Paddle recommendations?

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richb250
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Paddle recommendations?

Post by richb250 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:00 pm

I was wondering if anyone could provide some ideas for a new sea paddle?

I enjoy using good paddles, but I've not yet found quite the right one for me. So far I've tried a few things:
-Werner Ikelos - a disaster for me as the blade area is far too large and reliably gives me tendonitis. I'll (hopefully) sell them to fund the new paddles. If you'd like them, do let me know!
-Wener Cyprus, bent shaft - my current flat blades. They work well - I like the lightness, the way the blade slices and the cranked shaft. However, I don't like the Werner coupling - it's starting to seize up and doesn't allow me to change length depending on fatigue. I find the cranks a little too close together for my shoulder width, even though the overall length feels good. I'd like to find a paddle that relegates these to being my spare set.
-Epic Mid Wings - great paddles, wonderful to use, but I don't need another set of wings!
-Various hand-crafted Greenland sticks - intriguing, but would require too much relearning of technique for me at present

So, I guess I'm looking for something light, length adjustable, ideally cranked, that pulls and slices nicely with a sensible blade area....

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GrahamC
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by GrahamC » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:17 pm

I love my Epic mid wings - but you have those already!

My other favorites (flat euros) are Celtic four piece sea touring, the centre joint is very similar to the Epics. I like the 650s the 700s are too big.

Graham
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rockhopper
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by rockhopper » Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:05 pm

VE Paddles...
https://vepaddles.com/sea-kayak/

Especially the Aircore ones..
Adjustable feather and length and a rock solid joint mechanism.


Rog

richb250
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by richb250 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:06 pm

Graham, Rog - thanks for taking the time to respond.

Graham’s response hints that I could be more specific on blade size - The Ikleos has a blade are of 691 square centimetres, compared to the Cyprus with 610. I guess I’m looking for something closer to 600 than 700 cm2.

The Celtics are a good suggestion - does anyone have any comments on the Nylon Leverlock vs the Vari Paddlock? It looks like the Leverlock enables finer adjustment without tools?

I’ve heard good things about VEs too, and the joint looks rather well made.

Any other suggestions?

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Pipit
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Pipit » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:15 am

I adore my Epic touring (hybrid). Straight shaft, adjustable length and feather with a good, reliable and easy lock system. 625 cm2, 808 g.. No more shoulder or wrist issues since moving from a larger paddle. Lovely smooth and "buttery" feel, if that makes sense. However, they have become my spares since I fell in love with my bespoke Nuupaddle East Greenland a couple of years ago.

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Robert Craig
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Robert Craig » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:45 pm

I like Celtic paddles, though I've tried only the classic range, not the more up-market ones.

I believe they push the multi-part paddles mostly because of carriage costs. They will sell a single part paddle if put under pressure.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by TheEcho » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:21 pm

My partner has a 4 part Celtic sea paddle classic with the yellow blades and the nylon leverlok. We have never had any problems getting it apart. After some months of use you need to tighten a little screw or the feather angle won’t stay put. Very nice paddles and a good price. I was tempted to get some for myself and then...

I spent 5 days with the Celtic carbon blade versions, even nicer, very light, didn’t want to go back to a heavier paddle, and couldn’t quite decide between the medium and the small, which led to...

Spending even more money with VE who did a size between the medium and small, and had the aircore which does make the paddle resurface quicker when you are upside down and waving it disorientedly, and just feels nice. The metal paddle joint has been absolutely trouble and maintenance free over the 6 months I have had it. The only bad thing is that it was quite speedy and I didn’t budget for postage being quite a bit extra (2 parter), but happiness is priceless, right?

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Fozzy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:44 pm

I've got a 4 piece Celtic Pro carbon paddle with the nylon leverlock, blade size 650 and it's been bombproof so far including extended expedition use. Added beauty is I can take it completely apart for flying. Weight is 740g according to my scales.

I also have an Epic Active Touring, again full carbon. The blades are foam core so do pop up quicker and easier than the Celtics, they are a bit lighter but not enough to notice. The shafts are definitely not as strong and are slightly narrower with an ovalised shape at the hands which is very comfortable.

