ONNO & Werner Paddles

Im curious to hear from anyone that has experience with an ONNO and a Werner Paddle. Specifically Werner Camano. I have enjoyed my carbon signature ONNO for three years and need to add another paddle. Im very interested in a bent shaft Camano.Can anyone with experience comment on these highly regarded paddles.

How can I not answer ? And why do I feel

– Last Updated: Mar-17-08 4:27 PM EST –

like I am being set up ?

Werners are the industry standard for quality and performance and you cannot go wrong purchasing one which is EZ because they are everywhere. The Camano is their 'go to' paddle for Touring use and is a nice design. It is a smooth paddler for its labeled use but it could be even more versatile if they tweeked the design a little bit ... Werner guys, you are welcome to call me and I will humbly offer my on the water research results and conclusions.

I'm sure this made them laugh.

Swing Big Patrick!
I have both a Werner San Juan and an ONNO Full Tour. I have paddled with a lot of Werner paddles. They are works of art, expensive and I have a hard time keeping them from fluttering. I am sure that is just me as I have friends who love them. I have also had a Big Boy ONNO paddle (great paddle). They are great and I can’t make them flutter. I have moved on to ONNO’s wing now and have never looked back.

The question is why would you spend more money for equal (sorry Patrick, have to be polite) paddles.

Not sure why anyone uses bent shafts, of well.

Good luck!


actually …
I have no doubt Pat’s blades are superior to werners …heck I own one of his wings …wanted another normal paddle for tidereaces when I am not using the GP … well the WWWSurf fits the bill for that …but I really really really want a bent shaft. I am stuck thinking about the Werner Cypress. Can’t get myself to fork over the $$$'s to Werner …Patrick …want to help out?


If you go Werner, go straight shaft.
I have a 230cm and 240cm carbon Camano with straight shaft and a 220 Kalliste with bent shaft and I prefer the straight shafts. The bend in the Werner bent shaft doesn’t feel right to me.

I bought the longer Camanos for solo canoe use, but the blades are too big and too heavily loaded for me for that use. I’ve been using a 230cm AT Xception SL Tour for the canoes since late last fall and they seem to work better for me - less effort required.

I have an older 218cm full carbon Onno Full Tour and it’s very light, but too much blade for me right now, so I don’t use it much. Late last summer I bought a used 210 - 215cm carbon signature Onno Mid Tour with the older cam-lock ferrule and it requires a little more effort to use than my Epic Relaxed Tour with burgundy shaft, so I have to build up some strength before I can use the Mid Tour for very long - or get a more efficient kayak.

Since my Onno and Werner paddles are different lengths, I haven’t compared them head to head, so I can’t help you with your original question.

Paddle flutter
Had to say something here. I never noticed paddle flutter until after I got the wing from Pat. All my other paddles flutter, the ONNO’s do not.


Werner paddles
I’ve got the Werner Camano and Shuna paddles and for a “mass” produced paddle they perform as I expected. The only problem I’ve had with them is the Shuna has the adjustable ferrule system and it can be a witch to take apart. We found that rinsing it in water immediately before assembly makes it easier to take apart after paddling. Personnal preference but I like white or light colored blades since they show up better at a distance then black blades and I’m often in areas with power boats and jetskis. Having said that my next paddle will probably be an Onno paddle since I’ve tried one and like the feel. Then again Lumpy makes an interesting GP paddle. I guess you can never have to many paddles.


– Last Updated: Mar-17-08 10:05 PM EST –

One thing all have agreed on is that you make one hell of a paddle. I truly cherish my ONNO and your personal service couldnt be beat. Ive even got one of your stickers on my truck.I suffer from a touch of Carpal tunnel, I was hoping that a bent shaft might help with my situation.By no means do i want to see anyone argue which brand is better,but only to direct me a bit in the style of paddle that might suit me.

I have an Onno full-tour Signature, and there is NO flutter. A very impressive paddle, indeed.

The first time I ever paddled a carbon paddle, it belonged to a friend of mine, and 'though it’s been a few years, I believe it was a Werner, I was turned off by the “sproing” feeling I got from it. I was paddling with wooden blades then, and figured that must be what you have to put up with if you want a lighter weight paddle. Not so with the Onno.

Try a Greenland Paddle
or a narrow Euro style like a Windswift from Eddyline.

There is no better or worse.
It is all a matter of personal opinion. I have an Eddyline Windswift but my bent shaft Werner Kalliste is far superior. The Kalliste has zero flutter. Why would anyone still use a straight shaft when bent shafts allow such a natural and comfortable grip? All opinions are just that; opinions.

Bent Shaft
The main difficulty anyone would have with a bent shaft, I think, is if the fixed bend doesn’t properly fall where your hand spacing is. I also have a bent shaft Ikelos that my wife paddles with. Super paddle, foam core blade just ‘floats’ out of the water, lightweight, etc. For me though, my hand spacing is too wide for the proper paddle length so I end up with hands on the bend, an awkward angle. I can paddle it, adapting after a while, but prefer a straight shaft for this reason alone.

After you paddle a wing, even the large Ikelos blade feels like a wet noodle in the water, forget something like a Camano… It’s what you become accustomed to.

RE: Bent Shafts
I could not get comfortable when I demoed a bent shaft Shuna and Ikelos. Once I paddle a Lendal Bent shaft. That shaft had a much more natural feel to me.

