Mitchell Coastal Paddle

-- Last Updated: Feb-14-11 2:41 PM EST --

Recently acquired a fairly beat-up Mitchell Coastal paddle in a 2-piece version. After some work on it, I finally had a chance to try it on the water. Unfortunately, it was only in a pool rolling session so limited impressions. But I found out several things about it and am curious what others think of that paddle

Mine is about 90" long tip to tip and feels just about perfect in that length. It has a very clean entry and exit and feels much like a GP in that regards - can do a canted stroke if desired. But unlike a GP and most Euro paddles, it actually facilitates a wing-like stroke very well too.

What I am saying is that basically, the blade shape is such that the paddle does not like to be pulled perfectly straight back. If flutters badly if done that way. But with just a little angle (down or out, depending on whether using a GP-like stroke or a wing-like stroke) there is absolutely no flutter.

There is adequate power and due to the wider grip on the shaft I can apply plenty of power to the water, just like with a good euro paddle (and unlike a GP where the narrow grip changes the "gear" ratio and does not allow me to transfer nearly as much power to the water).

So I think a great fit for me -;). The only thing that is a little bothersome is that the blades vibrate when slicing the water (during in-water recovery strokes). They make the bzzzz vibration of sorts.

Since this seems to be a rare paddle shape, curious if others have used that paddle and what are their thoughts. Or if you have paddles something similar (I suppose the Toksook may be similar, though heavier and with somewhat different blade profile), what do you think of that particular paddle shape?

(a link to the Toksook paddle, with some stuff in the description that does not make sense to me, but anyway...: and of course, there is an interesting PNet thread:

Interesting hybrid shape
I’ve had a Coastal for about 14 years and have always appreciated its easy cruising characteristics.

It has a soft entry because of the pointed tips, but then the increasing width firms up the pull just as you are reaching the strongest point of your torso rotation. Then the pull eases off as the width narrows again. It reminds me of elliptical cam theory of the original Nautilus weight lifting machines.

You can also move your hand around and slide the blade much like a GP.

I originally bought mine for lower angle cruising, but a few years later had Mitchell shorten it so it would be more like a GP length for higher angle stroking. Not sure that was a good decision, as I have gotten much lazier and less racy as time marches on.

It’s almost always my backup paddle when I am using something else, because its flatness and shortness are so easy to store under my deck bungies.

my hubby has had one for 18
years…loves it , uses nothing else and no one can catch him even though he has never paid much attention to technique.

“Rare paddle shpe”?
I should think so, considering that there is no link in the drop-down box on the Mitchell site. Interesting looking stick though.


Just got 1 in a 210
Like it alot so far

Actually a GP works very well with a wing paddle stroke.

Bill H.