Demo Paddles...Not boats??

I’d like to move on to a more advanced paddle…can I tell you I actually dreamt of a new paddle the other night. Been holding out for awhile but now that it’s slipping into my subconscious…guess it’s time.

I’m really not sure what I’d like exactly. Weight is an issue…I mean, I don’t want something too clunky…but then so is $$. I really have a hard time justifying 4 or 500 for a Werner that could snap just the same as a $100 blade. Have to admit, I like the smaller shaft size Seven2 offers…if only the blades weren’t junk (personal opinion, I know). And I’d very much like to be able to feather once in a while. It doesn’t bother me to go back and forth but my favorite paddle got, um, stuck and will never be apart again without a saw. So, unfeathered it is for now. There are a couple of local shops but I don’t want to demo boats, just paddles and the paddles associated with rentals are low, low, low end Canons mostly that flex very badly. I’d like to try out a wing (right term?) or, gasp, a greenland. How did you guys demo paddles? Keep trying to get out with the local club but family and work keep interfering. Any suggestions for a great touring paddle? Also, I think I would like to go shorter…currently at 230cm and I’m pretty sure it’s too long for me. Or atleast not ideal. I’m 5’3" (regardless of what the meanie nurse at my last physical said…5’2" HA) and fairly short in the torso. So…what’s your favorite paddle and why and what’s a reasonable price range??

Thanks all-


Have you asked?
Many of my favourite shops will lend paddles for a demo. One even lent their personal paddle to a friend of mine for a couple of months.

If you can assure them that you won’t abuse it, and maybe leave them a credit card imprint, they might let you try a few high-end ones for a while.

Can’t hurt to ask.

Good luck.

Oh, and I canoe mostly, but believe that extra money spent on a paddle is more beneficial (= greater joy, 'cause that’s what it’s all about) than the same money spent on a boat.

At the shop where I work we definately offer paddle demos and encourage them…Many people will try 2-3 paddles , some even more …After all, a paddle is an investment and one size does not fit


– Last Updated: Jun-27-06 11:16 PM EST –

If you ever paddle with a group, see if you can try out other paddles there. Probably the 230 is too long for you.

You might want to look at Onno paddles. They have great reviews here. Light, surprisingly affordable ($140 for a 1 pc up to $375 for a full carbon 2 pc wing) and can be CUSTOM made to your needs. You can talk to the owner about how and where you paddle, and what you want.

Don’t ask me!
I only really like expensive carbon (Wing, Euro and GP) - or self carved wood GPs.

If $ is no object and you want a Euro it’s hard to go wrong with an EPIC active tour or any of the high end Werners (they have a smaller shaft option). I’ve demoed and liked these a lot, but don’t paddle euro now unless forced! For less $, but not less paddle - have Pat custom build you one of his ONNO paddles. He’ll work with you to get the right blades and length (nothing over 215! Maybe 210 - or go with an adjustable 205-215 if available, 210-220 if not. I’d guess around 80-82" for a custom GP - with a 15-17" loom).

If you lived in SE FL I’d be able to let you try a 210 Carbon Waterstick Zen touring paddle (no longer made), an adjustable (210-220) EPIC wing paddle, a Beale GP, and another GP from Sing with much narrower blades - both made for someone your size.

ever look for used?
I scored a wicked deal on my paddle-80 bucks canadian for an all-carbon fiber Aquabound Tsunami. absolutely love it. light, and matches my paddling style(usually higher angle)

And i’ve seen recently a couple of the high end Werner for about 200-250$ cad in the ads.

Usual Demo Route For Paddles
is with clubs. Most shops have few selection of paddles for demoing, especially high end carbon fiber paddles.

I am about your size. For touring Euro, I find 210-215 more efficient for my stroking style. I’ll actually toy around with my white water paddles, 180-191 CM range, sometimes with a long boat but it’s a much faster cadence and high angle stroke. For GP, I have paddles in the 82"-84" range.


I have found that several friends were more than willing to let me try their paddles. I also found that the local outfitters were willing to allow you to demo their paddles.

It took me three purchase trys to get the right length and I am still thinking about shape. I would encourage you to “borrow” and try before buying. Everyone can talk paddles and I listened a lot. Call Patrick at ONNO paddles, I found him to provide a wealth of knowledge. Yes, he would like to sell you one of his, but he is very helpful in getting you set up right. BTW, I have one of his paddles and it is my favorite, and least expensive paddle.

