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Product Reviews > Accessories > Pacific Designs T-1 Touring Paddle Add Your Review Now!

Reviews for Pacific Designs T-1 Touring Paddle


Rated: 8.17/10 Based On: 23 Reviews

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11-15-2009
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     For the price, you cannot beat the performance you get out of this paddle. It has become my primary means of propulsion with my Necky Manitou 13 and is also the paddle I give to buddies and my 10 yr old son so they can enjoy yakking more. I've used it in big open water, river runs, bayous, and rocky creeks and it has never let me down. The T-1 is very light, durable, and efficient. This past October, I completed the Phatwater Challenge, which is a 42.5 mile race down the Mississippi River. Out of 160+ racers, I finished in the 80s at about 5 1/2 hours in my Necky Manitou. This was my first race and I give much credit to this paddle. Best thing though too, no blisters at race end. Give this paddle a shot, you won't regret it.
***If you are a Paddling.net member, you get $10 rebate if you purchase a Pacific paddle.***

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03-21-2008
Submitted by: RedingSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I'd only had my T-1 for a few weeks before losing it when a friend and I capsized this past weekend. During the time I was able to use it though, I was impressed enough to immediately order a new one as soon as I got home Sunday.

In the past I have used the "kit" paddles that came with my Sea Eagle 330, a higher end paddle my friend owned (the manufacturer eludes both him and myself), and my Pacific T-1. In any comparisons, my T-1 wins hands down. Between the stylish looks, well thought out design, quality construction, and durability I can't imagine getting another paddle.

The first thing that impressed me with this paddle is that instead of a 4-piece design it is only 3. The backing on the blades not only looks cool to me, but gives the blade more durability (to me) as well as piece of mind that it can hold up to anything I can throw at it. I like the blade sections being sealed, and the flushed connector buttons saved some wear on my hands.

Any contact with Pacific was personalized, friendly, and their shipping speed cannot be beat. Both paddles I ordered only took two days to go from the manufacturer to my house in Iowa. While I've only been paddling for not quite a year now, I would recommend any paddle from Pacific to anyone looking for a light weight, durable, well designed, and affordable paddle.

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03-23-2007
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've been using a T2 for almost 2 years now and I have nothing but praise for the durability, light weight, feel and overall value of this paddle. I paddle frequently in shallow rivers and have banged it on rocks repeatedly with no apparent damage. The very light weight of this paddle makes a noticeable difference in my endurance and level of fatigue after a long day. The paddle has a stiff but slightly springy feel to it. It comes alive in your hands like a fine fly rod, with a little spring added to each stroke. I didn't expect this kind of feel from an aluminum paddle. It feels like graphite. Like most things, there are a few minor drawbacks. Aluminum will corrode if left unrinsed after use in saltwater, so have to be more diligent in rinsing it off than with a glass or graphite paddle.As someone another reviewer noted, the relatively flat blades make a little more noise than the more contoured blades on my other paddles. I do not believe this affects the efficiency of the paddle much because the blades get a good bite in the water. They just make more of a splash or slurp at the end of each stroke than my other paddles do. Lastly, it doesn't come with a hand grip but it's not too hard to make one. For the price / performance ratio, you can't beat this paddle. I'm going to buy a second one for my wife because I made the mistake of letting her try mine and she doesn't want to give it back!
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10-23-2006
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I held off my review of the T2 (it has larger blade than the T!) for over a year to make sure they held up. I loved using this paddle the first time out and I moved my Swift to my spare. It’s light and is a pleasure to use. I read the mixed reviews and was worried that the paddle might come apart. So far the T2 has held up to all my abuse. I spend most of my paddling time yak fishing and had nicked my swift easily. The T2 held up to me pushing through a half mile of mud, bouncing it off oyster bars and dropping it on the pavement. I think this is a great paddle, especially for klutz like me.
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09-26-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had the porduct since last spring. Steve even made me up an extra long mid section for my W boat as well totalling 10'. My main use has been with the 8' version he made for use in my Prowler 13. A very nice paddle and it handles well. It's light and did surprise me with it's toughness. I fish saltwater flats in north Florida so there are plenty of oysters beds to tear up equipment. This paddle has been fine and shows only minor scuffs. The only issue has been working out a hand grip for the it. I'm still trying to find a really comfortable combination. But even at that the paddle handles very well. I've found that when paddling other anglers I need less strokes to stay even with the group. The blade design on this paddle really moves the boat. Finally the three piece design is great for just tossing in your truck box out of the eyes of thieves when grabbing lunch.
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09-05-2006
Submitted by: Tim CSend Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I have been using a T-1 for just over a month now, and I really like it. Steve's customer service was fantastic. I ordered the paddle on a Tuesday & received it here in florida on Thursday. At fist glance, it did look like an "el cheapo" paddle, but that idea disappeared as soon as I put it together, felt the light weight & began to paddle. At first, the T-1 blades seemed rather small, and I got some comments made about it, but they push plenty of water without straining my wrists or elbows. On our last trip out, we had to paddle hard for several miles to get back in before a thunder storm jumped on us. The light weight was a pleasure, and nobody out distanced me with their fancy touring paddles that had larger blades. Yes, I have gotten snears from others who see it, but when they use it, their story and opinion quickly change.

