I just returned from a 500 plus mile trip down the Back River in Nunavut. Last year I used the Bending Branches Sunburst ST paddle on the Hood River in Nunavut. It was so good that I bought a Sunburst 14 for this year's trip down the Back. I used the straight blade for rapids, and the bent shaft for flat water. I turned 67 on the trip, so I needed every advantage I could find to keep up with the youngsters. I felt that these paddles helped me a lot. After long hours of paddling, the paddles never felt like a heavy burden to use. They are light, strong, and the shafts are stiff. I wondered about such high tech paddles on a long wilderness trip in challenging rapids. But these paddles took all I gave them, and there are only some minor scratches in the varnish to show that they were used at all. The only negative comment I heard about my paddles came from an Inuit that picked up the Sunburst 14 and said that someone had been paddling too hard and had bent the paddle. We all had a good laugh. It was obvious that even though he had never seen a bent shaft before, that paddle was in good condition.
My friends and I are sold on these beautiful, light weight paddles for trips up north. I highly recommend the Bending Branches Sunburst paddles!