By TONY CROUCH
Special to the Parade
AT Paddles sets the standards of excellence in design and engineering, craftsmanship, integrity, and performance in the paddle world. Using cutting edge materials, AT Paddles make balanced, flutter free and ergonomically superior paddles, which is why AT Paddles has been the industry benchmark for over a decade. Now, that all sounds like it came out of a AT Paddle brochure. Well, it did. Now let’s talk about what their paddles will do for you.
A lot of the time people tend to go as tight as possible when it comes to the purchase of a paddle. Why? I have no idea, but it is something that you see happen. It’s like buying an expensive race car and having a lawn mower engine in it. Will it run the same? No. Having a quality paddle means less stress on you, it also means less fatigue.
First you have to ask yourself what you want your paddle to do. Are you that fisherman who wants to get from point A to point B as fast as possible, well a well-balanced paddle will help with that. Are you a kayaker who mostly uses a high angle paddle stroke, or are you a kayaker who wants to tour longer distances but is in no hurry? Maybe a low angle paddle stroke is how you paddle. Are you that kayaker who mostly goes out on windy days, or that kayaker who only goes out on extremely calm days? Does 38 ounces sound like a light paddle, not when you can get one that weighs 24 ounces? Do you like a feathered paddle, or is a bent shaft on your next Christmas gift list to yourself?
The point is there is a difference. I have used paddles that, after an hour, I want to use it as a shovel better than as a paddle, but I’ve used paddles that after a day out on the water I almost took the darn thing to bed with me just because I didn’t want to lose it.
O.K., maybe not bed, that would be weird, but you get the point. Less stress on the joints and less fatigue, that will really help out at the end of a long day.
Now, there are so many different paddle companies out there, choosing the one that is right for you sounds like a real headache, not when you make the time to talk to someone knowledgeable in the field of paddles. Trust me, it’s time well-spent, and you will thank yourself in the end. Feel free to call me with any questions.
As always, stay safe, always wear your P.F.D., and test your whistle every now and then. See you out on the water. For questions or comments on our stories, or to just let us know of a specific item you would like to see us cover, please place your replies on our Facebook page, U.B. Captain, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s Note: Tony Crouch is a Certified Kayak Instructor and holds classes at U.B. Captain Kayaks, 5009 Padre Blvd, South Padre Island. For more information, call (956)-761-1669 or look for him on Facebook at U.B. Captain.