Submitted: 03-20-2008 by harlingford
I've used the Superior carbon fiber GP for two years now. I love it in every way. The main advantage over a wood GP is its incredible toughness and durability. By now, I've screwed up and "braced" off of rocks any number of times, with nothing to show for it but superficial scratches. My impression is that it is a little bit more buoyant than a wood paddle of the same dimensions, and a little lighter (but haven't measured either).
I find the loom and blades just right for my hands (5' 11', large glove size). Unlike some others, I do not find the unmodified surface too slippery, but just right to allow normal paddling as well as easy sliding for extended paddle strokes. I do not wear gloves and have not had problems with blisters, including with many 20+ mile days and surfing, where I'm probably gripping it more tightly than usual. For me, the paddle design the Inuits came up with is the perfect tool for the kind of paddling I like (long open ocean trips), and the implementation in modern materials makes it even more perfect. The only disadvantage over a wood paddle is the cost of replacing it if you lose it. I've come close a couple of times while messing around in surf. It can be hard to see in the water if you lose it.