If I could put the Epic blades on the Celtic shafts I would have my perfect paddle, but they won't fit. If I could only have one it would be the Celtic 4 piece as they are stronger and so versatile.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by seanr » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:19 pm

I have a set of Werner Shuna's - glass blade and carbon shaft and a set of full carbon, cranked shaft VE blades. I prefer the Shunas because they have a bit more give and place less stress on my joints. In hindsight, I should have chosen the VE paddles with a glass blade (if they make them). The locking mechanism on the VE paddles is, in my opinion, vastly superior to the Werner system.

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MikeB
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by MikeB » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:54 pm

There are numerous posts on this, always with the same outcomes - try, try and try again :-) to find that which suits you. A search or a look in the Almanac will yield results.

By way of example, some are dedicated to Werners - I don't get on with them at all, and once my wife tried my Lendals (now Celtics) then she promptly sold her Werners. I loved my Epic paddles, but detested the clunky centre joint.

As regards the Celtic "leverlocks", I don't like them at all, much preferring the original PadLok concept for its neatness and security. To all intents and purposes you have a one-piece paddle when they're tightened.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by rockhopper » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:17 pm

In hindsight, I should have chosen the VE paddles with a glass blade (if they make them). The locking mechanism on the VE paddles is, in my opinion, vastly superior to the Werner system.
I would have said to opt for the VE carbon blades but on a fibreglass shaft...lots more 'give' in the shaft whilst keeping a light swing weight on the blades.

Rog.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by seawolf856 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:57 pm

Another nod to VE paddles. The carbon blades and glass shaft combo is superb and the split joint is the best out there

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Steve Whetman
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Steve Whetman » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:30 am

You MUST try the Lettmann Ergonom Pro Sea - its a proper ergonomic cranked shaft with a 3D profile blade. Adjustable length & feather with the two piece version.
It is head and shoulders above everything else on the market.
The question is are you worthy of the best paddle on the planet?
Info here: https://www.whetmanequipment.com/sea-kayak-paddles.html

Steve

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Sean_soup » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:49 am

Steve Whetman wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:30 am
The question is are you worthy of the best paddle on the planet?
Can't speak for the OP, but if it's going to cost me 500 quid to find out I think I'm just going to assume that's a 'no'.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:45 pm

Steve
The question is are you worthy of the best paddle on the planet?
Hi Steve I have a very different view, just in case someone is tempted by your words to order one without trying it, may I express my opinion?

I got a cranked Ergonom Pro Sea paddle to test for a magazine. After 3 months persisting with it, I found it to be the very worst carbon paddle I have ever used for touring sea kayaking. Not one of my regular paddling buddies was prepared to use it for longer than 5 minutes. Trying to find something nice to say about it, I suppose its best feature was the joint, which was pretty much what you would use to join a pipe under the kitchen sink. I liked nothing about it at all and so chose not to submit my review to the magazine. At the same time I had a cranked Lettmann Liberty LCS 50 on test. This was much more suited for touring use by someone of average build. However, somewhat bizarrely, the cranks were further apart then the cranks of the Ergonom Pro, which would have been much better suited to use by a large strong paddler, apart from the narrow set cranks. Both paddles were the same overall length but as the Liberty had long, high aspect blades, the cranks were right at the ends of the shaft. I was not impressed by this inconsistency of design.

Image
To show I have nothing against Lettman, I often paddle with a Letterman Blacklight carbon Greenland paddle, which is a truly sublime paddle. I bought it with my own money, at full price. I also have VE aircore sea paddles and like them a very great deal. Paddles really are a very personal thing and what suits one person may be virtually unusable by another, so my advice would be not to buy a paddle based on something you have read but to make sure you get a chance for an extended trial before committing your money.

Douglas :o)

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Jonathan. » Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:09 pm

Not looking for a paddle but do you sell framed prints of your photo, Douglas?

