Quality of black diamond kayak paddle

I’m in the market for new kayak paddle for racing and other long distance paddling. I’ve been looking at the werner paddles, but those represent a hugebig major investment for me.

My current main paddle is an AT bent shaft with touring blades. It generally works fine for me, but I can’t maintain a good speed with it. After nearly getting pasted in a race last weekend in Newport Beach I’ve decided that I need something with bigger blades, yet still very light weight.

I found a black diamond kayak paddle by crack of dawn for $110.

Does anyone know if these are generally a good quality paddle and appropriate for my intended use?

I’ll be in the “another dam race” at Havasu this April, California 100 this May, and the Big Bear Paddlefest race this July. I’m hoping to not come in not so close to last at these races this year.

paddle sizes
Never heard of this brand, so can’t answer your question.

But if racing speed is what you want, you might be better looking at a wing.

First on you wanting a a larger face: In general, a paddle with more surface area is good for sprinting, but not often as good for longer distances. Cruising paddlers often want a smaller blade face. It comes down to the effort required to make the paddle work (inserting in water, pulling water, etc.) and the strain it provides on you. Short and fat makes large blade area, but there are losses due to added effort of getting that blade in water and strains from all that surface area coming into contact at once so your muscles having to go from stop to start right away without transition. White water paddlers do short sprints to get eddies, so use these fat blades. But the river generally moves them. Surfers and rock gardeners also. But those who have to paddle to make them move often prefer longer and thinner blades of less surface area.

But racers who focus on speed use wing paddles. These paddles look like spoons. Takes a slightly different paddle style to use right, and there are limitations outside of going straight forward fast (harder to brace with, harder to roll with, etc.).

Check this one out.

It sounds like you don’t want to spend a lot of money, but you want a great paddle. Carlisle Expedition is that paddle. It’s all fiberglass; not as light as most carbon paddles, but it is a relatively light paddle and it is built to last. Better yet, it is a really good paddle for all around paddling–not too big and not too small. They retail for about $159, but they can be found on the Internet for right around a hundred bucks, or so.

I have a lot of paddles to choose from and I will admit that my favorite is a Werner, but I love the Carlisle Expedition.