I want to share a story about a special paddle. I’m hoping that others can add to the story.
I remembered a thread from years ago when The Bob mentioned that he got a custom canoe paddle made by Pat Moore with one of his used canoes. I remember telling Bob that I’d be interested in the paddle only if it was 58" and he responded that it was 58". So when Bob passed I reached out to Pam the Paddler and she contacted Bob’s wife Jo Anne and thanks to them I got the paddle.
Pam asked me what was special about the paddle. Well:
It was made by the late Patrick Moore. Pat was a canoeing legend that helped establish Sport Canoeing in the 1970’s. His ideas and canoe designs were unique. Pat marched to his own drummer. I had some interaction with Pat that I thoroughly enjoyed and I wish I had spent more time with him.
Patrick produced what may be the finest freestyle canoe paddles ever made. He called them “Cues” because they were made to place a canoe on the water with precision. Pat Moore’s Cues are the only canoe paddles I know of that had specs for balance and flexibility and if a paddle didn’t meet the specs he sold it as a second. Rumor is that he lost money on Cues, I don’t really know.
I didn’t even know that Pat ever made wood paddles. I was more than fascinated to compare the wood paddle to a later carbon fiber Cue.
The wood paddle weighs 29 ounces so it’s a “brick” compated to the 14.5 ounce Cue. But the balance is so good that it feels light in the hands…the balance point is near dead center and actually closer to the grip than the carbon Cue which already feels superbly balanced. The flexibility is remarkably similar between wood and carbon (um - how did you do that Pat?), both are fairly stiff with a little give. The grip on the wood paddle has the same unique features as the carbon paddle with a relatively thin symmetric T-grip that seems to help you control the exact angle of the paddle, plus a deep indentation for the heel of your thumb for comfort. The blades are identical; Patrick seemed to know what he liked. Even the small area on the shaft where the varnish is removed for comfort for your lower hand made me smile since it’s smaller and closer to the grip than some paddles…like Patrick is telling you exactly where your lower hand belongs.
The wood paddle speaks to me and makes me want to learn more about it’s history from Steve Matthews or Patrick Moore.
My sincere thanks to Pam the Paddler and Bob’s wife Jo Anne.