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We re new canoers and have only used straight paddles before. What a revelation. We got the viper and adapted at once--so much less energy to go much faster. And it looks great with our cedar canoe. Classic!
Reviewed by: Laura from Owls head ME.
When they say lightweight...they mean it. The great lines (or should I say curves) on this paddle make it look substantial, but when you pick it up it is light as a feather.
Caveat - Straight-shaft paddlers beware.
My husband, 6' 4", has been a straight-shaft paddler his whole life, but has been complaining of pain in his wrists. The Viper seemed like a perfect solution, however, since he is a straight-shaft paddler, the ol' long-and-strong stroke is ingrained in him. Using the shorter 54 Viper has him hunching in his seat and contorting in odd positions trying to maintain his old paddling style. 54 is the longest paddle Bending Branches makes in the Viper and is the appropriate size for him, but old habits die hard. If you are not a regular user of a bent-shaft paddle take some time to get used to it. You make have to shorten up your stroke to make this paddle work for you.
Reviewed by: Anne Anthony from San Diego, CA.