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An Independent Playak Review of the Profiplast Puro paddle.
Technology: Paddles of the highest quality for demanding customers, made with the help of GIT – Gas Injection Technology. The blades of new generation paddles are made of thermoplastic with carbon fibers and markedly lightened by hollow rib. The paddle rib with double cross section continuing the strengthened blade end guarantees high tenacity and the material with carbon fiber provides for high toughness and abrasion resistance. The new paddle shapes are very efficient in strokes both forward and back. The shafts of this series are made in one-piece models of highly solid duraluminium, fitted with thermoplastic coat in the place of grip; or they are made of combination of glass, carbon and Kevlar fibers with integrated oval made of fibers of prepreg material, providing for optimum resin-penetration of the basic material to achieve maximum tenacity at minimum weight.
Puro: Thermoplastic blade filled with carbon fibers, with progressive shape, intended for white water and rodeo, blade surface 705cm2, on duraluminium or composite shaft, in one-piece version. Weight of 200cm with duraluminium shaft 1170g, with composite shaft 990g.
Out of the Box
I tested the Puro with a composite one piece shaft, 194 cm long, with blades offset at 30 degrees, which was a custom version of the Puro. Normally the paddles are available at 180, 190, 200, 210, and 220 cm long with 60 degree offset for a right or a left hand paddle. I was happy to receive one at 30 degrees and hope they will offer this to their normal customers as well one day.
My first observation was how light it is. My regular paddle weighs in at 1177 g and I found the Puro surprisingly light. The construction looks solid and the paddle feels well balanced. The shaft diameter feels good in my hand. There is a bit of extra material on the right side of the shaft to create an oval shape to make it sit correctly in your hand. The blades look sturdy and the paddle feels quite stiff when pressed on my living room floor. Banging the paddle blades around my floor gave me confidence that they would survive normal use and abuse on the water and during airplane transport.
First Flatwater Test
I took the Puro to my local lake to test it out in flatwater. My regular paddle is very different from the Puro having a bent shaft and foam core blades. Besides that, the Puro felt good in the water from the get go. The blades had adequate power on the front and back side. The blades came easily out of the water when paddling. The force on the blade was well balanced and did not try to rotate the paddle in my hands. During draw strokes the paddle cut well through the water. During double pumping and cartwheeling I did not experience the paddle getting caught in the water as I do with my regular paddle.
For some reason, I found that I had to concentrate a bit to get a good roll with the Puro. Sometimes I was not certain that the paddle blade was parallel to the water surface when rolling. The small oval on the paddle shaft is not enough for me to be confident about the paddle orientation when rolling. This might be due to the fact that I normally paddle a bent shaft paddle and am used to feeling this very strongly.
On the River
I had the chance to paddle some whitewater with the Puro. To me the paddle felt good and I had no problems changing from my regular paddle to the Puro. The Puro felt well balanced, light, and powerful.
I gave it to my two paddling buddies: One a slalom paddler and the other an enthusiastic beginner. They agreed that they found the paddle less powerful than their normal paddles and preferred their paddles with larger blades. In contrast I found their paddles large, unresponsive, and clumsy.
The Puro is well worth taking a look at, Profiplast delivers on their hype. As promised it is light, well balanced, and responsive. It paddles well, the blades enter and exit the water effortlessly and there is no torque on the paddle while paddling. When doing draw strokes it glides well through the water.
My only complaints about this paddle would be that the oval in the shaft is too small to my liking and it comes in all black which is not so great if you ever lose your paddle on the water.
More info: www.profiplast.cz