Epic Full Carbon Relaxed Tour Durability

? I bought a used burgandy shaft full carbon Relaxed Tour with length lock on ebay would appreciate input from other users of the full carbon red shaft Epic paddle users.

The Epic web site says “The Burgundy shaft is our lighest shaft and has medium flex. This is often preferred by those paddling or racing over longer distances. The common thought (although not confirmed) is that a more flexible shaft will be easier on your joints (shoulders, elbows, etc.). The Burgundy shaft is not as strong as our Blue shaft. It will not break at a full sprint by a strong paddler, but is more suscpetible to impact or a direct hit to the shaft - such as dropping on rocks, getting hit by another boat in the surf, etc.”

Do I need to be especially careful with this paddle shaft, or is it ok to use it like I would any other carbon shafted paddle? I don’t plan on bashing any rocks with it or using it as a pry bar.

I’ve already read the other threads regarding the joys and perils of the Epic length lock mechanism and they were very helpful, but there wasn’t much info on their full carbon shaft or blade durability. This paddle does come with the length lock tool.

I’ve been looking for a paddle that’s tolerably priced, light weight, length adjustable (this one’s 215cm to 225cm) and less powerfully bladed than my Bending Branches Spirit with Day blade and Onno Full Tour, which can be a little too tiring for me on longer outings or when I’m not feeling particularly strong, energetic or am not in peak paddling condition yet. I actually haven’t used the Onno since I got the Spirit because it feels strange to me, but my wife liked it the one time she used it and claimed it as her own. The Spirit Day felt great the first time I tried it - except for the heavy loading.

I also have a bent shaft Werner Kalliste that I bought used last fall and have only used once. It seemed to be less heavilly loaded than the Spirit Day, but I didn’t get used to the crank shaft on that first outing. I’ll give it some more time this season and see if I get used to it.

Hopefully, the Epic Relaxed Tour will be “the” paddle I’ve been looking for and feel “right” the first time I use it (like the Spirit Day) and will be less tiring for me on longer outings. At 19oz, I’ll have to keep an eye on it in windy conditions.

Thanks in advance for all of your great input.

Burgundy shaft Epic
I’ve found the shafty plenty durable and like the bit of flex.

That being said, I do try not to abuse it. I’ve got a Active tour Full Carbon Length-Lock which I’ve had for about three years.

I recommend inspection of
the shaft weave for knicks, scrapes, or gouges before any use where sudden failure would seem costly. The woven structure of carbon shafts, whether lighter and flexier or heavier and stiffer, is susceptible to point damage in a way not expected in a wood or aluminum shaft.

WW racers inspect their shafts to avoid having a shaft fail in the middle of a slalom or downriver run. A knick can be repaired but adding a little carbon cloth and epoxy. When repairing, care should be given that there is no sudden transition zone of stiffness. For example, you would not wrap a band of cloth and epoxy around the shaft in such a way that there would be a horizontal step in stiffness.

I’m not familiar with this particular
paddle, but if it were mine I’d avoid doing paddlefloat re-entries with it or anything else that would put heavy stress on the shaft.

Epic Quality

– Last Updated: Apr-24-07 10:25 PM EST –

I have been using full carbon Epic paddles for almost 7 years now: both Euro and Wind style, and their quality is outstanding. Those paddles are stronger than their look.

In 2005, I raced the USCA Nationals in an empty Allegheny river where I hit more rocks than in all of these years together with my full carbon wing. At the end of the race, I thought the paddle was destroyed and painfully put it in my car practically without looking; however, the next day, I realized the paddle had only two or three scratches. Unbelievable!!! Of course, I still use that paddle.


PS: If you are going to paddle in rocky rivers, get their reinforce version.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
I should have the paddle in my hands in two or three days and will inspect it as suggested. I’m looking forward to it’s inaugural voyage on Saturday.

Happy paddling.

Got it today. Relative weight and other

Weight compared to my other carbon fiber paddles. All weighed on my wife’s kitchen scale this evening and are in ounces:

220cm Werner Kalliste… 27.75

220cm Bending Branches Spirit with Day blade… 27.75

218cm Onno Full Tour… 22.75

215-225cm Epic Relaxed Tour full carbon… 22.00

All measurements were with drip rings.


