Confessions of a recalcitrant...

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Jan 22, 2012
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Wyoming
I've been paddling for 40 years now, grew up with canoes, touring kayaks have been the norm for the last ten years with canoes for fishing and photography. Always preferred canoes but the efficacy of a good sea kayak on large windy lakes could not be argued.

Started back to the canoes as primary craft a couple years ago and lovin' it. May be an ageing thing but I like the peaceful aspect of paddling an open boat with a single blade. I'm leaving the big crossings and 30 mile days to the younger folks now - I'll take the long way around and explore the nooks and crannies along the way.

In all my canoein' days I had never tried a bent shaft paddle. Couldn't imagine tryin' to control a boat with one, figured they were for the go-fast crowd and they just looked funny :)

Friends finally convinced me to try one and I ordered a discounted BB Special to minimize my investment in what I thought would surely be an experimental folly.

I've been paddling with it for three days now in a Wenonah Wilderness and it appears I have a bit of boot leather to chew upon. That funny lookin' short stick really works! Damned if I wasn't just cruisin' along at a noticeably faster clip and using less energy. That's always a nice thing for a 60 year old paddler :)

J-strokin' is fine albeit more subtle, draw strokes and rudder strokes work once one becomes accustomed to a different upper hand orientation. Not as powerful but certainly effective enough for normal paddling.

Cross strokes are a different story. They're going to take a little more learnin' and, yes, I did manage to trap the paddle on a cross draw recovery and flip my butt into the water. Always surprises me just how fast that happens :)

The bent shaft will never replace my straight shaft in many scenarios but its going to play a much larger role in my paddling reality than I had expected. I know I'm not telling any of you bent shaft users anything new but I'm still rather amazed with the weird paddle and feelin' a little foolish for having not tried one sooner.

Now I believe I'd like to have one of those cool lightweight bent shafts for my lake trippin" :)

Pleasant waters to ya.
 
Joined
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Sir will that be mayo, ketchup, relish or mustard on that boot? :)

I have never played as much with the bent shaft paddle as I did on our Superior trip. With my Monarch I was getting alot of double blade drippage. That boat has a rudder. I was able to just use uncorrected forwards with the bent on one side only and correct with slight rudder.

I have a little Recreational Racing Zaveral. Its some 17 years old but been ignored too much till this year.
 
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Feb 1, 2013
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Darn, you guys are convincing me to spend more money. You're much better sales people than Demarcus!
 
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By the way, I'm in Thunder bay today....Kim, what is the best angle to get for a bent shaft, might pick one up tomorrow morning when I pick up the new "burgundy" NC prospector for the school club. (Burgundy was the only colour they could find in that model).
 
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Aug 22, 2013
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Red Lake, Ontario
Tried the bent shaft. Didn't find a noticeable difference. I'll stick with my cherry Otter Tail Grey Owl. I don't doubt the technology but at this stage in life I am not prepared to change my paddling style.
 
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Memaquay,

I've tried different angles and I find that 10 or 12 is my favorite. The one i use now is a 12. More angle is generally more efficient but a little more difficult to do corrections with. The 10 or 12 are a good compromise between steering and forward strokes.

Red,

Part of the efficiency gain is from a shorter stroke. You may have used a paddle that was too long.

And if you guys have some extra money, and want a really, really nice one. Check these out.

http://www.cricketdesigns.com/northwoods.htm

I demo'd one and it was AWESOME!!!!!!! I wound up buying a cheaper carbon fiber one for now but eventually I am going to buy a Cricket. It had the most amazing feel knifing in and out of the water and I really liked the handle configuration.

I guess this guy will also custom tailor stuff but the stock design was pretty money for me.
 
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By the way, I'm in Thunder bay today....Kim, what is the best angle to get for a bent shaft, might pick one up tomorrow morning when I pick up the new "burgundy" NC prospector for the school club. (Burgundy was the only colour they could find in that model).

For you or your Outers? The double s bend is effectively only about a seven degree. The bend in the shaft lessens the angle of approach. Pretty nice paddle (I have a Mitchell double bend Leader). You must have wedding money burning a hole in your pocket.

Beware the Espresso. I have one but I find that the shaft is a little long. The blade is about an inch shorter in length than the standard double so you might size lower than you would for a normal bent. I see they have the Espresso with a fourteen degree angle. I have an Espresso ST straight and wish I had gotten it two inches shorter shaft. It has been quite a durable tripping paddle.

These days 12 degrees is considered"optimum" but I don't notice enough so that it matters to me.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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838
Well, I don't know about all you guys and your Salvador Dali paddles, the one time my paddle got to looking that way, it was consigned to the fire! You mean your going to buy them broke to start with? Besides: don't you know that with a straight paddle once you get the one side worn out you can just rotate it and use the other side?

It sounds like you folks have been hanging out with Demarcus too much.

