Paddle Roll Call, what do you like and why?

6 months 2 weeks ago #36385 by DrA5
I know I have asked this in the past a handful of times. But I like to get updated information.  What wing paddle do you like best and why?  I have a Jantex Gamma Medium that I like, but is a bit heavy.  I had an Epic Mid wing full carbon.  Looking for something that has a good feel in the water, like my Jantex, but is a bit lighter.  I prefer to consider models that I can get in the United States easily. 

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6 months 2 weeks ago #36393 by mrcharly
Odd you should say that the Jantex is heavy. I have a Gamma Rio Medium Minus and it is one of the lightest paddles in the club. Maybe mine is a newer model. 

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6 months 2 weeks ago - 6 months 2 weeks ago #36394 by DrA5
I am betting yours is a newer model.  They went with the subcategories with the "Rio" more recent than mine.  I was just comparing the weight of my Jantex to an Epic Mid and the Epic mid full carbon was noticeably lighter. 

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6 months 2 weeks ago - 6 months 2 weeks ago #36397 by kayakercon
Gara Odin. Gamma-like design (teardrop), amazing catch and release. I also own Gamma Mid, but I prefer the Odin because the release is so smooth. Great for downwind paddling. Construction is excellent-- light and strong and you can choose your shaft stiffness and color! I have had mine for over and year and I have not babied it. I think Paddle California sells them in the States.

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6 months 2 weeks ago #36400 by mickeyA
Anyone use brasca VIII (8)?  Very long, very skinny blades.  The smoothest paddle I have, easy on joints.  Guessing it is meant for slower cadence. My favorite for distance.   Jantex gamma rio small plus with white sticker shaft (soft, would prefer green flexi soft) is more grippy and powerful than you would think for small plus.  Good for shorter distance.  Time trials actually show that my brasca IV and III can be just as fast as jantex, so it really comes down to what you like on a certain day.  Old heavy Lettman is slower, but great grip.  Think, with small blade, is nice if taking it easy.  My (very) old Epic’s blades seemed so light vs the shaft that I could not get a good “swing”, blades felt like they were flopping around, splashy entry.  I’m sure my fault as Epic paddles are highly successful.  So many good paddles out there.  It truly comes down to what is comfortable to you.  One is just as good as the next one, in the right hands.  The rare 8 is my favorite.

Epic V12, V10Sport, Fenn Tarpon S, Swordfish S, Stellar SE, Fenn XT, Twogood Chalupski, Findeisen Stinger spec, Huki S1-X, Burton wedge2, Fenn Tarpon

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6 months 2 weeks ago - 6 months 2 weeks ago #36401 by agooding2
I love my Braca paddles, partly due to the exceptional service that Chris Chappell at fastpaddler.com provides.  He guarantees you'll like the paddle or you can return it and he fixed a problem I had breaking a blade (on land) very quickly and fairly.

I first purchased a Braca XI Van Dusen 92 on his recommendation.  I had been paddling an old Legend, too big and long for me, so I decided on 705 in 205-210 with a mid-soft shaft, the 17K.  I found an immediate difference in my endurance and technique, and this suited me very well for short and mid-distance paddles, up to 15-20 miles.  It is the EL version so it is only 19.8 oz and I have not seen any issue with durability during the last two years.  Works well with either a high or medium angle of attack so feels very stable on rougher water.

However for very long paddles, 3 hours or more I would start to get tired and my shoulders would tighten up and my form would get sloppy, so for training for the 31 mile Chattajack this fall I got a Braca IV soft in 670 fixed length in 203. This was better for those long paddles, easier on the shoulders and if my technique got sloppy the lower twist meant it would not dive on me if I pulled the blade too close to the boat.  Worked great for an almost 6 hour race, arms were fine, though my legs were dead at the end of the race.  I've been using it to train with all winter.  Similar weight to the XI, likes a higher angle which is beter for form.

Chris just does not suggest the soft model for surf due to the blades not being designed for reverse pressure which I found out when I braced it against something and snapped the blade in my living room.  He sent me another blade though so I have no complaints there and it's been fine for the last year when I keep it in the water.  I had no issues with all the bracing I had to do during Chattajack.  Still, if I was paddling in the ocean I'd use the standard or surfski model.

I'm planning to get another Braca this spring in hopes that the sprint nationals will be held in late July.  After discussing with Chris it looks like the best match for me would be the Braca VII in 710 with an 06K shaft.  Still thinking about which boat to use so I haven't pinned down the length yet and not sure if I want fixed or adjustable shaft so have not pulled the trigger yet.  But that will be my next purchase.

-- Andrew

Nelo 550L, Think Fit, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

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