Michelle and I bought these paddles at the end of the season in 2011. We purchased two Grey Owl Sagamore Cherry Ottertail paddles from Mountain Equipment Co-op with the intent on using them as our primary paddles this season. We do mostly lake travel and these long blade paddles should make for enjoyable days on the water. The oil finish is soft on our hands, and the cherry is quite light during extended trips. We are now on the hunt for shorter beavertail style paddles, for a trip at the beggining of May on the Tim River in Alongonquin park, where water levels will be low. We are looking forward to a season of experimenting with different paddle types to see which paddle type suits our paddling style.