I’m curious about how this feature is holding up under long term use. Would love to hear from you if you’ve had one for a few years. Jim
I’ll let you know in a couple years
I just got one, I like it.
Had mine for 7 months so far and havent re lubed or cleaned it, no problems, just dont over tighten it and you wont need the wrench it comes with.
"ONNO now has telescoping ferules which have a 10 cm range and infinite feather angle
adjustment via a nice, clean internal locker thing." - Pat
between my wife and myself, we have…6 epic length locks.
Two of them are in the neighborhood of 7-8 year old, and under VERY heavy use (besides a lot of training in a sprint kayak with the wing, my flat blade is used a lot in large surf and rock gardening, a testament to durability).
In theory, they are more rugged than a more common pushbutton TAP paddle. IMO, that is true- there is more of the male section overlapped, creating a stronger joint. Also, the mechanism accounts for wear, ie, never any sloppy connection. Never. It justs tightens as necessary.
Now, the caveats. It is possible to undertighten the ferrule, leading to a sudden change in feather angle. Rare for me, at my size and strength, but it can happen. Next, it is possible to overtighten, making getting it apart quite a pain. Not a problem for my wife, but it has been for me. Last, leaving the paddle as one piece for a long time under regulat usage, I have had enought grit get in to a make the paddle impossible to take apartk- I had to send a paddle back to Epic once, and they were great about it.
The trick is this- clean the ferrule once in awhile (hose out, wipe with a rag). Next, Epic now includes a cool tool to grip the ferrule and provide more leverage, if it is necessary to tighten or loosen.
While some would say that a typical pushbutton TAP doesn’t need this, my return is that I have yet to see a typical pushbutton TAP under heavy use that doesn’t develop a sloppy joint.
Werner’s splined TAP pushbutton is newer, and I do not know if it is prone to the wear issues of typical pushbuttons. So far, it appears to be a solid improvement in the wear department. But it does have it’s own idiosyncracies.
3 years so far
I believe we’ve had our Epic length lock paddles for about three years. (Full Carbon Active Tour)
I’m very happy with mine – though I did have to reglue the female ferrule piece this year.
The issues Karl mentions can be real – my wife has had some of them with her paddle.
The system worked well for me in that I was paddling with a 60 degree feather and at 230 when I ordered my paddle. I now paddle unfeathered at 215.
By last winter when I was paddling at 220 and contemplating shorter, I sent my paddle back to Epic for shortening. They did a beautiful job – they shorten it from the ferrule end and retool it.
I’m hoping my Onno with telescoping shaft shows up tomorrow or Saturday. If they’re everything everyone says they are it will be a great deal.
Had epic length lock for about 4 years
Love it! No problems. Seen What Ottterslide has but really no problems.
Never paddle with an epic, you’ll want one really badly even though ONNO should also be considered.
Pat at Onno gets the order for my daughter’s paddle next winter.
I have had mine for three years on …
..a wing, and have had no problems with it until the beginning of these season and I solved that right away.
I noticed that in a hard training paddle, the shaft was slipping a bit, and then when I tightened it tight enough to hold it I needed to use the spanner wrench to loosen it.
I cleaned and lubricated it, and the problem was solved.
My next one will be from Pat.
Not that there is anything wrong with the Epic, but Pat custom builds a sweet paddle, (my wife has one) and his cost less.
I think like with any good product, if there is some competition we the consumer will benefit.
My ONNO wing
With the length lock should be here Sat. or Monday. I can’t wait to hold it.
JT in Central Florida
Have the paddle and just waiting for the lock from Pat.
Two or three years
It holds up fine - I happen to find that mine is quite sticky though and is a bear to switch or disassemble on the water. My husband’s works much more smoothly.
I’ve seen two frozen
One was so solidly jammed that, when we tried to pull it apart with a truck and a tree, the rope broke!
Both owners were pretty careful, obsessive even, about keeping the ferrules clean.
