Anyone use a Sawyer Freestyle Paddle....

it sure looks nice- I mostly use the Indian Stroke and currently use a 60" Voyager Blackwoods.



Why this paddle?
Yes I have used one. It transmits turning forces effectively. If your stroke isnt perfectly straight you are going to be fighting this one.

Its used for FS where fast acceleration is needed (two or three strokes) and then a static turning stroke, followed by a conclusion stroke. Its expected you will have at least a full U turn. The Sawyer can do this in three strokes

Its rather tiring to trip with, I find my Grey Owl FS paddle loses alot to friction with the water with an inwater recovery especially if my palm roll is a little off. That has a smaller blade. For tripping I tend to go back to a narrower blade with a short shaft. Your paddle sounds really long unless you are paddling standing.

I have a 65 inch paddle for that.

My Ignorance of Freestyle is showing…
When I bought my Wildfire, the paddle was thrown in with the deal and I had seen a few references to using a long paddle for solo strokes. After using it I’ve found that I enjoy the ability to muster high turning power from it while picking my way around obstacles. (I also use a bent shaft if I’m trying to put some miles on)The Sawyer seemed like it might dovetail into my paddling style. Any other suggestions for someone intrigued with picking up a few freestyle moves?



FS Paddles

– Last Updated: Jul-16-04 8:08 AM EST –

I have used the Sawyer Freestyle Paddle and have found it to be a nice design (Karen Knight and Bob Foote). However, my experience with Sawyer is that their quality is spotty. I had the shaft of one of these paddles crack on me in the middle of a freestyle manuever when there really wasn't much load on the paddle. I've known others to experience similar difficulties.

Although I still have a Sawyer, my current favorite paddle for Freestyle is the Mitchell Surreal - also sold with the Bell Canoe logo on it by Bell. This is a combination cedar and carbon paddle. It has a symetrical grip and has been used successfully in FS competitions.

The quality is excellent. They can be hard to find in stores and I've ordered directly from Mitchell. I like the blade shape and the way it slices better than the Sawyer. I think it is a much better quality paddle for the money than the Sawyer.

Another FS paddle that is less expensive and a good value is the Grey Owl. Although I also experienced a quality issue with one of their paddles several years ago.

Check out the Freestyle Symposium at Paul Smith College July 25 - 27.

I just took a beginners class with Karen Knight and it realy opened my eyes. Got to use a Wildfire too. What a sweet boat!


I think that my Voyager Blackwoods…
was manufactured by Mitchell as it has a similar design. I guess I am gravitating to freestyle paddles since many of the manufacturers seem to be going with asymetrical grips that would rule out the indian stroke.