It’s stunning.
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Northshore Atlantic
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Mac50L » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:03 pm

I'm simply amazed at the money being talked about, thrown at a paddle. $NZ1000. !!!

And what do I pay? About $NZ25 all up, about 12 pounds and that is for the best in the world. Yes, I've had complaints - "Can't get them to raise blisters." "Find it too easy to roll with." That commenter can't figure why anyone would use anything other than GP and she is a competitive paddler as well as cruising sea kayaker, having used Euro and Wing for a number of years previously.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:19 pm

Thank you Jonathan, it was a 9m spring tide day back in early summer down on the Solway. The wind was against the tide round the outside of the Islands of Fleet and it was a lot of fun.

Image

Image

Douglas :o)

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Owen » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:01 pm

Mac50L wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:03 pm
I'm simply amazed at the money being talked about, thrown at a paddle. $NZ1000. !!!

And what do I pay? About $NZ25 all up, about 12 pounds and that is for the best in the world. Yes, I've had complaints - "Can't get them to raise blisters." "Find it too easy to roll with." That commenter can't figure why anyone would use anything other than GP and she is a competitive paddler as well as cruising sea kayaker, having used Euro and Wing for a number of years previously.

One man's meat is another man's poison, I've tried many Greenland paddles over the years and I've yet to find one that's not rubbish.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Psamathe » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:11 pm

rockhopper wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 6:05 pm
VE Paddles...
https://vepaddles.com/sea-kayak/

Especially the Aircore ones..
Adjustable feather and length and a rock solid joint mechanism.


Rog
I don't have enough experience to offer comparisons but I love my VE Explorer ones (straight 2 piece glass). Excellent quality, excellent service from the manufacturer. If I had my choice of paddle again today I'd buy the same ones.

Ian

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Thu Dec 21, 2017 8:39 am

As a general principle, beware of people who say their type of paddle/boat/hat/skeg is the best. They are much like those that say their religion is best. They can't all be right and that will inevitably lead to disappointment.

Image
Five of us paddled out round Jura and on to Colonsay past Islay. We all had different paddles. I don't recall discussing paddles at all. We limited our comparative discussions to the relative merits of the locally distilled malt whiskies of which there were several.

Image
We reserved judgment until all had been well tasted.

Douglas :)

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by richb250 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:06 am

Many thanks to everyone who's posted - you've helped me put together a good shortlist of paddles to look at and, hopefully, to try over the coming months. As several people have noted, a paddle is a very personal thing and I'm lucky that I'm not in a rush to place an order on this one. As ever, Douglas's photos provide a welcome bonus, even to a dry thread on kit!

Merry Christmas to all!
Rich

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Steve Whetman
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Steve Whetman » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:56 pm

To Douglas Wilcox

"Hi Steve I have a very different view, just in case someone is tempted by your words to order one without trying it, may I express my opinion?"

Hi Douglas, regarding your comments your review of the Ergonom Pro Sea sounds odd although each is of course entitled to their own opinion, and I wonder if you were testing the Ergonom Pro Sea Tour which is not a popular paddle for sea touring at all. I have had the opposite reaction each time I lend my Pro Sea to a paddler to try out its very hard to get it back off them. Also the joint description of a under the sink plumbing fitting sounds like the screw fit joint which was I believe never fitted to the Ergonom Pro Sea (the screw fit would have been fitted to the Ergonom Pro Sea Tour) which is a more recent addition to the Lettmann range - this paddle has a much more elegant lever lock fitting and this fitting was used from the first batch.

The Liberty Paddle is designed to be used a straight shaft paddle and I have not ever seen a version which has a crank shaft, it wouldnt work properly like that, so again I am intrigued to know what exactly you were testing - do you have any photos of it?

As you say, with all these paddles you really have to try one first before deciding to order as its such a personal thing & makes a massive difference to your paddling enjoyment.

I am very glad to hear you love your Blacklite!

Best regards
Steve

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by john.ruston » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:01 pm

The best paddle ever made was the Schlegel T60 Topline.
It is no longer made so I can't be accused of advertising.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:03 pm

Greetings Steve and thank you for graciously correcting me.

