Graphite Paddle

I am curious how many of you have a graphite paddle. I recently purchased one from Nimbus Paddles. Both the shaft and blade are graphite and the low weight is terrific; however, I snapped the shaft this weekend while bracing. Nimbus is great and will be replacing the paddle for me, but I was curious how many of you have run into issues or have concerns with graphite paddles. I know they are not ideal for scratching and pushing off of rocks, etc. but it seems to me for longer tours they can be very useful. Perhaps not a rough water paddle??

By the way, Nimbus makes good stuff and I think their paddles on the whole are quite good - even compared to Werner.

Thanks for your thoughts on this.

I have two and have surfed the
epic full carbon signature. If it snapped it’s not their fault. I have used in in pretty interesting places, and only once had any doubts. I also own a battered lendal all carbon, a lightning standard with carbon blades, and a couple of mid level wooden paddles over 36 ounces and too long to use now. I could live with one in a storm but man it would hurt.

If I could audition any paddle I want, I would audition an onno or two, wings fron epic and others, foam cored carbon paddles from any person who makes them.

Given my present poor state of knowledge (never paddles an onno or wing for instance) I’d like to add a surf reinforced paddle from Epic, Onno, Lightning standard as well.

All of the paddles I use are lightweight. I believe my spare should be surf reinforced. I really should atttend to that.

Maybe time to carve a GP and make sure I can use it well when the chips are down.

peter - i have both an onno full carbon at 18oz, and a toksook at 38oz - the toksook is foam cored, and is built to chop firewood at the end of the day - i find i prefer the symetrical shape of the toksook (sort of like a GP, i assume), and the aluminum tip inserts for pushing off rocks, etc - the weight used to kill me, but i did my longest non stop paddle (11mi)last week, and was fine - i guess my shoulder strength is improving - - the onno is a true jewel, and patrick reinforced certain areas for me, as it was my beginner’s paddle, and it did take some initial entry/exit abuse with no problems - the folks at osprey sea tours in westport, ma use and sell the toksook, but they also looked over the onno, and felt it’s construction techniques to be quite superior to many of it’s competitors

It’s not the material, it’s the design
As Ayerloom’s post points out, carbon fiber paddles can be ultralight and fragile, heavy and incredibly strong or something in between. You just need to find the right balance of qualities for the type of paddling you do.

Yup, I am sold on Pat’s work. Tell him what you want and what you intend to do with it and he’ll make it accordingly. A very good custom paddle at a great price.

I’ve used my wwsurf Onno enough in surf and, more importantly, in ww to know it can take the abuse. I also have a carbon Big Spoon I like a lot but the Onno blades seem able to withstand much more abuse than the Big Spoon.

The only change I would add to the Onno, if at all (more for beginners), is indexing on both sides of the loom. My Big Spoon has this as well as the Werner Player. When I lend these to newbies, they seem to find the correct angle quicker. I think for more experienced paddlers, the additional indexing may not matter as much as they will find the right angle in the stroke, scull or roll pretty quickly anyway just by feel of the blade moving in the water.


No problems with Epic
I have a Wayfarer and a wing, both in the non-reinforced carbon. I don’t bash rocks with them but they’ve taken a lot of strain from hydraulic forces with no problem.

I have a Lendal which I’ve been using this year. It got quite a workout Monday and I could feel it flex a little, but no problems with it. I’m careful with it around land and use another paddle for rescue practice, etc. but wouldn’t worry about it on the water. Did Nimbus think there was a problem with your paddle?

You’re spoiled now Peter!

– Last Updated: Sep-08-04 6:42 PM EST –

If you went GP, you might need the Superior Carbon GP!

24 oz - with less swing weight than a euro as it's more evenly distributed - weighs less than zero mid-stroke due to it's incredible buoyancy - super low wind resistance - built in hydrophone... Sweet!

Tough enough for most uses ( except maybe a lot of under the hull sculling rolls ala Greg Stamer!).

If you go wing - go EPIC - or try one of Pat's newer wings (which curiosity and ether a year end bonus or tax refund may yet deliver into my hands)...

Hey, at least paddles are cheaper than boats (though barely in a couple of my purchases! Paddle collections smaller now - but all carbon. 2 GPs, a SET wing, and Kim's Waterstick Zen).

Back to the GP - If you carve a GP - try or at least hold several better designs first. Superior's, Beale's, Cricket's, Turtle's... All GPs are very much not created equal. Your lucky in that there seem to be a lot of twiggers up that way.

Also - GP's are much better as a full time paddle with euro as spare! Doing the reverse could be a mistake. A seldom used GP tucked under the rigging may not be what you want to be reaching for as a backup when things get bad. Takes a while to unlearn the euro - so better to commit to the GP for a while (and own - not borrow). Use a good GP for a while - and you may find yourself really disappointed if you ever have to reach for that euro spare (except maybe to dig clams)!

that toksood is forgiving but too
heavy for my shoulders. I usually trip 12 miles and up when I get out and on those last miles (esecially the ones over 15) I’m really glad about the lightweight paddles.

As to the GP thing I am happy to use a wooden one theough the Superior paddle is nice. My shoulders are super wide (are you listening ladies :slight_smile: ) so I need a pretty wide loom. Dont think the superior is optimal for me, but always glad to use Sanjay’s when I can bug him about it.

ONNO for beginners
The only change I’d make on my Onno if it was for use by beginners would be to change the name to something that didn’t read the same way when they hold the blade upside down!-)

Maybe an “up” arrow…

Carbon/Hybrid ONNO
I have one for surf and one for touring.

How wide?
I’m not exactly narrow. At somewhere around 23" shoulders (depending on arm position when measured) I’m wider than my boat. My 88" paddle has a 21" loom that fits great. Very few paddlers need a wider loom than that - unless they’re massive - or paddling the non-traditional low angle midwestern/Van Doren style with hands fully on loom.

Nothing against wood GPs of course, and certainly nothing against maximimum sizing options. GP’s are all about fit, I’m just lucky the carbon fits me as well as it does.

I could still benefit from a little direction and prompting! :slight_smile:


I’d like a 22 inch loom on that paddle
or most others. I know it is merely an inch but it’s also about 5%.

As my too few Greenland lessons have come fron Sanjay, Sing, and other generous members of the Walden Pond Scum I use a canted blade and vary the angle at need (factoring wind, bracing needed, power desired, and my condition.)

Who wouldn’t want an extra inch? L
With the carbon GPs - only the loom length changes. All blades are identical on them (same computer cut foam cores).

I have the 88" - my loom’s about 21". My Storm is 76". Same exact blades - just 12" less loom than my 88".

The 89" (longest carbon Mark makes) should have the 1" more loom you’d want.


onno vs onno
what i initially did if the paddle didn’t feel right was stand on my head ! - =:-/