ZRE paddle types

I am finding ZRE’s web-site a bit confusing.

What is the difference between the OR series and the FW series. I understand OR is outrigger and FW is flatwater, but, for example, if both have the PowerSurge blade of the same width, how are they different?

Also, do the weights Light, Medium, and Rec corresond with the constructions pre-peg, carbon cloth, and carbon/glass respectively?


I like ZRE
I used a zre rec in the 90 with my brother. It weighs about 12oz. The racing version is 8oz and costs more. Sorry I cannot help with the web site. I talked with them on the phone or you can try www.jjcanoe.com

I have 2 OR and a FW
The OR’s are wider Power Surge, as wide as they come (I don’t remember the exact number, 9.25"?). The FW is 8.25" or so and a standard blade.

The OR blades I have are larger blade area overall, and seem wider higher up the blade.

As for layup, my FW is a heavier layup.Heavier than the medium. I have had it for ten years or more.

The OR’s are medium and light (one each). The blade construction (weave of the cloth used) is very noticably different on all three blades. The shafts on the light and medium OR paddles appear to be the same (but may be different internally).

I just used my brand new OR today
in a eight mile training paddle.

I love it.

Up until now I have been using the regular smaller ZRE, but last year I borrowed Red Cross Randy’s and immediately order one after using it.

For me, I’ll use it in races less then ten miles, but in the longer ones it might be too much so I’ll stay with the regular one for them.



I just got one…
an OR that I’m gonna use for the 1st time tommorrow. I’m pretty excited…

Jack, I was looking into the wider blade paddle and saw the OR. What blade width and degree did you order?

Standard widths-ZRE
The Powersurge blade on my mediumweight flatwater paddle is 8.125". When i ordered it to replace a rec paddle i did not know it was going to be so narrow. The old rec blade was 8.5" and dropping so much area paddling a heavy (55# minimum) rec class canoe caused us to lose time. I then went wide and ordered an Outrigger Powersurge which came as 8.75" ( i just remeasured all three to be sure before i posted). The Outrigger at full size made a big increase in our speed in the rec class, but was too big to swing for long, and too hard on the shoulders in much over two hour races. It also is too hard to paddle much over 60 strokes/minute, but it does move the stern around in the long boats better than anything i have used. Took about a year to adjust to it.

I am getting another one for long races and slightly faster cadence, i think the trim will be 8.375".

My go fast bow partner, Raymondo Coulombe, had a different adjustment to make to the Outrigger Powersurge. He had to move his stroke away from the canoe and really concentrate on his lifting the paddle to clear the bow on switches. He was bonking the gunwales at the end of his stroke and smacking the bow deck on his switches. The big blade catches a lot of air and a strong wind can take it right out of your hands on a switch.

I have maybe 1000 miles in races with the Powersurge blade and its my favorite in any size. The only thing that duplicates its feel is the wooden Gillespie; which actually originated the curved lip on the blade in the 80’s.

I am also interest in hearing what width Jack L is using. But he is so secretive about anything used in a race, he probably sticks it in a locked riflecase after every paddle and shows an old beavertail to competitors.


call me crazy
But I use a ZRE medium-backwards for tripping. It’s sharp edges enable me to do a mediocer Canadian strike even.SP?


Doesn’t the grip kill your hand with the paddle backwards? Not exactly symmetrical.