Happy Paddling,


Demo Paddles
I agree with previous paddlers in that most shops will have some paddles for demo purposes and certainly club members and fellow paddlers will let you try their paddles.

One of the best places to demo paddles is a kayak festival. The dealers are there for one purpose and that’s to sell you their stuff so they will let you demo PFDs. boats, spray skirt and PADDLES.



Demo Paddles in YOUR Kayak

– Last Updated: Jun-28-06 7:53 AM EST –

If looking for the RIGHT paddle, demo paddles in your own boat. Different boats can me a paddle "feel" differently.

I LOVE my Lendal Carbon Composite crank paddle, with my Impex Assateague Kayak. These two work very well together.

But I have a cheap Poly kayak for playing in cold water, and slow moving streams. I don't like the Lendal with that boat, as the Lendal is for Touring, not playing.

Of course
I got the Zen for $70 bucks off eBay. Got my wing used (barely - really new) to, but still not cheap. My FG Werner’s used. One of Kim’s GPs was used - and FREE courtesy of Sing.

It seems quite rare to ever see a used carbon Werner, EPIC, or ONNO for sale - or Superior Carbon GP. Paddles like these are why you see other paddles for sale used.

Thanks for all the input
Yep, I’d love to work on trading with club members…and I am a member of one of the local groups. Just can’t seem to meet their schedule lately. Honestly, I thought an outfitter would laugh at me if I asked to “borrow” some $300 paddle. Demoing a paddle in my own boats is exactly what I’d like to do. But if an outfitter wants me to pay the rental fee and use one of theirs in order to lend me that puppy then, that’s fair enough. Plus the local outfitters actually offer decent boats. One even has a Tempest 165 (though not as pretty as mine :slight_smile: ) for rent. So I’ll try your suggestion and see if I get laughed out. Most of what I’ve seen on Ebay has been WW paddles but then I don’t look frequently and I’ll admit it’s been awhile.

Also seems like everyone agrees that I need to go shorter. I was pretty sure but now I’ll definitely aim that way. I’d really like an adjustable ferrule; the one I dreamt of had one :slight_smile: But the traditional pin system is fine too so long as the pieces don’t become mated for life. Fiberglass is probably fine for me…carbon’s nice but then my husband has four legs sitting around here (besides the one he’s wearing) made of carbonfiber and I’m beyond being amazed by the stuff. Hmmm…maybe I should just have our prosthetist rig something up…


Thanks again all-


a number of companies are
offering adjustable ferrules…not only angles but also two that i know of: lendal and bending branches both offer adjustable lengths (i thikn that there are more who do but these are the first tow to pop into my head)…

i jumped headlong in a lendal crankshaft with out trying it and have never looked back…love it!!!i have tried many other paddles but just not clicked with them (werner being one of them)…

for ww/surf Seven2 is my prefered paddle!!!yep i jumped into that as well…

small shaft diameters are available from most of the makers out there as well now…seven2’s small shaft is different: it is almost solid carbon…and then you have rubbery grips for your hands…the effect is a crankshaft paddle but with a straight stronger shaft…then nice thig about the carbon is that it can actually give a little spring to a brace…it is reactive to the conditions…

do you want a high angle or low angle???long thin blades vs big fat water grabbing blades…


230 is too long!!!

I started with a 220, tried a 215 and immediately preferred it. (I’m 5’2".) Every time I’ve gone back to a 220–strictly when renting and nothing shorter is offered–I hate it! For all I know, I’d be happier going down to 210, but I haven’t tried it. The 215 is pretty good, if not perfect.

If you want to demo some GPs AND SOFs, you could go to a SSTIKS, held each June.

Ditto on Onno…
My Onno and Superior GP are my favorite paddles.Call or email Pat - you’ll be glad you did!

demo paddles for sure but
I’m 5’2" and love my Branches Evening Breeze size 210. I had a Werner mid level paddle in 230 with my first boat which was 25 inches wide. My 22.75 in wide Hurricane Tampico S coupled with the 210 Evening Breeze is so much lighter and faster. We found the Branches composite paddles to be every bit as nice as the Werner but far better priced. My local dealer let me demo several for a morning and things became clear real fast for me. Almost bought the Branches Twilite blade but the Breeze felt better all around.

Werner shows up at many kayak symposia and even came to our local paddlefest. Or find a shop that will let you demo (and then buy from them!)

I tried the Werner Cyprus at the West Coast Sea Kayak Symposium last fall. They didn’t even have it in production or on the display but had one that they were showing to their dealers. After I got tipped off I asked them to try it. Bought one a few months later and like it very much.