but that's for canoeing and not racing. I own two kinds of Grey Owl bent shafts (14 and 12 deg) and a cherry beaver-tail Tripper (my favorite). I also have and like my Sawyer ceder voyageur. Still have my old Grumman originals also, though I don't use them so much anymore.
The greater weight of wood doesn't bother me too much - if I get tired I do more underwater recoveries. Doesn't matter how much they weigh if you don't pick them up.
I like the warmth of wood, and having the ability to shape the grip to better suit my hand, and having a bit of flex. I believe a decent paddle should be "lively." They feel right, balance right, and darnit, they're just pretty.
Those carbon paddles are so darned light I'd be afraid some windy evening I'd pull into camp, lean one up against a tree or leave it lying in the boat on the thwarts and have the thing blow away when I was pitching the tent and not looking. Too pricy for that...
Those carbon paddles are marvels though. I'd probably get one if I raced more. I expect they make more sense for kayak paddles.
Overstock Outlet Foods
2-3 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
PFD's (Life Jackets)
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