How good is a Zaveral recreational

paddle?And how different is it than the racing paddles?

Same quality
Same quality from what I have seen. Twice as heavy but at 14oz still pretty light. I use a 8.5 oz “Z light” 99% of the time and love it. I have a couple of Camps that I used to love until I got the Zaveral. Love is fickel

Wenonah bent carbons?
How do they compare with the Zav’s? Has anyone used both? The reason I ask is I can walk into Oak Orchard and pick one up. I don’t think they have Zavs.

(Sorry String, not trying to hijack, just taking some liberty rather than starting another within your bent-carbon thread.)

I appreciate you asking. The Wenonah
is a good price. I really like the rounded shape of the ZRE paddles. I had a Camp(Foxx) microlight and never liked it, but apparently it was 3" too long.It has a squared off blade. I paddled a few strokes with a Zav last weekend and loved it. Love is fickle.

Racing too light. Rec not best handle.

I use their White Water model at 11 oz sting.

You gain: carbon handle and strength. Weight is in between racing/power and rec paddles.

The plastic handles of the rec series are just not as nice to the hand. You will notice the 1-1/2 of weight advantage. I have definitely noticed the increased strength. Well worth the $40 upgrade!

I always get the factory seconds. I have never been able to find what makes them seconds and they have never failed me. That exploding one does not count as I dropped it, damaging the handle where it then exploded.

Hope helps!



Mick, how many have you gone through?

Bought two. Still paddling two.
About to order another one.

The one that I damaged and immediately exploded, just below the handle, with the first stroke or two was later cut square and the handle reattached. Paddles better than new as it had needed shortening.



I second the comments made here
The plastic handles are not up to par. I bought 2 Zav’s 2 years ago and the plastic handle on the one I use the most cracked after about 6 months. Better to spend a few extra $ and get the carbon fiber handle installed when you order.

Other than that, as already mentioned, I see no difference between factory seconds and regular paddles. The difference is probably only cosmetic, and even then probably only noticble to the QC inspectors at Zaveral.

Yes, there is a warmth and nostalgia to using wood paddles, but I made the switch and now only use my zav’s…even for whitewater. I wonder if the Rec’s slightly heavier weight gives it more durability? Regardless, its lighter than any wood paddle I’ve tried and anything that comes close to its weight isn’t going to be very durable.

Forgot about the plastic handle
On the Rec Paddle I tried. It was only for a little while, but awhile ago. As for durability on the factory 2nd light model I have used for about 3 years. I paddle with it 4-5 times a week most of the time in a solo race boat. Now watching me get in and out of a race boat is not a pretty sight, that coupled with the fact that a lot of the times my left foot tends to go asleep after a hour or two. I have had to use the paddle as a support more times then I care to remember. So far no problem at all. Hope this does not jinx me.

No Problems with mine
I have 4 of them now, from two rec paddles to a middleweight powersurge and an outrigger powersurge. Each of them has over a 100 paddling hours and two are reaching for 1000 miles. Have used them everywhere from Northern Quebec to the Pine Barrens.

The plastic grips on the rec paddles have not given me any problems, shape seems the same as the carbon knobs, but i have sanded the seam line off them. It was noticeable right under my thumb when i bought them, removing it eliminated any blistering.

My sons and racing partners have been merciless with all my paddles, the blade tips have some small nicks from sharp gravel and rock hits, but nothing that didn’t sand out. I have coated the rough spots on the tips with epoxy.

One of my paddles is a mongrel, it started as a rec paddle and was retrofitted with an outrigger powersurge blade and carbon knob when it was rebladed and shortened. Having the heavy walled rec shaft mated to the outrigger blade did not change the balance enough to notice, but sure did improve the grab on the water and the entry.

All the paddle damage i have ever had to repair was caused off the water, carbon or wood, they all fall prey to the ‘tailgate paddle crusher’.

Pry open your wallet and buy one already,


All right! I will!
Thanks for the comments.

because of shallow suck water on the last Clinton. I used it mostly to pole through

the worse water level I have ever had the mis-

fortune to have to deal with. The last 15 miles of the 70 Miler I used the Rec Zav Almost 65% of the time as a pole.

You saw the paddle Jim, the end was nicked scratched and kaBinged. I have dumb slapped my sons for treating a wood paddle that way.

I do agree that the plastic knob feels different then carbon graphite but you won’t notice it at the cadence you paddle(Trust me on that!)

the Rec paddles are nice
I take my Zav Rec as a back-up when i know there will be some shallow rocky sections. The paddles take a beating. I’ve never had a problem with the plastic handle, it feels no different to me than the carbon fiber paddles.

I ordered the medium Z factory 2nd.

what size did you order?
I seem to remember you being of similar 6"2" variety.

poling with a Zav?
That’s hard to believe. My Zav blade flexed and cracked immediately when I pushed off a sandbar.

Broken plastic handles
My Zav has the plastic handle, and I broke it twice at the shaft. The handlecrackedand brokeoff. Both timesZav replaced them at no cost. Great company!

Nanci and I did …

– Last Updated: Apr-14-06 7:51 AM EST –

eight miles at a 4.9 pace with our Z's yesterday.
We wouldn't have any other.
I'm all "hutted" out!

I am ordering a ultralight for one of my many daughters birthday present today.


your blade cracked?
Your blade was a Zav Rec? I have poled numerous times on a sandy bottom and never had a problem with my Zav Recs. I will use them in rocky sections and routinely have nailed rocks with the paddle and had no problem. I’m sure if you are a heavy paddler and decide to put your entire weight straight down on the paddle when it is planted on the bottom, instead of using it to push your boat ahead, that you could crack the paddle.

I was seriously considering one of these until I saw them at Canoecopia, and I was underwhelmed with the fit and joinery of the grip and the blade to the shaft. If the obvious quality features are bad, it gives me serious pause to the integrity of the rest of the paddle. I am now looking at a Grey Owl Carbon. The Zav’s just don’t have enough blade surface area for my paddle style (I own both a bent and a straight, which I am willing to sell).