Thoughts on Bending Branches Infusion

kayak paddle with telescoping ferrule?

I bought one at what appeared to be a good price at Gander Mountain in Terre Haute, IN. It was the last one. I paid $89 for it and the regular Price was $129.

At 38 oz, it’s not real light weight, but it’s 3oz lighter than my 220 cm Bending Branches Infusion Crank Shaft paddle.

I bought this one for the telescoping ferrule which allows adjustment from 215 cm to 230 cm. I’ve been wanting a shorter paddle for my 24" wide Phoenix Isere. The 220 cm paddles seemed just a little too long. I may eventually end up with a 210 cm paddle for the Isere.

I only found one review on the Infusion with telescoping ferrule and it’s not recent. The main concern expressed was that with more use, the required more tightening and the markings on the shaft that indicate the feather angle seemed to be less accurate with more usage. Does anyone else have any comments on this paddle? Are there other adjustable or fixed length two piece paddles in this price range that might be better options for me? Sure, I’d love to have a 22oz or 25oz paddle and probably will put out the $250 or more for such a paddle in the next few years, but for now, I’d like to stay under $125.

Thanks for head for your observations and suggestions. I haven’t used the paddle yet, so returning it wouldn’t be a problem.

I’ve been using one of these for about a year now and am quite pleased with it. No trouble yet with adjustments or fit. Although not light by endurance kayakers standards, it is my lightest paddle and works great. I like the length adjustment since I have several different kayaks which work best with different length paddles.

I have one

– Last Updated: Dec-19-05 10:06 AM EST –

Used it for one season, my experience with other paddles of the type is limited so take this for what it is worth.
In MHO it is worth the price, the shaft dosen't flex a when it is extended, it is easy to adjust both the leangth and the feather. Both have infinite adjustment so you are not limited to any preset angle or length. The sahft diameter is just right, for me atleast, and I like the amount of ovalization(?) of the shaft.
The reason I like the leangth adjustment is that when I'm just poking along I like a shorter paddle, I like it longer when I need more power, such as a head wind, up current, etc. The adjustment mechinism is all internal so the are no lumps on the shaft, how ever the end of the shaft are "almost" sharp when the paddle is extended. I have had no problem with it jamming or sticking, is operates smoothly. I think this is due to the large tolerance of the internal part, plenty of room for dirt to accumulate before it needs cleaning.
To adjust the feather you need to turn it pas where you want it, the turn it the other way to look it in place, this took some getting used to. It can be feathered right or left.
The only thing that is wrong with my paddle is that the feather guide lable is comming off, and my kids like it because it is the lightest paddle we have.
I have a Loon 138 that I use for fishing, and getting away.

Thanks jsmartt and leob1 for the info.
I’m glad you’re happy with yours. I’m looking forward to trying mine out when the ice melts. I like the idea of being able to use the same paddle for boats of different widths, in different paddling coditions or when I just want to change my paddling stroke.

Thanks again for your feedback.

Infusion Adjustable Paddle

– Last Updated: Dec-20-05 1:59 PM EST –

I think someone read my mind...I just looked at this exact same model of paddle this past Saturday and was about to post some of these same questions about it. I had concerns over how well it would hold a given adjustment setting and how stiff or flexible the shaft might get the more (or less) it was extended. At $130 (my local dealers price) it seems to be a good deal. Thanks for the posted responses.

Check Gander Mountain if there’s one
near you. That’s where I got mine on sale for $89. They had other kayak paddles on sale also.

I like mine but
I am a first year kayaker with an Old Town Dirigo 120 (which I find very comfortable) and I am not driven by any need for speed or adrenaline rushes (at almost 56 years old). My first two paddles were 240’s (likely too long by anything I have been told) and the adjustable paddle allows me to experiment at will. As to the adjustment I don’t really care if it is 100% accurate as to length as long as the paddles line up. Also, everything I have read says Bending Brances is a good and responsive company if there are any problems. I bought mine for $129 less 25% in northeastern Vermont this fall and it worked very well for me

Any special care for joint when in two

For those of you who’ve had the paddle for a while, do you put anything over the end of the paddle with the locking parts when you have the paddle broken down into two pieces for storage and transportation? Is any special care or maintenance required?

