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Kayakers' Alliance Message Board › Up the creek with the wrong paddle?

Up the creek with the wrong paddle?

Bart C.
user 18246801
San Mateo, CA
Post #: 63
No, it didnt' happen to me, but it could have. I have a serious question about that.

Got stuck on a sandbar yesterday. I was able to use my Wester Red Cedar Aleut paddle to essentially pole myself off the sandbar to the channel. Wasn't easy, but it worked.

The Aleut paddle is a very solid piece of wood. it looks like what it really is: a carved down 2'x4' board.

So if I had a plastic or carbon fiber Euro paddle, would that have worked? Or would I have broken the paddle?

Anybody know the answer from experience?

Just curious, now that I'm not stuck!


A former member
Post #: 51
Interesting question. I use a paddle like that as well. Did you make it yourself or purchase it? Just curious. Not many people know about the Aleut paddles. Oh, and no, you probably wouldn't have broken the euro paddle. :-)
Bart C.
user 18246801
San Mateo, CA
Post #: 64
Made it myself, Earl, and proud of it! Really light, really strong, super functional and good looking to boot. Time to refinish it, but it doesn't seem to mind. I love this paddle.

It's a great conversation starter. But more importantly, it does exactly what it is designed to do: deliver long distance power without tiring the body nor stressing any body parts. How good? I have a 10' rec boat whose theoretical limit of speed is 4 mph. Well, that's pretty much my standard paddling speed with this paddle in that boat. So when friends in their sleek sea kayaks paddle with me, they're usually working to stay with me. I know it's not due to my kayak; it has to be due to my paddle.

The Aleuts were probably the world's best ocean going small boat people. They knew what they were doing, because their lives, not just their livelihoods, depended on those paddles and those boats. And they did it in some of the worst ocean conditions anywhere. So I take their designs seriously.

If I can ever work up the nerve, I'll try building one of their baidarkas too.
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