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Greenland paddle hand carved by me, western red cedar. For a euro paddle carbon but since I dont use it much i have a fiberglass one but would prefer carbon.
from Lumpy Paddles.
Oh yeah... why do I like it? The wood feels warm right away. With minimal oiling it doesn't get too slippery. The little bit of flex feels good; let's you know it's not so brittle that it'll snap when stressed. The shape of the GP shoulder in the hand is light years beyond what the Euro offers but that's really not part of your question.
It's kind of like that question. Each has its own characteristics, plusses and minuses depending on the situation. For racing, there is no question that carbon in bent shaft format is a necessity to be competitive today. But for recreational cruising, enjoyable maneuvering, and the sheer pleasure of performing and learning advanced paddle strokes, it is wood for me. A feather edge straight blade ottertail is my preference.
I don't get the whole flexible paddle thing. I paddle marathon canoe races, fully up to 18 hours a day for 6+ straight days in the case of the Y1K, with a stiff carbon blade. Proper technique and training doesn't require the losses from a flexible blade. For recreational paddling my wood paddle is minimally flexible, not because it has to be, but is a characteristic of preferring a thin feather edged blade. Even then i seek out those that have absolute minimal flex.
Wow, a lot of ppl seem to like carbon, and because of the weight.
However, I'm looking at Werner Shuna paddles at the moment (the one the Werner Fit Guide says I should go with), and in fiberglass, bent-shaft, it's 29.75 oz.
The Shuna Carbon, in bent-shaft? 29.5 oz. Pretty much the same.
So if the weight difference isn't much (is it?), what's the big hoo-ha over carbon? Is it stiffness? Looks? High-techie-ness?
And if it's increased stiffness, could that have a negative impact on my body/put more strain on my joints?
Just playin' a little devil's advocate here.
I'm kinda checking out wood too, I've always liked wooden paddles visually. Maybe if I get a GP as a second paddle.
..... nothing feels as comfortable and natural in my hands as wood .
I have a paddle that I re-engineered from an old fir paddle , one of those old 60" straight jobs . It got a new Cherry shaft built deep into the blade , an Ipe tip gaurd , some blade thinning , water base powder staining , epoxy and cloth coated with varnish top coats . Used it's old palm grip halves fitted to new shaft . It's now 58" and very light weight , feels great in the hands and paddles great too .
That's just one example of what can be done with an old wood paddle . I like my cheap Carlisle Beavertails also , and all my other wood paddles too , the expensive ones and the cheap ones .
Just for the mentioning , you can take most any ol wood paddle (old , new , cheap ect.) and customize it , tweak it to your liking and shazaam , sweet !!
I'm happy in the 18-21 oz. range straight shaft wooden canoe paddle . They all feel different , but all feel good .