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5/07/2017 12:19 pm  #1

Kayak Paddle

Hi Folks,

I'm debating a new kayak paddle...  Can anyone comment on 1) How carbon/composite blades hold up?  ie I currently have a composite shaft, with plastic blades.  My fear when buying was that non-plastic blades wouldn't hold up to hitting against rocks in shallow water / maneuvering in/out of portage landings (I'm not the most delicate to my paddles).  And 2) People's experience on bent vs straight shaft?  Specifically when paddling...

Thanks in advance :-),


5/07/2017 3:32 pm  #2

Re: Kayak Paddle

        i use a kayak paddle at times. the longer the paddle shaft the drier you will be,,, according to my research. i like the two piece paddle for tripping. the little rings on each end the shaft  will also help to stop water from running down the shaft while in use. keeping ya drier
    the only problem with my  two piece unit, is that the shaft has a knurl pattern on it, # this knurling # blisters between my thumb and index finger,,, rather severely. gloves are a must with these types of kayak paddle.
  check on line reviews.


5/07/2017 8:13 pm  #3

Re: Kayak Paddle

I have a 260cm Werner Kalliste.  It's the longest length they offer, and it was a custom order.  If you're paddling a canoe with it, you want as much length as you can get.  While I've traveled a good distance with it, I wouldn't say I've been particularly rough with it.  At this point it still shows pretty much no wear and tear on the blades.  I did demo a shorter version of the paddle before I ordered one, and it did have one major chip out of it, so they aren't indestructible.  I also have some all carbon canoe paddles and they've seen more abuse (pushing off rocks, etc.), but still show nothing more than just surface scratches.  The blades of the canoe paddles are a bit beefier than the slimmer kayak paddle.

I can't offer much advice on straight vs. bent.  I went with the straight shaft because it offered a longer length.  With a bent shaft you can get away with a shorter paddle, but I had no problems with the straight shaft and couldn't demo the bent.  I don't often wear gloves, and haven't produced any blisters even on my longest days (~30km).  My hands sometimes get raw patches, but a slight adjustment to my grip usually stops it from getting worse, and it probably wouldn't happen at all if I'd just get out paddling more often.


5/16/2017 8:18 am  #4

Re: Kayak Paddle

I also use a Werner Kalliste (bent shaft), although at a normal length because I'm using it with a kayak. I've had it for years and I'm not particularly gentle on it in the backcountry, but I trust it enough that I don't even carry a spare. I'll use it to pole myself along in ultra-shallow water, to push myself off the bank (even when that takes most of my strength), and as an aid to getting out of the kayak (behind me, lying across the bank and my kayak, so I end up putting my full weight on it to get out of the cockpit). I'd say "When I finally need to replace it I'll buy the same thing", but I already own two of them!

If you're comfortable / experienced with using kayak paddles, I'd recommend bent shaft for sure. 


5/16/2017 11:51 am  #5

Re: Kayak Paddle

Hi Folks!  Thanks for the input :-)

I actually went out and got the kalliste (bent) last week - Seems great minds think alike lol ;-). Re-read my original post - Meant to add 'Specifically when paddling for many hours at a time'...  Why I've investigated the bent shaft is for elbow pain when paddling all day - So knock on wood new purchase helps out!

I haven't had the chance to try it out on the water yet (hopefully soon), but certainly feels a nice paddle, and definitely lighter than my last!

Thanks again and happy paddling!

     Thread Starter

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