Topic-icon Braca Paddles

4 months 1 week ago #28813 by Jones
Hello All,

I’ve been paddling and racing fast kayaks like the Epic 18 X for years. I’ve used the Epic Mid and Small Mid wing paddles with pretty good success.

I’m contemplating a change this year to a Braca IV model – and even thinking about their small 705 sq. cm bladesince most of my training and races are in the 10 – 30 mile range and I’m thinking/hoping the smaller blade size will have less force on my joints. Their prices are higher than the Epics at $515.

I’d be interested in any opinions on the Braca paddles generally and especially grateful for experiences using the smaller 705 blade size.

Thanks in advance.

Greg Jones
Columbia, MD

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4 months 1 week ago #28830 by wesley
I have been using my new Braca XI, size xs min 705 with soft Shaft from FastPaddler.com. for over 2 months now. I used in two races, one ocean and One flatwater. Blades designed originally by Ted Van Dusen in 1992 and Shaft input most recently from Oscar. What I really like is the acceleration it allows with a solid but not over powering catch for catching a wave or getting on a someone's wash. Secondly the design allows for a quicker exit leading to faster stroke rate thus quicker acceleration. With a quicker exit it allows less chance of capsize since you can't pull too far back and you are ready to brace if necessary. Soft flexible Shaft is less taxing too. This size is perfect for me. I can increase or decrease my cadence as necessary. Epic paddles are very forgiving but quite different from the Braca or even Jantex. You will have a learning curve switching over to something other than Epic. Construction of shaft, blade, and lever lock is the best in industry on either Braca or Jantex. I have used Jantex Gamma Mid for many years and over the last two the Jantex Rio Small Plus when I tired or racing over 2.5 hours. My Braca 705 very light, extremely well made and is designed by local boat designer Ted Van Dusen. The price is worth it. Chris of Fastpaddler.com has owned many many paddles over the years he has been racing. Chris knows his paddles and his boats so email him if you need more info. Many of us now own a Braca now for good reason.

Wesley Echols
Former Stellar Kayaks and Surfskis, Performance Director, USA ,
SurfskiRacing.com, #1 in Surfski Reviews.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Watto

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4 months 1 week ago #28831 by Hacker Mike
Interesting read. Thanks for the input Wesley

I ordered my Braca XI Surfski 705's with soft shaft about 2 weeks ago. Can't wait to try them when they arrive in two weeks.

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4 months 6 days ago #28839 by Jones
Thanks for the detailed, well informed reply as always Wesley. I actually have one of the Van Dusen based paddles from Fastpaddler.com. Really like the high twist and the way it encourages trunk rotation. It’s helped me put in some of my fastest times in races up to 13 miles. I started longer races like the Chattajack 31 last year and really have the long distance bug. There’s so much power from the high twist blade in the first part of the stroke, I’m not sure it’s sustainable (for me anyway) for races longer than 15 miles.

Again – many thanks.

Greg Jones
Columbia, MD

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3 months 4 weeks ago #28855 by photofr
Here's one of a kind Virtual Tour for the Braca XI.
www.tourfr.com/56109
Lots of action photos too - and by far the less traumatazing paddle I have used for long distance.

Ludovic
(Brittany, France)

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3 months 3 weeks ago #28867 by Cerca Trova
I received my new XI 705 extra light from Chris Chappell of fastpaddler.com on Friday. (One of the very best buying experience I've ever had)

I paddle on a large limestone bluff lake that has lots of boat traffic which all of that combined makes for some large confused seas. The XI never missed a beat, nor did I feel any challenges with it. I went into the purchase with a somewhat closed mind as I'm been very partial to Jantex paddles the last 3 plus years. Being 64 and having both shoulders operated on (previous sports injuries) the flexi-soft shafts have completely enhanced my paddling time. I've now have paddled the new XI on two outing for over 3 hours and my shoulders feel fine.

I would definitely recommend this paddle!

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3 months 3 weeks ago #28908 by WingSuit
Currently using an Epic small mid wing. After being off a few months injured, had to learn to paddle with 0 degree feather, and so far it's working out. Assuming this can be done with the Braca. Would love a few less square cm to pull on. and I assume the Braca shaft is round, not oblong like the Epic?

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