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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my kayak paddle finally broke right in the middle (it's a 2-piece) -- guess it was just metal fatigue! but need to replace it fast, and don't want to spend a fortune . anyone have a recommendation? REI has a low-end one for $42 i hope to look at today (will also look at dick's inventory of cheap-er paddles). don't "tour," just fish -- but still want the best paddle i can get for the money.

thanks for suggestions, joel
 

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I wish I could help but both of Mine are over 15 yrs old so I don't think I can really recommend you get the same ones. lol Really and truly it is like buying a car or boat or fishing rod. Get what fits YOU and your style budget etc and you will have the "best".
 

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I put a review of mine -- Aquabound Manta Ray -- in the Reviews section as well. If it were me, I'd be looking for a way to shop the $100-$120 price range -- it seems like there are some paddles in that range that really feel noticeably lighter to swing than the $50-$80 paddles...

Two cents worth... still a long way short of a cup of coffee...
 

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My Cannon has already been reviewed, works for me since I have not built up my arm muscles for paddling yet, but can see the small and thin blades will eventually be too little for best speed. (Not that the Ultimate is a fast yak anyway).
 

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Well, I would help you out, but mine retails for $399.

I will tell you that a good paddle makes a huge difference. I never thought that was true, until now. It is third in purchasing order behind the kayak itself, a good seat (if you need one), then a good paddle. But I have been very pleased with paddle I use.

Which is AT, Adventure Technology (disclaimer: I am sponsored by Confluence, have been for several years through Wilderness Systems, and AT is one of my sponsors). But they make a very good paddle. It is the lightest paddle on the market, ergonomical in design. But since I started using it, I dont have any soreness if either my hands, wrist, back, or shoulders.

I also like the Bending Branches paddles, the adjustable model in the Breeze is very nice. Extremely light compared to other brands but not as light as AT.

I agree with the post that you should plan on spending at least 100 to 120 on the paddle. I know you dont "tour" but with the amount of energy spent casting and fighting fish, having a light paddle is great on the way back in. And here is the thing, the price goes up because the materials and construction are better, and the paddle is usually lighter. So there are differences in a $50 paddle, a $150 or even $300 paddle.
 

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Red X Angler
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Might PM Druminator. I think he has used alot of different styles. He might even have one to sell ??
 
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Last I recall, Druminator was paddling a Werner from the same price range as Errayak's. I hope he chimes in...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
picked up a "Bending Brances Whisper" 240cm at REI in durham today for $50. specs/detail here: Bending Branches - Whisper Kayak Paddle

i know this is pathetic, but i realized that this is an *upgrade* to the cheap Dick's paddle i had before and used for the last 2 years!

still interested in comments, and will post a review once i've had a chance to use this paddle a while. great thing to keep in mind when purchasing from REI -- lifetime return/warranty. if it breaks in a year or two, and i can return it.

fyi -- joel
 

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There are some good paddles out there and Bending Branches is a good company. You will get good use out of it and it will be perfectly fine. I didnt upgrade for almost 7 years and used my aluminum Swift that whole time. The important thing is to have one, it is our engine!
 

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great thing to keep in mind when purchasing from REI -- lifetime return/warranty. if it breaks in a year or two, and i can return it.
If your paddle breaks in a year or two, you should be fine... but if it breaks after seven, you might better keep the receipt.

I tried to exchange a worn-out Tilley hat -- lifetime warantee from manufacturer, sewn right onto the label -- but they wouldn't do it without a receipt, and they only had access to the last seven years of my purchase history... They offered me some amount of credit instead of a full even exchange, but I would up going elsewhere. Another regional outdoor provision retailer was able to fix me up even-steven.
 

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I'd spend more than $45. You pay for what you get. I'll throw in a disclaimer too... I'm sponsored by Werner...

Anyway, I wouldn't purchase anything less than fiberglass. Just the weight savings alone is amazing. By cutting your paddle weight in half you can count on reducing the weight you pull by about 3000lbs an hour. That's my rough math and estimates by the way.

Aluminum and metal paddles are doomed from the start. The shaft will bend and the button release will fuse together after salt water use.

Werner uses a slotted ferrul that takes the strain off the button release. By adding a hole for feathering you decrease the strength of the paddle by 30%. By adding a second for left or fight hand feathering you're looking at a 60% weaker shaft.

