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Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: An Alaskan perspective on 07/23/2013 08:50:58 MDT Print View

heading downstream in a pack raft with a 9'6" paddle is not something I would try. Nor would a lake with a 4'6" paddle be quite the best. Paddles are a compromise between foreword power, and, maneuverability. Choice is made depending on what you know you will encounter.

Yet another example of the camper's dilemma ... there is no single best answer to almost all gear selection problems.


  1. understand the expected situation(s)

  2. understand the performance characteristics of the alternatives

  3. choose the best match

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Re: Re: An Alaskan perspective on 07/23/2013 10:03:28 MDT Print View

James, I think you are taking my point further than I meant it, which is that most general purpose paddle charts will fit you for a paddle that is several inches too short for efficient general use. I think if you are getting into specialty situations, you probably already have the experience to know if you should be sizing up or down. But for a first paddle, and for most situations a non-specialized packrafter will encounter, I think 6" too long is far better than 6" too short.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: packraft paddles on 07/23/2013 11:29:27 MDT Print View

While Mr. Thomas' words are well taken, I'd submit that they're not very relevant for packrafting. Simply put, packrafting where you need to paddle a lot for forward motion is not so fun, and a larger bladed paddle is very handy for manuvering in flowing water.

The only disadvantage I've found with the 210 Shuna discussed above is the length of the middle shaft pieces. The ferrule design makes one longer than the other, 27" to be specific. This is just long enough be a bit of pain to pack in most UL packs.