Hand-crafted in Osceola Wisconsin, Sunburst 11 is a striking combination of red alder and basswoods. The blade surface is fiberglass-reinforced and the tip is edged with Rockgard® protection to maintain this paddle’s beauty over many years. The Sunburst’s shaft is made of lightweight, yet powerful T-700 carbon that is similar to materials used in the aerospace industry. From tip to grip, the Sunburst paddle is designed with the canoe elitist in mind. The Sunburst will provide years of comfortable, worry-free paddling and propel you to places you've only dreamt of.
After testing and reviewing the Bending Branches A Series Limited Edition and the Sunburst 14, I was excited to find my new BB Sunburst 11 on my front porch. It arrived in the usual 2 day window, in perfect condition, as always. After admiring the impeccable hand-crafted beauty of this one, I loaded my Wenonah Prism and headed to a nearby lake for a test run.
As in the Sunburst 14, this paddle blends a T-700 carbon fiber shaft with a nicely handcrafted blade and grip. This makes for a lightweight, ergonomic paddle, although not as light as the 14. I must admit that the efficiency of the paddle had me a little skeptical at first, given that it is a bit heavier than the 14. The balance seemed different as well, perhaps due to the use of some different woods (my BB rep had explained to me that they had to make a few changes due to the decreasing availability of some of the woods used in earlier models). I later learned that my original Sunburst 14 has a slightly smaller blade, measuring 7.9” x 17,” while the new Sunburst 11 blade is a bit larger, measuring 8.2” x 17,” with a little more thickness and more Rockgard protection,which accounts for a very slight increase in overall weight. After several different trips on the water, in which I paddled flatwater lakes and the Missouri River both upstream and down, I grew to appreciate this little beauty. It does have a slightly different feel than the Sunburst 14, with a little less flex in the shaft, but actually seems to provide more “push” than the 14, due to the larger blade and the slightly stiffer shaft.
All in all, the more I paddle with the Sunburst 11, the more I appreciate its differences. It is a light, efficient paddle that makes a great companion to my Sunburst 14 and Expedition Plus. It provides plenty of power, is light enough to help fight fatigue on long trips, and the 11 degree bend makes for an efficient paddle. I can’t wait to try the brand new all-carbon Black Pearl 2!