Brand name paddles vs knockoffs (Ok, ok, I was wrong)

More
2 years 3 months ago #36480 by SpaceSputnik
Some months back we have discussed this here and I spoke in favour of Z&J paddle which is basically a small wing Epic knock off. I liked it well enough and put a fair bit of mileage on it over a year and a bit.

Now, I have to recant.
I was working on re-rigging my new used Epic 18x kayak. I was making an arrangement to stow a spare. At some point the bungees were too tight and I accidentally put some rotating pressure on one of the blades. The blade cracked slightly and started wobbling. 
I heated it up and it was a little bit shocking how easily the adhesive separated. The two halves of the blade came apart at the insert. I epoxied it all back and it's all solid, but I see that there's some tiny separation past my repair. Besides, to be on the safe side I'd probably need to re-glue the other blade.
None of that is particularly great. I not dealing with a risk of breakage while 10-15k from home. I do carry a euro spare, but I really don't want to have to use more than I want to test a seat belt in my car.

So, yeah. A cheapie bites the dust in slightly over a year of use, a new carbon Epic ordered and lesson learned.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36481 by mrcharly
A friend at my club has several 'knock offs'. One of them a copy of a Jantex Gamma Rio. I have a Jantex Gamma Rio.

He hasn't had any problems with his paddle, it cost him (with import fees) about 2/3rds what I paid for my paddle. 

His paddle is roughly 1.5 times the weight of mine. doesn't sound like much, just a couple of hundred grams more, but that really adds up over a long race.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36482 by Bitemekaos
The ocean ski /surf ski industry is a small industry where up until the last few years companies produced products for people like themselves loved paddling. I'd like to think that we are still a tight knit group and will support the company's and more importantly the people that have put in the hard yards to give us the great choice of products we have today. If you consider buying a knock off paddle, ski or whatever you are taking money from people in the industry that only want to see it progress not just looking for a pick buck. Anyway I'm locked at home like the rest of us at the moment and that's just my opinion but I happy to support those that have helped me on my slow progression. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36483 by SpaceSputnik

mrcharly wrote: A friend at my club has several 'knock offs'. One of them a copy of a Jantex Gamma Rio. I have a Jantex Gamma Rio.

He hasn't had any problems with his paddle, it cost him (with import fees) about 2/3rds what I paid for my paddle. 

His paddle is roughly 1.5 times the weight of mine. doesn't sound like much, just a couple of hundred grams more, but that really adds up over a long race.


That Z&J that broke was functionally fine. Same weight as Epics and it actually has a more useable aluminum lock. I did like until recently.
I guess the problem is not that "all Chinese paddles are bad" but that you don't really know which corners have been cut. Some of them a probably perfectly fine, but if they break you lose the the money you paid which could have gone towards a brand name. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36484 by SpaceSputnik

Bitemekaos wrote: The ocean ski /surf ski industry is a small industry where up until the last few years companies produced products for people like themselves loved paddling. I'd like to think that we are still a tight knit group and will support the company's and more importantly the people that have put in the hard yards to give us the great choice of products we have today. If you consider buying a knock off paddle, ski or whatever you are taking money from people in the industry that only want to see it progress not just looking for a pick buck. Anyway I'm locked at home like the rest of us at the moment and that's just my opinion but I happy to support those that have helped me on my slow progression. 


I understand this way of thinking but not all of us could afford to support the companies in everything and all the time. Sometimes you just need to way to get on water with and make progress without paying through the nose. That why used boats are such hot commodity around here as well as used paddles. 
You may say "pay once" and use for a long time, but it doesn't really work either because some of us want to switch gear and see how it plays out over a season or so. I bought 3 used boats last season, this season is young and I already sold one of the last years purchases and replaced it with another used craft. All of this is a very meaningful experience.
Same with paddles. 

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36485 by kwolfe
I'm torn as well.  I don't want to promote someone profiting off someones design however this sport is not one for people with shallow pockets.

I didn't want to drop $450 on a gamma rio just to test it out so I bought a Maxpaddle out of South Africa.  Not a knock off but saved a bunch even with shipping.

I'm also one who has had a few boats just trying to find the right one.  Where I am, there is a very very small paddling community so trying new or different stuff isn't an option.  I wish it was.

That being said, if I really got a chance to try a Jantex for weeks in a row and really like it, I wouldn't hesitate to spend $450.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36486 by SpaceSputnik
Exactly. I just paid through the nose for a new 3m carbon Epic with customized 720 cm2 blades.
How did I arrive at that number? Because I have a knock off in that size that I used for a good while.
(BTW my repair seems to hold fine so I am debating using that knock off as a spare).

