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Wilderness Tripping - BWCA & Beyond New Topic Printer Friendly Version

  I use curved blade, carbon shaft slalom
  Posted by: ezwater on Nov-13-13 1:13 PM (EST)

paddles for river work, and they are superior to ottertail or beavertail paddles. But are you going to be sitting most of the time, or kneeling? For sitting, bent shaft paddles are fine. For kneeling, longer slalom paddles are better. The mechanics of bent shaft paddling don't work out as well for a kneeling position.

Proponents of ottertail or beavertail paddles often get very good with them, just as owners of Kentucky flintlock rifles sometimes develop a high degree of skill. But you won't see anyone using a beavertail in a 90 mile marathon race, and you won't see anyone using an ottertail on a downriver whitewater race. Paddles designed to cover distances fast have become not only very effective, but pleasanter for anyone to use.

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