wood vs. carbon canoe paddle

I’ve got both a wooden and a carbon ZRE paddle. I like both and can use either. The carbon is obviously light, but the wooden paddle is a double-bend outrigger paddle. i really like the contours of the double-bend. I’ve also read lots about the pros and cons of both materials. Wood seems to flex, and some people argue that flexing is easier on your shoulders/joints. Others say the lighter carbon will save your body due to the light weight. Both arguments seem to make sense. Anyone here with opinions?

Opinions are like…
,… Opinions are like noses, everyone has one! :slight_smile:

… Just joking… Have a nice weekend!

I have a Zav graphite and a hand-full of wood including a hollow-shafted double bend in wood that almost as light as my Zav. I paddle the graphite almost exclusivly. Why? It just feels better and I am less tired at the end of the day.

depends on the boat
I prefer wood when i paddle a strip built boat, Carbon for racing or if I am in a Kevlar boat.

wood has a ‘warm’ feel to it …
it feels ‘alive’ … i use wood exclusively for canoeing. on the other hand, i use a carbon paddle for kayaking. go figgya.

Wood fir me
I like the feel of a wood paddle in my hands, the flex and the appearance, not to mention easy reparability.

My favorites are straight carbon paddles since they can be short and so can be used for switching sides…as well as freestyle…way versatile. The Zav definitely still has flex. The Black Bart Troublemaker has less flex but still some. The carbon Pat Moore cues had specs for flex! I enjoy using wood paddles occasionally…hard to argue with the beauty. Carbon paddles are warmer when it’s cold…less cold material to suck heat out of your hands. The clean edge of a carbon paddle blade is hard to match with wood.

I like the Z.
It is as light as a feather, precision built, and at the end of a long day, I am still ready bto keep right on going.

If only the paddle had a stronger paddler, the combination would be unbeatable!



Mitchell’s Surreal gives you…
the best of both worlds- my Bells are carbon/wood, my paddles are carbon/wood :wink:


you’re right
i don’t think wood comes very close when you’re talking the catch. the carbon seems more logical; but i have to admit, the wooden paddle looks really nice when sitting along side my rob roy with wood trim. think i’ll typically stick with the carbon and take the wood as the spare. also, the carbon blades are definitely more tolerant of oysters than wood paddles are. who knows? maybe i’ll buy a hybrid.

thanks for all the replies

Two Timer Here
Always liked, no, LOVED the way a well made wood paddle feels and looks. Still do for that matter. Never had an inclination to try one of those fanncy carbon paddles until McWood forced me to try one last year (LOL). Love my Zaverals now, especially if I want or need to go faster. But I ALWAYS have to paddle a bit with one of my wood paddles just because it feels good. May not make sense, but love both, and one of each is ALWAYS in the boat. WW

The “real” 2 TIMER here…
The more I paddle with wood, the more I like it.

I like the way it looks; I like the way it feels.

I don’t race, and I’m not that concerned with efficiency. So for now; I’ll stick with wood.

To each his own; it’s kind of like arguing that Spring is a “better” season than Fall. Not necessarily…


I Thought About That After…
…I had already typed it. For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, Bob has two purple hearts and his special license plates say “2 Timer.” WW

Wood for Canoe, Composite for Kayak

– Last Updated: Nov-20-04 8:14 AM EST –

I love the feel and look of a good wood paddle for a slow cruise in a canoe solo or tandem but I'll admit to a carbon kayak paddle for moving out and making time in my flatwater solo canoes.

when it comes to kayaks I haven't found a wood double that I like yet but ZuZu paddles with the patented spruce/foam core shaft sound very interesting/pricey http://www.zuzupaddles.com/secondary/shop/shop.html I see liv2padl has one for sale in the classifides...if only it were a 230/240...oh well "8-(

Mitchell Makes a Combination…
…paddle I was looking at a few months back. Carbon, ash, and cedar. Here’s the link. WW