Thursday, May 1, 2008

Broken paddle

RonO and I will be off to compete in the prestigious Bark Bay Fishing Invitational tonight so no posts until at least Sunday. We hope to kayak Gitchee Gumee and probably will but the weather forecast as well as the near shore forecast do look a bit wintry. No surprise there given this years weather so far.

We did have a lovely Wednesday night paddle however. A very elite group consisting of the BessemerConvivialist and I toured the city lakes of Calhoun, Isles, and Cedar. The water is clear, the weeds aren't up yet, and the goose invasion is only in the early stages. When we were done we headed down to the Town Hall brew pub to sample the brand new Broken Paddle ESB. I will officially rate it as well above average and can assure you that, given the opportunity, many more will pass my lips before they move on to the next seasonal beer.

Broken paddle is a fine name for a good brew and also a situation that many of us have been in. If memory serves, RonO managed to break a carbon fiber paddle last summer. When I test paddled the Aquanaut my wooden Greenland stick failed during a high brace and I was forced to do the famous half paddle roll. The fellow from the now defunct Midnight Sun that was out with me said he'd never seen a paddle break before. He should have knocked on the wood of my broken paddle because the very next weekend he snapped the carbon fiber shaft on his Lendal. GalwayGuy was behind me in the Two Harbors race last August and figured to pick my elderly rear end off in the quarter mile to the finish. As he put the hammer down, the shaft snapped on his Irish Greenland stick and he was forced to watch me cross the finish line as he fished out the two piece Euro paddle from his back deck.

So whats the point of all this? Carry a spare paddle. Breaking a paddle on Lake Calhoun would be humorous or at the very worst aggravating. Breaking one as you round Point Detour on Lake Superior could be life threatening. Lots of folks rationalize that their buddy has a spare paddle and chances are slim that we'll break two paddles. Bad logic because sometimes you need that paddle right now. Chances are good that conditions that might result in a broken paddle might also result in a broken paddler if you can't get your hands on your spare quickly. So carry your spare. Its cheap insurance.


Lord Hayden said...

Good luck at the BBFI! An event like that takes true stamina and an ignorance of proper liver health.

Joshua said...


I also think that it's a good idea to carry a slightly different paddle as a spare. I most often paddle with a short, narrow GP (82" x 3") for criusing and quiet water, but I'll put a longer, fatter GP on the deck in case it gets lumpy and I might need to throw a quick brace. Spare paddles give us more options.

Silbs said...

Powerful points. I am amazed at how many people do carry a spare but in a place from which they could not get it if in rough conditions.