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Submitted: 08-28-2012 by WW
When I first saw this paddle in the Adventure Kayak magazine, I wasn't sure how accessible it was. Upon googling, I found it was located in Taiwan and I didn't know how long it would take to mail over to Canada / North America. The company was quick to respond to emails about their product + shipping and I bit the bullet and ordered the paddle. Considering the other Greenland Paddles I've bought include the Northern Light Paddle and a Joe O Blenis, this paddle wasn't ridiculously expensive, but it wasn't cheap either. I picked glossy white because it matches my boat and already had a shouldered carbon fibre paddle, so Oyashio made sense to me.
This paddle is stiff compared to any wood paddle. Very similar in feeling when paddling with it, compared to the Northern Light Paddle, since they are both carbon fibre. If you're used to wood paddles, you may find it "wiggles" in the water when you use a carbon fibre. That's because you've been "pulling" too hard on your paddle and if you ease up, you'll find the energy transfer is very efficient.
I thought the construction was a little weird, since the ends are completely hollow. I believe the Northern Light Paddle has newspaper or something else stuck in there to prevent it from sounding hollow when you hit it. Although I'm sure the paddle will hold together just fine, the added air inside the ends makes the paddle feel funny when doing certain rolls with it. For example, the butterfly / angel roll sometimes has the paddle tip floating vertical for some weird reason and requires correction by hand, something I had never had before. For all other rolls that have two hands on the paddle, it rolls like any other.
I've loaned this paddle to beginners to try. 90% of them like the look of it, but also fail to actually understand how to use it. This is the opposite of my Joe O Blenis, where 90% of the people know how to use it and 100% of the people like the look of it. The stiffness in the paddle is really hard for beginners to understand, when they paddle with their arms only, for the most part.
My last words of wisdom are to stick to the black paddle. I found that I have to wipe off this paddle to keep it white coloured, after every paddle. All of my other paddles are black stained / carbon, so I've never had this issue. Just something to keep in mind.
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