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36492 by waverider
Knock offs are ok for someone getting into it to see what they like, and if they will stick at it. Cant expect to make a good choice of mega buck boats and paddles when you've never been in one and no idea what you are doing.

Cheap entry level brand boats and equipment would negate the need for knock offs. If there is a market need someone will fill it

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36494 by agooding2
All my boats have been used, and so far I haven't really made a bad choice (thanks Kevin by the way, new Nelo 550l is working out well on flatwater so far).  However with paddles, if you work with a dealer who will give you good advice and take i to back if it doesn't work for you, the risk is not that high.   A few hundred vs a few thousand.

I talked with Chris Chappell at fastpaddler.com and he suggested the Braca XI EL 705 and that worked great for me a huge improvement over the old too large and too long Legend paddle I was using.  Been using that the past 2 years now.  

For the Chattajack I decided I needed a smaller blade and after discussion I got the Braca IV Soft in 670 and used that for that race and also for training all this spring.

Of course there are other high quality paddles out there, key is to work with someone who can help you pick the right paddle and stand behind their product.  Having made my own canoe paddles in the past I think the paddle is as important as the boat.

I save money by not owning a Smart phone, or going to Starbucks or out to lunch daily. I finally broke down to get a used Garmin 310 XT.  I also drive an 11 year old car.  So it depends on your priorities I guess.  

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36497 by SpaceSputnik
[quote="agooding2"
I save money by not owning a Smart phone, or going to Starbucks or out to lunch daily. I finally broke down to get a used Garmin 310 XT.  I also drive an 11 year old car.  So it depends on your priorities I guess.  [/quote]

My smartphone is paid by the company I work for, my car is not much newer than yours and last time I was at Starbucks was 4 years ago. I also use a basic GPS tracker and a second-hand drysuit I bought on eBay and fixed up.
We shouldn't assume that people have these wasted disposable incomes. Often doesn't work like this in various parts of the world.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36498 by agooding2
Ok, fair enough.  It is harder t to find used paddles that new ones, I started with one myself.  I have been used to expensive sports since I was in graduate school, so I would find a way to buy the equipment I needed to speed skate, also an expensive sport.  but I realize that not everyone can afford to pay top dollar for equipment.

My post was aimed at those who just want to save a few dollars because they think the knock off paddle from China is just as good as the name brand paddle.  It may be, or it may not be.  

Either way however you are funding a company who has taken intellectual property from someone else and also a company that does not put anything back into the sport.  So that is the choice I made, to buy used when I could and buy new when I had to.

A $450 paddle is an expense that I find worth it, if I paddle for an hour 100 times this year and last, it breaks down to about 45 cents an hour.  I have also not spent my time or money on a paddle that didn't work for me.

That is my choice, I'm not trying to criticize yours.

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago #36499 by SpaceSputnik
That's ok, I just reacted to the Starbucks comment :)
I would much rather buy a used brand name than a new knock off. But there are close to none on the market. I sold an Epic that I didn't like last year, it barely took me a day to find a buyer.

When I am sure what I need I would pay up like I just did.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
2 years 3 months ago - 2 years 3 months ago #36500 by agooding2
No, I certainly hear you on that.  It Is hard to figure out what you need at first.  I had a midsize blade 218 cm long to start out with and I knew that was not ideal.  There was not a dealer within 5 hours of me, so I reached out to Chris and he gave me good advice on blade size and shape. I did a lot of research on length, using this forum among others and ended up with an adjustable shaft to fine tune it, and adjust to different boats.  

The Braca XI EL in the 705 size was good for the 6 mile races I was doing, but for longer paddles I needed something smaller as my shoulders were getting tired after 10-12 miles.

By the time I got my second paddle for longer distance I had the length dialed in so went with a fixed shaft for less cost and more flexibility and lightness.  At first I didn't like the Braca IV 670 as much as the XI in 705 as it didn't grab the water as firmly, but I appreciated its smaller and less twisted blade after I was paddling over 3 hours.

This spring I have been working on rotation and with the smaller blade I feel I have to focus more on my whole body technique to keep up with others.  I am also working on increasing  my turnover to accelerate instead of just pulling harder.

Nelo 550L, Streuer Fejna, Nelo Viper 55

Braca XI 705 EL blade, 17K shaft
Braca XI 675 marathon blade, 19K shaft
Braca IV 670 soft blade, 19K shaft
Last edit: 2 years 3 months ago by agooding2. Reason: Typos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Latest Forum Topics

Protected by R Antispam