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Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:06 am
by Joseph:)
Looking at replacement paddle shafts and have seen some in Carbon/Kevlar and others in just carbon.

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between the two materials? Will one be stiffer/lighter/stronger?

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am
by Chris Bolton
Assuming the same weight, carbon will be stiffer and carbon kevlar might be more resistant to crushing damage. Some people think a stiffer paddle is good as it gives a more direct transfer of power to the blade, others think it's bad because you can overstress your body if you pull too hard. I doubt most paddlers who aren't racers will notice the difference.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:54 pm
by Jim
C/K are harder to break but usually slightly heavier.
I normally only use C/K for polo shafts now, have used it for river running in the past (and still have some C/K split shafts I might use sometimes) but most of mine are Carbon now, which is to say mostly a mix of carbon and glass depending on the stiffness. I use a soft/flexible shaft on my wings which will have a lower percentage of carbon to glass than the stiffer shafts I use on my slalom, river running and sea kayaking shafts, although I will probably use my wings in the sea kayak from now on - things change!

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:01 pm
by gp.girl
Chris Bolton wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:48 am
Assuming the same weight, carbon will be stiffer and carbon kevlar might be more resistant to crushing damage. Some people think a stiffer paddle is good as it gives a more direct transfer of power to the blade, others think it's bad because you can overstress your body if you pull too hard. I doubt most paddlers who aren't racers will notice the difference.
Stiff all carbon blades can make long term injuries worse. Certainly I can't use them - my dodgy elbow will hurt before lunchtime compared to barely twinge with a glass blade :)

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 12:17 pm
by ike
I’m the same; my beautiful set of VE Voyagers with carbon blades and shaft are not useable for most trips as my wrist will flare up, whereas a spare set of glass paddles with a flexible shaft are so much more forgiving. I can understand the benefit of carbon paddles in whitewater but am not convinced by the need for long sea trips.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:16 pm
by Joseph:)
Thanks everyone for your help, I think I will stick with Carbon. Good enough for Werners after all..

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:30 am
by Jim
Not all that is black is carbon.
As far as I can tell most Werner whitewater shafts are fibreglass, not carbon. However, if this is what you are used to, it is probably what you should stick to unless you can get a reasonably long term demo of a carbon shaft.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:20 am
by Franky
I don't know the difference between carbon and carbon/kevlar in terms of feel, but I have a carbon-shafted, straight VE paddle, and have never had any problems with wrist strain. You can definitely feel the stiffness but I quite like the "crisp" sensation you get from that.

Carbon shafts are extremely light - I've never handled a paddle that's anywhere near as light as my VE. I'm actually starting to wonder if this is a good thing. It means you get little help from gravity when you plant them in the water, and given how much lighter than water the paddle is (the blades are air-core), it's quite possible you end up expending more energy paddling than you would with a heavier paddle.

My paddling is going through a rough patch right now (not getting on the water enough), so it's possible that that, more than paddle issues, is why paddling is hard work for me at the moment!

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:34 am
by Adrian Cooper
Indeed, Franky, one of the reasons I hate the Ainsworth RIM paddles is that they are so buoyant, you need to physically push them into the water

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:22 pm
by Joseph:)
Jim wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:30 am
Not all that is black is carbon.
As far as I can tell most Werner whitewater shafts are fibreglass, not carbon.


I'm fairly certain that the Werner Paddles I have (Powerhouses) have a carbon shaft, it was certainly sold as such and you can see the carbon weave. I have used Werner fibreglass shafts before and normally can't get on with how flexy they are compared to the carbon shafts.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2020 6:23 pm
by Jim
Joseph:) wrote:
Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:22 pm
Jim wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 12:30 am
Not all that is black is carbon.
As far as I can tell most Werner whitewater shafts are fibreglass, not carbon.


I'm fairly certain that the Werner Paddles I have (Powerhouses) have a carbon shaft, it was certainly sold as such and you can see the carbon weave. I have used Werner fibreglass shafts before and normally can't get on with how flexy they are compared to the carbon shafts.

Werner's website seems to list the powerhouse only with a glass shaft, but it looks like the carbon blades are glued on so it may be possible they have been assembled with a carbon shaft?

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:55 pm
by Mark Mulrain
Werner straights have glass shafts. Werner cranks have carbon/glass.

The Odachi is the exception. The straight Odachi has a carbon/glass shaft.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:06 pm
by davebrads
Back in the days when carbon shafts were introduced for slalom paddles there were a lot of wrist injuries, I think because the shafts were so stiff. They soon introduced some flexibility which mostly stopped the problems.

I quite like the idea of carbon/kevlar shafts. They will be a bit heavier than all carbon, but they will still be pretty stiff and should be a lot better at resisting impact damage.

Re: Carbon/Kevlar vs Carbon shafts

Posted: Thu Feb 27, 2020 3:48 pm
by Joseph:)
Well I have just ordered two shafts, one full carbon and one carbon/kevlar, so I'll put them both together and report back.