Feathercraft Klatwa

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Greenland, 2 piece take-apartN/A Western red cedar, alder and ash 225 cm38.8 oz

 

The Klatwa was a present to the Badger from the Rhino.  This is actually a very comfortable paddle but you have to get used to a higher number of strokes per minute to maintain your speed (I paddle more than twice as many strokes per minute with this paddle than with my euro style paddle).  The paddle is ideal for touring, and I've learned that it works great in everything but shallow water.  The best thing about a Greenland paddle is that you can use the entire length of the paddle as a lever, which makes it great for bracing or sweeping. It does have a lot less wind resistance in high winds, which is quite nice, but you lose out a bit on the power stroke.   Executing a sweep stroke works really well with this paddle since you can hold it all the way at one end and use the long paddle as a lever to turn.  Is the Klatwa worth the asking price of $330? Unfortunately not. I cared for the paddle as recommended, but over the last year and a half it has basically started falling apart. I haven’t done anything crazy with it, but it is VERY lacking in durability and the laminated pieces have started peeling away from each other.  For this price, there are MUCH better options if you want to purchase a Greenland paddle. I'm disappointed since Feathercraft normally makes a great product, but this isn’t one of them. I get the feeling the Klatwa is farmed out to someone else to make, but it's still got the Feathercraft brand on it.
I've taken to using Plasti Dip to the tips for protection (picture), which helps but does not solve the problem.

 

 

 

Carlisle Enchantment Carbon Straight-Shaft Two-Piece Paddle

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Carbon fiber euro paddle, two piece 7 x 21.5 inches Carbon fiber, fiberglass220 cm32.5 oz 

 

 

This paddle isn't made any more, but there are plenty of places that are selling it a a huge discount.  This paddle is fairly light and has large, stiff blades that smoothly move a lot of water on each stroke.  This is a great paddle for either high or low-angle paddling, as well as just generating a lot of power.  It works great as a surfing paddle and it is pretty much bombproof.  There's nothing delicate about it and it can stand up to tremendous abuse (like leaning your entire weight on it to get a kayak off of a rock or breaking through ice).  I put some Plasti Dip just on the edge of this paddle to help protect it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Werner Camano Small Shaft Two Piece

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Fiberglass/carbon two piece6.3 X 20.5 inchesfiberglass, carbon 220 cm27 oz 

 

This is the Rhino's primary paddle;  it constantly wins the award for best touring paddle since it's light, has a very adjustable ferrule, is forgiving on long paddles, can stand up to tons of abuse, and looks great.  It lacks a bit on the power end of the spectrum, but then it's not designed for that.  The Camano is ideal for a low-angle stroke over long distances.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aquabound Manta Ray Carbon  Four Piece Paddle with TLC ferrule

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Carbon fiber/abX euro paddle, four piece 7.25 X 18 inchesCarbon fiber, fiberglass,plastic220 cm30 oz 

 

 We got the 4 piece paddles so that we could break them down and put them into our folding kayak backpacks, and they work great for this since they break down more than 2.5 feet shorter than a regular 2 piece paddle.  This actually turned out to be a great paddle.  It's light, stiff (you can't tell it's a 4-piece), and the TLC ferrule system is infinitely adjustable.   This is a great value for a high-angle paddler.  We also took these in our luggage for our Bahamas paddling trip, and it was great having a high-quality set of lightweight paddles.  The only thing with these is that you need to store them broken down into all 4 pieces, and keep the snap buttons lubed up or they'll corrode since they're in the water all the time.  I actually replaced them since the old ones got badly corroded.

 

 

 

Aquabound Eagle Ray Carbon Four Piece Paddle with TLC ferrule

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Carbon fiber/abX euro paddle, four piece 6.25 X 20 inchesCarbon fiber, fiberglass,plastic220 cm29 oz 

 

 We got the 4 piece paddles so that we could break them down and put them into our folding kayak backpacks, and they work great for this since they break down more than 2.5 feet shorter than a regular 2 piece paddle.  This is the Rhino's backup paddle.  It's light, stiff (you can't tell it's a 4-piece), and the TLC ferrule system is infinitely adjustable.   This is a great value for a low-angle paddler.  We also took these in our luggage for our Bahamas paddling trip, and it was great having a high-quality set of lightweight paddles.  The only thing with these is that you need to store them broken down into all 4 pieces, and keep the snap buttons lubed up or they'll corrode since they're in the water all the time.  I actually replaced them since the old ones got badly corroded.

