Best All-Around Touring Paddle

I’m looking for a good all-around, lightweight, low-angle performance paddle (220 cm) but am not familiar with the various types of ferrule designs (not even sure I’m using the right terminology there).

So my question is: what’s the best type of ferrule design that will allow me to break the paddle into 2 pieces, adjust the feather, won’t wobble, and will stay put over long distances?

I like the Adventure Technology paddles, but they have a few different styles of ferrules.

Any advice?

I like GP’s and I’ve put in many long mileage days. I have them carved out of wood as well as a Northern Light Paddles Greenland paddle and Aleutian paddle which I use according to whim.

My wife and I own…
…several Werner and Swift touring paddles which we have had for several years.

Swift - Has been okay but on the newest paddle, 2 years old, one of the pieces that lock the angle of the feather in place came off this summer. I reset it on the shaft w/ g-flex epoxy and it seems to be fine. We have 4 swift paddles that go back more than 10 years and would not reccomend them because I have also had problems with thier older ferrule system.

Werner - I have 2 Werner touring paddles that go back 7 years and would reccomend them. They have been solid and show no sign wear or movement in the feather lock at all.


– Last Updated: Aug-07-12 4:53 PM EST –

In my opinion, Werner makes one of the best ferules on the market. It will do all that you ask and do it well without you noticing it. For low angle paddles check out the Kaliste or Athena for the highest end paddles they make

Or the Camano Carbon / Little Dipper Carbon for a bit less cost

Or the least expensive Camano/ Little Dipper

Good luck

Last thing to think about
I think the ferrule design should be the last thing to think about. First consider:

Total paddle weight.

Weight distribution, that is, what contributes to total weight most, the shaft or blades.

Strength and stiffness.

Blade size and feel to match your paddling style, strength and cadence.

After that:

Any ferrule allows the paddle to be broken down to two pieces.

How fine a feather angle adjustment do you really need? Do you really think the difference between a 35 degree angle and a 40 degree angle will make any difference at all?

The more complicated a ferrule design is, the more ways it can go wrong.

The more complicated a ferrule design is, the heavier it will be.

Hard to go wrong with Werner
Great ferrules, and several price/performance points. The Camano blade is a popular standard.

I now prefer the Epic relaxed touring blade. Similar to the Werner Camano or Kaliste blade in shape, but about 25 sq. cm. smaller. The shaft is a bit smaller than the Werner standard shaft. The ferrule has a lever lock, and allows for extending the paddle length within a 10 cm range.

Prefer Aquabound over Werner
I’ve had better luck with Aquabound. I prefer the old style button ferrule. I’ve broken both brands of paddles and Aquabound treated me right.

The best versions allow length adjustment (15 cm.) and feather adjustment (90 degrees both ways). The lever lock that is used in ONNO paddles does all of this very well and is easy to adjust on the fly. In my own case I never use the feather adjustment (YMMV). But I do adjust length. Besides all this ONNO paddles are light, strong, and efficient.

Little Dipper if you’re a smaller paddler (under 150 pounds), Camano for mid-sized to larger paddlers.

I’m a guy, but prefer Werner’s small diameter shafts over the standard shafts. The ferule on all the newer paddles has an easy multi-angle adjustment that feels as solid as the best spring-pin designs out there, and swing weight (more important than overall weight, once you’re under 34 oz) is as balanced as anything on the market.

Three Brands to look at

– Last Updated: Aug-08-12 10:11 AM EST –

For a low angle stroke, you'll want a carbon paddle because you'll be holding the thing in the air all day long.

Werner has the best ferrule.

I like bent shafts to reduce wrist strain. AT may have the best bent shaft/blade as they mold shaft and blade as one unit, but Werner has a better bend in their shaft and offers choice of blade shapes and sizes for horizontal or vertical strokes

The third brand to check out is Onno; great blade shapes, superlative quality but no bent shaft.

For a price point, check out Fox Worx.

How important is paddle stiffness?
Good points. How important is paddle stiffness?

It’s mostly about feel.

Imagine a rubber paddle. You would feel very unconnected to the water. When you need to do a strong steering stroke there will be a delay before something happens.

A perfectly stiff paddle offers no compliance, so forces are instantly transferred to you.

Of course no paddle is perfectly stiff, there will always be some flex. Really I think it comes down to feel and preference.

All good (3 different brand)
I’ve owned or used extensively 3 different brands. All of them I like equally well, if for different reasons.


My current paddles and my all time favorite. Super light, infinitely adjustable in both , easy to assemble/dissemble. The only drawback I found, the shaft is smooth, too smooth for a good feel of “grip”. But that’s mostly personal. And since I paddle mostly wearing gloves, that’s a non-issue after all.


Had used extensively. Light, easy to assemble/dissemble. Not as adjustable as the Epic but I wasn’t too bothered by it. The carbon with foam core is incredibly light and the extra buoyancy comes in handy for rolling! :wink:


Also used extensively. Light and easy to use. If you get the graphic inlay one, it’s gorgeous to look at!

All break-apart paddles could benefit with a quick rinse after each use, especially important if you paddle in salt water. I’ve never had problem with them sticking.

You can look long and hard and not even come close to a Werner Camano to satisfy the requirements you specified.

Do not underestimate the value of a truly superb ferrule. The new Werners are absolutely that.

I am also very biased toward a straight shaft for a number of reasons. Primarily, a straight shaft allows for greater paddle adjustment in regard to hand placement to compensate for wind and current.

I have strained my Camano on many occasions to the extent that I fully expected to hear a snap, but not even a peep. The carbon shaft and the translucent blade defy all logical experience in their strength, rigidity and endurance.

Epic Relaxed Tour for me.
Mine has the burgundy shaft, which allows a bit of flex. Relatively small blade compared to most euro paddles, but that’s what I prefer. It’s 21 oz.

I have owned several paddles and
the Onno I have now is the best. Completely adjustable for angle and length within 10 cm.

If looking for lower cost, I think Aquabound paddles are excellent.

I concur with the recommendation for AT if you want a bent shaft. FWIW I find the bent shaft on AT more felicitous than Werner’s, but that’s just personal preference.