Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Penobscot Paddle Test Run

Got a chance to take the c1900 Penobscot replica out for a test run on the cottage lake....

Original Paddles; Replica; Grip Closeup

Very likely that the original paddle was carved for ceremonial purposes or the tourist souvenir trade. The unique grip pattern with its slender curved and sharpened tip really isn't that practical for serious paddling and not intended to be held in the usual way. 

Grip in "action"

It was reasonably comfortable held with the middle & ring fingers resting in the carved grooves at the top, but any other positions and the nubby tip would dig into the palm (as expected)...

Much more comfortable to hold it on its side near the bottom of the grip...

Despite the ornamental appearance of the grip, I really enjoyed this paddle. The Sassafras is so flexible and light and the blade design has just enough surface area to be an acceptable solo blade for my needs. This paddle has a twin blank that was cut from the same thick Sassafras stock so I'll be carving another one, albeit with a more comfortable grip design.

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