Known as the engine of a kayak, the paddle plays a more important role than most people realize. Having used several different types of paddles over the last 11 years, I have discovered what I like and what I don't like, what I need and what I don't need. The Bending Branches Angler Pro meets a great deal of paddlers' needs and wants. As always though, I have a few suggestions.
I have the 240cm Angler Pro with the sea green blades. I chose the sea green, which is more like a chartreuse, for visibility and in that area it does wonderfully. Even in low light conditions the blade sticks out on the landscape especially when slicing through the air.
|Sunset and the AP still bright|
The fiberglass blades and carbon shaft measure in at 30 ounces which is even lighter than it sounds. Coming from a Carlisle Magic that was over 36 ounces, this was a big change. At 30 ounces, fatigue is greatly reduced but that's not the end of it. To get maximum efficiency, you have to have a tough rigid blade that can move water. The 104 square inches of surface area on the blade is the reason. For mid to high angle paddlers this is going to be very important to maximum your paddle stroke. After several miles my shoulders still feel pretty good and I can make better progress into a stiff headwind. The Angler Pro really shines in every day use and paddles under six miles. Since most paddlers are mid to high angle, this paddle fits the bill for a great majority of the population.
My greatest fear in going to a paddle with fiberglass blades was shattering it on the rocks pushing off. I can say it has not done that. I've been as rough or rougher with it than all the other paddles I've used and it has done wonderfully. The one fall back you get is a little bit of "fuzziness" on the edges and a couple of small chips. After almost five months and a dozen trips, the fiberglass is starting to feather just a very little bit on the edges. Bending Branches makes a product to help with this called Rockgard that is applied to the wooden paddles. A version of this for the fiberglass paddles would be great!
|Some fuzziness on the edges and a couple of small chips|
The other glaring issue is weight. Another manufacturer is selling a paddle that is 7 ounces lighter. While higher in price (about $150 more), anglers and paddlers both understand that a long day on the water demands light and efficient. An even lighter version of the Angler Pro called something like the Angler Air or the Bending Branches Whisp would be beneficial. Something lighter than 25 ounces can be the difference between six miles and 10 miles at the end of the day.
I do love this paddle. Do I wish it were lighter? Sure but I also wish my bank account were more full but in both situations, I am thankful for what I have. This is a tremendous upgrade for most folks. The Angler Pro retails at $300 and comes with camo or sea green blades. Check it out at your local paddle shop today!
|Going to work!|