I fish out of a SOT in the back country, bays and shallow flats. I encounter oyster bars, rocks, trees & some nasty pilings. Aside from light weight, I need a paddle that's tough and that I'm not afraid to ding. Well, this paddle fills the bill all the way around.

I have traded off paddles with my cousin when she was in the market for a new paddle. She much preferred my T-1 to a $300 Werner she had been testing. The only paddle she could find that she liked more than my T-1 was the $500 paddle she eventually bought. Now she's happy and so am I because I get my T-1 back for ME to use!

I ordered mine feathered with extra holes on both ends so I can adjust it from 245 down to a little over 230, and with directions from Steve, I also drilled extra ones so I can set it straight when I feel the need, but still have the adjustable length.

Overall, I really like this paddle. It's solid, very light and tough as nails. If you're looking for high style (like my cousin was for her touring kayak), then spend $400-$500 on a fancy high-tech paddle. If you're wanting to save hundreds of dollars & have a paddle that will do the same things, but that you don't have to baby, then buy a Pacific Designs. I'm very happy with my purchase. At some point in the future, if I have lots of unsued cash around (not likely), I may buy a high-tech paddle, but I'll always keep my T-1 around for the tough times.

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08-30-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 2 of 10

     My Pacific Designs paddle is of very poor design and I would not recommend a purchase of this paddle. This paddle is not properly set for blade contour, and chugs along annoyingly with each stroke. Inefficient, a real let down. Opened the box and was floored by the cheap workmanship. Had this been in the store, I think it’d be a no brainer—I’d not have bought it. I think the overwhelming reviews I have read on Pnet advice column has suggested that a large minority or purchasers suffered the same eventuality: the blade unglued and fell off the shaft. I have not suffered a similar fate as mine is my back-up to my back-up paddle. Note that it is a three piece paddle (and the center section does not float), and for that I give it one point as it is handy to store. The ferrules are constructed of cheap metal tabs that appear as though they’d break within six months. But—back to how I started all this—the poor blade design is such that it creates noisy and sluggish eddies in the water with each stroke, and relegates, in my opinion, the paddle to the back deck of your boat. This product needs refinement.
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01-27-2006
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I've had a T2 for a year now. Steve has been great to work with. Initially I had a problem with the blade becoming unglued but he immediately resolved it with animproved adhesive and it has been going strong since. I don't believe you can compare this paddle to any others in it's price range. It is so light it amost flew out of my hand when I first started using it. Better paddles can certainly be had but at a much greater price. I would buy this paddle again.
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11-04-2005
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This is an update....I now have 3 of these paddles, AND I HAVE used them for long trips, in very rocky rivers, with whitewater, and novice paddlers....and they have been terrific. Steve had an adhesive problem with some paddles that is gone. Besides, the rivets prevent the blade from moving even if the adhesive lets go....and my 3 paddles have been through rocky whitewater hell, and are unscathed...The blades are incredibly tough…and the paddles have been used every weekend this season, with no glitches. Just very light, nice pieces that save a ton of energy, so you can handle the next section of WW, even after a long day. For the money, these paddles are magic, and very, very durable, even when abused by novice rock shovelers.
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10-28-2005
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I have used my T-1 for a season now and I can share some observations.

The Good - The paddle is fairly light and with synthetic cork handlebar tape, it is comfortable to use. It is three pieces, so it can be tucked away easily.

The Not So Good - It isn't very strong, so you need to be careful with it. The lock buttons can be lost easily - they are not captured in the paddle shaft very well...this could really be a problem. The blade shape is not too sophisticated and it is nearly impossible to paddle cleanly with this paddle - you will be pulling air under with most strokes and making a bunch of noise. The paddle doesn't have much catch, so aggressive paddling gets really sloppy and wastes a lot of energy. It isn't good enough to accept its weaknesses, nor strong enough for going where it get rough.

