Superior Kayak's Carbon GP durability?

For those who use the Superior carbon GP…or if familiar with it’s use, what are your impressions regarding it’s durability?

I have a few wooden GP’s and plan to build one as well. I do not yet have a reliable roll and if needed would have to use my GP in a self-assisted recovery. Now that was not a problem when I paddled with a euro paddle, but that is no longer the case. Essentially, I am concerned about snapping my GP weight=220) and not having it to use when needed.

Does the Superior Carbon GP have a similar durability to a euro paddle?

Many thanks…


a Carbon Euro. deep scratches and gouges can play hell with carbon. scratch and snap.

the paddle is quite stiff and very strong.


I would only be comfortable
with the carbon paddle in a low stress paddling enviroment. I saw Greg Stamer brake a Superior carbon paddle while performing a under the hull sculling roll. I use a western red cedar greenland paddle and am going to make a greenland paddle out of spruce thats to be used in rough conditions after reading about the recent rescue and a wrc paddle breaking.

Very strong paddle
However - no paddle should be subject to much force doing rescues - unless you’re in surf and get trashed mid recovery, have another kayak slam you, etc.

Weight should be kept on the boat, not the paddle. With or without a float, a paddle used as an outrigger is there to stabilize, not climb on. A very small amount force is needed to stabilize against the wiggles - no more than in a paddle stroke. If you’re really putting force on the float and paddle - reassess your methods and technique.

When using my Superior carbon for an outrigger to recover - I don’t even bother with the float anymore (but have, and would if tired, too rough, etc.). The paddle offers a lot of buoyancy on its own. Deck rigging may need to be adjusted if set up for Euro blade. I’ve never needed to do anything special, but kayaks differ.

The SKGP will also practically teach you to roll! It’s nearly a cheater rolling paddle.

Unique situation - easy to avoid
Repeated and focused compression along a hard egde (keel) on the middle of the loom caused the failure. Wood is not suceptable to that particular sort of failure - but it is also easily avoided. The carbon padle is tougher in most other ways and holds up better over time.

Over 3 years, a couple thousand miles, and hundreds of rolls and mine still performs as new. It’s been dropped on rock/coral/cement and used to push off the bottom (rock/coral/shell usually) many times. I’ve even whacked a couple submerged rocks paddling at speed. No deep scratches, no dings, no chips. It only shows light surface scuffs/dulling that are invisble when wet and this aging actually improves the feel/grip.

I like my wood GPs too - but the Superior is my go to paddle.

Superior carbon paddle

– Last Updated: Jun-14-06 1:46 PM EST –

I wouldn't hesitate to use a Superior carbon in rough conditions. For really heavy weather I like to have a little more swing weight but that is personal preference. A new Superior carbon can be a bit slippery (compared to unfinished wood), but time (or an application of surfer's wax) fixes that. For racing or long-distance touring a very lightweight paddle such as this is a joy.

Regarding breakage, carbon paddles can be weak at resisting compression. I would avoid the under-the-hull sculling roll and similar techniques for any carbon blade that strongly compresses the blade or shaft against the hull or deck (especially a hard chine).

I would consider using a Superior carbon as my main paddle, but I'm spoiled by the custom-fit (and cheapness) of my handmade paddles. I like a slightly longer loom than most people and can't get quite the overall-length/blade-width/loom-length that I want in the current Superior offerings. For those who find the Superior a good fit, its a well-shaped and strong paddle.

I like the Superior carbon paddle enough that I donated one to Eiichi Ito and the "Greenlanders" of Qajaq Japan. I felt it was a natural to team with the carbon Qaanaaq kayak in use there.

Greg Stamer

GREAT replies…many thanks…Bob (nm)

Anyone have a link to the manufacturer’s site?