Best wishes, Rob
 
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Well, I don't know about all you guys and your Salvador Dali paddles, the one time my paddle got to looking that way, it was consigned to the fire! You mean your going to buy them broke to start with? Besides: don't you know that with a straight paddle once you get the one side worn out you can just rotate it and use the other side?

It sounds like you folks have been hanging out with Demarcus too much.



Best wishes, Rob

Well its a 22 hour flight.. not likely for me! But the rest of us could have wicked fun at a campfire. (wicked is Mainespeak for really really good). Of course we would bring beer. We would expect really good cheese from you.
 
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Well Yellow Canoe, if I ever win the lottery by golly that will be first on my list! Are we talking about a campfire over where you and Robin paddle? Or maybe up to Memaquay's haunts?
It's sure true we make good cheese here but I think the best export from the N.W. is our coffee, maybe that would be good for the next morning. I'd like to try out some of our best on Robin, of course that might be the end of a good friendship; my cowboy coffee!

Very pleasant daydreaming about all that.
Rob
 
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Well, maybe Demarcus’s wedding business has sunsets over Ayers Rock, but I’m sure Memquay and Mrs M had the best wedding venue in any hemisphere. Period. No contest.
BTW, which anniversary is the wooden one?
A bent shaft for the appropriate year seems nice? Call me an old romantic, but a beautiful paddle sounds sweet to me.
 
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Geeze, I'm getting all bent outta shape about this paddle. Kim, it's gonna be mine, I have a hard enough time with the kids getting them to use a straight one semi-properly. OM, if we ever have a campfire meeting, I will bring the moose meat, if I get lucky this fall. If no moose appears, I'll bring the countless paddles I have made and broken, for kindling. I usually go through one a year, although recently I've slowed down, and am wearing them out, as opposed to destroying them.

It hurts me to spend money on a paddle, the last time I did it was 125 bucks for a nashwaak cruiser, back when I still thought animal tail paddles held some kind of mysterious power that made me one with Mother Nature or something. I finally got rid of that paddle this year, after having used it twice, traded it for two boxes of expensive .308 ammo, for the moose hunt. Although at the rate I'm going, I could put one bullet in a drawer and take it out and look at it for the next ten years.
And L'oiseau, having recently married a French woman, I gotta wonder about your handle....are you holding out on us, with secret French Canadian blood?

Enough rambling, I'll post back tomorrow if I buy the damn thing!
 
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I hope Holmes returns to the campfire. Cheese will be supplied by OM and served on a bent shaft cheese board supplied by Memaquay and the server will be L'Oiseau ( I am thinking of Big Bird wearing a tux.)
Wine and beer selections need to still be made.

Oh yes. The campfire will be at that lovely exclusive oasis in the Southern Hemisphere.
 
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Jul 25, 2012
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Well, Everybody except Yellow Canoe: no matter how flush we get, no matter how many lotteries we win, we can't have this campfire in Australia. You know how she likes to play "cuddles" with the alligators down in Florida? Those Aussies have something that looks sort of like a alligator but is a bunch more acquisitive. Now you see where I'm going with this. It's pretty hard to eat cheese and what not with no beer to wash it down.

Now, when Memaquay comes back with what ever he's got, everybody go easy on him, he used up all his brain power capturing that lovely bride and it looks to have been well worth it. I expect his common sense to be flatlined for about the next six month.

When ever and where ever we have the campfire, I don't think Holmes ought to need to bring anything, after all he's hosted the planning session!

Well, enough of these serious discussions, I'm off to have fun.

Best Wishes, Rob
 
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I took the plunge this morning. Had a quick look at their bent paddle selection, which was slim, but they had a Grey Owl there for 89 bucks, which was more in the ball park for me, so I snatched up a 54 inch. Main thing I don't like about Grey Owl is their shafts, they claim they are butternut, or somesuch wood, but I'm sure it is bass wood, looked like it after i snapped the last one.

Anyway, I'll try to get it out tomorrow, you know, I don't even feel dirty, at least it's not Satan's tool, the kayak paddle!
 
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Sorry to hear about your snapping a Grey Owl paddle. I have seven. I lost one. Never snapped a shaft. What model did you get? Satan's tool? I belong to the Church of the Double Bladed Paddle.. :) O:
 
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Hey Mem, I'm right there with ya on the Kayak paddle. I figure if you are going to use one you might as well go all the way over to the dark side, and use it in a kayak and have the back rest to go with it. Devil's tool.
 
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Ah Rippy, fellow defender of the faith, many thanks! Kim, I'm not sure which model it is, didn't have a name, but a 12 percent angle.
 
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Hey Mem, I'm right there with ya on the Kayak paddle. I figure if you are going to use one you might as well go all the way over to the dark side, and use it in a kayak and have the back rest to go with it. Devil's tool.

The devil is amongst you. My husband in my boat with my double blade. Its a canoe.
Off to teach single blading next week.. Devil or angel? OK stirring Shakespeare's cauldron.

 
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