Choosing the Right Oars
Cataract® Oars are all crafted from carbon and fiberglass materials through our patented filament winding process. Their strength-to-weight ratio is astounding – much stronger and lighter than wood and aluminum oars. We not only give you oars built with tougher, lightweight carbon composites, but do so at a fraction of the cost of oars made from inferior material. Grabbing hold of one of these babies is always a good decision. Whatever your style, recreation choice, or personal preference, we’ve got you covered. Just take a look at all the amazing standard features and options Cataract Oars offers in all our shafts.
We make oars in standard lengths of 8’ to 11’ with a diameter of 1-7/8”, and smaller craft boat oars at lengths of 6’ to 7.5’ with 1-3/8” diameter. Our standard oars alone cover a vast swath of needs and uses, yet, we have the ability to fully customize shaft lengths, breakdowns, and handle options to give you exactly what you need, the way you want it.
Plenty of color options are available with our SGG™ oar models including black, blue, green, red, white, yellow, and mocha. White oars are an exclusive color to our NRS dealer. Other colors can be customized for your oars such as orange and lime. With such a wide array of colors your set up is as personal to your preference and taste as a five-star concierge service.
Additionally, we let you decide the options you want on your oars from rope to counterbalance weight to blades and accessories.
Cataract® Oars SGG™
Our SGG™ model is our most popular oar. It boasts twice the breaking strength of aluminum, and a flex to rival the best wood oars with significantly less maintenance. This carbon fiber blend was designed specifically by our engineers to deliver the best in whitewater performance. These oars also come in a two-piece option for space saving. The SGG™ is an all-around oar for the unrelenting river goer.
Cataract® Oars SGX™
33% stiffer than the SGG™, the SGX™ model is perfect for larger boats and truly belligerent water. Built to resist surges and be more responsive, the SGX™ handles burly swells like a task master. When braving the wildest waters, having an SGX™ on hand is a game changer.
The SGX™ only comes in ice blue and standard size ranges of 10’-11’. Custom lengths can be accommodated.
Cataract® Oars X Wound™
Grab an X Wound™ Cataract® Oar and give your muscles big relief. X Wound™ oars shore muscle fatigue by shaving off a ½ pound of weight. An X Wound™ oar still handles like an SGG™, it’s just lighter. A complete carbon fiber exterior makes the oar more lightweight and gives it a stunning look. The X Wound™ is a great option for those just looking to reduce muscle strain.
Its complete carbon exterior layer makes the X Wound™ only available in black.
Cataract® Oars KBO™
The KBO™ was designed for smaller boats by shortening the shafts and creating the ideal rowing configuration for kick boats and other small craft. Shaft outer diameters are 1-3/8”. For portability, the KBO™ oars breakdown into two pieces. While built with the same tough materials and fabricated using our
patented filament winding technique, this oar is not a replacement for our bigger oars. Rather, the KBO™ is a great option for kick boats and small fishing vessels. Its breakdown design makes it perfect for space saving and carrying.
Cataract® Oars Streamlite™
Our lightest oar yet, the Streamlite™ was designed for drift boats and work well with all kinds of rafts. The lighter design protects the rower against excessive joint and muscle wear. Navigate the river without burning yourself out.
With a slightly smaller outer diameter, the Streamlite™ comes in between the performance SGG™, SGX™, X Wound™, and the more portable KBOs™. It’s only available with rope wrap and has an OD of 2-1/8” with the wrap.
The Streamlite™ is only available in charcoal gray and comes in standard sizes of 8’-10’.
Putting it all Together
Cataract® Oars have been the oar of choice for fishermen, and women, since its inception in 1985. Drift boaters and professional guides have relied on our oars for over three decades. We take into consideration every aspect of your river rowing expectations. From blades and oars to handles and sleeves.
Many options exist for every one of our oars, and our filament winding technique gives ultimate control in manufacturing allowing complete customization of length and other specs.
We craft blades for rough water and calm, shallow and deep. All our blades are interchangeable with push button locks so you can use the same oars in every condition, and all our blades float. A grooved blade insert prevents silt buildup inside the oar shaft ensuring easy removal. We recommend storing shafts upright with the blades detached.
Cataract Oars large blades are compatible with all our Performance oars, and smaller blades are interchangeable with the KBO™.
Whether you enjoy rowing with counterbalance, non-counterbalance, or wood handles, we have a comfortable option for you. If you already have a set of oars that aren’t counterbalance and would like the extra weight, we provide Counterbalance Sleeves in our online store that slide over and secure to the top of the oar shaft adding 4lbs. Both the H2O Counterbalance System and the Counterbalance Sleeves are the perfect option for oars that will see multiple rowers.
Our handles feature an innovative thumb notch on the end of the rubber-cushioned grip. This results in superior blade orientation. Unique to Cataract Oars, our grips keep your eyes on the river and put a stop to the constant need to look at your blades. Thumb notched grips come with our counterbalance or regular handle options. Whatever your preference, innovation is literally at your fingertips. Well, thumb tips to be more accurate.
Not sure what you prefer? Head to a local outdoor retail shop and get a feel for the nuances.
Rope wrapping is offered as an incredibly low-cost addition to any oar, and we can tailor the wrap to your individual specifications or apply the standard 20” rope wrap. To protect your oar shaft from wear, give you a quieter rowing experience, and achieve better control in the oar lock, we wrap our SGG™, SGX™, and X Wound™ oars in 3/16” black rope. Our KBO™ oar shaft is wrapped with 1/8” black rope. This service is optional.
With a rope wrap, Cataract Oars SGG™, SGX™, and X Wound™ have a shaft diameter of 2 ¼”, and 1 7/8” without the rope. The KBO™ shaft diameter comes in a little smaller at 1 5/8” with rope and 1 3/8” without. These diameters are important to note when choosing oars to fit your oarlocks as well as fitting oar stops or oar rights to go over the oar shaft.
Having a stop in place to prevent your oar from slipping through the oar lock can be a game changer on the water. Depending on preference, you will find several great options for oar stops in our online store. We carry large and small diameter rubber oar stops in addition to adjustable oar stops. Though we’ve innovated a thumb groove on Cataract oar handle to help keep blade orientation when rowing, if you have a model without the thumb notch, we have adjustable oar rights that act as stops and lock your blades into rowing position.
A Final Word
Before purchasing your oars, know the specifications of your boat, or raft, to ensure you get the proper length, weight, and mounting options you’ll enjoy.