Carbon paddle

Would like to get a nice light paddle for my Pygmy Arctic tern. Tried a friends full carbon epic signature and loved it. But at450 bucks, I want to check out other options before committing. I’ve also thought about getting a wing. My 230 cm Sawyer seemed heavy and way too long when I competed in a run-bike-kayak tri a few weeks ago. What other paddles should I be looking at?


– Last Updated: Oct-09-08 10:48 PM EST –

All the carbon paddles are high dollar. I would look for something used, I guess I say that because I have a Seven2 touring paddle I was about to sell.
What length paddle are you looking for?
I have a extra wing also,
Once you go carbon you will not be sorry

ONNO may be your best value.
I use my Epic Relaxed Tour full carbon with burgundy shaft and adjustable length from 215cm to 225cm more than my other paddles. I was blessed and got it used for about half of new. I prefer paddles with smaller blades - I don’t race. My ONNO Mid Tour is a little more effort to use than my Epic Relaxed Tour.

The Bending Branches Spirit paddles can sometimes be found new for about $200 when someone is clearing them out.

Sometimes you can find used Werner Camano or Kalliste’s at about half price also.

Good luck finding something you like at a good price. Sometimes it takes a long time to find a good deal on the paddle you want.

I second ONNO – Pat makes some nice paddles – extendable and infinite feather adjustments.


Not sure about your size

– Last Updated: Oct-10-08 7:33 AM EST –

But if you want to cover some distance rather than sprint, look at the Epic small-mid-wing size wing. I have the mid-wing (signature, which is *not* full carbon but one level down from it and $100 cheaper) and it is great for fast exercise pace. It feels light enough for me but I think I should have gone with the full carbon in retrospect as the burgundy shaft is even lighter, though not as strong.

But when I borrow a friend's small-mid-wing it feels even better match for touring - less effort than the mid-wing and the speed is still there. That is especially true in my Tempest 170, which is a slow and heavy boat. In the faster CD Extreme the mid-wing is just about right for me but the small-mid would probably still be better for long distances. That also depends on your shape and skill - I still have a way to go in both and may change my opinion after a while -;)

Expensive but strong and light with all the adjustments you need. The only thing that really does not work with it is sculling back and forth and high braces are a little tricky. But many other things are actually easier - it has so much lift that sweep solls are a no brainer even with poor form, and of course forward motion does not get any better once you get used to it (note: GP may challenge it for some there for long distances but I have not paddled a GP to kow).

I read good things about ONNOs paddles but having tried one of his touring paddles I think I prefer the Epic shaft with its slightly oval shape but that's a personal preference...

Werner Ikelos
I went with a Werner Ikelos. 220 cm, but I am a wide guy with a 24" wide boat; you could easily go shorter. It is a great paddle; efficient, not to hard to pull, lots of acceleration, and great for bracing etc.


I’ve been very lucky with paddles, my first boat came with a warner and my third boat came with a Lendal kenetic. Both high dollar paddles and a bit long for me but hey, I sort of, didn’t have to buy them. I finally broke down and bought an Onno made for me, whew what a difference. I don’t paddle with the warner anymore, it’s way to long. I do use the Lendal but only for short distances or ruff water, it’s a heavy paddle. My Onno feels like nothing in my hands, very light. Price wise, if I’d had to buy the Lendal, there’s no way I could have afforded it. The Onno is a whole lot cheaper. Well worth the expense. If you paddle with a club, see if any of the other members with different types of paddles, will let you test them.

stick with the blade design
that you prefer first, at least that’s what I would recommend. Remember that the idea is to plant the paddle and pull the kayak past it - efficient should equal a paddle that pulls through the water the least. I can use a paddle with a slower cadence and move just as fast - and I actually feel this is easier than the faster cadence. I think a lot of times people grab a blade that is actually behaving more efficiently, and try to keep up the cadence that they used with the blade that slipped a bit more. This makes it feel difficult. All the while, your kayak has a point where the energy it takes to go just a bit faster is greatly increased - a significantly diminished increase in speed vs units of energy used. I think that a lot of people confuse the feeling of paddling fast for actual speed. I also think that when someone jumps to a more efficient paddle they get tired faster because they’re bumping further into diminished return effort (units of effort vs speed). I believe that a slower cadence while speed remains constant is more efficient. (rotation is work) I also believe it’s easier to push harder when you’re starting with a slower cadence. This is great when you need to push - just keep in mind that pushing isn’t always necessary just because it’s easier to do when starting from a slower cadence - there is no rule against pacing yourself. Remember, cadence and speed are not one and the same. I also find this with going too short with a paddle. Too short and I give up leverage and reach so valuable in rough water handling, and I have to increase my cadence to keep the same speed I would have attained with a slower cadence and a bit longer paddle. (Not recommending too long of a paddle either - but for me at 6’0" 175lbs I have no use for whitewater length in a sea kayak, or actually anything under 215cm - I don’t find a reasonable trade-off in my experience) All of these thoughts are from my personal experience with my different paddles and paddle lengths. I bring them up because I figure they’re a bit different from a lot of what I hear discussed. But to my original point of getting a blade design first, I myself prefer the cheapest plastic/nylon blade of a blade design that works well for me to some all carbon paddles that I’ve tried, and I’ve had paddlers borrow different blade designs from me of cheaper, heavier materials as they prefer them to the all-carbon they own. (I own a couple light carbon paddles - so it isn’t that - and no, unfortunately my most expensive lightest haven’t turned out to be my favorite - but I do like them and it’s cool that they’re so light.) So if you’re strong and like to push, get a paddle design that allows you to do what you want to the best of your ability vs feeling like light and carbon are the end-all-be-all and buying the only paddle and blade design that you can afford just because of the material.

Adjustable length -
Adjustable length is very advantageous.

My ONNE extend up to 15mm
and works well with a variety of boats (220cm to 235cm Full Tour).

I also like a small feather angle which is not possible with most paddles.


Good paddle-good price.

My brother has one. We both like it.

Great investment
As a canoeist, I’ll just say that the purchase of a carbon paddle was one of the best uses of money I’ve ever made. Other than the obvious ($), I can think of no down-side to this technology. And unless I run over them (I now have 2) with my truck, it’s a good bet they’ll outlive me.

Don’t forget AT paddles
No one has put in a recommendation for the AT Exception carbon crankshaft paddle. I love mine - it has a different (I think it’s better) feel that the Werner crankshafts. The regular size blade is on the smaller side which I prefer - there is also an oversized blade. I second what others have said above - once you’ve used a carbon paddle for a few full day paddles, the price tag gets fuzzy in your memory and recedes into the distance… money well spent. I got mine with $50 off due to p-net membership.

Get a bunch of pro’s together for a photo shoot and they will care less what boat they are in…so long as there’s a reasonable fitting boat left for them.

They will fight over a paddle.

a good paddle makes a difference
My paddle is a used one, I found it in the pnet classified section.

I paid a good deal for it used but it has been well worth it.

It is a Nimbus Kiska. I’m very happy with it.

Yep. Adjustable length is handy.
My Epic Relaxed Tour adjusts from 215cm to 225cm. My Onno Mid Tour adjusts from 205 to 215cm.

I use the Epic Relaxed Tour more than the Onno Mid Tour because it seems easier on my body.

Look at the Aqua-Bound paddles. VF

If I could only have one paddle I would get a touring paddle. It is better for a wider variety of paddle skills. I love my wing but for casual paddling or paddling in rough water I prefer the touring paddle. I am sure some will disagree. That is just my opinion.