Stupid paddle question

Aside from the fact that the market will (apparently) bear it, is there any good reason why a Werner paddle should cost so much?


Decent quality, lots of money spent
on print ads and supporting the paddling community. They employ some reps, and you can just drove down to the local shop to buy one out of stock, On the other hand Onno certainly offers more bang for the buck, but you’ve got to be patient. ON the other hand you can buy a heavy piece of junk for short money.

Possibly because

The military-industrial complex is driving up the cost of carbon fiber.

Bigger corporations have a higher overhead than say ONNO

They aren’t made in China

They actually do R&D

Because the little details make a lot of difference when it comes to paddles.

Try making the same thing yourself…

– Last Updated: Feb-25-06 5:58 PM EST –

... from scratch. Shaft, blades and all - and get the same quality, strength and performance from the result - and you'll understand exactly why (and why so few do this).

The better paddles are worth every penny (unless you're in a short fat rec boat on a pond and never really cover any distance or don't need/won't feel any specific performance benefit).

The market would actually bear more, at least the segments that understand/need quality and performance oriented gear.

I have a few paddles that would cost near $400 to replace. I also have one that cost me $17 for a decent board and some of my time (but I'd have to charge about 10x that if selling). All are great. I started out with $30 to $80 paddles. There is DEFINITELY a major difference. The mid range Werners are a bargain. The upper end nice if you can afford. Same for some of the other makers.

Pat at ONNO still manages to beat out the "big" guy prices (there are no really big companies in paddle sports) and match or exceed quality. If you're shopping, give him a call. You'll probably get a fast education at no charge, buying or not.

I have three Werners…
… Two of which are carbon. One reason is they were readily available to try out. When I went shopping for a paddle I would rent a different one each weekend and always ended up with the Werners. Really didn’t want to spend the money but knew I would be sorry if I didn’t. You’re better off if you never try the high end paddles…

paddle suggestion
there is always a tolsook…



Aquabound Paddles
Give Aquabound a look… their carbon blades start around 2 bills and the quality is very good and the paddles are getting lighter all the time, and they aren’t heavy to start with. Also give AT paddles a look?

AquaBound Paddles
The Carbon Fiber shafted ABX blades on the AB paddles are pretty bombproof and relatively lightweight. You can usually find them on sale for around $110. Campare to that to the Werner paddles which are often more than 2X the price. If you want to go all out and get all carbon AB paddles, they are lighter than the Werner glass paddles and about the same price.

I have paddled a Werner glass Camano, while nice, I think the Aquabound paddles are a much better buy.


I think the real question is
why does a nylon bladed paddle with an aluminum shaft cost 80 bucks? Given the fact that it is easy to machine make, and can be mass produced, they probably should cost only about $30 bucks. The price of the more expensive carbon paddles is probably a closer reflection of production cost than the low end paddle.

Like 'em or not
Has anyone ever actually seen a Werner paddle that had obvious manufacturing defects? Had a blade fall off? Their QC is above reproach.


Second that.
Before I bought my carbon Stingray I thought “a paddle is a paddle is a paddle” and $70 was my upper limit. Now I don’t right now see why I would spend more than $150 for a paddle, but if someone will lend me their Werner maybe I’ll change my mind. Better yet, don’t. Maybe in this case ignorance is bliss, at least as far as my wallet is concerned.

nice blades, good quality, good CS…
Werner does an excellent job making really tough paddles with great blades that scull and paddle beautifully. They also have great customer service and they really stand behind their product. I snapped a blade off my carbon Sidekick while running a small waterfall at low water and Werner took the paddle back, attached a new blade on it, and shipped it back to me without any problems. I also have two ABX carbon Aquabound paddles (whitewater and sea kayak) which are great value paddles for the price but if I wanted a Euro paddle and money wasn’t an option, I’d definitely go Werner. I’d also give a long hard look at Pat and his ONNO paddles which everyone here seems to love. Of course I only paddle Greenland style for sea kayaking these days so maybe I’ll try an ONNO if I ever have the need for a third carbon whitewater paddle! :slight_smile:

That’s a very good question
I remember buying my first paddle, a Harmony Estuary, and being scandalized by the $70 price, esp when I bought a Sevylor as a backup for $30. The Estuary paddled better, but just because the paddle shape of the Sevylor sucked, a simple design difference that did not justify the price difference. Then I spent twice as much as the Estuary for my Aquabound Stingray in carbon, and the Stingray seemed like a bargain. I still think entry-level aluminum paddles are overpriced.

Thanks guys… take a look at the
Feather for GP style forward strokes.

There are no stupid paddles!
Only stupid paddle questions.

Sorry. The possibility was just hanging there, waiting to be plucked and nobody else was willing to do it.


They may be pricey but
they have the best customer support in the bussiness. I broke my wifes two piece carbon when taking it apart. At the female ferrule. I called and was told that is not their fault. I said I understood. I shipped it back saying I would pay for the repair. The paddle came back with a note saying maybe it might their fault, No Charge.

Expensive Paddles

– Last Updated: Feb-28-06 3:22 PM EST –

I dunno my suggestion is to try a few paddles and see how you like them. My experience is your body will tell the difference between the two.

When I pick up a Lendal Kinetic touring paddle that is Carbon Composite and compare it to a nylon noname , paddle a few strokes with each, my body knows the difference between a $345 dollar paddle and a $100 paddle.

As a point of reference, I also know the difference between a cheap running shoe and a good running shoe. And I would never skimp on a shoe because of how many miles I put on my feet. Maybe you need to ask yourself this question in regard to paddling, how much time do i spend paddling? If it isn't a lot, then maybe a $350 paddle isn't for you. If you do paddle a lot, then maybe it is worth the money.

Even with traditional paddles, carbon fiber is lighter and stiffer, and thus perhaps worth the money.

You can get as crazy as you want to get with paddling. If you want to spend a lot of money you can, if you are handy you can always make your own.

But the market for gear is pretty dead on for the manufacturers to make money off the product, and for retailers to be able to distribute it to the public. If you want to pay less you either have to make your own, or cut out the retailer. I personally think that retailers serve a valuable purpose and point of contact for the products they sell, but opinions may vary.

Supply and demand ultimately
determines the selling price, and that also either makes it or breaks it for survival in the marketplace. Then, too, “different strokes for different folks” and affordability are other factors one must consider. Better to paddle with a stick than to not paddle, but better to paddle with a magic wand to be artistic.