Harmony Vapor Bent Paddle - Gear Review

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I have had the privilege of testing out many of the top paddles on the market and nothing compares to a wooden paddle.  The feel and performance can not be replicated by new-age materials.  However, if done correctly, blending in modern technology is not a bad way to go.  


The Vapor Bent Shaft paddle from Harmony marries Cedar wood with Carbon Fiber and Fiber Glass to create a light, durable paddle.  The 10 degree bend makes for a good balance between power and control and at only 19 ounces it is right in there with the other major players in this category.

While on our BWCA excursion this year everyone wanted to give this paddle a try.  There is something alluring about the shimmer of the carbon fiber that compels you to pick it up.  The classic beaver tail blade design provides plenty of power, but sacrifices a bit of control when navigating narrow waterways.  As the stern paddler I found myself over-steering on occasion.  The reinforced blade was nearly indestructible.  While lifting the canoe on my shoulders for one of our last portages I accidentally stepped on the blade of the Harmony paddle, fully expecting to hear a crunch.  I was surprised to find zero damage done.  I may not be the biggest guy in our crew, but most paddles would buckle under 200+ pounds (that's me plus the canoe BTW) on less than 1/4 inch of cedar.

At an MSRP of $169.99, you get a paddle unlike most others out there and one that will last for years of rugged use and abuse...



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