I am new to paddling, but...
I am new to paddling, but rpc3 was amazing in helping me select the right paddle! I am normally a skeptic of companies with few reviews, but I took a chance and couldn't be happier!!!! Highly recommend this company and their product!
I've paddled 350+...
I've paddled 350+ days/year, for 10 years, and the RPC3 Winged paddle is the best! I've tried many winged, but the RPC3 has a 'bite' in the water which can't be matched. It grabs for power, and for maneuverability. It allows me to paddle several ways over my daily 90 minute thrashing, so I can get a better overall workout. The support from the company (ordering/shipping) was great. But, the paddle is unbelievable. Highly recommended if you are a serious paddler.
I have owned and paddled a...
I have owned and paddled a whole variety of wing paddles over the years. And I am a bit obsessed with good form during the stroke, so I am tuned to how each paddle behaves. Each maker has subtle variations in twist, offset, depth of dish and tear drop versus spoon shaped. For example I have owned both a mid and large wing by Legend (a New Zealand company) a Quickblade neutron (no longer offered by the company who is now SUP focused). A Kajner mid wing, All of the epic wings (small, mid and large), an SRS from Canada, a Stellar Kayaks wing, a Swiss made Swartzer (the black) and a beautifully made Onno small-mid wing. While in general they all have a similar function (wing performance and lift), each does have unique characteristics. For example, the shaft on the Onno always felt too small for my hands, the Quickblade was the lightest of all, but very technical to use (would spin out if your stroke was less than ideal), the Kajner had an aggressive catch, but faded during the stoke which made me nervous in sloppy water, the stellar felt dead for a high angle paddle stroke, but was better for a low angle style form. The Swartzer has the best entry of any of them and is incredibly stiff (love that paddle, but perhaps too much power for ultra distances), and the Epic wings are the most forgiving of a sloppy paddle placement and are excellent distance racing paddles. Yes I am a gear junkie, but I did paddle all these blades for at least several months and many of them I still own and use.
So how does this new mid wing offering from RPC3 stack up? The feel on the water is closest to an Epic or Onno wing in terms of performance. It perhaps has ever-so-slightly less dish than the epic and perhaps a bit more twist than the Onno mid-wing. It is almost the same size as an Epic mid wing, but perhaps a fraction smaller (I can obscure the rpc3 behind my epic mid wing). Making it about ½ way between the typical small-mid and typical mid wing (a perfect size IMHO). The shaft is an all carbon two piece and it has the standard lever lock for feather and length adjustment system (this system is now standard on most all paddles on the market). The shaft is ovalized, but only a touch. Note: I have never been a big fan of how ovalized the epic wing paddle shaft was, while this RPC3 shaft is ovalized, it is to a lesser degree. I actually really like that feature and in fact still prefer non-ovalized shafts (I blister less on ultra marathons on a round shaft). The paddle is very light, not as light as my Swartzer, but certainly as light as my full carbon epic wing. It performs great, with all the forgiveness of an Epic wing and in many ways reminds me of the Onno I had.
This is probably a brand...
This is probably a brand not many people know but will appreciate and love after they try it out. I was looking for a Carbon Kayak Paddle for an Adventure Race (The World Championships) that included very long kayak legs that added up to almost 100 miles. I looked and looked and found Recreational Products of the Carolinas [RPC3]. At $240 dollars Vs $500 or $600 for other paddles I needed to give this a try.
First of all the service was great, they gave me all the information I needed and even called back me to make sure I was getting what I needed so with that they had me at "hello". Since Paddling is just one of the parts of Adventure Racing I needed a very light and durable paddle that would not only help me in the kayak section but would be light to carry in my back pack. At 26Oz the 11005 model was perfect. Not only is it light enough to carry in a trek through the Amazon but while I was paddling those long kayak legs it was very smooth both in the catch and the release. A friend of mine lent me one of those expensive paddles and to be honest I like mine better by far.
Kayaking is not my forte so I had to train for many hours before this long 500 mile race, it was great to train with this paddle and really get a feeling of it.
Our adventure took us through Level 3 river rapids on a sit on top kayak. There were many rocks (big) and I was really concerned that the paddle would break because other teams had broken theirs. Mine didnt break so that tells you about the high quality of these paddles.
Anyhow I'm not a big reviewer but when I really like a product I do like other people to know about it. I highly recommend trying these out you will not regret it and save a whole bunch of money.