(this is from the old forum - and will need an update)
Note prices may be different now, and Stylosports also stock a newer Merlin paddle. As a sidenote, of the Typhoon members who have their own paddle, most have a Trivium S12, some (including me) have a ZRE, and a few (like Kong) have the Merlin.
As an addendum to the paddle length notes, after our last experience with ordering fixed-length paddles, we should not order paddles of lengths below 48" - our high-arm technique does not quite work with paddles that are too short, even with our shortest paddlers!
I'll put some of this into the wiki too (did I mention we have a wiki now?)
The G'Power paddles are looking like very good alternatives for an adjustable paddle, though the caveats of having a joint connection still apply, as with Trivs, versus having fixed-length shafts which are structurally stronger, and have less points of failure (i.e. to snap/break).
Final note: Hydrasports are offering free delivery on Gpower dragonboat paddles as this is a relatively new market for them in the UK, so it's worth considering on this point.
Resources for reviews
http://www.dragonglobe.com/ is a blog with a good source of reviews (http://www.dragonglobe.com/category/paddles/)
Old comparison of paddles: http://sfldbt.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/paddle-comparisons.pdf
Random blog resource (db fitness/training related) http://sfldbt.wordpress.com/
Stylosports - http://www.stylosports.com/- based in Surbiton, near Kingston, so these can be picked up locally instead of paying for delivery.
Hydrasports - http://www.hydrasports.co.uk/- free delivery on G'power paddles
Supplied by Stylosports http://www.stylosports.com/index.php?rt=product/category&path=65_67
New 2012 range has been updated with a concave blade, and there is a choice of a carbon palm grip, carbon T grip or wooden T grip with the ZRE Razor R1 Dragon.
- ZRE Razor R1 Dragon XL - weighing from 270grams - £204 (Also group discount on 5+)
- ZRE Razor R1 Dragon - 420 grams - £164 (Also 10% group discount on 5+) - and choice of 3 grips
Canadian maker; they have been appraised by various bloggers on how good their paddles are. The main downside however is that there is no UK-based supplier, so we would have to order direct from them.
These are fixed-length paddles so you'd need to work out which length you want, and they have the heavier/cheaper Durablade composite blade (as an alternative to wood), or the full carbon fibre Accelerator paddle (weighing between 370-420 grams depending on length).
Costs work out to be £160 (CAD $249) for their full carbon-fibre Accelerator, but delivery starts at CAD $129 (~£81), or CAD $289 (~£183) for 5 paddles (approx £36.50 each), so this really needs a bulk purchase for it to be worth it, or for someone to collect it from North America.
Another Canadian manufacturer - their Sundowner carbon paddle looks promising, and have received good reviews. At CAD $210 (~£133), they seem quite affordable, but they have the same downside as Apex of high oversea delivery charges.
Polish manufacturer, who started off constructing racing canoe blades. The founder was a coach for the Polish national ladies team. These paddles look very promising (good construction, well designed and balanced), and a plus point is that there is a UK distributor (Hydra Sports) who we can source these from. They come in several variations:
- Carbon-Kevlar Falcon, non-adjustable (400 grams; choose sizes between 46 and 51") - £155
- Carbon-Kevlar Falcon, QNect adjustable (400 grams) - £185
- Carbon Falcon, QNect adjustable - £185
Note that the carbon-kevlar paddles are slightly less stiffer than the carbon-only type, and 30g heavier, but presumably stronger. Both carbon-fibre and carbon-kevlar falcon paddles cost the same, only varying based on adjustability.
The paddles can be coloured for an extra cost, blade-only or whole.
- blade colouring option: + £15
- whole paddle+blade colouring option: + £25
Ruth of Hydrasports.co.uk has emailed me to say that there is a 2-week lead time for these, and free delivery.
Czech manufacturer who also started off making racing canoe paddles used by top Olympic racers. Their carbon-fibre dragonboat paddle (~360grams) has been described as being high quality, well balanced, and they also give you the option of having your own design (colour?) on the blade.
These are fixed length paddles, and Hydrasports.co.uk also handle RAAB - these are £179 from them.
Dutch manufacturers with products which were used successful in various international kayaking competitions. Nowadays they focus on paddle production.
They make two dragonboat paddles - both non-adjustable (sizes must be stated), and obtained via Hydrasports.co.uk :
- Dragon Pro Carbon - carbon fabric with foam core, approx. 399 grams with a T grip - £170
- Dragon Club - composite paddle weighing 595 grams, at £140. Useful as an alternative to wooden paddles.
Australian company. Supplied in the UK by Stylosports (Kingston), they have released several new paddles since the original article from 2010.