I was handed this slitted blade paddle a month ago and immediately used it for the @planetpatrol #RaceForRivers event on the River Wey, Godalming and beyond for two straight days – from the first stroke the words that came to my mind were “it feels easy”, but this just seemed too simple a phrase for something that has been five years in the making, with a huge amount of R&D and investment by the Team at Oscar Propulsion – if you are a techy geek and love some stats, I am sure CEO Duncan Troy can provide you with those but I am all about the feel of something, does it ‘feel’ right, does it make any difference to my paddling and how do I feel afterwards.
From the first catch, it feels different, there is a fizz as the blade cuts through the water and the ‘lock’ is stable. The power phase is super stable and there is no fluttering at all – usually when I try out a new paddle there is a certain amount of ‘settling in’ until you get used to the different size and shape of blade but here, and I go back to those words, it feels easy to use.
There is absolutely no loss of performance with this paddle compared to others, and the power is there – I handed it to my husband who had not been on a board for at least 18 months due to a neck injury. He is rehabilitating currently but felt able to join me for a paddle – he just loved the ease of this paddle, certainly felt no after-affects from an 8km trip and loved everything about it from the catch and power to the immediate glide of the board with just one stroke. We swapped paddles around, but he insisted on having the Oscar back as his favoured paddle!
Back to my own experience of the paddle – I think it will really come into its own for endurance paddling or multi-day trips due to it creating less of a strain on your shoulders, neck and forearms with absolutely no loss of stability, comfort or performance – if you are rehabilitating from an injury then it could possibly help you out too.
The paddle is slightly heavier than my normal one due to the adjustable handle but with a one-piece shaft it would be even better. If you need speed and power, it’s got that too – my husband and I did some simple tests paddling against each other – I certainly came out faster with the Oscar paddle and I can see we are going to be squabbling over who uses it!
I chatted to Lizzie Carr from Planet Patrol who was also using this paddle for the #RaceForRivers event and paddled over 100km with it. She suffers from golfer’s elbow and was concerned about doing this distance over a relatively short period of time but said she experienced no flare ups with her elbow and felt almost an immediate difference after using the paddle. Normally, Lizzie would experience pain after about 5km when paddling due to the golfer’s elbow, but the paddle was so smooth in the water, and it didn’t flutter which really helped her situation.
The few people that I have passed the paddle to on the water have all confirmed how easy it is to use – they are very intrigued with the design which then transfers into a positive experience on the water. This paddle is no ‘gimmick’ – hours and hours of development and tests have gone into not only this SUP paddle but also those for rowing, kayaking and dragon boating.
I can’t wait to use it more and would love to see how it performs say, for sprinting and whether it makes any marginal gains for competitive paddlers in the 5km to 10km range. I also think this could be the perfect upgrade for a beginner to really get to grips with the correct way to paddle i.e., an easy catch and no fluttering to deal with.
If you would like to read more about the Oscar Propulsion Paddle and the technology behind it and see other reviews, please visit the website here: https://oscarpropulsion.com/sport/ and if you would like to support by being one of the first to own one, check this out: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/game-changing-sup- paddle#/
If you would like to try the paddle and are anywhere near Hampshire in the UK or events next year, please do contact me through social media:
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