Submitted: 03-16-2009 by sk
I can't pretend to be a true,hardcore GP paddler. I only recently purchased my first wood GP(I ken's greenlandkayaking.com paddle)and I was hooked. I now love them, so my next logical step was to get a carbon GP..The Superior kayak line has a good name, but was a bit more than my budget. I came across NOVORCA paddles(Ron Steinwall) and he had his listed for $350 so I purchased the standard 87 inch model/20 inch loom.
I wish I could give in depth analysis of it's rolling abilities, comparison to many other models etc, but I can't so here are the basics.
First off his customer service and quality expectations ARE TOP NOTCH. When I first inquired about delivery he gave me a date of about 2 weeks(pretty darn fast as it is). I placed an order 1 day later. A few day before delivery he emailed to let me know he was behind schedule by a whopping 3 days and would refund my shipping fee's (Very nice and I didn't even think 3 extra days was a big deal anyway).
Just before shipping he explained there was a small cosmetic blemish on the paddle finish. A small spot in the epoxy(turned out to be something I probably never would have noticed if he hadn't told me).
He said it did not affect the paddle durability, but as a perfectionist it drove him nuts. He gave me the option of waiting an extra few days to get it perfect or reduce the price $25 and sell it to me as a blemished model.( I figured it would not bother me so I said send it)..
Got it today and it is beautiful. The blemish(he called a fisheye/small miniature dimple in the epoxy finish from possible dust speck) was nothing at all..A very small surface dimple the size of a gnat..Talk about being a perfectionist, he cares about his product.
Back the the paddle. I got the basic 87 inch model with 20 inch loom. The epoxy finish is very nice/clean and even. the paddle looks great.
On my postal scale it weighed 1 lb 12 oz. My similar shaped 87 inch laminated red cedar GP weighed at 2 lb 2 oz. The shoulders are a bit more subtle/softer angle than my wood GP( I like the softer shoulder). The blade measurements are on his website if you want them.
I read some of the Superior Carbon GP reviews(which are also good)but noted that some mentioned sharp edges(don't know if that is still an issue). I was worried all carbons might have this same issue, but my GP is not at all too sharp. Very comfortable and almost the same edge as on my wood paddle. The tips are only a small smidge sharper than my wood paddle, but still comfortable to use extended. I did a simple flex comparison and the wood paddle is a small bit softer(as to be expected) but not by a lot.
Overall, I am very happy. Very impressed with Ron's personal quality expectations for his paddles and his technically not required refunds for being 3 days late and refund for small irrelevant epoxy finish problem.
I would happily buy again or suggest him to others.