I picked a paddle, hope its good

-- Last Updated: Jun-29-13 11:48 AM EST --

I debated which paddle to get and did my research. I'm hoping I picked the right one. I'm a beginner and going use it in flat water, recreation use. My kayak (Pelican sit on top strike 100x) is 30 inches across and I'm female, 5'6.

I had it down to Bending Branches whisper 230 cm and Harmony Adventure 225 cm.

I really liked both paddles in my hand. The Harmony was lighter 36 ounces. The Bending Branches was 37 ounces.

My husband thought the Bending Branches seemed more durable and I read a lot of good reviews on it.

So the Bending Branches won. Any opinions from those who have used this one?

I can’t comment on
specific paddle you selected, but I am curious about the length of the paddles you were looking at. I am 6’0" tall and my paddle is 220cm, I have a SinK. Do SOT’s require a longer paddle in relation to the paddlers height?

width of boat
One of the largest factors in choosing the length of the paddle is the width of a boat. a 30" wide kayak will require a longer paddle than a 24" wide one.

Thank you!
I wasn’t aware of that aspect of paddle selection.

why 230 you ask
All the research I did on selecting my paddle said to go by my height and the width of my kayak. My kayak is 30 inches wide as stated in post. That is why I went with a 230 cm paddle.

I would think a 230 cm…
would be just about right for you and your boat. And Bending Branches makes some very nice paddles that represent excellent value.

I’d have made the same choice from your final candidates.

Getting started …
The paddle is fine to get you started paddling and get you out on the water. As you paddle with other paddlers try borrowing a shorter paddle with a fiberglass or carbon shaft and see how you like the performance.

After you have more experience investing in a more expensive paddle that is lighter can really increase your enjoyment, but the paddle you have will be fine.

cant afford
I read about those carbon paddles…can’t afford one. I looked at one.

Used …
watch for gear swaps and used gear sells from paddling clubs. Also when you upgrade to a faster boat, be sure to look at used boats . Folks often throw a paddle in on a deal.

For new carbon paddles look at Onno Paddles . A very good value, and my favorites.

Just get started
Either paddle you mention will do that. Personally I have wanted I to love a Bending Branches paddle a few times, but somehow when I compare the swing and comfort factor to other paddles I never fall for them. But they are quite decent paddles.

At 230, you are into what is currently considered to be a long paddle for any SINK. That means you have a good chance of getting a used carbon paddle for a low price on EBay. Or Craig’s list if you have the patience for their more varied purchasing experience. So I would suggest those places weekly. You need a second paddle anyway. to have in case you are literally up the creek without a paddle. Even the best paddle can have a really bad day.

I tried my BB today
I took my bending branches out today. As far as performance and length. I can’t complain. That part worked good. The thing I didn’t like was the grip. I hated it. Every time I put sunscreen on and went to grip again, my hands slid off. Also just in general it was too tight a grip. In the meantime I’m going to get some yak grips. I’ve done more research and I believe a aquabound sting ray carbon paddle with smaller shaft may be for me. Per AB website hands under 7 inches need smaller shaft. I’m right at 7 inches. That will be my next purchase but in the meantime I hope the grips help.

I used a Whisper for a while and it was
good enough until I could afford better. The Whisper, like many paddles, has larger blades than I prefer and was a bit too much work for me to use comfortably.

Get a spray-on sunscreen and keep
it off your palms.It will make any paddle slick and make you over grip.Try that before you buy another paddle.Or get some paddling gloves.

gloves and spray
Due to sun-screen-slick, I’ve been using gloves for a few years. Have switched to spray-on sun screen this year. I really like it, though I often still wear gloves. It goes on the face very well, and does not run down into my eyes as I sweat.

One issue with the spray is that it is EXPENSIVE. At first glance, it may seem to be only somewhat more expensive. But, in addition to the higher initial price, consider the loss to over-spray, and the relatively few applications from a container, compared to the many applications from a container of sun screen liquid / cream. The only partial remedy I’ve found is Walmart house brand. I comes in giant economy size SPF 50, which is cheaper than the name brands in smaller containers.

Surfboard Wax for Paddle Grip
You want a smooth surface that will rotate through your hands. Surfboard wax works really well to give you enough grip on the paddle shaft.

I started with a heavy aluminum paddle and ended up getting tendonitis, disappeared when I switched to a better paddle.

Sunscreen: I dab on one hand back
and then rub the backs together. I NEVER apply sunscreen using the gripping side of my hands unless I can clean them well before touching a paddle.

I often wear paddling gloves instead of messing with sunscreen.

I wear a very large billed hat to reduce sun exposure on my face and usually wear long sleeves and long pants because I detest greasy, slimy, expensive and chemical laden sunscreens.

best thing to do is paddle with a group once in a while and swap out paddles. i suggest picking up a pair of black open finger weight lifting gloves [ i say black because they dont stain your hands as much, maybe wash them a couple times]as for carbon fiber it’s darn nice. a guy custom makes them under the name onno . p.s i also suggest an adjustable padddle

I upgraded today. I got bending branches glass whisper glass sunrise with fiberglsss shaft. What an improvement!