I have an old beatup Old Town paddle that I really like.I would like to find a new lighter wood paddle the same shape and size.It has a 7 1/2X26" blade and looks like a extra wide beavertail.The tip is curved like a beavertail not straight.Who makes something like this?
My Brand-New Sawyer Beavertail is…
...7&1/2 by 24 inches (almost 25 inches if you count every little bit of the blade where it blends into the shaft). That 7.5-inch figure is at the widest point. It's NOT a parallel-edged paddle like all the old "cheapies" used to be (not saying yours is a cheapy, just better-defining the shape of this particular blade). Anyway, it's pretty light, but not as light as my go-to paddle (Sawyer Voyager).
Actually, I think ANY beavertail paddle from a decent company will turn out to be as good as or better than anything that Old Town ever might have offered. They probably got their paddles from another maker as it is.
Most of the paddle makers have pics
of their paddles on their web sites, and you should be able to pick out something like what you have from Bending Branches, Grey Owl, etc.
Pre-war Old Town
softwood paddles are beautifully crafted and perform surprisingly well when compared to any one-piece all-wood beavertails made today. There are great choices from Turtle Paddles, Shaw & Tenney, and Ray Kettlewell for those, like me, that like the traditional look and feel.
Take a look at this one…
I’m w/guideboatguy on this: Most of the current crop of beavertails from good companies are pretty darned nice. The current Sawyer is very good and, for a bit stiffer tariff, so is the beautiful “Good Sky” from the cool folks at Whiskeyjack. Here’s the Rutabaga site for it:
Keep an eye on Craigslist or even Ebay in your local area. Don’t forget garage sales too. You might get lucky and find an old paddle that just needs refinishing. Just last week I bought two Shaw & Tenny spruce beavertails in perfect condition for less than half the new price. I was thrilled - still am.