Ripple FX 2020 Paddle Review - Gary Mclain
Friend of the site Gary Mclain sent me the below review on the new Ripple FX paddle that has come out for this year. The Team here at CanoeRaceWorld has yet to get one of these bad boys in our hands but plan on doing an even further review once one gets into the hands of the neon bandit Bill Mahaffy. Enjoy!
Ripple FX canoe paddles
Made by Chris Prater up in Canada.
Chris asked me to review the new paddle he has out at my canoe camp. He sent over a 49” which was a bit short for me. A few paddlers got a chance to use it, with very positive results. Greg Lowry used it the most and had good thoughts.
So roughly 2 weeks later, Chris sent me another paddle, a 51.5”.
First impression was that it was lighter than my lightest ZRE, same length, I also was surprised by the strength of the shaft.
The shaft is a slight bit more oval than what I’m used to, but not a bad thing.
The blade is very similar in size to my ZRE and a completely different design as well. The blade has a “flatter “ paddle face and makes for a Very smooth entry for the “catch”!
The tee grip is a bit smaller than my ZRE, so another item for my big hands to get used to.
I have used this paddle for a couple weeks now, I’m all types of water and conditions, upstream and downstream, shallow(my best friend) water, and deep water as well.
The Ripple FX, has a great smooth entry for the catch, and is very solid in the power phase.
I use a modified D stroke entry and the result was clean, splash free entry, which results in a solid catch. The blade design “grabs “ the water and is a solid source to pull from. There is no slipping during the power phase, gives you a great feeling control and power! Very clean exit and the lightness allows a very quick recovery.
I was able during a Time Trial and get my stroke rate up well over 60+/ minute, and anyone who knows me, that’s very fast for me. So the lightness helps, but I think the smoothness of entry and exit helped as well.
It’s also very durable as I have hit some rocks, logs and other river debris while using it, with no dings or dents in the blade. On a couple braces or cross bows, there has been no flexing of the shaft.
I give the Ripple FX an A, and at $225 US / $ 290 CA plus shipping, makes it very affordable as well.
If you have any questions or thought feel free to give me a shout, or reach out to Chris.