  1. I like the diameter, shape and smooth finish of the shaft.

  2. The Length-Lock mechanism seems simple enough to operate and seems to work well.

  3. The size and shape of the blades look like they may be just what I’m looking for.

  4. The paddle feels well balanced and easy to hold.


    Blades: It looks like there was some sort of epoxy reinforcement along the edge of the tip and the middle two inches (along the center spine) of that coating was removed when the decal that ran along the center spine was removed. This left a sharp edge in the coating where the decal used to be. It doesn’t seem to be a problem.

    Shaft: Lots of small surface scratches in the finish, but no obvious impact areas to be concerned about.

    Ferrule and Length-Lock mechanism: There is a about 1/2" long crack in the end of the shaft with the numbers on it. It runs from the edge of the shaft toward the numbers and looks to go about 1/2 way through the thickness of the shaft. It doesn’t look like it will be a problem unless that spot is impacted again - I may contact Epic for their suggestions on how to fix it.

    Drip Rings: Their not installed. How do I get the drip ring over the side of the shaft with the lock mechanism? The mechanism appears to be glued on. Maybe I’ll just split the ring, install it on the shaft and glue it back together (without gluing it to the shaft). I like drip rings on my paddles.

    Feel free to offer your own suggestions or observations related to my comments and observations.

    I should get to try it out tomorrow.


Stretch the drip ring over the whole

– Last Updated: Apr-28-07 8:03 AM EST –

thing ......

Beware the crack ...... its might get bigger.

If you have some little filaments right here, do not pull them ..... bond back down.

Crack might not be from overuse, wear or even impact ..... someone might have stepped on it.

Usually the " 0 " uni plys are on the outside of the shaft ( reason not to pull them ) and the bias ( 45 / 90 etc. ) plys inside where they do the most good.

Now the 0s are supported by the bias plys in a global ( paddle shaft paddling ) sitiuation but not so much when they get weird loads on them like a woven would. So if it gets stepped on and 'squashed' as it were, the 0 degree plys would sort of separate from each other and slightly unbond from their bias relatives which would still be banded ( literally and figuratively) together. This is probably what you are seeing. Gently slide your finger inside shaft to see how that feels ...... should be smooth and even.

Forgot, you can always take the Full Tour down a bit too 6.375 measured across he powerface will yield just under 99sq. in. ..... 6.25" around 96. Weight will then be the same as the Epic ...... My carbon/carbon ones are right at 20 oz.

Blem paddle?
We bought two blem Epic paddles a few years ago and they had far fewer ‘blemishes’ than you describe on your paddle.

The locking mechanism will unscrew all the way off the shaft. That is how I got my drip rings off.

Your scale seems high…
My Kalliste 220 bent weighs 25.0 oz on my digital postal scale which would put your Epic where it should be.

My scale has always matched the Post Office scales.

I really like the way this paddle feels
and handles. I tried it a couple times over the weekend and it was a pleasure. It’s definately easy on the body, yet still seems to move the boat along pretty well. It didn’t seem to have any annoying quirks with me as the driver. I am very pleased with it.

Thanks for everyone’s input.

Thanks for the great tips Patrick.
The drip ring did slide right over the Length-Lock mechanism as you suggested, thanks for that tip.

I’ll keep an I on that crack and may take a digital picture or two of it and email them to Epic to see what actions, if any, they suggest I take regarding the crack. It seems like it would be a good idea to at least fill in the crack with some sort of bonding material. No loose fibers. No crack on the inside. You may be right about it be a result of being crushed in some way.

I’d be kind of hesitant to try to reduce the power face of the Onno Full Tour for fear of messing it up and having a paddle with two non-matching blades. I may re-examine that issue sometime down the road.

Thanks again.

This paddle was well used when I bought
it on ebay. The features I described may have been from something the previous owner did on their own.

My scale may weigh little hight now, but
last year I weighed a couple paddles on it and on one of our lab scales at work and they were in agreement. I took into consideration the possibility that the scale might not be completely accurate, which is why I weighed all of the paddles one after the other to get the relative weights rather than just weighing the Epic and comparing that weight to those of the other paddles that I had also weighed last year.

My Kalliste may be a little heavier than yours because it’s a bent shaft and is one of the older models with maroon color on the blade tip and with a push button ferrule with only two angle position options.