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Name: RogerSchumann

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As a professional sea kayaking instructor for the past 20 years, I've tried tons of different paddles. Hands down my favorite is the Cyprus. Over the past six years or so, it's been my go-to paddle for all but the roughest surf and rock garden conditions (when I instead grab my burly, Werner Stikine).

As someone who puts in literally hundreds of thousands of strokes each year, a premium paddle is well worth its weight in ibuprophen! I find the light weight of the Cyprus is easy on my aging joints, while the high-performance blade shape--with its foam-core "flotation"--is excellent for everything from touring to surfing to smoothly linking strokes to rolling.

For me and the majority of my students, the "mid-size" high-angle blade style is a perfect compromise of power and versatility. While larger blades do provide a bit more support for bracing and rolling, they also take more muscle for simply paddling; thinner "touring" blades are easy on the arms for churning out the miles, but lack power and performance for maneuvering and bracing. The mid-size Cyprus nails the Goldilocks Zone of "Just Right" for just about everything I do.

Care and Durability: I don't baby my gear (tools, not jewels) but do take modest precautions or switch to a beefier blade when paddling around rocks or when the surf starts to reach double overhead (to a seated kayaker ;-) I've gotten years of mostly trouble-free use from my Cyprus. It is important to regularly rinse the adjustable ferrule in fresh water and lubricate it to keep the button from getting sticky, especially if you paddle primarily in salt water as I do. If the button gets gritty, I shove the nozzle of a garden hose into the end and blast the grit out, then let it dry and spritz a little 303 into the mechanism a couple times a year. This seems to keep it happy.