The LOON is my standard straight shaft paddle. Suitable for up to a low class III whitewater it is at home from slowly cruising the Everglades looking at wildlife to several week wilderness trip on the Noatuk in Alaska.
Why a wood paddle?
A wood and composite paddle combines the best attributes of both the wood and composite. The wood core gives the natural resilience of wood which is very forgiving to your body with the reinforcing strength of the composites which give it toughness and durability. With carbon fiber, fiberglass or aluminum and plastic construction, you have either very unforgiving materials that abuse your elbows and shoulders with great toughness or just junk. As far as durability is concerned, I have had many people contact me and want their paddles refurbished -after 15 to 20 years.
The Blade is 8-1/2” x 20” with Dynel edges and tip. The blade is laminate from book matched cedar strips and the edged with Dynel, 8 layers of dynel on the edge and 12 on the tip for some added durability. The blade is the pre-coated with epoxy, then a second layer of epoxy with 2 oz fiberglass embedded in it. I leave the blade a little thicker than the Honey Island and Gemini paddles for increased durability.
The Shaft is your choice either a 4 piece horizontal plate style laminate of ash exterior and cedar interior with strips laid front to back or an edge style with an ash core and cedar side pieces vertical to the blade. The plate style is tougher and the shaft has less forgiving flex while the vertical style sacrifices a bit of that toughness for just a little bit more flex. Either way the shaft gets a 16” fiberglass wrap to make it tougher and keep the dings from prying on the gunnels of the boat to a minimum.
The type of Grip is also your choice, 90 percent of the paddles are made with my standard palm grip which can also be in either small(3-3/4”) or large(4-1/8)widths. I can also put on a Tee grip again of two styles, a symmetrical one or a directional one that I got form a long ago padding guru Mike Galt that is more shaped to fit the hand. The Galt grip has been called strange, but those folks seem to prefer using a broomstick grip, It only takes about 15 minutes to be sold on it.
The typical weight is typically in the 24oz range. Lengths can be anywhere from 50” to 62”.
Disclaimer: Some of the pictures show a veneer tip cover, I no longer use it.