I am shopping for a kayak. I intend to paddle a lot of kayaks before I decide.
Does it make sense to first buy a paddle so that comparisons between kayaks are not paddle influenced?
Also, does anyone have any opinions on Onno paddles? One piece or two?
I am shopping for a kayak. I intend to paddle a lot of kayaks before I decide.
A Paddle Makes Much Difference!
You should use the same paddle to test the different boats. A paddle makes a world of difference. Sometimes makes more difference than the boat.
I have a ONNO Carbon Fiber Signature. An excellent value, and very light!
Good Buy For The $$$
what kind of kayak are you buying? If it’s touring you would be better off with a take apart (TAP). White water and surf, you can do with a one piece since paddles for these venues are shorter. Even then, I went with a take apart just because it’s easier to store.
If you decide on a take apart, be forewarned that ONNO’s ferrules are real tight but give a feel of a one piece. Pat provides instructions on how to take the paddle apart. Follow the directions or you’ll never get them apart or will damage the ferrule.
Since you’re set on getting a kayak, there is no reason to not buy a paddle first. Alot of times, the tendency of rental places is to supply a paddle that is too long. This affects how well you can track a boat since long paddle plus low strokes increases yawing.
Have an Onno,
Carbon Fiber Wing, one piece. For touring do get a two piece. Workmanship, quality on my paddle are second to none, weight is way low also. Patrick is a pleasure to work with.
Patrick’s Endurance Wing
Am thinking about getting one of these myself but am curious if anyone can give feedback on how they are for general touring.
Speed is nice when you are having fun, but when it gets seriously challenging I want to have a paddle that I can count on for bracing, rolling, etc. So if anyone has used the Endurance Wing of Pat’s (Onno) can you please give me some insight?
PS - I agree on the previous postings about Patrick’s dedication to the customer, skills at making excellent products, and integrity as well.
buying paddle before boat
Look at the Bending Branches telescoping Breeze. Just got one and it’s rock solid and would allow you to demo boats but then have the exact length you want when you finalize your boat purchase. I also found I liked being able to back off the feather angle when I’m pushing a little faster cadence. They have some nice blade shapes too and they are hand laid.
I just got am Onno full carbon and it is sweet. Got it apart on the first try. The Epic is now a backup. Just follow the directions.
I have an ONNO signature paddle. It’s great quality and great value. Pat has integrity and will take the time to deal with you. As a one man operation, you may not get instant gratification out of your purchase but I found it worth the wait.
But… the blade has a very strong dihedral shape. I’m not super knowledgable about paddle shapes but I find it is difficult to use for some of those fancy-pants BCU type strokes. Or at least difficult when learning certain strokes. In particular I find it difficult to slice through the water because it tends to pull out or to dive in. So getting the blade in position for a hanging draw is a challenge. I had better luck when I tried a Werner Shuna (although the Shuna also had a shorter shaft). Even with the foreward stroke I notice a slight twisting of the paddle on the release. Maybe that’s just me, YMMV.
As a beginner you may find your preference in length or feather changes as you gain experience. You could spend the money on a length-lock adjustable paddle or get the ONNO and save the money for your next paddle. Afterall, you will want a spare at some point. Have fun.
Call Pat and have a chat…
he’ll give ya good advice.
Onno is one of the best bangs for the buck in carbon. Good resale if you decide to change length/feather later. Pat can probably get you pretty close on your first paddle.
Used Werners are another alternative - I really like those, as well.
Eric at canoecolorado.com is another paddlin’ addict well versed in many paddle brands/styles. Shoot him an E for advice and current close-outs in his inventory.
Lotta great paddle resources here. Nice, eh?
Best of luck on ya and pleasant waters.
Changing feather angle?
not a problem with a forward stroke. Might be a bigger problem with a full out back stroke where you are using the paddle for support as you push down to go back.
Might make reflexive braces a bit less effective. My bottom line: I'm glad changing the feather angle works for those who do it, I would not recommend it to beginners once they have found an angle that works for them.
To the main question: I think you should consider chose a boat width first, then get a paddle. Go short, your torso rotation will increase and your desired paddle length will probably decrease as your skills increase. I use a 215 on my 21.5 inch explorer and a 225 on my 29 inch pamlico tandem rec boat.
Then again if the bending branches adjustable paddle suits you it might make a fine paddle for now, then when you really know what you wanted you could get a top line onno or drop a huge wad of $$$ on an epic or something. I don't think you would regret buying a good onno now either but if you might buy a 20 inch boat or a 24 inch boat you might not know which length to choose now.
Between my wife and myself, we have Three of Pat’s Carbon Signature paddles. I also have a top of the line Werner Carbon paddle. The Werner is a spare. Pat’s paddles are not only great value but are great performers. You can’t go wrong. Call and talk with him if you need advice on what to get.
I think if Pat would make a
"length-lock" he would be a rich man in about six months!
Hint, hint, hint !
I strictly use a wing paddle, can't seem to paddle the Euro's anymore, they just feel like loose noodles. Most of my paddling is race or race training related in 21 inch beam or less boats, so I don't tend to use many of the braces you would encounter in touring with a loaded boat.
Specifically with the Onno wing it seems to have a crisper quicker release than the Epic mid-wing, similar blade design, but about 4 ounces lighter on average. Shaft is slightly thinner than the Epic. Hope this helps.
Tight Ferules On ONNO Paddles
If you find the ferule too tight, you can always loosen it up a bit, very carefully, with emory cloth.
But much better to start out too tight, than too loose. You can loosen a tight ferule, and it will loosen itself over time with use, but you can’t tighten a loose one.
A Very Good Question
You bring up a very good point, and you are right. Buy a good paddle first (Onno) and then compare the boats. Let Patrick know what boats you are considering and he will take it from there. You will have a lot of fun and good experiences. You will never turn back!
You guys are killing me…,
All this talk about Onno paddles is making the wait for mine (week to go?) even harder After talking to Pat for fifteen or twenty minutes I ended up with a all carbon full tour. I cant wait!!
Onnos are great!
I agree with everyone - call Pat. You can’t go wrong with one of his paddles!
haresfur, IMHO, if you relax your
paddle grip and let the Onno tell you, by the sound and release, your problem will go away. It really is a smooth paddle to use. The quieter the paddle, the easier it works.
Check out the product reviews on the left. Most of the paddles have 1-5 -or so- reviews. The Onno paddle has 36 reviews.
That pretty much says it all.
I do keep a pretty loose grip. I may be releasing too late and that could have an effect.
But for the slicing strokes I think there are better paddles. My 5-day camp instructors said the same thing about the Lendals. That’s why they had me try the Shuna. Wish I had tried the Ikelos, too. It looks sweet but spendy.