs. And, be honest when you bring your paddle back for warranty. The information that you give to use is going to be passed onto the paddle maker, and that info is important for making better paddles in the future.

(I edited the rest out, because it was too strongly worded and some people took it as an insult. For that I am sorry. I was just trying to make a point and to get people to give us the real story of what happened to there paddles. By telling us what really happened we can better assist the paddle makers and in the end better paddles can be made and purchased. We do a lot in Colorado to help companies with R&D, this is where you can put a positive spin on a bad day. Thank you for your help and understanding.)
 

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Here's another opinion (aka devils advocate)-

I think that paddles should be made strong enough to take some hits. After all, kayaking does include scraping the bottom of the river sometimes. It does include getting window shaded at the bleacher hole. It does include rocks. Therefore, I think that paddle manufactures should build their products with some longevity in mind...at least as long as their warranty covers. For $300-$400, I would hope that the paddle would last 1 year.
 

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Aw, give Don a break--he's just trying to be helpful.

Now you know what to say when you bring your broken paddle in. :D

Yea, I agree that paddles aren't made that sturdy--but I think that is because a sturdy paddle is heavy and most of the rest of the country isn't as bony as we are.

I think Prijon paddles are pretty stout--but heavy!
 

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For $300-$400, I would hope that the taxes I pay each paycheck would give me some gov't services, but it doesn't. And...For $300-$400, I would hope that the airline industry would get me there on time, unhassled, feeling refreshed...

For $300-$400, I am happy my paddle lasts 1 year, and gives me weekends and weekends of fun.
 

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"The Golden WW Park is the leading cause of broken paddles in the state, maybe even the country"

Hey Don, where did you get your stats? I would love to see the raw data from your research. I have video of a paddler breaking a brand-name bent shaft paddle that came from you shop under no more pressure than a down-stream stroke throuth... get this... water. The best part is that you gave him **** to warranty it. If you like, I'm sure i can figure out a way to post it.

If you want to send a community service message, then, well, nice job. However, I prefer you blow up another play park in your wake. Golden has put a lot of money and time into our park - we don't break paddles; we provide a place to use what you sell. It's your bed hotshot; crap or sleep.
 

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my broken paddle

I don't know why ya'll (yeah, I'm southern) are giving Don so much shit. He is telling you what NOT to say to insure you get your paddle warranted. I wish I had said info last May when I broke my Werner paddle in Golden. I just admitted I had no idea how it happened and perhaps I did brace off the bottom...or perhaps it was the 1800 CFS and my inexperience. At any rate, I paid Miser $80 to send the paddle to Werner to repair. Everyone I know who bought their paddles at Confluence and subsequently broke them have paid nothing to have them replaced. Just last week my friend broke her newly purchased paddle the first time using it (yes, in Golden) and Confluence replaced it no questions asked.
 

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Get A Woody

Woody paddles are the way to go. I have broken 7 AT paddles this year and I just got a woody paddle that is so solid. Wayne the owner makes every paddle custom so it fits the way you want it to. I feel like I wont ever have to buy another paddle again. www.woodycustompaddles.com
Check em out. Kevin
 

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i recently saw a new AT4 come unglued in the middle of the shaft. one shop said "you shouldn't have carried it in your rocket box." The shop my friend bought it at (CKS) mailed him a new one without even seeing it. very cool. my question is, can leaving your paddle in the car (where it's hot) cause glue failure? if so, should we only paddle in the winter?
 

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I agree with Dombey...

The answer: WOODY PADDLES!!!!

Great paddles, not heavy and VERY VERY BEEFY!!!!!!!!

If it ever breaks... I just hope I am around afterwards to right an article about how amazing of a beat down I had just taken.

Don is a good guy with a good message. If you have lightweight freestyle paddles don't be surprised if they can't stand up to being used as a pogo stick to get down a boney ass creekbed.

