Looking to buy a Carlisle kayak paddle..

-- Last Updated: Apr-17-08 11:59 AM EST --

I currently own a Carlisle Day Tripper. Although that was a good affordable beginner's paddle and is very tough to do almost anything....i'm ready to upgrade to something a little better.

However, I just recently bought a new kayak and have been getting all the necessary gear for it, so my budget is a little small.

For a step up paddle I am looking at the Carlisle RS Magic paddle. Anyone have anything good to say about this paddle?

I paddle a Wilderness Systems Pamlico 100.

I am 6' tall and was wondering if the 220 length will do.

I am now looking at the Carlisle Enchantment Paddle:

or the Magic Plus...but based on what REI is saying...it seems way too light to be true!

go for a better used paddle.
CG, IMO a demo or used paddle of better quality than a new Magic.

A quality paddle really makes time out in your kayak much more enjoyable and less fatiguing. Its shafts flexes more (less wear on your). It’s lighter. It is the transmission that enhances the motor (you).

Try to locate any of these (in alphabetical order) Aquabound, Bending Branches, Mitchell, Warner. There are others, I am just more familiar with these. Within each brand are a range of paddles from affordable to costly.

If you are at all interested in Greenland paddles you can make one from a fine grained cedar or spruce 2x4x8’ for about $30 and a day’s worth of work. Superior Kayaks has a video on their website that shows a man making his, and there’s info all over the web about that.

As to length, it’s determined by the width of your kayak, your armspan, and paddling style (high angle, low angle or inbetween) Also, to some degree, your torso height (rather than your overall height)

Go to warner.com and use their paddle wizard.

That should give you a good idea what length to go for. The hit ebay, craigslist, and esp. check in on paddle clubsites to see what people might be selling (this is a good time of year for that)

Go girl…you gettin’ in the kayak groove!

Werner web site

– Last Updated: Apr-16-08 2:03 PM EST –

The post above recommends demoing a paddle, and this is a good idea. Many kayak shops will let you take paddles out for test runs. Sometimes they have paddles meant to be used for this, sometimes they just take one off the floor and let you use it (so long as you promise not to damage it).

You can get a feel for what length you would be after using the Werner fit guide:

The one question that may confuse you is paddle angle - low angle is probably the way you are.

I suspect a 220 cm may be a little short for a boat that is 30" wide, but much of that may matter on blade shape. The length of paddles everyone lists is the total length (shaft length plus blade length), where it may actually have been better for them to list just shaft length. A paddle with a longer blade will need to be an overall longer length than a paddle with a shorter blade. Long, skinny blades are good for going distances, where short, plump blades are good for burst of power (the Day Tripper is more on the short, plumper style).

CG don’t just demo a paddle
BUY a demo paddle, or a used one in good shape.

From your other posts I know you are on a budget.

At this stage why buy a brand new low end paddle which you will only put a few nicks and scrapes on anyway?

You don’t have to go high end out of the gate. Most people need to paddle awhile to know their optimum paddle.

There is another paddle wizard on epickayaks.com. They make excellent paddles (my fave paddle is an Epic Active Tour Level Lock 200-215 cm as I am a high angle, active paddler w. a 20" seakayak)But that’s me. They do have a cosmetic blem paddles for sale - still kinda pricey tho.

See if you can find a good used paddle a couple steps up from Carlisle. Not necessarily a carbon paddle bec. people rarely sell those, or sell them cheap.

Happy hunting.

I have one
that I use as a spare and as a guest paddle. It is a nice upgrade from what you are using because the shaft is fiberglass instead of aluminum (cold on the hands). I see nothing wrong with the RS magic if your budget is limited. Mine is no worse for wear and everyone seems to like it. You could spend tons more more for a lighter paddle down the road and keep the RS as a backup. The RS Magic is 1 oz heavier than your day tripper. If you do not feel that the day tripper is too heavy, the RS should be fine.

Thanks for the suggestions on the other brands out there…I was able to find a lot of other good paddles for the same prices that Carlisle were selling them for.

you’re welcome!
Also check out Swift paddles (go to site for Eddyline kayaks). Prijon makes some fine paddles too ( harder to find, there IS a seller on eBay who offers them as a Buy It Now year round frequently in 215 or 220 cm do an eBay search for Prijon) or try googling Wildwasser.

My post was not meant to diss Carlisle. If you try the others and still prefer the Carlisle Rapid Magic then go for it. You’ll know you picked it because you did your homework not because you were limited by brand knowledge.

I just think, as you do, that there are better alternatives for most people. Make an investment in a very good paddle, it’s the second most important piece of gear after your boat (good PFD being a close third).

Happy paddling!