But both owners are still with Epics, so I assume they got fixed. I believe the latest of those was bought at least two years ago. We can hope that Epic has now fixed whatever was wrong to enable that to happen.
To have the lock installed. Sometimes epoxy and I don't get along.
I have a epic wing paddle that I use racing my sprint boat. I love the the fact I can change the feather and the length. In fact, I’m looking to buy a epic touring paddle. I have several boats to include a rec boat, small sea kayak/rec boat and a longer sea kayak. Rather than buying more paddles to match the varing length of the different boats, I can buy one telescoping paddle for all three boats.
It took me a few times to figure out how to take the paddle apart, but I learned to not overtighten it. I also have a large pair of pliers I keep in my car to “gently” unscrew the shaft when it gets jammed.
I have had mine for 3 years with no problems. I spend well over 100 days with it on the water.
> Epic now includes a cool tool to grip the ferrule and provide more leverage,<
Do you mean the “tool” comes with newly purchased paddle? Can one order one seperately?
I have an Epic paddle. Even though I don’t have the arms of Arnold the Califonia governor, I can tighten it alright. But occasionally, I have trouble taking it apart. A tool would be pretty helpful for other occasions.
Another cautionary note
I had mine for about 3 years now. I quite like it. But since this is my first and only paddle, I don’t have anything to compare it with. All I can say is I’m happy with it. (Used a bunch of cheapy rental ones which naturally were no comparison)
As for the Length-lock. I have the following experience. I’m relatively poor in upper body strength, especially my hands. While I don’t have problem tightening it securely, I quite often have trouble loosening it. I found keeping the threads clean and free of debris is really, really important.
Lately, I tried deliberately under-tighten it a bit. That makes it much easier to take apart. And so far, I haven’t had any problem of it coming loose yet. So maybe I had been over-tighten it all along.
But here’s something to pay attention to. Once I got to the put in, only to find my paddle WITHOUT the “collar”!!! Well, that was very unpleasent, to say the least. I eventually found it tucked under my PFD. But my point is, the collar can completely detach from the shaft when the 2 half of paddle is apart. So be careful with that collar or you may find yourself up the creek without a (useable) paddle! ;o)
and I had one of those frozen Epic
Lock-Length paddles (Signature Active Tour) that David alluded to.
As David indicated I am was very careful in regard to rinsing/cleaning the Length-Lock mechanism after every paddle.
I really liked the idea of an adjustable length paddle and it served me well for two years, but it jammed after coming off the water on 2nd day of last Fall's BCU symposium. This was quite problematic since I was to assess the next day.
In short the paddle failed. My experience with Epic's Customer Service Rep was not a positive one. They tried to place the blame on me. I was upfront in what happened to the paddle, but they kept on revising their story through the entire return/repair process. I was eventually told that the jam was caused by a chemical-bonding reaction between the male/female portions of the ferrule, Apparently this sometimes happens on 'older' Epic paddles. Mine paddle was two years-old at the time. Supposedly this problem doesn't happen on 'newer' models.
Epic eventually repaired the paddle for 'free'. I believe this was due to the direct intervention of Mr. Barton (BTW, Greg Barton was not the Epic CS rep mentioned here). In the end I was out about $50 in shipping costs because the Epic rep had the paddle shipped to the wrong address (for which the rep blamed me?!). I had to pay duplicate shipping charges to get the paddle back.
After my jamming incident I happened to talk to a very well known kayak instructor, who actually uses an Epic blade. When I told him about the the Epic rep's comments on the newer Length-locks not jamming he responded crisply, "Don't bet on it".
I took his comment to heart and sold my Lock-Length as soon as it was repaired. YMMV.
three and great warranty
I have three (my primary and backup) and my wife has one for her primary. Used them for years without any problems.
A few months ago one seized up because of very fine sand (Pictured Rocks Natl Lake Shore). Epic instructed me to cut it in half and send it back to them. They fixed it FREE! And this is a 5+ year old paddle.
Love Epic paddles!!