more ZRE paddle questions

I have sent an inquiry to ZRE, but would like the input of others also. I am trying to decide between the Power Surge Flatwater Medium and the Power Surge Outrigger Light, both are 10 oz. This will be my first Zav, and I want to get it right. I paddle a solo Wenonah Vagabond, mostly slow moving rivers and streams. Speed is not my objective, but paddling long distance without fatigue is. Any suggestions that might help me decide?

K.I.S.S. Rule
It’s usually my guiding principle…“Keep It Simple, Stupid!”

If you’re primary doing flatwater and non-technical streams…and don’t need the miniscule edge a racer demands, save a couple bucks and get a terrific paddle you can use all day.

Z Medium – 10 oz. Carbon Fiber Canoe Paddle

medium layup
Power Surge Flatwater Medium is probably the best choice in general for most people.

I have the Power Surge Outrigger paddles, one medium layup and one light. I don’t think the light was necessarily worth the added expense over the medium.

The choice between the wider outrigger blade and the standard width blade is a personal decission. I prefer the wider blade, but I paddle several days a week in season and get used to it very quickly.

depends on your stroke rate
and how strong you are. some people do better with a thinner blade and a higher stroke rate. some people i race against use the outrigger in canoe marathons, but they’re also very strong, stronger than me for sure. i use a power surge light to race and love it. i’d like to try the outrigger, but i bet it wouldn’t fit my stroke rate/strength level. if you’re a stout guy (i’m 6’1", 175) the outrigger may be the bill, especially if you really like to crank on the paddle. if you’re more of an endurance paddlers, the standard power surge may be a better fit. i’d guess that the standards is better for most paddlers/situations. and medium would be my weight of choice for an everyday/non-racing paddle.

My take is that you have no reason to get the ultralight with outrigger blade. The regular power surge is more enjoyable for normal use…and the balance is slightly but noticeably better since there’s a higher percentage of weight in the shaft versus the blade. You could end up regretting an outrigger blade…it’s more than you need.

Thanks everyone for the input

…Just my $.01, but if you find some streams that offer more than just mileage to rack up…(ie…their remoteness and their character), I think you’d enjoy a straight shaft for all the ease of maneuverability you’ll gain.


My experience
I faced the same decision last year. I went with the Power Surge outrigger light because I wanted more width than the racing blade.

I returned the first paddle after using it a few times, for three reasons.

First, it was too long. Hard to know the right length when you are buying by mail and you have never used that shape blade before.

Second, the PS blade has a powerful bite and I decided 9.25" was too wide. But I still wanted a wider blade than the regular. So I got the narrowest outrigger blade at 8.75". Very happy with that decision.

Third, I really didn’t like the unrelentingly stiff shaft at all. This was my first carbon shaft paddle after more than 50 years of wood. So, on the replacement paddle I got the flex shaft. I am very happy with that and like it a lot better.

Caveat: Probably all racers and most high cadence paddlers would want the regular stiff shaft. But that’s not what I do. I’m a cruiser and I like the slight flex.

BTW, I bought it to use on my outrigger. But I also use it with open canoes for which it is long enough.

Too Long
If your Zav shaft is too long, it’s very easy to shorten it. The instructions are in the little booklet that comes with the paddle. I think they are probably on the website as well.

You just
buy it unglued, ajust length until you are satisfied, then glue it.


Hey Paul!
I believe we met you a few years ago at the General Clinton. Of course, I was using an assumed name then :wink:

Good tip on adjusting the length, although making it longer is a bit trickier.

viagra make it longer?

Viagra only makes it stiffer. then it
has a heart attack.

along those lines…
If you have a good paddle lasting more than 4 hrs , consult a physician…