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  On the need to be careful, wooden
  Posted by: ezwater on Jun-16-13 12:26 PM (EST)

paddles, in my experience, can be more durable than synthetic paddles as long as the wooden paddles aren't required to be super light.

It's a good idea to have a break-in or pretest period for a wooden ww paddle, because on rare occasions, a shaft may break because of a hidden flaw in one of the laminations. But once it's tested, you can have more confidence in a wooden shaft than in one made of carbon.

A wooden blade made of laminations should be faced, front and back, with a single layer of glass or carbon, to keep laminations from splitting off if the blade gets twisted in a crack. "Glassing" the faces may not add weight, because it usually allows the blade to be thinner.

There's been a lot of experimenting with tip and edge protection. Aluminum tips set into the end of the blade, and protected by extension of the FG blade facing, are a good choice. The tip on my old Mitchell is still in good shape. I notice that Mitchell has gone to some sort of set-in urethane tip.

I don't like glass rope or Dynel for edge protection. My old Mitchell, at my request, came with ash edging. It stands up to blows well, and is very easy to maintain and repair. It is probably lighter than glass or Dynel.

 Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:


Paddle Floats


Touring Kayak Paddles

Classic Freestanding Rack

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