Submitted: 05-20-2003 by waterdoc
The Toksook is a Derek Hutchinson design. It is a carbon/fiberglass symetrical blade on a carbon/fiberglass shaft. The paddle has a 90 degree feather and is the heaviest paddle I have ever used. When I first tried one, I handed it back to the owner after 5 minutes and I couldn't understand why someone would pay about $300 for a heavy paddle with a 90 degreee feather. Then I took a class with Derek and was given a Toksook to use for the first half of the class. I learned to love the 90 degree feather (you need to learn to use your elbow and not your wrist to adjust the paddle). By knowing the position of one blade, you automatically know the position of the other. It makes instinctive braces a lot easier to do correctly so that you stay dry rather than capsizing. The blades have a foam core and metal tips. This combination gives the paddle a lot of strength and also buoyency. The paddle is truely a dream to use once you get used to its weight.
During the lunch break for that class, I wound up buying a Toksook. It is now my paddle of choice, and my Swift has been relegated to being a spare on my back deck. The paddle is heavy enough that I do not hesitate to use the paddle to brace while getting in or out of the boat. I have sat on the paddle shaft many times (and I'm about 225 lb)without any problems. The only reason I rate the paddle 9 out of 10 instead of 10 out of 10 is that it is heavy and takes some getting used to. Because of the length of the blades, I was advised to purchase a paddle 10 cm longer than I usually use. With the Toksook, I use a 240 which gives the same shaft length as all of my other 230 paddles.