Paddle Options

30/09/03 Mike I have been paddling with brasca 4 maxi's for a couple of years mainly marathons. I have been very impresed with them. I personally like the strong catch of the tear drop design. I used them on the Sella this and the ends sirvived well. Only the last 5mm of the blade seemed to get any damage.

However when I purchased them they came with an extreamly stiff carbon shaft (I have previously had some wrist problems and cannot cope with very stiff shafts).It took Brasca over six months to replace the shaft with a usable more flexible one. It is difficult to deal with foreign manufacturers when you have a problem. It is nice to use a local manufacturer because you can replace your paddles quickly if you break or lose them.

Regards Canoesport paddles. I have used Tim's paddles in the past (lettman type) and found them to last well. I have broken shafts a couple of times but never the blades. Tim builds his blades using Lendal semi-carbon or glass shafts which are flexible. He does not build paddles with full carbon shafts.

The selection of your paddle is a very personal thing. You should try as many types as posible, and chose the paddle that suits you. If you are unsure of the length or are still growing it is worth getting a pair with an adjuster.

I always stick my paddles together with hot glue as this allows me to adjust the angle after assembly.
30/09/03 Veckranges I have a modified big Epic which closely resembles a Brasca two which is fantastice and Scott Rutherfoord and co love it, Epic will be making the changes soon.
30/09/03 Brendan Epic Paddles are becoming more and more popular in South Africa, especially on the marathon scene. Has anyone used an Epic for sprinting? And what are your feelings in comparison to the Brasca and Lettman. I saw a few appear at Worlds
29/09/03 Steve I might not agree with John's last mail regarding Brasca, but I will agree with this statement!

Brasca are very popular with Sprinters at the moment, but before you make your paddle purchase, you have to ask exactly what you want from your paddle:

Blade just for sprinting
Blade for marathon
multi-purpose blade
Blade for training on Canals and shallow rivers
Blade for WWR or descent races
Light / Heavy
Stiff / Flexible
Easy to repair
Cosmetic Perfection / Functional
Strong / Flexible

After paddling with Brasca and Canoesport for a while, I found Turbo and am
very happy with this! Others will completely disagree, but it is this split loyalty that prevents one manufacturer having a monopoly on the market.

Tell us more of your paddling plans? Where you train? What you will use them for?

I don't want to spend much time on construction techniques, as I am not an expert, but Turbo is made from a single sided mould and then vaccuumed through. This is why you get one smooth side and one slightly rougher side.

Lettmann and Canoesport used to be made from a 2 piece mould, then sandwiched together with foam or wood. Lastly, Bracsa I believe are made from a 2-piece design and joined together, historically one of the faces used to be glass (then painted) and the other carbon.
29/09/03 John never buy fakes always get the real get what you pay for
29/09/03 John I am personally not a fan of Turbo paddles, although i have never
paddled them, i was put off them by the fact that they are well not
finished, they are very stiff and rigid. but there are often lots of
sharp edges found on the neck of the blades. Lettman are the most
fragile of the blades (often snapping in half due to water seperating
the two halves of the blade via foam core)

Braca on the otherhand i am very impressed with, they have a blade
size and shape to suit every paddler, the customer service is
excellent, it is inevitable that the will get chipped occasionally,
but if the problem was serious they wouldnt be the most popular blade
with sprinters at the moment, i own several pairs and have never had
a problem with them. the shaft is very stiff, and the adjustable
version (although basic) is a very solid and reliable system to work
with, these retail about £150 for a non adjustable top spec version.
much cheaper than that of lettmann or turbo.

Canoe sport although a rip of of braca are actually more expensive
and unjustifiably so. the carbon to expoy ration is not as high as
that of other brands, and i have seen alot of damaged pairs.

check out equipment review on website.

29/09/03 James Yes they are quiet a bit more expensive than the bracsa's, are they worth the extra £70?
29/09/03 Steve There is a link in our links section, but here it is anyway:

They come from Canada, made by a man named Peter Patasi, and the last time I bought some, they were around $300 USD. Price is on the site though, might have increased a little!

Peter can mail them to you if you want some, he now has things working quite smoothly!
29/09/03 James thanks for that but how much would they cost and where do i get them from ?
29/09/03 Steve My personal preference is for Turbo paddles from Canada. Available in a number of different styles, some which match the Lettmann / Bracsa styles, but the blades are very very tough! Since I started using a set in 1994, I have never looked back! I have had 2 pairs lost at an airport in this time, but otherwise I have never had a set break.

After 2 or 3 years of paddling on a canal and marathon racing, you see a little damage to the end, but a little bit of light sanding and they are clean again!

I have seen a lot of Bracsa paddles get dinged on the ends in training, one ding seems to have quite an impact. If you race and train on deep water though, this isn't usually a problem!

Hope that helps a little.
29/09/03 James i am in the process of buying a new pair of paddles and just wanted to see
your view on particular companys. im not sure weather to go for the teardrop
bracsa or the more rounded lettman. The second dilema is whether to buy the
real things ie bracs or lettman or to buy a rip off ie canoesport. If i do
buy i rip off im not sure whetrher you would get a better deal with same
quality if you imported paddles that we are not familiar with.

Lettmans and bracsa are fairly expensive but are good quality, canoesport
are of similar price but i have konwn of many pair brake, crack, snap etc.
and importing could be a bit dodgy.

whats your verdict?

p.s. I race both marathon and sprint at div 4 and mens c level