Craw
 

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About 6 years ago I bought the cheapest Werner paddle made then (no fancy fiberglass blades or anything). I think it was $140 new. It has been abused, wedged in rocks, used as a shovel once, window-shaded a million times in the Golden park, survived 100 trips down bailey and clear creek, and has even done black rock down to the park all by itself on ocassion. It is still in excellent shape, although a pound or so heavier than the $400 version paddle.

Jennifer
 

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a little touchy Spencer?

Spencer,

While Don's delivery can often leave a little to be desired (luv ya brother), I don't think that he was knocking Golden in any way shape or form. I also haven't the faintest idea why you would get personally hurt :cry: by someone talking about a play park being the site of broken paddles. Are you responsible for RA'ing paddles for a shop? Do you have any idea how many paddles are coming in from Golden? I will assume that you had something to do fundraisning and/or building the whitewater themepark there and I/we thank you for that but if you have a beef with Don, talk to him about it or go somewhere else.
 

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spencer,

Interesting personal attack on Don. No, I am not condoning Don's message, but I understand the point he is trying to make. Maybe you should take your issues up with him personally. You say that you have video of a
paddler breaking a brand-name bent shaft paddle that came from you shop under no more pressure than a down-stream stroke through... get this... water
:roll:

Read the very last line in Don's initial post.
I was just surfing when it broke. (Had nothing to do with the big rock you hit yesterday.)
Does your video show that paddler from the time that he/she put-on up until the time when the paddle broke? Just because the paddle broke as the person was taking a stroke does not mean that the damage occurred at that time. A blow/hit earlier in the day (or pervious days if the paddle was more than one day old) could have caused the initial damage (i.e. crack) that slowly propagated through the shaft until that specific point in time when the person loaded up the shaft (took a stroke) and it ultimately failed.

If you have an issue with Don, talk to him personally. I do not think he was bashing Golden's park. He was simply stating that the water is low and lots of paddles are being broken as a result.

Dustin
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Blunt

Sorry to be so blunt. Spencer, I was not knocking on Golden. I was just making a point. Most people don't thing of snapping paddles when they're playing in a park. They think that more likely to break something running a big drop, something like Oh Be Joyful. But that's not what the numbers are showing.

Last 12 months: (RA's pulled 7-14-04)

Oh Be Joyful- 2
Foxton- 1
Waterton- 2
Numbers- 1
USB- 1
Lower Clear Creek- 1
Bailey- 2
Poudre-3
Golden WW Park- 27

You can also confirm these numbers by calling:

AT (Drew)- 801-466-4757
Werner (Ryan)-800-275-3311
Seven2 (Brian)- 801-364-7202
Baycomp (Waterstick)-905-332-0991

I discuss every paddle that is returned with the manufactures before sending it back. They want to know what paddle it is, when it was purchased, when it was returned, and how did it break. They then give me a Return Auth Number, and I send them back the paddle.

Confluence Kayaks does not make any paddles. We are a retail store. We sell paddles that are made all over the world. We are limited in ways we can service the customer, by the same manufactures who sell us the products. Each paddle manufacture is different, and only a couple will allow us the replace product directly to the customer. We choose to do this as a risk to ourselves, but only in special circustances. In most cases we follow the guidelines set-up by the manufacture for there warrany process.

Again let me re-state I'm not saying that we need to destroy the Golden WW Park. The park is an outstanding asset to the frontrange. But, the Golden WW Park does tend to be rough on paddles. Those numbers maybe unfairly increased, because of a few reasons. 1) Several years of drought water levels 2) numbers of new paddlers to the area 3) number of small but powerful play features.

All I'm really trying to say is be careful. The days are hot and the water is low. And, paddles will break if you put too much stress on them. If this many paddles are breaking be careful and watch your shoulders, elbows, and faces. The water is low but still enticing.
 

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ok, just a thought on how NOT to break your paddle. I'm focusing on the clear creek breaks .

when you go upside down get that paddle setup and ready to roll right off the bat. I'm assuming alot of the paddles are getting broken by beginners. A classic beginner move is to dip the paddle and try and plant a roll off the bottom. When the blade gets wedged between a couple of rocks its going to stress the shaft and blade. I don't care if its wood, steel, plastic, or carbon fiber space shuttle material.

i've had a cheapo seven2 paddle for over 2 years now. Been banging down tons of rocky runs without incident. Sometimes it will snag on the bottom so I ease up and let it out.

