Looking for advice on a Bent paddle

Looking for a new paddle, FG or Carbon, bent shaft, probably 215.

I paddle a Dagger Stratos, mainly do 20km+ paddles and looking for something to help ease the shoulders/wrists.

I paddle a aqua-bound stingray Carbon and a FG Werner Camano. I’ll keep the Camano probably, but leaning towards a Werner shuna or Cyprus. I want a paddle with a little more power, that’s versatile in both calm and more playful water… but that moves a little more water than the Camano.

Thoughts? I’m open to all suggestions, but interested in hearing from peoples experiences with these two as well.

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Tagging along, been thinking of buying one for the same reasons.

A neighbor bought a bent shaft Cyprus, what surprised me was how comfortable it felt because the shaft diameter was a lot bigger than my old Aqua-bound and BB Whisper. That easier grip should help with the wrist, but for some reason companies don’t seem to publish diameter specs.

On 15 mile paddles I shift between low and high angle styles. Seems like high angle aches the shoulders and low aches the wrist. I pop an NSAID (ibuprofen) before launch, definitely helps.

Folks are pretty adamant about which type shaft works best. I think that bent shaft or straight shaft is on par with stretch or trim, rudder or skeg, Euro or GP. It’s personal. I’m a Euro guy at this point and have found that I have a definite personal preference for bent shaft.

I don’t know anything about a correlation between shoulders and shaft-type. Can’t say that I have ever noticed a difference.
Wrists? Yes, but the big difference for me is in my hands. With the bent shaft I am able to control the paddle with greater ease using a much more relaxed grip. Vastly more relaxed. Something that I can feel within a few minutes of paddling and something that translates into more cockpit time and more miles on each outing.

I have been using a 205 Werner BS Ikelos as my primary paddle and a 210 Werner BS Cypress as a secondary for more than 10 years. Prior to that The BS Cypress was my primary and a 210 straight shaft Ikelos as secondary. I’ve had other straight shaft paddles prior and during the past 20 years they have included a Cypress, Shuna, Onno, Camano and some others. Those are all gone now either sold or gifted.

For me the bent shaft is a more suitable accommodation and I can’t see ever going back to a straight shaft Euro.

I have a feeling that the majority of people who don’t like bent shaft, have not tried it. They have only tried to imagine how it would work and concluded that it wouldn’t.

I was one of those people myself. Until I failed my attempt at buying a second-hand straight shaft Werner Shuna, and had to settle for the bent shaft version of that paddle. Now I never paddle with straight shaft Euros anymore.

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I guess I’m in the minority, as I did try one during a symposium class and the encouragement of my coach. I paddle with a straight shaft Werner Cyprus; the BS was also a Cyprus.

Using it I felt out of sync. I just wasn’t comfortable paddling with it nor did I like the fixed hand position. I move my hands on my paddle, a bit further apart for power strokes and closer together for relaxed touring.

Bent shaft paddles are also heavier than straight shafts.

I use two paddles: the Werner Cyprus and a Lumpy Greenland. I tried to imagine what a bent shaft GP might look like. Probably something out of Dr. Seuss.


Lots of folks are bothered by the hand position. I don’t feel that way at all and like that the shape offers me many more hand positions or “feels” . Sounds goofy, I know. The shape also lets me know the blade orientation better than the straight shaft. Different things work for different folks.


GP maker Ben Fontenot told me that he made a bent shaft GP once. He didn’t make another!

I really like my bent shaft Cyprus. I’ve had it for about 6 years, keep it feathered at 30º R and it has just become so natural to me. The only time I really change my grip is for sweep turns and for the 3 or 4 strokes it takes it’s no big deal.

Having said that I’m now really liking the oval, larger 1 3/8" loom of my cedar GP. I have a little arthritis in my hands and the GP seems easier on me.

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Gosh, I would love to see what it looked like.

I tried a BB cheap bent shaft and never could get a good feel for it. My Wind Swift does a great job for me but my need for speed days are over.

Which fixed hand position?

My hands are all over that paddle. Just like they are all over the handlebar on a bicycle.

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You’re acclimated to your paddle and I’m glad it works for you.

I personally didn’t care for the bent shaft and see no reason to buy one. Why incur the additional cost and weight when I’m perfectly happy with my straight shaft Cyprus?

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No reason you should. You found what works for you.

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Wind Swift is a good low stress paddle. I have one, but 220cm is too long for me.

My solution to wrist, elbow and shoulder aches and pain was an Epic Relaxed Tour full carbon 205cm to 215cm straight shaft paddle with burgundy shaft.

For me, going to a smaller blade was the solution. Not changing paddle shape.

I’ve tried AT bent shafts and a Camano bent shaft and didn’t grow to love them, but they were too long for my uses. Properly sized versions of those may leave me with a different impression.

I don’t have the power or conditioning for large bladed, high effort paddles.

I have used a Sawyer Orca V Lam Crank Shaft for over 10 years. Besides being lightweight, it can be easily set for feathering. LinK:

Probably a bit pricey, but I had shoulder surgery about 7 years ago and I rarely have any issues when paddling. I have done some 8 mile races as well as lengthy day paddles. About every 3 years I do a 3M red pad scuff on the wood area and put on a light coat of additional Marine Varnish (Captains) You wouldn’t have to do that, but I like to keep a nice looking paddle. I do keep a lesser expensive straight shaft for water/shoreline clean up.