See Products from Mitchell Paddles, Inc. in the Buyers' Guide!
|Mitchell Paddles, Inc. in the Buyers' Guide:|
• Whitewater Kayak Paddles
• Touring Canoe Paddles
• Whitewater Canoe Paddles
• Bent Shaft Canoe Paddles
• Touring Kayak Paddles
The quality is top notch. Their paddles are laminated wood (not one solid piece) to provide strength and resist warping. The ends have beautiful walnut inlays with an epoxy tip. The paddle throughout has a durable polyurethane finish.
Mitchell offers a variety of woods that you can choose from. I went cheap and ordered spruce (which included ash, Santa Maria and Walnut) made the paddle slightly heavier. But I knew that going in. It would be cool if Mitchell could update their website to include pictures of all of their wood combinations. My paddle does not look like the paddle currently on the website.
I would definitely recommend the Mitchell Greenland Paddle.
There are a number of fine craftsman offering superb custom made examples of these age-old paddle designs. Finding an excellent Greenland paddle at a reasonable price, however, is a taller task. The Mitchell Horizon fills this need very well. Made from a selection of fine woods finished with hi-gloss polyurethane, the care and craftsmanship that goes into this product is evident even to the casual observer.
Out on the water, where it counts, this Mitchell paddle performs very well. It's light, agile and responsive. The grip remains very good regardless of water temperature, either bare-handed or while using gloves. It moves smoothly in your hands, easily transitioning from a regular to an extended paddle position and back again. The blades enter and exit the water with almost no sound. Even after very long back-to-back days, you will find the Mitchell Horizon to be a winner from just about every viewpoint.
The paddles are always laminated, including the shaft, and the importance of this cannot be underestimated. Lamination is not only attractive, but serves the purpose of preventing bends, twists and warping as would a solid paddle, and also permits the paddle to be very thin, and thus lightweight. As Mitchell brand paddles are made with hardwood (walnut, ash, basswood, cherry) rather than softwood (cedar, pine), they have to be thin to maintain light weight. The strength despite thinness is achieved through lamination. The purchaser selects the wood type for the paddle.
The performance of the paddle is outstanding. Its reinforced, rounded edge it can handle some bumps and beach push-offs and still remain intact and elegant in its presentation in the water. Please note that, although some paddlers prefer a self-made paddle with a more gradual taper from loom to blade (i.e. thicker in the area of hand placement), the Horizon GP is soft shouldered (has a gradual transition from loom to blade), and one might select a narrower than expected loom length so that the palm of the hand contacts a “fatter” portion of the inner blade rather than all on the loom. I selected a 13-14 inch loom, which still provides me plenty of comfortable hand placement on the inner blade (the “effective” loom width is likely 17-19 inches). The balance of the paddle, with weight distributed over the entire length as opposed to a Euro paddle with weight at the blade ands, makes the Horizon GP seem even lighter when in use.
Any good Greenland paddle should perform well with hands at any point on the paddle, such as for extended paddle bracing. The Mitchell is thin at the blade ends, and thus takes some “getting used to”, but in no way is uncomfortable to the grasp.
In summary, I find the Mitchell Horizon GP to be a fabulous product with top notch care put into a custom, hand crafted paddle at a reasonable price. Anyone paddling with me is welcome to try one out. I own plenty of Werner and Epic carbon paddles, and yet the earthy warmth and graceful performance of the Mitchell GP has made it the first paddle I grab when I head to the lakes.
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