Whiskeyjack Whiskey Jill
For people with smaller hands or need a lighter bent…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $145
For people with smaller hands or need a lighter bent paddle, this paddle is a lovely choice. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, the design is very efficient, very comfortable, and really light. I voted down a bit because it is pretty expensive for the canoe enthusiast who doesn't get out regularly.
- Well designed
- Very tough
- Beautiful wood
- Very comfortable handle
- Expensive for the casual paddler
- Smaller paddle might struggle with keeping up with a larger paddle
From the Whiskey Jack website:
The Whiskey Jill is an incredible canoe paddle designed specifically for female paddlers. The Jill has a smaller grip and skinnier blade that is easy to hold and easy to pull through the water.
This canoe paddle is super light, weighing a mere 14oz. and features an ultra tough blade that is fiberglass and epoxy reinforced with an epoxy blade guard.
Enjoy the warmth, flex and beauty of wooden canoe paddles. Individually handcrafted from red and white cedar.
This one's for the ladies. But fellas, if the specs seem right, by all means purchase one. We'll change the tag from "Whiskey Jill" to "Whiskey Bill" with a sharpie...
Blade Dimension: 7" x 18 "
Shaft: available in 12 degree bent
My outdoor buddy and I talked a long time about changing our paddles for our Montana river trip. She has had carpel tunnel surgeries, and was heading for back surgery, so she had to opt for the best women specific design she could afford.
The Whiskey Jack series paddles have terrific reviews, so after all of her studying, the Jill is the paddle she landed on.
Don't let the beautiful wood and the smaller profile fool you into thinking the paddle isn't big enough to handle the work load.
Whiskey Jill at rest. (The Bending Branches BB Special in back)
The ergonomic design comfortably fitted the smaller architecture of women's hands and anatomy. To be fair in the assessment of the paddle, she and I traded paddles off and on. I won't lie, the 14 ounces was ridiculous in how comfortable it was to handle all day long. She and I both loved the small handle. It felt to both of us like it was custom made for both of our hands. It's interesting, because her hands are quite a bit smaller than mine. She is also 2" inches shorter. To me, that is a testament to how well this paddle is designed.
The 12 degree bend is done quite elegantly in how the whole shaft is curved before the angle is finished at the connection of the blade.
The fiberglass and epoxy finishes make this paddle remarkably tough. We put this paddle through its paces on the Missouri River Breaks in Montana. The river is muddy, the river bed rocky, the shores dirty and sandy. This paddle didn't even blink at the torturous conditions.
In fact, every time we went onshore to explore the homesteads, we took our paddles for snake patrol. The paddle hardly even got a mark on it. We were forced to use our paddles hard because of the difficult conditions on the river. I was genuinely amazed at how the paddle just absorbed the hard use.
Snake guard duty
We were able to use this paddle several times to train for the trip in a local lake, then used it on the Missouri River for a 150 mile, 10 day trip.
Because my friend knew she was going to have to have major back surgery, I watched her like a hawk. She talked about how the paddle never made her tired or hurt her back because of its excellent design and light weight. And because the blade was not too big, she was not tempted to try to over pull on the paddle during the trip.
(She is 5'3" -- the paddle fit like a glove)
The only major issues we noticed is that since my paddle displaced more water, she had to really work sometimes at keeping up, and then she usually just asked me to not paddle so hard. She had to learn how to steer with a completely different designed paddle from a classic straight paddle.
She loves her paddle. Whiskey Jack hit a home run with their Whiskey Jill. For her, the extra cost was WELL worth the comfort and usability this paddle provided.