Black Bart Paddle Company: Gone?

I’ve had and seen on this forum several recommendations for the Black Bart Troublemaker as a great sturdy carbon straight shaft single blade paddle. I can’t find them on the web and the phone number I found on is no longer in service. How can I get one of these paddles?

Is the ZRE black rec paddle comparable? Any other suggestions?

Bud “Black Bart” Moll gone…
He was killed in a motorcyle accident (collided with a bear!) about 1 1/2 years ago. The family had been contemplating continuing the business, but in the end decided to close it. Bud Moll was the primarily production person.

I have both a Black Bart Troublemaker and also A couple of Zaverals. I much prefer the Black Bart as my everyday paddle. It weighs a little more than the ZRE’s, but also has a symmetrical grip and a larger blade surface area. The ZRE’s are great for racing and hit 'n switch paddling but generally do not move enough water for a more traditional paddling technique that is not using a high stroke rate.

The only way you will find a Black Bart at this point is getting on used from someone who is willing (or dumb enough) to get rid of one.

Good luck!

How about the new Grew Owl carbons?
Has anyone tried one?

Aw, those Black Barts were over rated
anyway. If you find any of those defective things laying around just send them to me and I will dispose of them properly. I’ll even do it free of charge. ;^)



Gray Owl carbons.
Took a look at the new Gray Owl carbons. Info on site is lacking at best. Blade is large. Assume that comes over from their Dragon Boat paddles. Large blades are not for long day, not efficient. They did not explain their designs, functions or such.

Black Bart and ZRE are 3 oz or more lighter and an inch narrower. Some paddlers cut those another 1/2" or more. So all I can say is wait and see. Certainly would want to paddle one before recommending or buying one.

They should have bought the rights to Black Bart and produced that! Now that would have been something to talk about!!!



Sure, Mick : )
I saw how much you paid for the one you bought on e-bay this summer. I saw that paddle in person when I bought my Summersong from the same seller. He had already posted it on e-bay, so I couldn’t buy it directly. It did seem like a very nice paddle. I didn’t know anything about carbon paddles then (and still don’t) and it seemed like he wanted a lot for it. I now know that his price wasn’t out of line for that type of paddle.

I assume that you’re enjoying yours?

Well, actually I have never paddled it.
I am just keeping it locked up, away from paddlers that might be contaminated by touching it. It is a tough, unrewarding job, but someone has to do it. ;^)



“the Bride” and I have …
Black Barts which are our beater paddles.

We use the Zre ultra light for flat water and the black Barts for WW.

We like them both, but nothing can compare with the lightness and feel of The Z.



LOL Mick! Contaminate me : )

ZRE straight shaft alternatives
Are your ultralights bent shaft? What is the difference in the ZRE “outrigger” vs. “flatwater” paddles.

I have a newly aquired Blackhawk Combi 14.9. It is fairly wide for a solo so I think I want a straight shaft that has a decent size paddle face. (that’s why I thought the Black Bart would be good). If my boat were a little sleeker then I would probably want a smaller paddle face for a faster stroke rate.

Am I thinking about this correctly? Any thoughts would be appreciated.



ZRE outrigger paddle
I don’t know of any difference between the outrigger paddles and flatwater paddles. I have both types. My outrigger paddle kicks my butt though. I’m not used to the wide blade.

ZRE outrigger straight shaft
Do you like the outrigger? Do you like getting your butt kicked?

Anyone else have a ZRE outrigger? Would this make a good straight shaft general purpose paddle?

Mine are bent shafts


Grey Owl carbon
On the Grey Owl carbon paddles, the blade is too big in my oppinion. More importantly though, the shaft has been prone to breakage. I’ve seen a few come in with broken shafts with barely any use at all. One customer broke his original and his replacement one. We then got him a Zaveral rec paddle instead and that solved the problem for him.

In Grey Owl’s defense however, they are said to be redoing the shaft with more reinforcing so the next batch will hopefully hold up better.

Myself, I’ll stick with my Zaverals though.

Cheers…Joe O’

From what I have seen
teh outrigger ZRE are the same as the old style zre, except the blade is 9-9 3/4 wide comepared to a regular ZRE where the blade is 8-8 3/4 wide. I do not believe the new powerserge II are available in outrigger.

ZRE Outrigger Powersurge
As the Baldpaddler states the Outrigger is the king sized ZRE, 9 3/4" of blade width in its standard full sized form. It is available in the Powersurge blade, which is an imitation of the curl Gillespie has been putting on his wooden bent shafts for about 20 years. The tip of the blade is slightly curled and it gives the paddle a very nice entry and catch. Paddle with one for a day and a flat blade face seems like a noisey 2 x 4 going into the water.

Going from a narrow flatwater racing paddle like the ZRE lightweights in the 7" width to an outrigger blade is a real change of paddling. The big blade feels like it is glued into the water, but after a couple hours your shoulders will protest. It took almost two years for my shoulders to get used to the Outrigger and allow me to go all day with the big blade. And I only moved up from a ZRE rec blade with an 8’ blade.

The narrow racing blades just did not have enough surface to propel the heavy canoes I typically paddle. Going from the rec blades to a lightweight cost us time in the C-2 rec races, the blade was good for a fast cadence, but slipped too much with the heavy drag of the rec canoe. Corbin’s canoe is much narrower than a rec boat and for the Pros the fast cadence and blade speed is more important than a big thrust, and the narrow blade is the ticket for them.

A ZRE outrigger trimmed to about 9 1/4" is about my ideal for a long distance blade. The 9 3/4" full sized outrigger gives a great starting line launch to a rec boat. The Bald One has seen Gearwoman and I launch the 17 Jensen and we are not a 250# GCW pair.