Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Discuss equipment, technology, gadgets, repairs...
Post Reply
jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:28 pm

So I'm after a new set of touring paddles and should be able to get a pair of the carbon fibre Ainsworth for about £200

Only problem is finding reviews/ opinions is proving impossible.

Does anyone have any thoughts or reviews? Positive or negative.

Any other recommendations also appreciated.

Thanks

Jamie

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

rockhopper
Posts: 681
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by rockhopper » Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:40 am

Definitely have a look at VE paddles. Love mine to bits:
http://vepaddles.com/sea-kayak/

Rog.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:32 am

They look well priced. Any recommendations on which blade to go for?

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

rockhopper
Posts: 681
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by rockhopper » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:57 am

Depends on whether you paddle high angle or low angle. My own preference is high but most sea kayakers seem to favour a low angle style. Douglas Wilcox did an excellent review of the low angle paddles here:
http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... ative.html


Hope that helps.

Rog.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:38 pm

Cheers Rog,

I'll have a read.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3526
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Contact:

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:33 pm

Hi Jamie I have not tried the Ainsworth paddles so cannot comment but I have tried various sizes and shapes of the VE paddles touring blades on carbon and glass shafts. I like them all very much. I prefer the low aspect carbon blades which can be used high or low angle depending on the length of paddle shaft you choose. I prefer a glass shaft. The two piece paddle has 10cm of length adjustment which means you can use that to paddle high or low depending on your preference. They are definitely worth a try. I sold my Werner Cyprus all carbon cranks and replaced them with VE. The VE blades and joints are much more robust than the Werners.

Douglas

swagstaff
Posts: 509
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2006 6:59 am
Location: Oban & further west
Contact:

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by swagstaff » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:23 am

I have several pairs of the carbon ainsworth and find them excellent. I do value having the adjustable length and also a joint that you can tighten with time as wear happens.
They seem very strong but since I haven't tried to break them I couldn't say exactly how strong.
British made product means they are good value at the moment,
WHITEWATER ALL YEAR LONG

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Sat Dec 24, 2016 6:57 pm

Thanks for the replies. Interesting thoughts on the locking system as the I though the Werner one was the best. Biggest issue I'm having is holding a pair. Lot of money to spend on something it's difficult to hold first

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

Dave28
Posts: 212
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Plymouth

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by Dave28 » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:45 pm

Interesting comment - I had an Ainsworth back when Lendals were beginning to be difficult to find. My impression then was that the shaft was marginally (but critically) more slender than on the Lendal Paddle, which made it very hard work to hold. Virtually gave it away when I had the chance to buy a second hand Lendal. But then I saw the light, went GP, and all my "arthritis" problems went away once I'd a handy tree trunk to hang on to.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:11 pm

Sorry I think that should've said finding a pair not holding a pair

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

rockhopper
Posts: 681
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by rockhopper » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:57 pm

I think the VE joint is very good and i have both Werners and Lendals.
If you are anyway near Essex you are welcome to try my paddles

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: RE: Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:25 pm

rockhopper wrote:I think the VE joint is very good and i have both Werners and Lendals.
If you are anyway near Essex you are welcome to try my paddles
No where near but thanks for the offer

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:28 pm

Took the club Werner tybees out today. Very impressed with them for a " beginner" paddle. Might be hard pushed spending more on a pair...

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

User avatar
TechnoEngineer
Posts: 3295
Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Berks, Hants, Essex

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by TechnoEngineer » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:44 pm

I've been using Ainsworth paddles for years and have broken all of them. The blades are fantastic (especially the floaty "foam core" ones) but the shafts break.

I think the shafts are made too narrow.

I now use VE.
XL-Burn-3 / Monstar / Kodiak / My Videos

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Thu Dec 29, 2016 6:15 pm

I've got the foam blades for my river paddle. One piece carbon shaft so hopefully it'll stand the test of time. It's how much to spend in struggling with. Are the £400 paddles worth the money for general touring use?

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

rockhopper
Posts: 681
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:55 pm
Location: Essex

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by rockhopper » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:43 am

I suppose it depends how much paddling you expect to do but.... bear in mind that it is your means of propulsion and safety. Whilst you can swim to the bank on a river, if your paddle breaks it may be more of an issue at sea.

I used a Werner Player river paddle for sea kayaking for years and loved it. In fact I had real trouble finding a replacement that I got on with until I tried the VE paddles. The VE air core does also seem to be better when rolling as the blade floats on the surface.

I guess you will get used to just about any paddle after using it for some time but, if you want longevity and reliability (especially if it's a 2 piece) and you want it to be ergonomic for your style then it is worth spending as much as you can. With any luck you are unlikely to have to replace it for years so it's a good investment.