Werner also laboratory tests all their blades for efficiency. I think they do it at Berkley or somewhere in California. You'll get the most efficient blade for your money with them.

Try a Werner Shuna for about $250. It will be the last paddle you buy.

Also, DON'T SHOP AT DICK'S! SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL OUTFITTER!


 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
re: Druminator's response. sincere thanks for the detailed information on paddles but don't need/want lectures on purchasing practices ("don't buy from dick's") or life wisdom ("you get what you pay for") -- i'll make my own decisions where i shop as i can afford, and have my resources, experiences and cliches for life wisdom. just interested in a paddle that is good enough for my needs and simply can't spend what others apparently can for fishing & paddling gear. i'll review my paddle purchase on the board later when i've had time to test it out. // joel
 

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G... I think that was kinda rude , at least it read that way. We appreciate anyones opinions and guidance and "Too Much Info" isnt a bad thing. Take from it what you need and let others decide if they can use the rest....
 

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Gandz, I think you may have misread Druminators meaning in his post. He was just sharing his experience with a higher end paddle, which as Sundrop points out, may be information that another member can benefit from even if it didn't help your situation. I don't think he would presuppose to tell you specifically where to shop or what to spend. The last line was an encouragement to all of us to support our local tackle shop and the mom/pop operations in our areas.

I love the information shared on this site and on others but interpreting meaning in the way things are written/read off posts on the internet and email can easily be misconstrued sometimes. Thanks to all for the information shared here.
 

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I wasn't intending on being rude. There are so many local outfitters who make it their job to fit a person into the best gear for your money. Then places like Dicks, Bass Pro, and Cabelas come in with very little knowledge (from what I have experienced) about paddle sports and fishing.

The little bit saved at a large outlet is a huge effect on the smaller mom and pop stores. Prices can be cut in those larger stores to amounts unable by local shops. You can pay for a product, but are you getting the knowledge and expertise along with that purchase? Paddlesports can endanger your life. I want to have the best information and experience available about products that I can.

I refuse to shop at those larger stores. I may visit them if I have to and see what's out there because they can afford to carry just about anything. Then I make my way to my home stores and purchase there.

Again, not being rude. Just high respect and pride for North Carolina business.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
druminator: no problem -- i certainly concur with your assessment of dick's -- in general i've found their paddle (& other) products to be mediocre quality at best and you get no/poor expert advice. they are superficially helpful (sometimes), but once you get into specifics it's rare that you find a salesperson who can be very helpful with technical detail, performance specifics, etc.. that kind of critical assessment is more persuasive to me than calls for individuals to resist global capitalist forces which are inexorably systematic in nature (i.e., "don't shop at X"). people without surplus income (or debt) likely will not resist the lower prices of these kind of "walmart" stores, even if (ironically) it would arguably be in their long-term interests to do so.

great info on paddle design and the physics of water displacement -- would love to hear more. sounds like i'll be getting more exercise than you on my short paddles. :) i do find with other equipment (e.g., baitcasting reels), every time i buy, i upgrade and also my criteria for deciding what is "good enough" changes a bit (and usually requires the expenditure of more $$$). by the "end" (assuming there's ever an "end" to this process!) i could have saved a lot of money and hassle by spending more money at the outset -- but in the meantime have learned a lot, and the whole process of learning & upgrading is kinda fun in a perverse sorta way.

sincerely -- joel
 
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Great info in this thread. As a novice paddler myself I am looking at buying stuff for the first time and want to make sure that I am getting a good buy also.:) I don't mind spending a bit more for good quality. good buy = quality. To me at least.

I'm gald ya'll were able to get things cleared up. Thanks for all the info also.
 

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I am getting amazed and amused at the price of kayak accessories offered by the dealers. They're similar to the fly shops. When I saw a laundry bag listed as a game bag for $19.95 my intelligence was insulted. You can buy at General Dollar for two bucks.

I paid $300 for my Pungo 12 demo about ten years ago.A customer in plastics manufacturing gave me some paddle blades that they were making, I bought some 3/4'' aluminum drapery rods at a thrift shop, cut to proper length, attached blades at my desired pitch, secured with pop rivets, 3/4" pipe insulation secured with electrical ties make for good cushioned grips. I must have $5.00 invested. The furtherest I go is two miles across Core Sound to banks and back. At my age I'll go before the paddles. I sure hope these fish down here don't start bitting based on assets and costs of goods.:D
 
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