AT Quest Ergo HAndle

Does anyone have any experience with an AT Quest paddle with the bent ergo shaft? Am looking at one but can 't find reviews on the paddle. Is it hard on shoulders after a long paddle, etc?


Not at all…
It probably provides the least amount of stress shoulders of any paddle outside of Greenland style paddles. It feels exceptionally easy to move through the water and it is very forgiving.

No catch.
If you’re looking for a paddle with no perceivable catch, you’re on the right track. And if you’re talking about the glass version, the weight isn’t going to be helpful on long paddles.

I bought an AT Quest (staight shaft); mostly because the price was amazingly cheap and I thought it was worth a try. I loved the quick feather feature, but nothing could compensate for the lack of catch and the paddle went back to the dealer.

I would strongly advise you to try some other paddles to get a good base of comparison.

…you’re assuming that everyone wants a paddle with a good ‘catch’, which I guess is the same as ‘bite’, etc.

Based on the OP’s question about shoulder stress, maybe a paddle without a strong catch is what the doctor ordered. The Quest has a low blade area and if it’s like my Xception (the blade shape looks similar), it will be easy on the joints. That’s why I bought it, in fact, after years of wrist and elbow abuse from carpentry, I needed a paddle that wouldn’t jar. The AT ergo shape is particularly good in my opinion, although some prefer Werner’s ergo shafts.

Actually, I’m assuming that after trying a variety of paddle shapes, brands etc., it’s going to be much easier to make the selection that meets your criteria. The OP asked for opinions from those who actually had experience with the AT Quest. I have and I did.

AT Quest bent shaft?

– Last Updated: Nov-20-13 3:47 PM EST –

While acknowledging I've never having paddled the AT Quest bent shaft, I can offer some advice based on many decades of paddling. The last ten year of paddling have been with a rebuilt shoulder after traumatic injury and now in my late 60's, I also have muscle decline from male menopause.

Every person should seek out the paddle that works best for their body and paddling demands. It will probably be different than what some others in a group found to be ideal for their body.

Some guidelines:

-A stiff paddle shaft will transfer more of your effort into direct response of the craft being paddled. While white water canoeing, when I was young and strong, I selected a single blade paddle with no perceivable flex in the shaft to have the canoe move when I cranked on the paddle. Were I still 25 years old with no structural damage to my body I still would favor stiff shafts.

-Wide blades transfer more propulsion force to the canoe/kayak being paddled. In the process they also transfer more stress to the paddlers shoulders and arms. When white water canoeing at 25 years old I also selected a very wide blade-when I wanted the canoe to move quickly I wanted it to really move!

-High angle padders use shorter shafts than low angle paddlers. Wider craft need longer shafts while narrow kayaks need shorter shafts.

-Bent shaft paddles have a specific grip placement location to get the benefit of the bend on wrist gripping angle.

Decisions specific to My Body, and not necessarily anyone else (choose what's best for you, not me). My rebuilt shoulder now functions as "my paddle testing instrument"

I) Paddles must have some shaft flex to reduce stress on my shoulder at start of stroke. This observation was confirmed by my "paddle testing instrument" and will be irrelevant to many other paddlers.

2) Paddle blades must have narrow width to also reduce shoulder stress. The slightly increased slippage at the start of a stroke with narrower blades reduces joint stress. Also confirmed by my "paddle testing instrument" and would also be irrelevant for many others.

3) Shaft length must be appropriate to canoe (longer) or narrow kayak (shorter) being paddled

4) A Warner carbon bent shaft paddle I owned had the "bends" too wide for my rebuilt shoulder joint capsule to tolerate so I sold this fine paddle. Those who's body allowed a wider grip could be fine with this paddle. A nice low angle paddle that many paddlers like but I can't use.

The point of all this verbiage is to encourage paddlers to try many paddles of many different designs, materials and lengths until you find what works for your body in the craft you paddle. The ideal paddle for someone else probably will not be the ideal paddle for you.

Different strokes for different folks,


Before I switched to a GP
I initially was using a Werner Camano. Even with a light grip I started to notice discomfort in my forearms and elbows during long paddles.

On a lark, I bought a AT Exception in glass. Upon unboxing the paddle I was amazed at how little the ergo shaft curves were. But on my first use of the paddle I had NO discomfort. Nada. Zip. The paddle seemed to “disappear” into my hands. I was a happy paddler.

YMMV, but I love the AT ergo shaft.


Aleutian paddles
Hi Jim,

I have used a wood Aleutian I made at the Skinboat School as my default paddle for the last 10 years. The infatuation with the Warner bent shaft Kalliste ended when I discovered the hand location was too wide for me, irritating my reconstructed shoulder joint capsule.

Have made a number of Greenland paddles and they like them, but still go back to the old wood Aleutian paddle.

Have also acquired three different size used Novorca Aleutian paddles. Really liked a used 91" x 3.25" Novorca Aleutian that passed through my hands (long story) and am planning to reacquire it next week. Considering having them make me one from scratch to my specifications, but as a custon build it would be a frightfully expensive purchase.


I currently have Greenland Paddles 3" - 3.25" as well as an older Kalliste straight shaft. I like the Greenland’s and I don’t care much about the width of the Kalliste . Was thinking something in between. Have been contemplating a Nimbus or a Windswift when I came across a good deal on the AT paddle. Just wasn’t real sure about the bent shaft and blade design.

I’ve tried a Norvoca Greenland and think them to be an awesome paddle. Just wish they were a little more in my price range.

Bent shaft Kalliste
The bent shaft Kalliste required me to hold it with my hands at a width that quickly became painful to my rebuilt shoulder capsule. I now have keep a narrower hand width than before I injured the shoulder.


Novorca Greenland and Aleutian
Novorca paddles are superbly constructed. You should find people with Novorca paddles and demo them to get the exact width and length for your use. The one used Novorca Greenland paddle that passed through my hands was too wide for me.

I’ve paddled with three different width Novorca Aleutian paddles and favor the 3.25 inch wide blade. All were about 91 inches long.

Novorca paddles are quite expensive, but remember the Kalliste bent shaft sells for about $455 while custom made Novorca paddles start at $499. Novorca paddles can be built in any dimensions and colors you request.

With patience and time, Novorca paddles can be found used at lower prices.


…I guess I misread your intention, sorry about that. I’m a crank shaft partisan, which makes me cranky, I guess…

I appreciate everyone’s input.