Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

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mills82
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Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by mills82 »

After breaking another paddle is it worth getting carbon blade paddles.

I have an old set of carbon fibre reinforced blades which took a beating and seemed to be fine afterwards but some fibrglass blades that i liked the feel of more snapped in half after a bit of a knock today.

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Jim
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Jim »

I'd stick with cheap until you grow out of breaking blades, and then go for carbon. The main advantage with carbon is light weight, but not everyone likes a really light paddle, if you like something cheaper better, stick with it.

Carbon is stronger than glass for similar weight, which means they can make a paddle the same strength with less weight, not that they make stronger paddles that weigh the same, although technically that is possible.

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davebrads
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by davebrads »

Carbon blades will be stiffer too, which means less loss of power in the stroke. The stiffness has an unfortunate side effect: the blade will tend to break when subjected to sufficient impact, so in some circumstances a glass blade will actually be more robust than a carbon blade. Carbon doesn't wear down anything like as quickly as glass.

The stiffness helps Carbon blades to feel better in the water, though this also is affected by the blade shape and method of construction - foam core blades are the ultimate here but they are even more fragile. I personally like some of the constructions offered by Mitchell which offer a lighter and stiffer blade than plain glass, while being more robust than an all carbon blade. Their Ultra Hybrid construction is only £20 more than their fibreglass paddles.

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TheKrikkitWars
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

In terms of combining robustness with feel, It's all about Carbon-Wood laminated paddles, the current generation (like the Mitchell Rodeo) are available in bent or straight shaft, and are significantly tougher than most normal paddles (I'll get comparitive photos of my 5year old Mitchell Premier and my 3 year old werner Bandit if you don't buy it), certainly they're not your dad's azalis.
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justin-g
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by justin-g »

Yes i think it's worth it.
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tom fyall
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by tom fyall »

Mitchell Blades are not to be confused with Mitchell paddles, just in case! 2 different companies, same family I think...

DAB
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by DAB »

What about plastic blades, they don't wear down that fast and are cheap to replace if you break them. I don't know why more people don't use them.

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TheKrikkitWars
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

tom fyall wrote:Mitchell Blades are not to be confused with Mitchell paddles, just in case! 2 different companies.
Quite correct, Lance is the nephew of David. Though they are (commercially) unrelated.
Double dutch manufacture foam cored versions of at least one of the Mitchell Paddles designs, the robustness doesn't translate to foam core as well as the paddle "feel" does though.
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by BaldockBabe »

DAB wrote:What about plastic blades, they don't wear down that fast and are cheap to replace if you break them. I don't know why more people don't use them.
I don't use them because they are heavier...

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TheKrikkitWars
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

BaldockBabe wrote:
DAB wrote:What about plastic blades, they don't wear down that fast and are cheap to replace if you break them. I don't know why more people don't use them.
I don't use them because they are heavier...
... flex alarmingly, and are prone to losing big chunks out of the side.
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by DAB »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
BaldockBabe wrote:
DAB wrote:What about plastic blades, they don't wear down that fast and are cheap to replace if you break them. I don't know why more people don't use them.
I don't use them because they are heavier...
... flex alarmingly, and are prone to losing big chunks out of the side.
I have never had the problem of losing chunks in the 3 years i have had plastic blades. they don't flex too much either if you have a carbon shaft and plastic blades.

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TheKrikkitWars
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

DAB wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:... flex alarmingly, and are prone to losing big chunks out of the side.
I have never had the problem of losing chunks in the 3 years I have had plastic blades. they don't flex too much either if you have a carbon shaft and plastic blades.
I've seen it happen enough, though the top of the range Lendal and Ainsworth paddles are almost as good as fiberglass, and the H2O paddles are just out and out inexplicably nice; Heavy, prone to breaking, ugly as hell, but they feel right.
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by DAB »

TheKrikkitWars wrote:
DAB wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:... flex alarmingly, and are prone to losing big chunks out of the side.
I have never had the problem of losing chunks in the 3 years I have had plastic blades. they don't flex too much either if you have a carbon shaft and plastic blades.
I've seen it happen enough, though the top of the range Lendal and Ainsworth paddles are almost as good as fiberglass, and the H2O paddles are just out and out inexplicably nice; Heavy, prone to breaking, ugly as hell, but they feel right.
That's maybe why i havent had a problem, I use lendal 4 piece splits with carbon shaft and plastic blades, i think this is the best compromise between plastics durability and carbons weight.

