with all the attention to wing paddles these days, i’ve been looking into the options.
Epic have become hugely popular but what other brands are out there worth considering?
Brasca’s website claims that they are the world leaders in competition and i’ve only heard of one other, Simon River sports.
is this the place to ask or are there whole websites (couldn’t find one) dedicated to paddlesport racers and their gear?
In addition to EPIC, like Fenn, Knysna and SET (all made in South Africa like the EPIC), Quick Blade, and Pat at ONNO makes wings too (or so I hear anyway). SRS and Bratcha/Braca (they are different) you already noted. Plus Peter Patasi Paddles (Turbo Wing), California Sports Equipment, and some others I can't recall now.
The EPIC seems to dominate. I have one and can attest is is a thing of beauty that's quite well made.
Some links in no particular order:
General info (maybe not the newest info) http://www.fastkayak.com/paddle.html
But what do I know? I use a Greenland paddle! At least it's carbon fiber (until I get around to carving one myself).
You might want to talk to Pat Onno.
He will custom build you one.
I have a Epic Mid wing and if you are a big guy it would be great.
It is a great paddle, but I would like it a smidgeon smaller.
When you first get your wing it will work you to death compared to a touring paddle, but stay with it and eventually you’ll see it’s value.
I have one of Pat’s wings,
and it is a thing of beauty, comes in around 18 to 19 ounces(one piece), my Epic is around 22 ounces(one piece also). Has a bit more flex than the Epic with a similar blade design, release feels a little better. Shaft is thinner than the Epic’s. Call Pat, he can custom make one.
Just bought the Kinetic Wing blades for my Lendal crank shaft. I’ll be learning to use them this weekend.
great resources thanks
lots of info to consider…
I have one of Danny Broadhurst’s length lock mid wing models. HPS shaft, carbon blades. Don’t think it’s ultimately as light as an Epic, but it’s quite strong, and the length lock feature doesn’t bind the way the Epics are prone to. Very solid catch. He also makes a new 4 piece break down paddle originally intended for adventure racer types that’s actually lighter than the 2 piece.
wow that’s a lot of obscure
gear. the more you look, the more you find out there…
Money & Quality
If money is not an issue and you are looking only for the best, quality-wise, an Epic-wing is unbeatable.
It is both light and strong, and it can support a huge amount of abuse. It shaft is unique. I haven't seen any other wing with such a nice and stiff "oval shaft."
However, its biggest drawback is the lack of choices. They offer only the teardrop design in small, mid, and large, and the wing paddle goes way beyond that design.
Brasca paddles are the world top-paddler choice. They offer seven different designs and each of them is also offered in several sizes and weights. In fact, you have like 28 different paddles to choose from. They are a bit heavier than the Epic ones and as expensive.
I have used the onno wing-paddle Hex mentioned above, and it is the lightest paddle I have ever tried and amazingly well made. The only thing I don't think that onno offers an oval shaft and/or length-lock like Epic, Bracsa, and most South African maker (personally, a priceless option).
Just me, but I would buy a paddle other than Epic or Bracsa if and only if I get a 50% discount (at least). I would not pay $350 for a unknown brand to save only $ 50. I have a Fenn I that I pied $ 200 and for that money is a heck of a paddle, but my epic is the one I like the most quality-wise.
The Epic Mid Wing
Wings take a while to get used to (at least for me), but once you do you’ll never paddle with anything else.
I found out the hard way that that beautiful finish on the shaft of my Epic is just a veneer and WILL scrape right off. The paddle is very stiff and you could use it’s blades as a hammer…I have. I’ve dropped it, hit underwater concrete, oyster beds (you get the idea). It has not cracked or broken. It’s really tough! I have beat the stew out of the blades and it just keeps on going. It’s a great paddle. Get the length lock. Franklin
Thanks for the mention guys…
Besides our three Race profiles and one touring, we offer several other profiles not listed on the website. These can be done if a person was looking for a specific old school model. The new wings we have now are just so much more efficient for their size or 'projected' area that the older ones ( similar to some of the Bratchas or copycat Bratchas from down under) are pretty much obsolete in our eyes and hands and hard to get behind. Round is great for building light, stiff shafts that can be modified to suit as many wing users do without having the shaft get overly wide in one dimension. I also believe many folks feel the need to wrap their shaft due to it having a shiney-can-get-pretty-slimy glossy finish on it that even its makers address on their website. All of our shafts come with a luxurious hand wetsanded finish on them ( no hand shredding, spiral tape wrapped) because this is the best finish for dry AND wet weather paddling.. Ovalizing the shaft pretty much introduces a spot for it to break .... no worries to compensate for this but w/more material.
