-- Last Updated: Jan-24-13 1:49 PM EST --
...for about a year now fairly regularly. I have never used a beaver tail, but I have several other types of paddles: two bent-shaft carbon Bartons, two Quimbys (one bent touring, the other straight freestyle), and a Grey Owl Scout.
The ottertail has become one of my favorites, if not my favorite. It is an old walnut Langford that they don't make anymore and was poorly finished and heavy. With the aid of some (well, quite a bit actually) sandpaper I trimmed four ounces off the blade and thinned the edges. It has become a wonderful paddle. My paddling buddy dubbed it the "Walnut Wonder". The blade is only 28 X 5.25" and it makes me go as fast as any other straight paddle. If you like to cruise and relax while taking long strokes, the Canadian, the Indian palm roll, etc., it is unbeatable.