Most Recent Reviews
I bought this paddle just because I liked its looked. I have since decided it is suits for my needs very well. I usually use a bent shaft, but I find this works much better in one of my boats (Hornbeck 12) because the boat is the shortest and widest of my canoes. It is light weight and the blade size suits my stroke and offers all the control I need and the power I can use easily, (I am 74 after all). I like the palm grip. While it is not as light as some of the much more expensive paddles, it is light enough. It is a very nice paddle and it looks great too.
I can not understand why these type of boats have not become more accessible to paddlers her in the midwest. They a =re great for lakes and rivers and very easy to transport. The Hornbeck is a solo Adirondack pack canoe that weighs about 17 pounds for easy carries along narrow portages like you might find in the BWCA or Sylvania Wilderness area. It is pretty fast for a shorter boat and behaves well on the water. I have taken it on moderate chop and wind and felt secure and stayed dry. It designed to be double bladed while you sit low like a kayak, but I often use a single blade on flatter water because I enjoy the slower, more stately pace. This boat is well worth a trip to New York to get. While there Peter Hornbeck will try out the various models and features and more or less make the boat to suit your style and needs. He even signs it for you when it is done.
A year or so ago I bought the boat because I wanted a short lightweight canoe and because my paddling partner had recently gotten replacement hips and was having some trouble getting into and her kayak. Mr. Hornbeck took lots of time with us, gave us some tips and recommended this boat model over our other choices. I have been more than happy with this choice. It is faster than I expected, handles well in wind, and is so light (at about 15 lbs.) that I am still surprised when I lift it to put on the car. It is meant to be double bladed, but I often use a single blade just because I want to. For double blading, Peter Hornbeck recommended a long (very long) paddle and this seems to work very well. The Hornbeck has turned out to be one of my better boat investments and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a lightweight, canoe that can carry some freight.
In short, I do not enjoy all the fooling around needed to get on the water, but some people enjoy the process of getting there as much a being there.
My boat is a 2002 model which I bought used. I paddle it more than any of my other boats and in all kinds of conditions. Besides the scratches etc. to be expected on a boat which has been put in the water hundreds of times, I only needed to replace 1 deck fitting.
My contact with the original company was always very positive. I don't know if being purchased by Wenonah/Current Design will change anything, but as long as they keep the same design and quality, my opinion will not change. The only reason I would get rid of my current 400 would be to get a new one. I would even get the same color.