Rog.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:05 pm

Sadly no one in the northwest seem to stock ve paddles. This is my biggest issue.. Spending so much money on something I can't hold/ try before buying

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

User avatar
John K
Posts: 499
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:23 am
Location: Brighton

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by John K » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:07 pm

As far as I know no one stocks them as they only sell direct. Give them a call though and as well as giving you some good advice about which to chose, they may also be able to send you out a demo paddle to try.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: RE: Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:18 pm

John K wrote:As far as I know no one stocks them as they only sell direct. Give them a call though and as well as giving you some good advice about which to chose, they may also be able to send you out a demo paddle to try.
Will do, thanks

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

User avatar
vertical element
Posts: 74
Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:51 pm
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by vertical element » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:20 pm

Hello Jamiemagee,

I am Stu from VE.

If you would like to demo a set of paddles the feel free to contact me and I can send you over a set of demos or let you know who has a set nearby.

The reason we don't sell through the shop network is that it allows us to use aerospace grade materials; manufacture everything here in the UK, offer custom builds to suit paddlers needs as standard - and offer very good value for money.

Thank you everyone for the comments it is good to know that you are enjoying the paddles!

info@vepaddles.co.uk

www.vepaddles.com

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:38 pm

Emailed you Stu

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

seawolf856
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by seawolf856 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:19 pm

Just a quick personal comment. I bought a 'cheap' pair of Ainsworth two piece paddles (not carbon) for my deck spares. My main paddle at the time was a Werner Tybee with carbon shaft. Having tried the Ainsworth during a trip 3 years ago, the Werner now stays on the deck and the Ainsworth is my paddle of choice. When I bought the Werner I really liked the neat joint too but the Ainsworth clamp has never caused any problems, and can be adjusted whereas the Werner joint can get tight if you don't break the paddle down wet and look after it.
Adding to the other comments above about VE blades - Stu from VE was at the Pembrokeshire sea kayak festival this year and he let us try his paddles. So having seen and tried the VE range, I can also testify that they are superbly engineered and felt fantastic. If my Ainsworth ever breaks or gets lost, my next blade will be a VE.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: RE: Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:15 pm

seawolf856 wrote:Just a quick personal comment. I bought a 'cheap' pair of Ainsworth two piece paddles (not carbon) for my deck spares. My main paddle at the time was a Werner Tybee with carbon shaft. Having tried the Ainsworth during a trip 3 years ago, the Werner now stays on the deck and the Ainsworth is my paddle of choice. When I bought the Werner I really liked the neat joint too but the Ainsworth clamp has never caused any problems, and can be adjusted whereas the Werner joint can get tight if you don't break the paddle down wet and look after it.
Adding to the other comments above about VE blades - Stu from VE was at the Pembrokeshire sea kayak festival this year and he let us try his paddles. So having seen and tried the VE range, I can also testify that they are superbly engineered and felt fantastic. If my Ainsworth ever breaks or gets lost, my next blade will be a VE.
Thanks for that. I've sorted a demo with Stu but good to hear good things about the Ainsworth.

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

seawolf856
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by seawolf856 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:27 pm

I had the chance to have another go of the VE Voyager Aircore Pro carbon paddle at the weekend. My paddling buddy has just bought one and was kind enough to let me try his new toy.
The total blade area is fairly generous (633cm2) but the blade geometry eases the load during the catch making the catch very smooth and then gives a progressive power build through the stroke, which makes paddling feel very smooth. My GPS showed how easy it was to maintain speed with perceptively less effort. I was so impressed, I've just bought one.

jamiemagee
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by jamiemagee » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:32 pm

I had a demo and liked the blades but can't justify the cost personally especially looking at the Ainsworth as £200 in comparison. 633cm2 is a fairly medium blade isn't it?

That said I haven't bit the bullet yet so my decision isn't made

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk

seawolf856
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by seawolf856 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:49 pm

Don't get me wrong, I actually love my Ainsworth they are superb value for money and I will not be getting rid of it.
I agree that 633cm2 is probably considered a medium blade area but that is plenty for a touring paddle, and is bigger than some of the popular Werners like the Shauna (615), and Tybee (608).
The blade area on my Ainsworth is about the same as the VE Voyager but it feels very different through the water. You will see on other discussion threads about "what sea paddle to buy" that it is generally advised not to over-egg the blade area. In the early days I tried the gigantic Werner Corryvreckan shovel (721), I will resist commenting further - but it wasn't for me.
There is one more difference, which makes me recommend the VE, that is the overall weight. The VE Voyager is extremely light and as I tend to paddle coastal journeys with sustained continuous paddling for hours at a time, it is important for me to have the best paddle to eat up the miles and make the journey comfortable.
Cost is of course a consideration, but I am at that stage in my paddling career where kit upgrades are based on practical experience and when you know exactly what you want based on the realities of sea paddling, cost becomes less of a consideration.

seawolf856
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 1:29 pm

Re: Ainsworth touring paddles.. Thoughts?

Post by seawolf856 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 1:51 pm

Quick update - I ordered my VE paddle last Wednesday 22nd Feb and it arrived TODAY!! that's just 5 days (including the weekend).
Considering these are made to order, that is fantastic customer service. I can't wait for the weekend to cover some miles with it.

Post Reply