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Know How


[ iN the paCk ]


Paddle Rack


G R E Y O W L P A D D L E S


Guide The Guide occupies the middle ground be- tween Grey Owl’s robust laminated paddles and their classic one-piece paddles (not to be used for pushing off rocks, according to the website). The Guide’s laminated cherry blade is tipped with a urethane edge for protection against utilitarian uses and the pear grip fits small hands best. Overall, a nimble and affordable paddle available in three-inch increments from 54 to 63


inches. $64 Cdn greyowlpaddles.com


S H A W A N D T E N N E Y E C H O P A D D L E S


Ripple With its smooth entry and exit lines, this scaled- down version of Echo’s grown-up Reflection model treats kids like the aspiring expert canoe- ists you hope they are. Echo owner Andy Convery laminates tapered strips of walnut and basswood for the right mix of blade strength and flexibility. The sooner kids learn what a proper paddle can


do the better, according to Convery. $70 Cdn


echopaddles.com


S AWY E R PA DD L E S a n d OA R S Cedar Ottertail Sawyer’s Cedar Ottertail is the type of paddle you can work late into the afternoon. The tall and shallow-cut pear grip makes many different top-hand positions possible, letting you adjust frequently for lasting comfort. The long and skin- ny blade lends itself to smooth, deep, powerful strokes and the Dynel ToughEdge perimeter provides backup for the supple cedar laminate. Based in Oregon since 1967, Sawyer also makes


laminates and bent shafts. $112 Cdn, $89 US paddlesandoars.com


Racine There is little glue in the workshop of Shaw and Tenney, makers of one-piece wood paddles since 1858. Their vintage Racine model is most popular in a specialty wood like walnut or sassafras (pictured). Because sassafras is rarely commercially logged it commands a $40 surcharge, but fans claim it is as light as spruce and strong as ash. The five-inch- wide blade is quiet and flexible, making it great for


soloing. Available in 58.5- and 63.5-inch lengths. $137 US (sassafras) shawandtenney.com


A Q U A - B O U N D P A D D L E S


Edge Carbon For whitewater paddlers not shy about abusing their paddles, the Edge Carbon features a carbon- reinforced plastic blade that promises a great strength-to-weight ratio. The large blade is curved for maximum catch on quick forward strokes and allows a moderate flex. Though best known for kayak paddles, Aqua-bound caters to singleblad- ers with the Edge and the straight-bladed Odys- sey (reviewed Summer 2008). The Edge is also


available with a fibreglass blade and shaft. $115 Cdn, $110 US aquabound.com


M I T C H E L L P A D D L E S


Premier This paddle is built for your whitewater trip-of- a-lifetime. The deep-set aluminum tip guard and epoxy-impregnated fibreglass rope edges are seamlessly integrated into the stiff carbon blade. An easily gripped oblong shaft and oversized T-grip allow for good control of the large blade. Available with a curved or flat blade, with an op- tional fibreglass shaft sleeve and in any combina-


tion of wood or carbon shafts and blades. $250 US (wood shaft and carbon blade) mitchellpaddles.com


—I.M. www.canoerootsmag.com 23 B E N D I N G B R A N C H E S


Sunburst 14 New this year, the 14-degree bent-shaft Sunburst features a featherweight carbon shaft and a spat- ula-thin blade of tapered red alder, black willow and basswood. The pear grip is only scooped on the front side for better comfort and control when switching sides. Though its light weight makes the Sunburst feel delicate, a perimeter of


edge reinforcement protects against impacts. $179 US bendingbranches.com


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