What is a good OC-1 Paddle for small chop and small waves?

I paddle in Northern California where there is small chop and small waves. What is a good oc-1 paddle that I should look into getting? Anyone have opinions?

Submitted by ginhao on Wed, 01/17/2007 - 4:48pm

i like the quickblade kaiwi...and a close second would be the quickblade hapa...i've used a hapa for the last couple years but will definitely be getting a kaiwi for my next paddle...both are great in any conditions...

#1 Thu, 01/18/2007 - 2:56pm

We (most of us in SOCC) use Quickblades.
The quality, craftsmanship, low swing weight and durability of the "Hapa" styles have made them very popular out here on the East Coast. Small waves and chop are very predominant along the Atlantic coast-line, where you need to work extra hard to gain an advantage even in following conditions. The Quickblade's fine edge allows for a smooth catch. The cupped, hand-like shape of the Tornado blade hooks up amazingly well and the release is buddah smooth. I am always trying something new (sometimes eliciting the "another paddle?!?" from my wife) but I keep coming back to what feels the best.
Jim Terrell is the man and I hear he has a new blade in the works...anybody know anything about it?

#2 Sun, 01/21/2007 - 3:06am

I used paddles made by Dan Kahler from Lokahi CC exclusively, when I first started paddling over 16 years ago in Honolulu. Now, here in Washington State the water's quite different, and I haven't found anything that can beat Kialoa's Axel, Axel 2, or Keone in the small to medium chop, or really any other condition we encounter up here, (wind waves, ocean swells on the smaller side, and pretty strong ocean and river currents/tides) And the best part, Meg and Dave Chun from Kialoa have the BEST customer service I've ever experienced. A lot of top teams - even in Hawaii - use team Kialoa paddles... Ever heard of Lanikai, or Tui Tonga?

OK, all that being said, when it all comes down to it, I think whatever paddle feels best to you is the one that's going to work right, no matter what the conditions. (You might want to think about different paddles for different conditions, or OC-1 vs. OC-6 if you really want to spend some kala, though.) As long as what you choose is appropriate for your size and the water you MOSTLY paddle in, I think that what kind of paddle you use matters even less than which boat you're in.

I just wanted to give some mad props to Kialoa for making what, in my opinion, is a TOP PRODUCT.

OK, bye-bye.

Treasure this sh*t, 'cause you probably won't see me getting all serious again for a while.

love, GOTOdotcom

#3 Sun, 01/21/2007 - 1:13pm

Dan Kahler...wow, there's a name I haven't heard in a while. He made some awesome custom paddles back in the day.

#4 Sun, 01/21/2007 - 9:43pm

The Levas paddles would be my choice , handmade carbon fiber with a very slight flex, 71/2--8 ounces each.
8 or 9 inch blades.

#5 Mon, 01/22/2007 - 6:04am

Grey Owls all the way! Small chop, big chop, chop wood, whatevers!

#6 Mon, 01/22/2007 - 10:38am


#7 Mon, 01/22/2007 - 1:21pm

Whoa! Was that a serious comment from Goto? If that guy stays on the Vick's, he won't even need a paddle pretty soon. I heard now that the 'Hawks are out, Hasselbeck is planning to domo the PNWORCA oc-1 series. Brady says Grey Olos suck ass!

#8 Mon, 01/22/2007 - 5:12pm

isn't a real jedi supposed to make his own light saber at least once?

#9 Thu, 05/03/2007 - 7:07pm

If paddle performance matters , then attention has to be given to the Levas paddles from Quebec. Long time marathon racer Michel Levasseur makes high performance paddles in his basement by hand one at a time.
Pure carbon fiber and 7 to 8 ounces each, stiff but not too stiff.
These paddles were used by the winning teams of north Americas most competitive marathon races last year.
Many marathon paddlers are switching to the Levas paddles because they are very efficient at the catch.
These paddles are rare to find , if you have one , count yourself lucky.
No need to take my word for it though, give Michel a call and talk to the builder about them.
He has no website , but here`s his phone number: 819-533-5108.

Also, Eastern Outrigger stocks these paddles, race proven winners over and over again. There is only one of these paddles in Hawaii with the 9 inch blade size , can you guess who has it?
Pics of these paddles are up at:
You will need to join the group to view the pics.

#10 Fri, 05/04/2007 - 1:00am


You are obviously very committed to paddling and the promotion of paddling and I'm sure the east coast paddlers are thankful for your efforts. But must EVERY post be an advertisement for something you sell or to get people to register at your Yahoo site. If you have pics of the Zephyr or new paddles, etc, why not just post 'em here?

No ill will intended, seriously. But come on...

#11 Fri, 05/04/2007 - 7:38am


The question was whats a good paddle for small chop and small waves. Most of the people who named thier favorite paddles , named ones that are well known and can easily be found at websites and retail stores.
Since Michel Levasseuer doesn
t have a store or a website I thought I should include some contact information on how to gather more information about the paddles. If you want a paddle , you can get them directly from Michel or any number of dealers throughout north America. If youd like to know who the dealers are give Michel a call . 819-533-5108
Zephyr pics are up in the community photos section of this site, don
t know why they copied so small , maybe Keizo can help out with this.

#12 Fri, 05/04/2007 - 12:20pm

I have been paddling with a Quickblade Tornado Hapa, made by Jim Terrell, for a few years now.