Be smart with your paddles. Obviously there are exceptions, but if you keep them out of the rocks they'll last.

ryan
 

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I back Don up on this 100%. Be honest people - have you ever fudged a warranty claim? I bet most of us have. Three years ago, I had a two week old Werner BS Player that had a blade crack loose (adjustable feather!). That was a warranty issue and Werner even sent me a call tag for it. When a paddle snaps, that is from defect, single hard impact, or lots of small impacts that eventually cause the paddle to fail (e.g., the paddle that breaks w/o touching a rock). The last two aren't defects and it's fair to pay to get it fixed or get a new one.

I have two expensive paddles, a Werner BS Sidekick (used 200+ days) and an AT2 Flexi (used 100+ days). Both have gotten hard use. The Sidekick has been on Bailey a zillion times at low water and down lots of SE creeks that redefine "bony". I use these paddles hard, but I don't abuse them. When they break, it will their time. I think if you are regularly breaking paddles, it's probably not the paddle that is not doing its job.

I feel Don's pain here b/c I managed an outdoor shop and worked at NOC as well. We took in every warranty claim (and this was not REI, but a small-time joint) no matter how blantant the lie (not that everyone lies, but that is the topic here). I'm very familiar with the BS that the public feeds shop employees - I can't tell you how many derailleurs were destroyed while the owner was JRA - "just riding along".

If you want a paddle that won't break, don't buy a freestyle paddle - buy a Werner Quest or a Harmony River Passage. Then call NRS and order some resin and glass. Lay it up and you'll have a virtually unbreakable paddle for under $150 or $200. And it will weigh 9 pounds. The way I see it, $400 is for design and light weight, not durability. Everyone knows that cheaper paddles are usually more durable - and heavier. Pick your poison.

As for Golden - how many drops was there money spent on building? How many of those are GOOD playspots? And who built the best (Bingo) hole in the park? Nice place, to be sure, but a lot of money was spent to build non-playable features, and that's too bad.

just .02
 

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Golden - non-playable features? Hmmm. I didn't see confluence listed as a spot where paddles have been broken. Why you ask? Because confluence SUCKS! Golden's broken 27 paddles because everyone from the Front Range paddles there when they want to cool off & play a little. I agree that Golden is no BV or Salida hole, but there's a reason for that. Those holes are designed on a high flow river. Golden is located at the mouth of a creek. Also, Golden was designed with more than just kayaking in mind. There's a reason it's the busiest park around and that's because Golden was built with the general public in mind. It's swimmer, tuber, boogy boarder, and dog friendly. Not to mention you can have picnics and other fun events at the park. 1 playspot in the middle of nowhere doesn't do a whole lot for a towns economy. 11 spots plus other moving water features attracts all types and brings quite a bit of $$ to Golden & it's businesses. Golden's been getting back in there every spring for the past few years to continue improving the park & it's features. We'd all like to have a big advanced hole to do all kinds of aerial moves in but unfortunately the water hasn't cooperated of late. In the meantime we continue to paddle in what we have, a great park (not a one hit wonder) where paddlers of all levels can practice their skills.

So Caspian and anyone else who believes Golden's non-playable can just stay home in Denver and I'll keep flushing to provide you with flow. Meanwhile I'll be playing the 'crap' out of 3 features in Golden, below 200CFS, and still not hitting rocks.
 

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It's ok Don. You are right. No need to make excuses for posting your thoughts. Unfortunately, people are way too sensitive these days. It's really becoming a pathetic trend in this country. People need to check themselves before flying off the handle. I can't for life of me find a reason to take offense to your post. Paddles break. That's life. Apparantly they break in Golden more than other places, which is no big surprise to people to paddle there regularly.

And a word on durability: my AT2 has lasted four years with some pretty rough abuse. How much more durable do they have to be?
 
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