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The ferrules were never an issue and one could not ask for better performance from a straight shaft paddle. It finally migrated to my backup paddle when too many years of wrist-abuse made a bent shaft better for long days.
I liked the graphite paddle well enough that when it was time to upgrade my river paddle I want with a fiberglass mid-Swift. I like the extra strength and resilience of the glass composite blade when banging rocks and trees is involved. And the transparent blue color is very nice and glints in the sun. These are both excellent paddles and you cannot do wrong with either material.
This paddle is light (very light!), strong, has exceptional balance and swing weight, the ferrule lock system is solid, easy to use and easy to keep clean. The ability to set feather at 0, 45, 60, or 75 degrees is a great feature from a user friendly perspective, however most experienced paddlers will usually set it at their one preferred angle. I was glad to be able to duplicate the 45 degree angle of my Lightning.
Eddyline reportedly redesigned the Swift's blade shape in 2004. They really got it right. The carbon fiber blade is quite stiff, showing no flutter and a very solid "hold" feel in the water, even if you're not paying attention and hit it off angle. Exit is clean and low drag/no vibration, with very little drip. The shaft is very stiff, slightly ovalled, has just enough surface texture to provide a good tactile grip feel, even if you got your hands all greasy from putting sunscreen on your girlfriend's back. This paddle is very light, but its design and stiffness left me with no fatigue or wrist/elbow shock after my initial 3 hr paddle with it.
And you gotta love the cool holographic thread design!! I think it actually attracted a school of curious rays out on the Chesapeake. It certainly provides an extra measure of visibility over plain black graphite models.
I have been using a Lightning Expedition weight paddle for many years now. Anyone who knows Lightning paddles appreciates them for their quality and regrets they are no longer in production. This new Swift Graphite will give it a much deserved rest.
I just got a Mid Swift in 240cm, what a difference. One of those things, when a boat or gear feels right...just buy them. I finished about a 10-12 miler today in stiff wind and chop and this paddle with it's knife edge catch and very firm 'grip' on the water performed beautifully. I can finally sprint up to hull speed with a paddle up to the task.
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