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Sawyer Orca V-Lam

August 7th, 2012 · 1 Comment


I’ve been lusting over this paddle for years–the Sawyer Paddles & Oars’ Orca V-Lam. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ve undoubtedly seen me post about it before.  I never had a good excuse as to why I didn’t have one. In the world of performance paddles, they are inexpensive. In the world of performance paddles, they are also beautiful. Function with form.

Strong carbon fiber shaft continues to the tip of the blade, and follows the edge all the way around

What’s kinda funny is that they’re a fairly local company–Southern Oregon. Well known by drift boat users and fishing guides, their oars take some major abuse. Yet, they’re not well established, locally, as a kayak paddle manufacturer.

Beauty is maintained by the liberal and artistic use of Western Red Cedar. Individual trees, and even different parts of each tree, all have a unique color, giving the stripping on the blades of the Sawyer Orca V-Lam a true one-of-a-kind look. It’s safe to say no one else has my paddle.

That’s a sexy paddle. Practically invisible is the fiberglass weave protecting and strengthening the Western Red Cedar

Contrary to many beliefs, wood can be light. This is an adjustable weight 240-250 paddle, making it one of the longest on the market (custom orders are welcome at Sawyer too, like Diablo Paddlesports 12′ long pushpole/SUP paddle/kayak paddle combo) but it also weighs in at a measly 29.12 ounces. That makes this one of the lightest paddles on the market. The Orca V-Lam is also currently $299, making it a very inexpensive paddle on the market.

And it’s plenty strong. You can see all the carbon fiber in the photos. What you can’t see, unless you look really close, is the fiberglass that is layered on top of the cedar. This helps make a very strong and durable paddle.

It’s drop dead gorgeous. It’s light. It’s affordable. It paddles like a dream. Why did it take me so long?

Tags: Gear

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