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Submitted: 07-27-2013 by magooch

Finding great paddling gear is usually not a problem, as a rule of thumb it just costs money. But occasionally you might run across what turns out to be a really great value. Such was the case when I was looking to upgrade the paddle to use on one of my sea kayaks that would also serve as a spare, or backup on the sea kayak I use the most.

I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg for this new paddle, but I wanted quality and performance. I thought I had my choice narrowed down to about two choices and then just when I was about to make the buy, this very nice looking paddle caught my eye. At first glance my impression was that this paddle would be priced above the level I had set. To my great surprise, the paddle was well within the range I had decided on and my shopping was done.

The Carlisle Expedition is an all fiberglass paddle, relatively light weight with very rigid shaft and blades. The blades are about mid-sized (7"x17") and work very well for low and high angle paddling. I like a blade that has a solid catch, no flutter, no cavitation and is absolutely silent; the Expedition excels in all of these requisites and just feels so right. Some paddles take some getting used toŚnot so with this paddle, it was right on with the first stroke and it just got better from there. I should mention that the paddle is beautifully finished and looks like it is built to last.

The Expedition uses the simple hole and button ferrule, which isn't fancy, but it is solid and for me it works just fine. My initial trial day of paddling included plenty of wind and waves and the new paddle performed beyond my expectations. I was even impressed with how naturally this paddle handles maneuvering strokes and how surprisingly effective they were in handling the boat in the wind.

The manufacturers price for this paddle is $159.99 and at this price you really have to give it a try.

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