Burnwater Carbon Fibre Paddle

The Burnwater paddle was once a really high-performance dragonboat paddle with a good feel and well finished design. Since 2006, Burnwater has tarnished it reputation as the paddles began to “pop” and cause a bubble to form on it’s blade. The outcome was basically a paddle that looked like an over sized cricket bat. People have asked why did this happen? Burnwater as like any other manufacturers have environmental standards they have to obide by. When the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) banned toxic chemical substance from being used to create the blade’s foam core back in 2006, Burnwater had to change their foam core to use a water based substance. This was a good thing from EPA to help protect the environment and I completely support that. Though when this happened, Burnwater’s manufacturing processes and materials used had to be changed. This leads to the issue of a blade forming a bubble and not reacting well with the carbon fibre material that wraps around it.

In Australia for numerous years the Burnwater paddle was considered the best paddle to buy because of it’s well finished design. It was even endorsed by the Australian Dragonboat National team and AusDBF as their offical paddle to buy. Before the paddles began to pop, the blade was maximised to get a solid catch when pulling the paddle through the water. This gave paddlers greater results when used in competition and with every stroke they could “feel” the boat surge. Additionally, they were the only paddles around before other manufacturers came in with an ergonomic elliptical shaft, which gave a paddler better grip and performance.

Burnwater Paddle (New Model)

Burnwater Paddle (New Model)

Burnwater paddles weighted in at approximately 420 – 450grams or 15 – 16oz on average. Since the issue of the bubble, Burnwater has had to compact their foam core even more to help with stablising the paddle from popping. This has increased the weight significantly to 520grams or 18oz, making it just as heavy as any other composite dragonboat paddles that are around.

I have not received any updates on how Burnwater has resolved their problem but for the time being I would be quite weary about using their new models until it has been fully tested in the marketplace. I see they also have advertised their new stoker paddles in Dragonboat World and it would be good to see if the issue of the bubble has been fixed after 2.5 years redesign.

Manufacturer: Burnwater
Weight: 520g or 18oz
IDBF 202a Spec: Approved License Number 3011
Material & Construction: Carbon fibre
Country of origin: USA

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6 thoughts on “Burnwater Carbon Fibre Paddle

  1. Tim on

    March 20, 2012

    Do hope that this 4 year old article is not accurate today

  2. No it’s not. They now have their Reactor 2 paddle which is solid, weighs in around 385g & have just released their new model, the Pyro.

    The Reactor 2 has a great blade, eliptical shaft and carbon T…very light yet sturdy to use.

  3. V - Aus on

    Yep im from an australian team and alot of us use the new reactor 2.
    It is light, has a good feel with a little bit of flex.

    of all the paddles ive tried/owned this would be my favourite.

  4. Paul Davenport on

    When my paddle split after a few years of light use, I call Burnwater. The owner said they don’t “support” the old model and wouldn’t repair or replace it without my paying a fee. Recently, I talked to him in person and asked about this again. I asked him if that’s the kind of company he has, a company that doesn’t stand behind its products. He said they were a small company and yes they don’t stand behind the older model. He said, something like “We’re the only ones here (at the tournament where I saw him)” and smirked. I wouldn’t do business with a company that doesn’t care about its product or customers.

  5. Zeee on

    I own a Burnwater Reactor II as well as a ZRE Razor R-1 Dragon XL+. Two great paddles.

    Weight for 51″
    395g → Burnwater Reactor II
    305g → ZRE Razor R-1 Dragon XL+

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