Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Inland paddling
Post Reply
Jay Oram
Posts: 256
Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 11:03 am
Location: South east London/South Wales Hay-on-Wye
Been thanked: 1 time

Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Post by Jay Oram »

On the same vein as my Bothy shelter post, now looking at splits to carry as a group.

These are splits purely for an emergency so not for travel or other use, just get me to the take out set. In this context as a leader on grade 2/3 whitewater. Although I would love to buy a set of Werner 4 piece £200+ splits and stick them in the back of my boat never to be used (these would be better than my current one-piece main paddle) - I was looking for alternatives and opinions.

I guess an argument could be to buy once, get a good set and then have them as back up when paddling with mates as well, but not sure at the moment.

The cheapest I have seen is the 4 piece lomo aluminium set at £25 - and at only 300g more than the Werners - if I can get a chance at feeling them in real life, they maybe a good choice?

What sets do you have/use?

Also would be great to hear if you have ever used them and why - I have only had a paddle be lost once on a trip with mates and we didn't have a split, so he just walked out to the road and started wandering back to the car!

User avatar
Posts: 936
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:56 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire
Has thanked: 19 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Post by Chalky723 »

I used to have a set of the Celtic 4 piece splits.

Hated them. They were big & clunky and 45 feather, whereas my normal paddles are 30.

Had a big swim in the Alps & managed to lose my paddles - when you're cold, tired & battered it really doesn't help having to use a big, heavy & unwieldy set. I managed to paddle out after a few wobbles, but at the moment I'm looking to turn my really old & battered Werners into splits so at least I'm using something similar if it happens again.

That's just me though! & probably doesn't help you!
Jackson Nirvana, Gumotex Palava 400

User avatar
Posts: 14206
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2002 2:14 pm
Location: Dumbarton
Has thanked: 35 times
Been thanked: 89 times

Re: Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Post by Jim »

The same paddle you use normally, except if you normally use a 1-piece you will need one with 1-3 split joints in it.

I used 4 piece Lendal (now Celtic) splits for almost all my paddling for years, these days most of my paddling, and when work or injury doesn't screw me up that is every day, is done with a 2 piece split Jantex wing paddle, at some point I'll get a spare one just in case... My slalom paddle is 1-piece, my next one probably won't be. I can't even remember what my river running paddle is these days, might still be a 4-piece Lendal...

I have unintentionally used splits due to paddle breakage a few times, a couple of times it was a 4 piece split I broke and all I had to do was find the matching bit out of my boat and swap it over, or when we were boating in Washington State with 1 set of splits between 3 of us, find the matching part from one of my mates boats... :D

I recall one trip where my mate lost his paddle on the Orchy, I lent him my old (worn out) Werner for the Coe where he lost his boat, and whilst I was chasing his boat, I rolled up to find I only had one blade on my paddle so J stroked into an eddy and yelled at him to lend me my paddle if he wanted his boat back :D We got the boat.

User avatar
Mark Mulrain
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:27 pm
Location: Edinburgh
Has thanked: 4 times
Been thanked: 4 times

Re: Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Post by Mark Mulrain »

If you can find a set for sale, the VE 4 piece split is brilliant. I found it to have much less wobble than the werner alternative. Such attention to detail, accuracy and quality construction.
They have the added bonus of being able to be set to any feather and the length of the paddle can be altered by up to 10cm.
Posts: 869
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: UK, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan, UAE, India
Been thanked: 3 times

Re: Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Post by »

Do one of two things, spend money on a good set (why would you not) or get a used werner etc and make your own! - Celtic good, Palm sufficient.


I cheap set will have faults and a day that could be ruined because of a lost or broken set will be no less ruined with a shitty set of 25quid paddles that end up snapping.

Raft Kayak Trek Explore

Posts: 104
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 4:14 pm
Location: Austria

Re: Best emergency splits for Whitewater

Post by rach »

I know you do not want the Werner splits, but if you yourself are running on white water in a canyon and your paddle breaks these are some of the best splits you can have. I bought a pair second hand, and then decided that I would take them to Chile with me, as easier to fly with. They packed nicely into my suitcase, so no risk of damage to them whilst in transit.

They were great to paddle with, slightly heavier than my white water paddles but were strong enough to allow me to pull even the biggest boof. I felt like I had a lot of control and power whilst using them. If ever I ended up with a broken set of paddles whilst on a river kayaking I would want these as I know I could rely on them to allow me to get down the river safely.

They are expensive, but are great for travel and if you keep them in a dry bag in your kayak should last you a very long time.

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”