I just un-boxed a new 9" Kanaha Hapa and went out for an excellent session.
The Kanaha has a slightly bent blade similar to the Tornado, with less overall surface area.
The fit and finish is beautiful and the wood is suprisingly light feeling. Jim has incorporated a very fine leading edge for a clean catch and a raised vertical line on the back face of the blade that seems to help hold the blade vertical during the pull, with a quiet release.
That's what I got after an hour on the water...I am going to go out and pay the proverbial man tomorrow and I am stoked.
Thanks for the cool tool Jim!

#13 Fri, 05/04/2007 - 5:18pm

Stop the presses! yldbill bought more paddling equipment. Wish I had been at your house to see your wife's face when you opened that package. If I ever start an East Coast paddling magazine yldbill is going to write the gear section.

#14 Fri, 05/04/2007 - 5:34pm

The glareing deletion on this subject is the lack of comment on the Zaveral paddles. These high performance paddles have been in the hands of more winning paddlers than any other ever produced. Widely available , excellent customer service. http://zre.com/

#15 Sat, 05/05/2007 - 12:06am

Why use 16 oz when 8 oz will do? Haven't figured out why Zaverals aren't used more on OC-1s. Love my ZRE blades, I even have a custom flatwater steering blade by ZRE. Great service, excellent quality, super light efficient blades, what more could you ask for?

#16 Sat, 05/05/2007 - 7:56am

How do people feel about the length of their paddle blade for an OC1 in relation to an OC6? I've been hearing that quite a few paddlers have elected to use a shorter blade (not just paddle) length for their OC1, especially in the surf. The shorter blade helps in hitting those quick strokes used to catch the wave. Looking at the ZRE web site, the standard blade lentgh is 19 or 19.6 inches (depending on model) unless you custom order. That's seems like a lot of blade to pull out of the water when you're that close to the surface on an OC1.

#17 Sun, 05/06/2007 - 5:01am

19 in. is quite long, but notice that the wide part of the blade is much shorter. Thanks Fuzerider,Frosso et. al.I always wondered where those paddles came from- I think I'll get one for oc-1. Does anyone know where to get a Kaimana rudder in Washington? Can you use any ol' rudder or do you need one specifically made for the Kaimana? Talofa, Jim.

#18 Sun, 05/06/2007 - 8:11am

I measured the effective power face on my Levas paddle blade, it measures 13 " long by 8 -7/8 " wide. Most of the surface area is down low on the blade. The blade is sort of spoon shaped, slightly cupped on the power face. Edges are sharp all the way around the blade , entry and exit is very quiet.

#19 Sun, 05/06/2007 - 9:58am

Jim, just sent you a PM regarding Kaimana rudder.

#20 Sun, 05/06/2007 - 11:30am

I use ZRE paddles in all conditions on my OC2 and on OC6s. They have several models suitable for outrigger canoes with different sized blades, shaped blades, weights, and prices. I choose the light weight powersurge outrigger paddle weighing slightly less than 10 oz. The powersurge blade is shorter than their standard outrigger blade and measures 19" by 9 3/4" (the sizes on the website are for their standard blades). One of the unique feature of the ZRE is that the blade can be reduced in width to as little as 9". I wanted a smaller blade for my daughter so I bought her a flatwater ultralight weight powersurge paddle that measures 18" by 8 3/4" ( it can be cut to 8") and weighs slightly less than 7 1/2 oz.. I like the power surge model because it has a smaller blade for less windage, a very thin curved lip which makes it eazy to get a clean catch and there is less slipage in the water than with a much bigger blade with a flat face. The shaft is stiff and has no slip texture which allows a relaxed grip. You will get calouses. Between the stiff shaft and the powersurge there is a very efficient power transfer, better than any other paddle I've tried including the Foti steering blade. I have been using these blades for about 6 years and have never had any shoulder or joint problems even though I sometimes use a paddle that is three inches too long (it gives a great work out). The blade to shaft angle is 12 degrees but can you can order any angle you want. This is a nice feature depending on your technique. The palm grip is very comfortable and makes it eazy to keep the blade perpendicular to the long axis of the canoe, a problem some paddlers have with a T grip. The light weight allows a very quick, effortless return. I can relax on the return with the result that I have considerably more energy for the power phase of my stroke, especially at higher strike rates. The light weight does mean that you will have to get use to controlling it in high winds but it really isn't the big deal some people make it out to be. You definately will learn to feather the blade in high head winds. The paddles are very durable. The only problems I have had is where I banged them into the gunnel of an OC6 and where I've lent them out. The repairs are very eazy with some marine epoxy. Other than that my paddles are going strong with no end in sight. The ZRE is made in three replaceable parts; shaft, grip,and blade so that if you did break your paddle the damaged part can be replaced. You can also reduce the length of the paddle with out buying a new shaft. The customer service is great and I've even gotten some valuable tips on steering from Max. Although they make a special reinforced steering blade and I own one lately I have been using my regular powersurge to steer with when the conditions are calm. It is great because it pulls so hard and I can change sides without missing a stroke. I have been hesitant about poking because I worry about breaking it but I have decided to give it the test. In the past I bought factory seconds online at a reduced price but lately I have been buying them for a great price from John at canoechamp@aol.com.

#21 Tue, 05/08/2007 - 5:49am

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