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The Odyssey Carbon paddle from Adventure Technology has a touring style blade and is available in either a straight or ergonomically bent shaft. Both the blade and shaft are constructed from sheets of carbon fiber.
This is a two piece paddle that benefits greatly from the easy to use ferrule that allows for unlimited feathering of blade angle and adjustability for length. For example, a 230cm paddle will adjust from 230cm to 237.5cm in length. This paddle is available in 210cm, 220cm, 230, and 240cm lengths. My 230 cm ergo shaft paddle weighs in at 32 oz. The Odyssey Carbon paddle can be bought in the $400 to $420 price range from a variety of Adventure Technology authorized dealers.
Ok, enough with the technical jargon… let’s get to the nighty-gritty of why I personally love this paddle.
I was one of those “Who in the heck spends that much on a paddle?!?” kind of people for sure… UNTIL I tried a true lightweight paddle for the first time. I have always been plagued with wrist and shoulder issues and kayak fishing had become downright painful for me. I tried all kinds of things, thinking the problem was this or that. What never really occurred to me was that the way I was paddling was the main source of discomfort. My stroke was so off because I was struggling with my paddle more than I was actually moving my kayak around. I had the wrong style blades for the type of paddling I was doing, I had a heavy paddle that wasn’t properly balanced that took an extreme amount of effort just to hold in the air, let alone pull myself along with… I was stinking miserable! Then about 5 years ago I purchased my first lightweight paddle, an Adventure Technology Fishstix… WOW WHAT A DREAM COME TRUE! It was a definite game changer for me. I said to myself then, “I’m never going back to those other paddles ever again!”, and I haven’t.
I’m on my second Odyssey Carbon now because it expanded on all that I liked about the Fishstix, and then added some key blade design features that worked for me… well, that and the badass black raw carbon fiber look (admit it, you know you love raw carbon fiber anything!). Having a ferrule that adjusts to any position is a big plus for me because I like to adjust the angle of the blades to make it easier when I’m going to be doing lots of one handed paddling while fighting fish… but the types of water, wind, structure, etc. all change what angle of attack I want to use, so being able to pick what I want and to change it so easily is a must. I really like that the “ergo bend” on the Odyssey is a little less pronounced as I have seen on other products, it gives me more options on where I want to place my hands without being forced into one hand position due to an aggressive bend.
As good as this paddle performs and looks, it’s also one tough cookie. I use mine in open water, in stony/rocky rivers, along Lake Erie breakwalls, in flooded timber, in the dead of winter, as a push-pole when I get hung up in the shallow stuff, as an anchor point jammed in-between rocks and stumps when it gets windy, as a snake and small water rodent defensive weapon… I guess what I’m getting at here is that I don’t baby this good looking, expensive paddle, and it just takes it like a champ. Proof? Here ya’ go… I got this Odyssey 2 months ago:
I mentioned earlier that this was my second one, my first Odyssey was destroyed during a fire in my garage:
I wonder if that what it takes to destroy one of these paddles? Given the abuse that I put that first one through, and the continued level of abuse that I’m putting this next one through… I would say, “Yes, you need to throw it in a fire to kill it!” Well alright, you might be right, that might be a bit extreme… But I’m going to go out there and continue to beat the snot out of this thing in the usual manor anyway, so I’ll be sure to let you know what I find out.
Wilderness Systems Kayak Fishing Pro Staff