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Schlegel Topline Paddle

The Schlegel Topline paddle was probably THE paddle of the late eighties – mid nineties. Tough, hardwearing and almost indestructible. The Topline came in a number of flavours but the most distinctive was the River Safety edition. They have one blade painted neon pink and the other neon green/yellow for signalling on the river!

Schlegel Topline Paddle
Schlegel Topline Paddle

Schlegels classic model has dominated the rivers of our planet for more than 10 years. Now improved with the very latest materials: fibre-reinforced, high-density foam for stiffer blades, aluminium protective insert around the edge of the blade. In addition there is the comfort of soft foam hand grips which minimise heat loss to the hands whilst increasing grip control. The blade is reinforced by the shaft running along almost its entire length, allowing the most powerful paddlestrokes in the toughest white water.

I picked up a left handed set of Topline Tech III back in the early 1990s and despite being hammered every weekend for 8 years still looks pretty good today. The only real limiting factor is that the paddle is really stiff as the aluminium shaft extends to almost the tip of each place.In addition being set at 90 degrees means that they really hammer your wrist joints. However, I have been planning for some time to split the paddle and rejoin them at a more comfortable 35 degrees.

The foam grips on the shaft is very effective and reduces the chances of the paddle slipping from your hands as well as being very comfortable to use on cold days out on the water.

In terms of design the Topline is no longer at the cutting edge and most paddlers seem to prefer going for a set of Werner paddles as a first choice. Toplines do come up on the forums now and again and are well worth picking up to use as your everyday paddle or to split and make up in to spares.

21 Comments

  1. Andy

    Love my top line ,have had it for over 20 years now.was looking at getting another one from any where as a spare, though my paddle shows no signs of giving up the ghost just yet. I’m the one getting older , my paddle never does.use it in rivers and surf. Any hints on where I could get another one

    • paul

      Yes i have a practically new paddle sitting in my spare room.located in ireland.

      • martin kielly

        did you sell your paddle??

    • Chris

      I have a paddle if interested. Im in tennessee

  2. rob

    Where can I sell a schlegel topline safety colour t60 extreme w-water

    • martin kielly

      I will buy if not sold yet.

  3. Mike Breslin

    I am after a Shlegel Topline paddle as well. Right handed and around 200.

  4. martin kielly

    I am looking to buy a schlegel topline extreme paddle.

  5. Kyle

    If anyone has a river safety edition (pink/green blades) they would sell please get in touch. I would love to have one of these paddles again. I am just getting back into paddling again and have a bit of nostalgia for one of these paddles

    Cheers

    Kyle

    • Dave

      Did you ever get hold of one (only just seen this post)? I have one for sale.

      • Kyle

        Wow thanks buddy. I did get one in the end. It’s almost brand new. Looks like the day it came out of the factory

        Thanks for the post though 🙂

      • martin kielly

        yes I did manage to get the paddle I wanted thanks.

  6. John

    Putting one on eBay now if anyone still interested!

  7. Fubar

    I have one looking for a home. Dorset.

    • jeffrey griffiths

      Do you still have it, or does anyone have one

      • Ian Jackson

        I have a t60 with soft grips for sale.It hasn’t really been used a lot and is in great condition.

  8. Simon Ashmore

    TLDR – Warning: I’ve just “broken” a Schlege River Safety paddle I bought on eBay.

    Kicking myself that in 1995 I traded the bombproof Schlegel racing paddle I bought new in Minden in 1985 & covered many miles with, I hit eBay. Happily I grabbed a replacement in better condition that the well used original for £20. (Since most paddles are “Collect In Person” proximity is the key – hard when you live on a beach in West Cornwall.) Then, because I wanted to do some surfing I found a Schlegel Allround (bright orange being also good for waving if in distress) also for £20. Finally, because the suicidal beginners I paddle with need careful guidance when launching & recovering in even moderate swell, I also grabbed a well used River Safety version when I spotted it.

    I used it a couple of times & the loom quickly started to oxidise – go powdery – but a bit of a scrub cleaned it up. Skip forward a couple of years & we’re reducing our kit levels – I can’t justify 6 paddles for three boats, so took the now slightly scruffy less used “Tough, hardwearing and almost indestructible” River Safety version to a boot fair where …. I trod on it & the loom crumbled.

    I’ve carefully inspected the other two looms & they appear fine – I think it was to do with the surface & these are still as shiny & smooth as when my original was new.

    But beware – it maybe saltwater, it may be just age, but my concern is what might be happening inside the aluminium looms that I can’t see. (There appears to be zero water ingress.)

    I’m now carefully considering whether something with a carbon blade might avoid a future drama & even though the trips we do round the bay are extremely mellow & I could and indeed have tow/ed any novice with problems to safety, from now on I’ll take a spare split on even the most innocuous bimble.

    Schlegels “were” absolutely bombproof, but we all suffer the effects of age eventually, the eighties is a long time ago now & maybe nostalgia is not our friend – at least in saltwater.

    I hope this helps someone make a good decision.

    • Simon Ashmore

      *carbon shaft/loom

  9. Scott Ferguson

    I have a top line extreme with the hook location hole that I bought in the very early nineties and is still going strong but is in need of a slight repair but I’m convinced it’s going to last longer than I am! Fantastic paddle, it’s never failed me despite some harsh treatment over the years, I’ll never part with it.

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