It was indeed the Lettmann Ergonom Pro Sea Tour that I tested and did not like. I am not normally prone to making mistakes like this, my only excuse is I am not very well at the moment. So sincere apologies to Lettmann.

Previously I did not confuse the Pro Sea Tour and the Pro Sea. Elsewhere on this forum, and following the introduction of the Ergonom Pro Sea, I wrote:

"However I am probably letting my previous experience prejudice my judgment of a fantastic new model. I am sure someone must love it (the Pro Sea Tour). I think Lettmann produce some stunningly good kayaks and paddles elsewhere in their very extensive range."

The Pro Sea Tour and the Liberty I had on test both came from Geoff Turner at Karitek who had picked them up in person from Klauss Lettmann at one of the ISPO shows in Munich. The Liberty did have a cranked shaft (I do have some photos, which I will try and find) so perhaps it was a prototype model? If so, I was not told. I remember liking the Liberty blade (and even recommended that another paddle manufacturer should consider making something like it and supplying it on a straight shaft) but I just did not get along with it on the supplied cranked shaft. Perhaps my feed back played a tiny part in the current Liberty having a straight shaft?

I do like to keep an open mind about gear (I use Euro, wing and Greenland paddles interchangeably) which is probably why I did not let my jaundiced view of the Pro Sea Tour put me off trying other Lettmann gear such as the sublime BlackLight!

I am glad that many manufacturers, including Lettmann, are now settling on the lever lock type of join on two piece paddles. (I wonder how long Werner will continue with their joint?)

Best wishes,
Douglas

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by richb250 » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:24 pm

I managed to get up to see Stuart at VE paddles in Nottingham today, and was kindly lent a range of his products to try out. Some things worth noting for anyone interesting in these paddles:
-Despite asking at very short notice, Stuart was happy to make time to see me and discuss the options at length - it's the sort of customer service that makes you really want to buy what is on offer!
-The quality of VE paddles is second to none, as I guess you'd expect from expensive paddles with low overheads. It's clear that the composite work is first class and the centre joint is a small engineering marvel. One set of blades was slightly hard to push together due to the air trapped by the fine tolerances!
-I was surprised at the difference between the very stiff carbon shaft (stiffer than my Werners) and the fibreglass alternative. It's immediately noticeable and I can well believe that it'd reduce stress on the tendons over a day out.

These paddles handle very well indeed. Due to a few personal preferences that I really only discovered through trying these out, I didn't find the perfect paddle for me, but I wouldn't be surprised if I fail to find a better option. Thanks again to those that suggested VE to me.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Mac50L » Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:58 pm

Owen wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:01 pm
One man's meat is another man's poison, I've tried many Greenland paddles over the years and I've yet to find one that's not rubbish.
Poor paddling technique (probably)?
Edges not sharp enough?
https://www.rapidmedia.com/adventurekay ... ddles.html

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by ian johnston » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:12 am

Mac50L wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:58 pm

Poor paddling technique (probably)?
Regardless of the pros and cons of GP versus Euro (yawn), that is an incredibly arrogant statement......

Mac50L
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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by Mac50L » Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:50 pm

ian johnston wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:12 am
Mac50L wrote:
Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:58 pm

Poor paddling technique (probably)?
Regardless of the pros and cons of GP versus Euro (yawn), that is an incredibly arrogant statement......
Sorry you missed seeing the question mark. I've made it BOLD to be more visible.

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Re: Paddle recommendations?

Post by ian johnston » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:17 am

Hello Mac,

I didn't miss the question mark in your post, but thank you for clarifying.

Owen says he's tried several GP's. Your default response was that it was (probably) due to poor paddling technique. You don't know Owen, and neither do I.

To quote from further up the thread "Paddles really are a very personal thing and what suits one person may be virtually unusable by another". The inference that because somebody doesn't like a GP they don't know how to use it properly is an arrogant position to take.

Enjoy your paddling - whatever paddle you have in your hands :o)

Kind Regards

Ian

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