Explain and evaluate this paddle

What is the design theory?

What kind of canoeing would it be best for?

Would you pay $250?

Has anyone used it?


Wrist relief on forward catch,
for old WW paddlers most likely :smiley:

I’d like that design for a spare paddle
Stick it under the deck plate on top of the air bags and have the bend so that it falls right over the front thwart. Kinda pricy for a spare though.

On a more serious note, someone uses one (can’t remember who) over on cboats. He really likes it.

Wrist and finger relief. Small increase
in forward reach. Curved blade for sharp catch.

I tried to make a paddle with a similar shaft modification, but errors in blade parameters made the grip’s effectiveness hard to evaluate.

Speaking as a c-1 paddler, the grip portion can turn out to limit where your hand needs to be for certain strokes.

Also appears to be length adjustable
Has a friction ferrule.

Ergonomic shaft bends for wrist relief usually show up in paddles for high and continuous stroke rate paddling such as marathon double bent paddles and seakayak crank paddles. Hard to see the advantage for whitewater or flat water sport canoeing.

If you are on a snake infested river
Your snake would scare off all the others !

Jack L

weird looking …

– Last Updated: Oct-18-11 12:37 AM EST –

..... probably described or defended as a scientific break through of some fashion .

Almost definately marketed towards the enthusiastic techie crowd who feel there's still plenty of room to improve or reinvent the wheel , or those always needing and seeking something better to be happy ... and willing to pay to find out .

A fade that will never realize a miraculous gain in anything the majority of paddlers use paddles for , nor become popular and sell in large quanities .

Something deceptive .

That's my initial evaluation w/o any knowlwdge of the object paddle ... also wouldn't care to entertain any reasoning about it's claimed justifications for it's weirdness . I see enough negetives just looking at it's unaccommodating shape that I don't feel any claimed performance gains could be justified .

But maybe , disaplined racing canoist could find a performance gain by using it ... and that's as open minded as I can be about it , "maybe they could" (??)

If it ever ends up in the book of things worthy to remember , my guess is it will be found under the catagory of bad ideas professed and marketed to be another evolutionary break through .

Deliberate ignorance?
Found this very informative review with embedded video by googling “Sawyer Venom Paddle.”


Of course, if you just want to make fun of something, you don’t really want to know too much about it…

ya think so , huh …
… after watching the vid. in the link and reading the “very informative” review , I think my initial thoughts are closer to spot on than ignorant .

I heard the Brooklynn bridge was for sale , many times as a matter of fact . Bet ya a number of folks got in line to sign up for it too .

Somebody bought London Bridge…
…and put it up at Lake Havasu.

Thanks for the video
Except for the crank shaft, which doesn’t appeal to me for WW moves, it’s a creative and nice looking paddle.

I have two Sawyer wooden paddles and like them a lot.

Maybe the adjusto-ferrule is in the
wrong place. It looks to me like the placement of the crank grip may be in the wrong place for some, or too narrow in actual use. That was the problem with my home built version. In practice, my lower hand moves up and down the shaft more than would be possible on the Sawyer.

Perceived/real need ???
I am not going to pay 250 dollars for any paddle; just as I will never pay 3,000 dollars for any canoe.

Any paddling problems I had/have, were not/will not be resolved/made better by a 250 dollar paddle, or a 3,000 dollar canoe, in my opinion.

I am an admitted cynic.

I think that paddle was designed for people with lots of expendable income; who belive that the “next best thing”, or the “most expensive thing” is going to magically improve their paddling skills.


But if it makes you/them happy; go for it…

I can’t sensibly justify having 2 of the same model of motorcycle, but I do…

Why? Because I want too.



P.S I do like/own several Sawyer paddles.

Ever wonder why kayakers get new stuff
… while canoers “mostly” get the same stuff that’s been out for 15 years? Of course it’s mostly the raw numbers of participants. But it’s also our general attitude. Who needs fancy asymetrical stuff?

A similar paddle is made by
FoxWorx paddles, and called the Unadilla.

It doesn’t have an adjustment for length, but is

also a double bend. It has a comfortable grip.

I bought one, and for much, much less than $250.

It is light, quite comfortable, and as powerful

as you want it to be.

I mention this only to show that the double bend

canoe paddle is not unique to only one maker.

It’s a good design, and it works.

Double bends are different from cranks
Double bend canoe paddles like the Foxworx Unadilla have been around for 30 years, perhaps first commercialized by Brad Gillespie and touted by Harry Roberts. They are fairly common among Minnesota switch paddlers and outrigger paddlers.

I have a nice double bend Mitchell Leader with a carbon blade.

However, double bends are not the same as crankshaft paddles like the Venom. The double bend paddle is an alleged ergonomic version of a single bend bent shaft paddle, both being designed to have the plane of the blade at an angle to the plane of the shaft – so that the blade is vertical in the water after the shaft is past vertical. These double bent shaft paddles have the first bend at the throat, like all bent shafts, and a second bend about 6" down from the grip. Hence, they have a very long straight shaft area to slide your bottom hand up and down or to rotate for braces and slices.

Crankshafts function as “straight shaft” paddles, except they have a short crooked area in the middle of the shaft, almost like a hand grip. Your shaft hand is limited to this small area to get the supposed ergonomic benefit for the wrist. However, the functional shaft is in the same plane as (or in a slightly offset parallel plane to) the plane of the blade.

Double bend shaft (blade angled to plane of shaft):


Venom crank shaft (blade in same plane as shaft):


Do any of you remember that paddle with a shovel or suitcase grip attached to the middle of the shaft that used to be advertised in Canoe Magazine in the 80’s? What was it called? Power cinch or something like that? The Venom reminds me of a more sophisticated version of that.