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buck197
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by buck197 »

Cricketbat your subjective assessment that Mitchells are tougher does not hold water. You are basing it on experience which may have some relevance but is just an observation and not facts. How are you measuring toughness of Mitchells over Werners? I like the look of the Mitchells and prefer a more accurate assessment of them?
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Bruce Jolliffe
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Bruce Jolliffe »

In a word.

No!...don't be crazy! Do you not like your money?

BUT that's my personal choice based on my personal experience.

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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

24061314 wrote:In a word.

No!...don't be crazy! Do you not like your money?

BUT that's my personal choice based on my personal experience.
I'd love to hear more, all ears here...

A

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TheKrikkitWars
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by TheKrikkitWars »

buck197 wrote:Cricketbat your subjective assessment that Mitchells are tougher does not hold water. You are basing it on experience which may have some relevance but is just an observation and not facts. How are you measuring toughness of Mitchells over Werners? I like the look of the Mitchells and prefer a more accurate assessment of them?
How can you say my experience is only subjective and then want an objective appraisal derived from the same

My only good example of their strength is that I accidentally got into my oc1 with most of the weight on the shaft, with no effect. That and bashing them down the meig where I ended up catching the blade masses of times, and have only a faint scrape on the dynell rope edging. All my experience is with their C1 blade, I did try a K1 version once, but that was years ago.
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Jim
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Jim »

Josh,

There are many different types of 'plastic' blades and there are many different ways to build carbon or glass blades so complete generic statements like "prone to losing big chunks out of the side" are totally outrageous!

Ainsworth used to use a foamed plastic in their cheaper blades, and yes chunks were regularly knocked out of them. Lendal used to make blades in Short Fibre, Long Fibre (I think variations on polypropylene but might have been polyethylene or other), Nylon 6, Nylon 12 and Carbon/Nylon 12 (technically a composite but usually considered with the 'plastic' blades). Some of these have disappeared over the years, N6 was too heavy but 'king tough and SF seems to have gone as well, but all of these are tougher than Ainsworths foamed plastic (which may be ABS - tough enough in solid form, it is the skins of royalex canoes) and I don't think I've ever seen a nylon blade flex or with chunks missing. Certainly my old carbon/nylon blades have only ever taken very slight dents on the sort of impacts where Ainsworth K100s would have shattered and most Schlegels would have dented the aluminium edging and cracked the plastic core.
The worst plastic blades I can recall (even worse than bendy K100s) were Dr D's. Mainly the blade design was rubbish, not enough thickness and the stiffening ridge did nothing. The plastic, I don't even know what it was, something quite hard, possible polycarbonate? They were advertised as unbreakable, presumably because the plastic was well 'ard and performed well in the lab under standard mechanical tests. In real life paddling the blades would flex and then snap. 'Unbreakable' is like a red rag to a bull (as a metaphor since we all know bulls see in B&W) our local shop owner got some in, gave a couple to a couple of lads in the club with the instructions "these claim to be unbreakable, see if you can break them" (paddling of course, not running a minibus over them). They brought them back broken the same afternoon after a short surfing session.... In 2001 I paddled with same guys in California and we were all using Lendal Carbon/Nylon blades on much tougher water and didn't break a single blade (er, some of the group wasted some shaft sections though).

Anyway, stop with the rash generalisations. :-)

If you put something tough and ductile like wood in a carbon blade you will end up with something pretty damn tough, but it's not going to be the lightest way to achieve sufficient strength for people who have learned how not to batter their paddles off rocks and/or have an old pair for rocky creeking where it is inevitable. Unless it's a balsa core as a cheap alternative to a foam core (the core provides a little shear strength but virtually no other mechanical properties, it's there primarily to increase Z).

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Fatboy
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Fatboy »

Not for me. I prefer the feel of glass Werners over carbon. I'm not sure how much longer carbon lasts in the real world, either. Just my opinion.
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RichA
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by RichA »

In very general terms, carbon tends to be more resistant to abrasion than glass, e.g. paddling concrete ditches. It also tends to costs more, initially. It is also stiffer so transmits more power per stroke to forward movement, although this is also a function of shaft design and material. However by being stiffer it also stresses your joints/tendons more and may cause problems there. From experimenting I've found the best option (for me) is a carbon shaft with glass blades, whilst being careful not to scrape them on the floor!