Hi Yanoer — idea.
I have a comment. I think the weight is too much if you will be doing any significant distance paddling (which you will, because we all will be forcing you to go). 35-40 ounces, over distance, is heavy. If that is the compromise for having adjustable length, in my hunble opinion, I;d prefer a fixed length, never have any issues with the stuff you are talking about in your post, and get the right size that works, in general, for both your boats. I agree, 210-215 cm might be right. Budget? AquaBound paddles are carbon fiber, like mine, and retail for $175 anytime, but at this time of the year you are likely to get one for $125, which is what I paid for mine from rutabaga one year ago. EBay also have lighter paddled on sale all the time, especially from dealers at great discounts. Something to think about… that’s all. Another alternative. My paddles are 30 ounces, or one way to think about it, they are 20% lighter than the one you bought.

Thanks cooldoctor1.
I’ll likely get a lighter paddle in the near future, but I’m a little leary of spending a couple hundred dollars on a paddle I’ve never held. I get weary of spending hours on the internet trying to find bargains on the lighter weight paddles. I don’t even know what style of lighter weight paddle I’d like. If I don’t what paddle to look for, it’s hard to look for it.

This paddle was there for me to handle and it seemed like a good enough option for me to try the 215cm length. I can also use the longer lengths in my wider kayaks & canoes. I now have two decent paddles for when I’m out with either my wife or a friend and have a decent spare for when I’m solo.

If you see what you believe to be a great deal, please advise me of it and I’ll check it out. It’s very frustrating to have champagne tastes on a beer budget. The local stores have a few expensive paddles, but they much lighter for the extra money.

I probably won’t be joining in on many, if any, of your 25 or 30 mile paddling trips that are several hours away. I can’t afford the gas expense very often. When I do join you, it won’t be in my Castine. I’ll probably try the Phoenix Isere next time.

I’d rather not play
the weight game. I own a couple of Bending Branches paddles, one in wood. Both are around 40 ounces, which is “heavy” by most touring standards. I’m no racer, but think nothing of paddling 15-20 miles. I have never had any issues with my arms being tired because of my “heavy” paddles. Yes, there might be some benefit to a lighter paddle, but I really don’t believe the average person needs paddle weight to be much of a consideration.

Something I would be really interested in seeing is raw data on the breaking strength of all the major manufacturers paddle shafts. Granted, with good form and in good circumstances, a paddle shaft will never have enough force on it to break. I’d rather have something I can abuse and not worry about.

I tried it out today in my Sawyer
Summersong solo canoe with it adjusted to 230cm and liked the way the paddle feels and it really moved the Summersong along quite well. The only complaint so far is the paddle drips in the boat. I may look for a longer light weight paddle for use in the canoe to reduce the drips in the boat. Maybe something 250 to 270cm.

I look forward to trying it in my Phoenix Isere kayak, which is what I had in mind for this paddle when I bought it because I wanted a shorter paddle for it.

Happy paddling.

I tried it in my 24" wide Phoenix Isere
last Saturday and liked the way the paddle felt and handled in the Isere. The Isere is my boat that I had in mind when I was looking for a 215cm or shorter paddle. The 215cm length seemed to be pretty good for the 24" wide Isere. 215cm certainly didn’t feel too short.

I was out for 2hrs 15 minutes and the weight didn’t seem to be an issue, but I was somewhat preoccupied with the beauty of the day and with the wind and the waves. The finish of the fiberglass shaft this new paddle did seem to be a little tacky and I did have a few sore spots on my hands from the friction. Hopefully that will be less of an issue as the paddle is used more and my hands get more use with it. Blade entry and exit seemed to be very smooth and I didn’t notice any flutter.

At this point, my main concerns are for the durability of the markings on the shaft that indicate the paddle length and feather angle. This is likely to be the double blade paddle that I use the most, so I should have a better idea of the durability of the markings by the end of the summer.

So far, I’m very pleased with this paddle.