Posted by: watertoysaustralia | July 28, 2012

Feather Sandpiper full carbon paddle – review

Robin using his Feather Sandpiper @ Port Broughton SA

Review by Robin Cross on his recently purchased Sandpiper carbon paddle we assembled for him.

The Feather Sandpiper  is quite simply the the most versatile paddle I have ever used.
It’s stand-out attribute is that it is equally happy to be used in a high or low angle stroke. It is the only high quality paddle to achieve this in my experience, others becoming more specialised and less forgiving as the price rises.

The Feather Sandpiper exhibits no flutter at any angle, is perfectly balanced for a light two or three finger grip, and produces minimal turbulence. Entry is silent, and swing weight minimal. The Feather is the most nearly perfect shape for a conventional blade, and combined with a good carbon shaft, one of the lightest.
After maintaining an average of 6.6kph for four hours, against a strong current and gusty wind, my shoulders and forearms exhibited none of the tiredness one would normally expect. Indeed the strokes in the last hour were better executed, with high angles and silent entry, than in the first hour. It actually improved my paddling style. For three successive days of fast, strong, long distance paddling no soreness was experienced, a testament to the blade balance as much as to the lightness. It is definitely at its best when matched with an ultra-light Kayak such as the Barracuda Beachcomber.
Yet the paddle is extremely strongly constructed, achieving the best compromise between lightness and strength I have encountered. The blades, efficient and light to use in flat water, have sufficient grunt to handle punching into a short sea chop, and work beautifully in stern rudder and other control strokes. A 60˚ offset is perfect, and other than for convenient storage, I can see no reason to spoil this paddle with a split shaft.
The Feather is a paddle with an enormous depth of ability, honed by years of experience, and a brilliant achievement.



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