Your best bet if you're thinking of buying some new paddles is to try them and see what feels best to you in terms of comfort, stiffness, grip etc. Then weigh up the cost and blade life after that. When you say your paddles snapped after a bit of a knock, do you mean the shaft or the blade snapped?

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ianletton
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by ianletton »

For me, it is all about personal opinion and preference.

The prices aren't hugely different (unless you go for the Werner Shoguns http://www.canoesandkayaks.co.uk/produc ... dle_Werner)

Glass Werner Sherpas £189: http://www.canoesandkayaks.co.uk/produc ... dle_Werner
Carbon Werener Sherpas: £229 http://www.canoesandkayaks.co.uk/produc ... dle_Werner

Glass Werner PowerHouse £189 :http://www.canoesandkayaks.co.uk/produc ... dle_Werner
Carbon Werner PowerHouse £229 :http://www.canoesandkayaks.co.uk/produc ... dle_Werner

Me? I prefer the feel of glass blades. They feel more alive and responsive in the water than carbon.

Carbon might last longer in terms of wear and tear but personally, I have never had blades more than two years (and glass doesn't wear much in that time.) I either drop them when in a rush to bag a swimmer and they float away or I let go when I am swimming and can't find them.

Anyway, as I said, personal opinion. If you are in the market for new blades, borrow a set of each from people and give them a shot and go from there.

Ian

P.s. Good luck with the borrowing thing...(http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/foru ... =3&t=62347)
IanLetton

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justin-g
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by justin-g »

Just to be aware it took me about 5 trips to get used to my Carbon blades after using glass for a lot of years. So do give them a chance.

J
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mills82
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by mills82 »

it was the blade that snapped in half.

I was under the impression that carbon blades were tougher and would take more of a knocking before they damaged but by the looks of things i was wrong on that one

Think i might just go for a cheap set as this is my second in under 9 months and cant afford to keep forking out for new paddles.

thanks for all the replies

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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

mills82 wrote:it was the blade that snapped in half.

I was under the impression that carbon blades were tougher and would take more of a knocking before they damaged but by the looks of things I was wrong on that one

Think I might just go for a cheap set as this is my second in under 9 months and cant afford to keep forking out for new paddles.

thanks for all the replies
I'm willing to risk sounding like a total arse here but the common demonator in the equation seems to be your self.... maybe your just doinf stuff that breaks any paddles, pole vaulting / braching off weirs rocks that kinda jazz?

just saying......

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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by nicholls2k »

I had a glass fibre set of Werners last me 2 years (starting to wear down so I replaced them with a carbon set)

I broke 3 sets of Carbon Werner blades in under a year...

My current set of glass fibre Werners have lasted 5 months.

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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by David Fairweather »

The most important consideration in choosing a paddle is the blade shape, a nylon blade in a good design will work better than a sexy looking carbon blade in a rubbish shape.

That said, I go for carbon blades as I like the responsiveness and instant power transfer that the stiffness of the blade gives. I Do use a glass shaft rather than carbon so as there is some flex in the system to give my wrists and shoulders a bit of a break.

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SwamP
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by SwamP »

blah blah blah...blahblahblah...blaaaaah....blaaaaaaah......and the majority of 1st descents in Scotland weren't run in style, with symmetrical paddles, in Topos or worse with no bitching and analysis......oh how I wish this would fit as my signature....

To the OP, if you can afford to loose or break them then they're worth it...if not then they're not. Simples... :o)

Whatever you're used to is the best paddle in production.
Lets not try to understand each other. Thanks.

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Dug
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Dug »

Buy them. The cooler you look the better you paddle...

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Adrian Shanahan
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Adrian Shanahan »

Dug wrote:Buy them. The cooler you look the better you paddle...
The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle --->The cooler you look ---> The better you paddle

It all a big infinate loop really..... :)

Dug you are a visionary!

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Alec Ferris
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Re: Carbon Blade Paddles Worth it?

Post by Alec Ferris »

Jim wrote:I'd stick with cheap until you grow out of breaking blades, and then go for carbon. The main advantage with carbon is light weight, but not everyone likes a really light paddle, if you like something cheaper better, stick with it.
My first pair of paddles had a carbon shaft and the Werners I replaced them with had a plastic shaft; I actually think it feels as though my strokes have a bit more oomph. I personally wouldn't bother with carbon blades as I'm just doing grade 3 at the moment. I doubt I'd use carbon blades unless I was doing grade 4 on a regular basis.
Hey don't worry, jus' live 'til ya die- QOTSA

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