The Reggie

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I typically like to share a story about a hike or place that I have paddled with this blog. While this could be a story about my second trip to the Okisollo Rapids, instead I would like to tell you about a new paddle that I recently picked up. In my hands on this trip is a new Saltwood Reggie.

The Reggie is a unique paddle. It is a one piece, wooden bent shaft, 200cm long, with blue fibreglass blades that match the colour of my kayak nicely. Yes, in a product category dominated by carbon fibre and plastic composites, I purchased wood.

First Impressions in the Store

In front of me was a full paddle inventory from a host of manufacturers; it was the shaft that set this Saltwood paddle apart. The wood shaft is thick, beefy and in a sense, purposeful. This handmade creation from Saltwood felt very natural in my hands. The woodwork that went into shaping and indexing this paddle’s shaft is nothing short of art. Would it be more than just beautiful though?

First Impressions on the Water

When I put the blades to water today, this Reggie was all business. The catch was quiet, biting and exact. The pull was rock solid. I felt a new sense of acceleration that I have not received from my other carbon fibre paddles. Low brace turns left me feeling like I could stand on the water. This is paddle had a balanced, aggressive feel to it which is perfect for the rough water paddling that I love throwing myself into.

On the Okisollo wave this afternoon, I felt like no stroke was wasted. Powering onto the wave was a joy. Feed back from a stern rudder was immediate and once off the wave, this paddle handled the angry Okisollo whirlpools exceptionally well. I can combat roll with this paddle without thinking. Of the seven paddlers at the wave today, five used Saltwood paddles.

This trip was my first paddle on a large standing wave since Skookumchuck. There should have been an adjustment period for a new piece of gear (especially for something personal as a paddle). Instead I had my most complete day surfing a sea kayak.

To date, I have only owned and paddled high end carbon fibre/foam core paddles from two other brands; none feel as good as the Reggie, especially in the big water.

Thank you Saltwood for a great paddle!

BLADE LENGTH AND WIDTH:         41cm x 20cm