As you may have guessed, a week later as I readied my Hobie Outback to put into the water, I came to the grim realization that my paddle had been crushed. It was like it had been run over or something! With a trip to Jacksonville planned to fish the flats of Little Talbot Island, I needed to replace my paddle.
Given that I pedal more than paddle most of the time thanks to Hobie's Mirage Drive, I've never given a whole lot of thought to paddles. I went to Canoe KY the following weekend to have Nathan Depenbrock (co-owner) help me get some rod holders and other accessories mounted on my yak. While he was hard at work I used my time to check out the big selection of paddles that were available.
That's when I first noticed the Bending Branches Impression. It was the only wooden paddle in sight. In spite of the beautiful wood grain I disqualified it immediately, anticipating the excess weight a wooden paddle was bound to have.
Thank goodness I picked it up! 40 ounces! It was considerably lighter than the paddle I had been using and the slightly oval shape of the handle made it more comfortable than I expected.
Soon after falling in love with the way this paddle felt in my hands I learned it had been ordered for another yak angler, Tommy Puckett. He graciously volunteered to let me buy that one and have another one ordered for himself since I needed it for the upcoming trip in four days. He told me a couple of stories about using fiberglass paddles he'd previously owned and had broken while trying to push his kayak off a rock or other obstacle. We then took turns leaning on the paddle to see if any damage occurred while applying massive amounts of pressure.
I've used my new Bending Branches basswood paddle a total of seven trips now, and couldn't begin to count how many times I've used it to push off of things or nudge rocks out of the way. The paddle is proving to be solid and quite strong in spite of its beauty and light weight.
The next time you find yourself considering a new paddle, take the time to look at the Impression by Bending Branches. You may find yourself moving rocks too!
About the Author: Pam is a Pro Staff Member at Yakangler.com and a member of Canoe Kentucky's Pro Team, co-sponsoring her along with Team Hobie. She is the new Director of Kentucky Kayak Fishing where they're working to set up a non-profit organization to help "Yaks Give Back" to our citizens, the environment, and to promote the growth of kayak fishing in our state. Pam is also the author of ShesAManiYak.com