Steve tries hard to please with this paddle, but I just don't think it is worth it.

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07-05-2005
Submitted by: gbSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     For an inexpensive (compared to $299 or more for some paddles) it felt really good. BUT after just 20 times out (maybe 150 miles total) one of the blades is coming apart from the shaft. The epoxy, or whatever holds it together, isn't working. DO NOT take this paddle on a long expedition. It could lead to disaster. I use it as a back up on short day paddles only. It's too bad because the paddle showed some promise.
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01-27-2005
Submitted by: SWSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I've had my T-1 for a year and am overjoyed by what a good investment it turned out to be. No, this paddle is not the best looker on the fleet and on first impression it may appear cheap in quality. A more sophisticated eye, however, will discover an elegant and simple design that performs extremely well. My detractors usually go silent as soon as they hold the paddle in their hands and discover how light it is--paddle weight is a huge factor in wear and tear of the paddler. Performance-wise it doesn't strain the body and paddles very well. Mine is set-up for two length variations; one short for maneuverability and choppy seas and one long for a comfortable touring powerstroke--2 paddles for the price of one.

It is very tight (no wobble) and durable. The blade material is hard to scratch or damage unlike most paddles, and the blades are solid on the shaft. After a year it looks like new.

This paddle is a great value no matter how you slice it and anyone who spends more money on a paddle is doing it for appearances. The more I use it the more I like it. Give it a chance!

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12-27-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 9 of 10

     I had one customized to two lengths and offsets. One length/offset combination oriented to aggressive paddling up-current or when tight control is needed, and another for laid-back easy cruising. I don't have many trips in with this paddle, but I'm completely pleased with what I've done. On one of the trips, three paddles of thirteen boaters were broken on the same rapids. No worries with the Pacific Designs. On another paddle that had LOTS of skinny water and I had a spare paddle, I used the darn thing essentially as a pole to push me through gravel bars. Yes, I recognize that's abuse. No, I wouldn't have expected Pacific Designs to have stood behind that abuse. There was no need anyway. I wanted to have comfort that the product was strong. It's strong.

I can't recommend the paddle highly enough. I gave it a nine, because I notice slight wobble when I accelerate rapidly in a largish boat. The light weight is wonderful. If you're one of those folks who have concerns about the weight of your paddle and aren't going into whitewater as a destination of your paddling, get a Pacific Designs paddle. You'll be glad you did.

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10-27-2004
Submitted by: View Profile Send Email
Rating: 5 of 10

     I have revised my rating down because every blade [6] on three paddles has separated as described previously. Steve has been very good at trying to help: offering a refund & rivets, etc., but I have been busy w/ too many things to try my repair ideas [Gorilla glue and re-rivet]. Until then the paddles have been retired.
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10-25-2004
Submitted by: David GoldsmithSend Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     Received my 245cm T1 today and took it for a spin. THIS ONE IS A KEEPER! Brilliant, ingenious design -- customized just as I like it. Light as a feather. At twice the price it would be a deal.
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08-05-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     I have purchased two of Pacific Designs paddles, one a T-1 and T-2, I use a 250cm to double paddle a Dagger Sojourn, Old Town 1920 OTCA 16' and a B.N. Morris 1919 16' canoes. I use the T-1, 220cms for a recently purchase Perception Sonoma 10 Kayak, both paddles are a joy to use, as everyone below has stated in the positive and more. At 29 oz. these paddles are durable and Pacific Designs stands behind them in every way, their service is the greatest.

Run, do not walk to your nearest telephone or PC and place your order, you will not be sorry. I do not have any affiliation, I live in Massachusetts and found Pacific Designs through www.paddling.net.

I had been using a wooden double paddle prior to buying the Pacific Designs paddles.

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07-26-2004
Submitted by: Send Email
Rating: 10 of 10

     This paddle is MAGIC!I could not believe the difference from my Sequel!I can't even use my old paddle anymore!For the first time ever I paddled 6 miles upstream non stop,with no fatigue whatsoever.The change is so striking that it changes my trip planning completely....I can go twice as far,my elbows don't hurt,shoulders remain fresh for portages,and speed is up 25%.I love this paddle.For the money,it is a 5 Star value...Don't judge it on looks...Though it looks fine to me...but paddle a ways with it,and see how much work it saves.Terrific customer service too!I will buy some T-2 blades for downstream use.This paddle rocks!Only bad thing..how to get rid of your old,leaden SeaClude or SeaQuel!There is no going back to those elbow wreckers!These paddles change the sport!They are that good,and unless you use them to dig in rocks,they are amazingly durable too!Should rate it 11.Yes,I love this paddle!
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06-12-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 4 of 10

