...from you Michael. I shall always remember those incredibly beautiful wood paddles (especially the ones using the lacewood veneers) and canoe you had made and brought to the Raystown gathering in 2004:
Like Glenn, your excellent review of the SRT, per journey down the Susy-Q's full length, was what first turned my attention, and purchase desires towards Misters Curtis and Deal's fine canoe. If only my knees (and wallet) were of like mind. Hell, I'd even suffer the discomforts of the elderly penitent nun, but this damn dog sidekick that insists on me taking him along has me still holding back, in fear I'd drown the whole triumvirate of downriver fools and hull. This past Raystown I even witnessed a very agile young guy deftly snub his SRT down the extremely skeletal Juniata below Huntingdon (at least, "deftly" till that usual Duckheaded "carousing" thing began to snake-in its own natural element of imbalance.
Well, full-circles and whatnots always having their fill of twists, perhaps you'll find another used SRT at an affordable sales price (If Jeff keeps poling bony PA streams maybe you can get a bottom-repair number real cheap!).
I notice no one mentions the Wenonah Rendezvous. I've always found it a most peculiar hull, favoring the lighter Kevlar Flexcore one I have over my former Royalex model. It's a good boat for carrying more-than-ample supplies on wider rivers, as well as open lake stretches, though a tad (despite claims of 2 to 2-3/4" rocker stems) sticky, especially to bow, at executing quick eddy maneuvers, at least for someone hefty like myself. In the capable hands of a lighter and more skilled paddler like yourself, I'm sure you would adroitly maneuver all the rock gardens and ledges the West Branch Susy has to offer. Gel-coated, though perhaps a tad heavier and approaching Royalex tonnage (42-pounds, maybe? don't really recall), it makes the composite a tad more shock-absorbing and slippery for dealing with the usual Susy-Q rockrash, as opposed to a lighter skincoat which I'm not certain Wenonah ever laid it up in. And, it seems to turn up on canoe sale boards more often than many of those blue-blooded (but yes, magnificent) DY/Curtis hulls.
Another composite solo I remember having the fine fortune to test paddle, per Mike McCrea's generosity, was a Clipper Prospector 14. Felt a lot like a Baboosic, except it sat a little more flatly/stabler (shallower arch, I suppose) on the water surface. Quite nimble, relatively easy to push along with gear on windy expanses without having a j-stroke infarction. Reasonably priced, but darn hard to come by this side of the Mississippi.
Hope the Carter Racing team is still enjoying their crossings of the muddy trail, and good future paddles to you,
Touring Kayak Paddles
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