for it to feel "normal".
My wife uses an old Dagger ww paddle that I repaired, after a friend put a greenstick fracture in the shaft while paddling the upper Conasauga. She's fairly happy with it.
Sometimes I've carried it as a spare. So one day I thought, "I should try this thing out and see if it works." It was almost totally unusable. A very tall person who usually uses a 61" slalom paddle is not going to be able to paddle properly with a 55" paddle, even a pretty good one.
When Nashwaak paddles was about to close for retirement, I ordered the longest offered, 60". I quickly found that with its much longer blade, it needed a longer shaft too, to put the blade's center of pressure in the right relationship to me and the water. Very nice paddle. Some day I will remove the intergral grip and lengthen the shaft so the total is around 64".
So part of your sprucey beavertail problem could have been that it was too short for the blade length.
First Need Purifier
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