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OleErickson
member (6)member
  
04/03/2024 01:30PM  
At Canoecopia I ran across a company called Old Mustache Canoe Paddles - it's a guy that makes hand-made hollow core wooden paddles that seem to be very high quality, and very low weight for wood.

I have some interest in trying them out, but I'm not familiar with this company, and since it's a small company that's relatively new, I haven't been able to find a lot of reviews online. If anyone is familiar with this company, I'd love to hear your opinion or assessment.
 
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andym
distinguished member(5364)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/04/2024 02:27AM  
Interesting. I like his focus on balance. To me that is a big deal. A little curious about the hollow shaft but I’m willing to believe that he has worked out how to make them durable. For me the wood paddle can be heavier because I also carry a Zaveral to have a light paddle. But I would love to try one of his.

Here is his website.
 
Kermit
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/04/2024 07:27AM  
Cliff Jacobson was raving about them last year after picking one up at Canoecopia. He later wrote this about them on his Facebook page;

“ Every once in a l..o..n..g while, a product appears that is head-and-shoulders above the competition. Often, it is manufactured by a tiny company with just a few employees. These small outfits can't afford to advertise so they don't last long - many are gone in a year or two.

Earlier this month, I presented at the Quiet Adventures Symposium in Lansing Michigan. It's a wonderful show! As I was strolling around, I saw some beautiful wooden paddles hanging on a rack. I've seen a lot of pretty paddles over the years but none have really impressed me.

Why? Because a "perfect" paddle is not about beauty - it's about light weight, precise balance, fine edges (entries), oval shaft and an ergonomic hand-filing grip (few paddle makers get the grips right).

These OLD MUSTACHE paddles are as pretty as wooden paddles get, perfectly balanced. The shafts are hollow - yes, hollow! Steve uses a light lead slug to balance. Average weight is 16 ounces. I've never seen a 54" wooden paddle this light. Nearly all wooden paddles are blade-heavy. This one isn't! In my view, the grip makes or breaks a paddle. The grips on these paddles are equal to the ones on the finest carbon-fiber paddles. Paddles currently come in 6 and 11 degrees. Nearly all of today's racers are running 12-degree bends, so 11 is right on target. Six degrees offers no advantage over straight. Most of today's bent-shaft wooden paddles are 14-degree bends, which is just too bent. I'm guessing the makers don't want to re-calibrate their equipment to make a lesser bend.

These are the finest wooden bent-shaft paddles I have ever handled Period!
Pick up one of these paddles, look at it closely, paddle some air, and you'll go, "Oh my gosh, Cliff's right!" Steve Sikkema says it takes about 13 hours to make a paddle, which more than justifies its $350 price.”
 
andym
distinguished member(5364)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/04/2024 09:35PM  
Nice to hear his impression. They sound wonderful and I bet would be a joy to paddle. While the cost is justified (honestly sounds like he isn’t paying himself enough) it comes out to a similar price as a Zaveral Medium Power Curve which is only 10 ounces. But wood is nice.
 
04/05/2024 06:39AM  
Wish he made a straight shaft for those of us who like to paddle more kneeling and heeling.
 
Kermit
distinguished member (132)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/05/2024 09:03AM  
keth0601: "Wish he made a straight shaft for those of us who like to paddle more kneeling and heeling."


I also wish he made a straight shaft version.
 
justpaddlin
distinguished member(554)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/06/2024 06:50AM  
I'd like to try one. I kneel and generally use a straight shaft but I have a six degree and a five degree bent that feel perfect for kneeling. The 120 square inch blade is bigger than I prefer on Zaverals and surprises me a bit given the focus on balance (which I also think is super important). There is so much variability in wood paddles compared to carbon that I'm not nearly as comfy ordering without trying. I don't understand CJ's comments about a six degree offering no advantage but then I've never agreed with any of his gear reviews; he seems like a promoter to me ("perfectly balanced" seems either misleading or naiive). Personally I would not recommend a paddle based on "paddling some air". I'd love to try one of their six degree paddles because if the balance is better than other paddles and it's clean in the water I could fall in love.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(2980)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
04/06/2024 05:39PM  
@justpaddlin,

100% agree about CF. Nerves heard so much BS come out of someone’s mouth. Sorry.

Tom
 
04/07/2024 10:59AM  
Wife bought one at Canoecopia this year. Weighs 17 oz. Has used it 3-4 times so far and loves it. Put aside her carbon bent shaft in favor the the Old Mustache.
 
andym
distinguished member(5364)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
04/07/2024 09:41PM  
Thanks Kendis. Nice to hear about your wife’s on the water experience.
 
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