All of our wing profiles can be tweaked for super specialized, custom sizing as well as layed up with a little more-goes-a-long-way material for H.D. use .... just ask. We are currently waiting on our elegant, no broken or lost parts, lighter, 10 cm adjustable ferules to come in.
I know somebody else that is …
waiting too, Pat !
I’m waiting too Patrick
When are you going to get this paddle finally completed? How much time will it take, from order to shipping, to get the new length lock? I definitely want to get one of these paddles.
When will you be ready?
Thanks for everything Patrick
Love-hate relationship with Epic
I have a regular (non-wing) Epic touring paddle and it’s so far the best paddle I’ve tried. I guess the blade shape and size suits me just great. I’m also a fan of oval-shape shaft. although being a little guy, I do wish they make a small-shaft like Weaner. But the shaft size is still ok (just).
I found the length lock very nice, at least for someone starting out not sure exactly what one wants. More useful now is when I have to rent boats on fly away trips, the extra length change allowes the right length to suite the width of the boat.
But I HATE that shiny vaneered shaft! The paddle breaks down with a twist to release the length lock. Try that with a shiny smooth shaft!!! There’s no grip resistance. It’s too easy to NOT tightening it enough when put togather if it’s a tiny bit wet. Or twist it so hard when dry I can’t break it down afterward. I had to AT LEAST wipe it down bone dry first, and sometimes have to wrap a towel over it to twist open the length lock to break it down.
Be careful Franklin L
I started asking Pat questions like that once and he decided he’d rather not do business with me (which I think we are both OK with since he never had to answer if and when he’d make me one, and I found a barely used EPIC).
The wings are a lot of work, and I was not in a particular hurry, just wanted to know if we (after going back and forth and not changing anything) agreed on specs and if he was going to do it or should I shop elsewhere. That last pat of the question set him off - but was meant simply as a recognition that as a one man operation he needs to pick and choose what he can do sometimes. He took it as something else.
Anyway, offered FYI regarding “business” practices, not as anything against Pat personally or his product. I stand in awe of what he manages to do.
As far as “just ask” though - seems people have been asking for a length lock feature and slightly ovaled shafts out toward the blades (on wings and euros) for a long time now Pat…
“a small-shaft like Weaner”
Oh man! Too funny! LMAO!
Glad to hear "the shaft size is still ok (just)." for you!
I love my turbo wing because so rugged for shallow and made an hour from me in smith falls ,ont. For 5 years I have pounded that paddle over 1000 miles a year in shallow and surf and turbo will last 5000 or 1000 miles. Epics are fine for deep water but have they ever won olympic gold. try usack and spend weekend at one of their clubs and try different brands. Usack has fred mecini web page and message board at yahoo. kayak@yahoo turbo won gold at athens and are very popular among racers because they have great catch and reliability. Epic popular in US but Canada wins gold with turbo. The US is terrible at olympic flatwater. Places like ottawa have wonderful clubs for 10 year old kids up thru people in 80’s who can kick my butt at age 55. Usack training camp in fla in jan.?
Patrick and ONNO
Hopefully Patrick knows I was just showing interest in his products, which have consistantly been a cut above, and was in no way badgering him about his timeline. His stuff is worth the wait and I’m patient. Franklin
Don’t grip the shaft
Just grap the neck (where blade meets shaft)and the collar! Want to roughen the shaft use toothpaste.
A suggestion that works for me:
with the paddle in your paddling position, grasp the ferrule with your left hand (place it in your left palm and then wrap your hand around it). With the right hand grasp the right blade just about where it meets the shaft, and twist the blade counter clockwise, ( to the left) while holding the ferrule firm.
I have not had a problem since I stumbled on this method about a year ago.