 

 

Bending Branches Sun Shadow Crank Day

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Wood, 2 piece6.8 X 19 inchesWood Laminate220 cm41 oz

 

 After Bending Branches read my initial review they contacted me and very generously offered to send me a paddle that would better fit my needs, which was very professional and gracious of them. They certainly understand customer service and it's nice to know that there are companies that still do business the old-fashioned way. They certainly made a lifetime customer out of me.

We bought this paddle for the Rhino after her 1,200 mile solo paddle since her wrists and hands took a beating.  She didn't like it from the start and I thought she was just being peevish until I did our recent Assateague overnight camping trip with it.  This paddle just falls short of the mark in so many ways;  I am tremendously disappointed by the lack of thought that seems to have gone into the design and execution.  The first problem is that the SHAFT ISN'T ROUND.  I get that it's supposed to be a bent-shaft paddle, but the when you're going to rotate a feathered paddle back and forth in your hand a couple of thousand times during a paddle, you want the darn thing to be round, not a slightly rounded-off rectangle.  It just doesn't make sense to have a non-round paddle cross-section.  Secondly, the circumference of the shaft is abnormally large, partially due to its' nearly square shape. The "Day" version of the paddle is advertised as "great for high angle, athletic paddle strokes."  The size should just be sufficient to provide a little power when necessary, but the paddle blades flutter significantly, despite the fact that they're quite thick.  When I was paddling hard with my NDK Explorer relatively lightly loaded I could feel the blades flex.  I'm touring, not racing, but when I want (or need) to really dig in and get the kayak moving fast, I want all that energy I'm expending transmitted to the water to move my kayak, and not getting eaten up in the paddle flexing.  On top of that, the paddle is just plain heavy, and the weight doesn't include the beefy drip rings.   I'm not a big weight weenie, and my Klatwa Greenland paddle is just shy of 40 ozs, but it makes up for it in versatility.  Overall, this is a very disappointing paddle. 

 

Aquabound Surge

TypeBlade Size MaterialsLengthWeight
Carbon fiber shaft/fiberglass blade, 2 piece7 X 19 inchesCarbon fiber/fiberglass220 cm29 oz

 

 The Aquabound website doesn't do this excellent paddle justice and misses out on selling some of the best features.  This is a phenomenal paddle for anyone that's looking for a lightweight, incredibly well designed paddle that is reasonably priced.  When I first opened the package I fell in love with the bright green fiberglass blades.   I'm not big on how my gear looks, but this is quite an eye-catcher.   As I took a closer look at the shaft of the paddle, I noticed a checkerboard pattern.  The surge shaft is checkboarded with a pattern that is glass smooth around the shaft (the direction to turn the paddle when using the feather angle) and is rough up and down the length of the paddle.  The paddle turns smoothly in your hand, but prevents slipping; it's a great idea and is executed very well.  After I gripped the paddle I was VERY pleasantly surprised by two facts.  First, the shaft of the paddle is a bit smaller than usual, making it incredibly easy to grip.  This is a very comfortable paddle to hold and doesn't strain the hands.  Secondly, the shaft is slightly ovoid.  This actually makes it incredibly comfortable and lets you know exactly how the paddle is oriented in your hand.  After taking the Surge out on a 14 mile paddle, I appreciated the careful design and construction of the shaft even more.  The Surge is hands-down the most comfortable paddle that I've used.  I did some short and long sprints along the way and there is absolutely no flex in the blade;  I dug as deep as I could but didn't detect the slightest flutter.  Overall, this is an outstanding paddle, especially for a more high-angle touring stroke.