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While paddling the Numbers on Saturday, at the bottom of number 3 I took a stroke into a rock free wave and my Waterstick carbon fiber shaft paddle snapped in half exactly in the center where the joining seam is located. This was the beginning of a life threatening swim through all of number 4, which may have been avoided had I not tried to self rescue me and my boat (lesson learned) in the relatively calm stretch between Number 3 and 4. So please, if you have one of these paddles, check it carefully for any signs of stress, especially where the seam is located. On my paddle it was covered by a rubber band of material. Unfortunately, carbon fiber has a tendency to fail catastrophically as opposed to other materials which may crack first. I know several people who have had this happend to this brand of paddle in not so friend rapids like Gore. Waterstick is out of business....go figure. Thanks to everyone that tried to help me.
 

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Glad you're alright. I broke my Waterstick Zen a couple weeks ago between the right handle and blade. Managed to C-1 (or is that KC-1?) after rolling twice and then swam in an eddy at the bottom of the rapid after flipping for the third time.

Doug
 

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solid shaft paddles won't do that

Glad you're OK!

Now that you're in the market for a new paddle, check out Woody. They have a solid wood-laminate shaft. A hollow shaft paddle can "wrap" as a result of impact. To quote the Woody website: "Compression of the sidewall of a hollow shaft sends the force inward allowing the opposite side to wrap over itself, buckling under the pressure, causing it to snap."

Http://www.woodycustompaddles.com
 
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