From website, written over 6 years ago.
O.k., I paddle alot and consider myself fairly sensitive to changes in equipment. I do not paddle multi day tours where the cumulative effects both positive and negative have more of a chance to build up. Many of my knowledgeable customers and I have put lots of miles on my prototypes and I know what I am going to build. The people who want the bent shaft who already have one of my other paddles want this new one strictly for long distance touring. They do not want to use the b.s.paddle for fast /long day paddles.

I talk to a lot of industry people and always ask for their opinion on the bent shaft, these are people who have been paddling a long time and can use any paddle they want. “What for?” is usually the answer. I think the paddling for a long time part has a lot to do with that answer, but many think Bent Shaft paddles only live up to their initials ( b.s.)… THEM… Not us.

I think the bent shaft paddle would shine on a long point a to b type trip or crossing where a joint problem may even be threatening. This is mere speculation on my part, I am buying into the hype that this paddle will minimize flare-ups. One thing I do know is I have been working with my hands my entire life with no problems other than elbows that rattle more than the spray can I might be shaking while my total keyboard time (as of today) is less than 48 hours in 38 years. I can honestly say that I truly sympathize for carpal tunnel sufferers…I really can feel some stiffness, right now! If this can come on so fast, I cannot imagine being forced to debilitate oneself just to pay rent. Or cross a blown out channel.

If the bent shaft paddle will prevent or lessen the chance of your being off the water, I’m all for it. If you like skillful, finesse type paddling and you do not have any problems now or pending I would not fix what is not broken. The bent shaft paddle may take the ‘crispness’ off some of your best skills (for a while?) but you will be happy with it going straight. Like many things in life you may not love what you once did.

I do have plans to come out with a bent shaft paddle (bs) , but have been talking about it for almost 3 years now. Over 3 years ago I set out to sort of reinvent the wheel so to speak. I made up six different prototypes shafts some of them with two different configuations on them ranging from just under 3 degrees to 15, some with blade forward of shaft center axis , etc. and lent them out to the paddling community here in S.D. with comments and feedback welcome. A seventh paddle was also handed out as a sort of placebo and although folks also thought that one was different, it was identical to another one in the group which I thought was going to “win”.

After a almost a month, surprisingly, I got them all back. During this time I some how developed what I guess was some kind of tendonitis in both of my elbows… probably due to overwork and paddling. ( Edit 03 / 18 / 08, this was the start of what I had to deal with prior to B-6 ) Paradoxically, those were the two things I could still do while without much pain while I was actually unable to lift a can of soda to drink from. Perfect time to really see how the ergo shafts work I thought. On to say, while I really liked the ergo shafts, I was not totally sold on them for everyday paddleing nor as the magic silver bullet they have long been touted to be in terms of instant relief for folks… I do feel they have a perfect spot for some people but most mixed styles paddlers would be better off with a standard straight shaft. I am not really down on them either. IMO for some paddling styles or at least certain parts of some paddling styles I think the ergo shaft is counter productive and may even make things worse for some people.

I - M - O On the catch phase they feel great for everyone as they do let a couple more fingers ( ring and pinky) get into the act. As the paddle comes aft my personal opinion is the shaft really makes things worse as ones (lower) wrist is now expected to go through a sort of contortion when the blade is ready to exit = not good. The higher the paddling style you use, the worse it gets. Same goes for the push hand as one gets less contact up here.

Again I - M - O I do feel that if a person has tried all other options (see below) and is still having trouble. By trouble I mean wrist and or lower arm pain, swelling, weird twinges, reoccuring type stuff or just not feeling right. I feel then that one might find relief by trying the following (within the paddle realm) not exactly in order.

  1. Switch to unfeathered. Especially if you paddle with a super low paddling style.
  2. At least try a super light, smooth (ONNO:) paddle.
  3. Try paddling strokes with more torso, less arm.
  4. Try above at a lower angle too.
  5. Try a smaller blade as the higher loads of your current ( bigger?) paddle might be causing something… or…
  6. Try a really big paddle which you can just set in water and pull on smoothly with a slower cadence because your current ( smaller?) paddle is having you turn a faster cadence than your joints are happy doing a 1,000,000 times.
  7. Try a properly sized bent shaft paddle

    One thing that really gets me is how the majors sell the one size fits all shafts. If you have to have one of these paddles make sure you measure your hand spacing on a paddle you like and then MAKE SURE your hands fall in the middle of the ergo section on the off the shelf bs paddle you buy… if not order a custom one. Tell them you want “X” hand spacing first and foremost then let them size the paddle from the middle out for your personal specs. THEN trim the outboard ends to size for overall length.

    On to say, i really tried to keep the “flat” or ergo area as large as possible in order to be able to slide ones hands around as much as possible while still keeping on the flat or intended grip area. Found lots of reasons why I could not go as big as I wanted… the need for subtle curves for strength instead of overbuilding the shaft ( heavy) with sharper radiai( sp?) for one, being able to accomodate a 31" C-C grip area but still having a 210 length being another…Our ‘flat’ area is still larger than any other manufacturer and this is real handy for sliding the paddle over for bracing, windshifts etc.

    I have a bent shaft plug 90% done sitting here staring at me everyday ready to finish and build molds from. When I get to it is another story. Since I do not have a ton of people asking for it ( which would not matter because if I really liked it I would finish it right away if only to build one ever for myself) and I am super swamped more and more deeper into the winter season ( where I hope for a break to finish projects) with regular paddles and boats, I am not really sure when I will complete it. I hope to get it done this winter though as I do think it will come around in the publics eye though.

    Please feel free to call or write to remind me of above self imposed deadline.