Cricket Designs Loon Paddle?

I’m looking for a second canoe paddle. I paddle bony Texas rivers with a lot of flatwater between occasional minor I-II rapids. My first and only paddle is a Bending Branches Espresso Plus which has served me very well, but I need a backup.

The Cricket Designs Loon looks good as a medium duty river paddle with a reasonable weight. Does anyone want to comment on it or recommend something else? I also considered the BB Explorer (a bit of a brute), some medium weight straight shaft ZRE, or something similar to what I already have like the BB Java or Grey Owl Fleetwood.

I can’t speak for the Cricket Loon, but I have three Cricket paddles, two double-bladed kayak paddles and the Whitewater canoe paddle. They are tough and well-made.

Personally I’d suggest the straight shaft Zav in the Medium lay-up or even the “heavy” recreation lay-up. I’ve used Zavs paddling upstream on rivers for many years and they are more durable than you might think. The light weight is always nice and with a relatively short/fat blade one can use a shorter paddle. I’m a little over 6 feet and a 56 inch straight Zav is perfect for me. I suggest an 8.5 inch blade width…plenty of power but not too much blade. If you are worried about getting the length perfect you can order with the handle unglued so you can trim the paddle shaft with a hacksaw until it’s perfect.

I had a Grey Owl Fleetwood. It was nice and light with a nice size blade but the length was not ideal for me and the blade buzzed in the water so I gave it away. Most wood paddles have quite a bit of variation in my experience…best to test paddle the paddle if you can!