Monday, November 13, 2006

I am as bent as my paddle

I have been looking at these bent paddles for a while and have decided that I am going to have to get one before our next trip.

There are some big advantages ..mostly the increase in the forward motion on the power stroke. When used on flat water (as Gerry and I do) this can make long distance paddling easier as the paddle does more of the work and at the same time, you move much quicker through the water. All of the details are explained better then I ever could HERE

For Gerry and I this means you end up taking shorter strokes at a slightly faster pace. Add up thousands of faster, more efficient strokes over a day, and we will cover more ground with less effort.

As luck would have it, one of the largest producers of paddles in Ontario is located about 30 minutes from my home. They are called Red Tail Paddles and are sold everywhere...even our beloved MEC carries there entire line. You can check out there site by clicking HERE

Everything I have read has said, that when comparing straight to bent shaft paddles,it is no contest.....the bent paddle wins every time. The best comparison is the one I read in "The Wilderness Paddler's Handbook",so I have included it below.

The first canoe trip I took using bent-shaft paddles was in northern Quebec. They were light, a little strange at first, shorter than I was used to, and I wasn't entirely sure which way the blade should face.

We like the paddles almost right away. They seemed efficient, and our backs and shoulders felt less fatigued at the end of a long day on the water. We didn't know how truly great they were until we met a couple of guys from Montreal and traveled with them for several days.

"You ever use these bent-shaft paddles before?" I asked them one afternoon.
"We heard about them, I guess, but they didn't seem worth it."
"Want to trade for a bit?" I asked.

We handle over the light, short bent paddles in exchange for he heavy straight-shaft boards they were using. They took a few strokes. With-in half a minute they suddenly stopped.

"We have to give these back now," the stern paddler said.
"If we don't, you'll have to fight us for them."

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