whitewater, and my Mitchell is flexible in both the glassed wood blade, and in its carbon shaft. Mitchell calibrated the flex very effectively. Gives excellent feedback, and on forward strokes, the flex makes the slightly trailing blade act like a bent shaft. I'm sure I get that energy back before the stroke is finished.
The Mitchell's flex has also saved the blade on occasions when a hard stroke has hooked a rock on the bottom. I can feel the blade bend and then slip off.
But it is awfully easy for a paddle maker to crank in too much flex. A little is good, more is not better.
Heel and Pegpads™
Touring Kayak Paddles
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