     I've put about 180 knots on a T-1 since February of this year. Just retired it to "spare" status. One blade is slightly bent and the shaft has significant wobble in quick water. For the money, I think it's a very good value and for light duty touring, it's probably a keeper. I've replaced it with a Werner Little Dipper. Approx same weight, but the Werner is a stronger fiberglass design. Better catch and more solid connection with the water. Of course it is a $250 paddle.
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02-04-2004
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Addendum to Sept Review.
The blades on the T-1 separated from the shaft due to what looked like a failure of the bonding cement. I emailed Steve and he sent two new blades and postage to return the originals. He thinks the failure was due to a temperature/humidity problem during curing. Noe of the other two paddles, have had any problems and Steve certainly stands behind them with good service.

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09-15-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     The prior negative review has incomplete information: the blade is not just rivetted to the shaft, it is bonded with a powerful cement. The fact that Steve Wilce can make a light and strong paddle for about $100 is a good thing, not a negative. Most high-end major manufacturer paddles are way over-priced. You are paying for a reputation. I have pushed over 300 lbs of boat, gear, and me several hundred miles since buying this paddle and is is as tight as the day it first tasted ocean. I have banged it on rocks, under piers, and all that shows is a little scuff. This thing is strong. I understand the negative reviewer returned the paddle unused. This reviewer has actually used it and recommends it highly as a primary paddle.
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09-15-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     Okay may I make a correction, this is a T-2 that I use, but it is just a tad larger than the T-1 so in essence they are the same. I have been canoing since the early 1970s and I have been kayaking seriously for about a year. I purchased tw of the R-1 youth paddles for my kids and one of the T-2s for myself. Just took them out this weekend (9/14/03) and I had to propel an Old Town Loon Tandem with my injured wife sitting in the front. Get the picture, BIG kayak, two people and a day trip worth of gear, and me paddling alone. WOW, these paddles work like a dream. Since I am writing from Georgia all I know of Steve Wilce is his reputation. And for right now it is fantastic. Yes these paddles look lightweight and I was originally worried at how they would work. But then...um kevlar kayaks look light, and they are pretty good right? Well I spent the day staying up with my friends (remember I am in a tandem Kayak with another person who cannot paddle) and their $200 paddles. We spent the day dodging in and out of boat wakes to jump the wakes. So we had to be able to manuver quick, accelerate efficiently and work well. I cannot wait to try these in the single yak. I lent them to a friend who has a ultra expensive paddle.....well he finally gave it back (begrudgingly).

For anyone checking out Steve's stuff, I will report as this paddle bounces down rivers, and tours with my friends. I can tell you that my 50 lb, 8 year old daughter was able to keep up on her first kayak trip (EVER) and she was in a little pond kayak.

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09-15-2003
Submitted by: ---
Rating: 10 of 10

     I bought a T-1 & R-1 basically because of price and they were lighter than the Swift paddle and Current Design crankshaft paddle I have used for 4 years. The R-1 has been used by several folk in the bow hatch of the Libra XT and I have used the T-1 in the stern, solo in my Sirocco and the Langford 15'Prospector canoe. All of us find these paddles a joy to use. While they do not accelerate the boats as rapidly as the Swift, once moving they are very efficient.High and low bracing and "lean" turns also work as well as with either of the more costly paddles. The fit of the shaft appears to be of more accurate tolerance than either of my old paddles and I see no reason why the aluminium would wear faster. As a plus the 14 year old aspiring marine biologist, really apppreciates the weight and blade differences and now participates fully in propelling the Libra, instead of taking a break on 50% of the strokes. For touring I think Pacific Designs has two winners. In fact I am looking forward to a canoe paddle of adjustable length that they will make to fit paddling the Langford amidship or from either seat.
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07-14-2003
Submitted by: FBSend Email
Rating: 4 of 10

     Wanted to try this one out as this would be a great price for a useable paddle. As it turns out, this is a low-end touring paddle that claims to be as good as an "epic." At less than $100, you get what you pay for: cut-out ABS-covered foam-core blade riveted onto an aluminum shaft. These might paddle OK for a whiile, but they will loosen up over time (especially the 3 piece). It might be find for playing around in you SOT, but its not a paddle that I'd want to depend on (even as a spare)...at $100 there are better choices.
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