I saw the new Werner paddles yesterday on the way to doing a Hawaii Kai to Kaimana (9 mile) downwind run w/ Kainoa and decided to try it out. This is my first real test of Werner SUP paddles. I tried the Spanker version 1 a while back but since then I haven’t given it much thought. I’m pretty familiar with their kayak paddles since I used a number of them when I used to ride my Hunt Johnson 9′ Pocket Rocket surf kayak.
The paddle I tried was an adjustable one, made of fiberglass and weighing in at 34 oz. This paddle is heavier than most full carbon ones although not enough to really bug me. With a MSRP of $219 for the one piece, some extra ounces are ok. The adjustment went from 78″ to 82.5″ in 1.5″ increments. I was not able to take pictures so I’ll need to get some up later. The blade is like nothing that I’ve seen so far. It has a scoop throughout the whole blade and is really thin except for a rectangle shaped bar in the middle of the blade which I assume is for reinforcement.
The handle is also different than others I’ve seen. It’s a cross between a T grip and palm grip. The adjustable feature of the paddle is pretty good. I’m a gear head and like gadgets. I noticed a tiny bit of play when changing the length via the adjustment althought it was not noticeable when paddling.
Here’s what I noticed about this paddle:
Even without a dihedral it tracks straight. It has a very consistent feeling through the entire stroke.
The scoop didn’t throw me off balance like some others I’ve tried. That could also be due to my balance getting better.
The blade really seemed to give good propulsion even when only dipping the tip in while trying to stay on the ocean swells. Deep strokes seem to slow me down once I’m on the bump so shallow taps with the paddle help to keep the momentum going.
The paddle has a flex somewhere between a Quickblade and a C4. I think a decent amount of the flex is in the blade…at least that’s what it felt like.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with this paddle enough to make me want one to test for a longer period. I think I’ll get one next week or so. I think the adjustable that is 82″ to 86.5″ is the one for me. I’ll post more info after I get more time on this paddle.
I did yesterday’s run with Kainoa Beaupre who just placed #2 (I think but not 100% sure) in the Haleiwa Joe’s race (5 mile) from Waimea Bay to Haleiwa last Sunday. He normally uses paddles with big blades over 9″ wide and really likes that big grunting feel. I, on the the other hand like smaller blades (8″ to 8.5″) because it’s easier on my shoulders. The point I’m trying to make is that we both have very different paddle preferences although we both really liked the blade on the Werner Advantage. We’ll need more time on it to give better feedback.