Warner Ikeos vs. Cypress

I’m 6’ 1" and looking for a paddle for a Kestrel sit-on-top. I tried a 220 Sunday and thought a 230 would be better. At that length would the Warner Cypress or Ikeos make more sense? For my Wenonah Argosy canoe I use a large white water paddle, even for cruising. I like the way it stays planted for quick correction strokes. But would a Ikeos at 230 cause fatigue on longer paddles?



The Ikelos is a great paddle!
So is the Cyprus, but both are designed for a vertical paddle stroke which I doubt you are doing with a 230. I think that a vertical paddle with a catch near your feet, power applied only when the blade is fully submerged and a snappy exit before the paddle reaches your hip is most efficient. The problem with the longer paddle is that you are working at the in efficient end of a long lever, so you are working harder with every stroke. Many people compensate by for this by unconsciously introducing inefficiencies to their stroke such as a lower and shorter stroke with power applied at the wrong time. A longer paddle also gets in the way for draw strokes and linking strokes.

I’m 6’1" too, and I use a 210 Ikelos. I love it. It catches the water well and gives instant power. Your Kestrel is wider than my NDK boats, but not that much wider. For perspective consider that an average whitewater boat is about the same width as your Kestrel and a typical white water paddle is well under 200cm.

If you’re committed to the long paddle try a Kaliste. Otherwise, I think you’ll get better results with a 220 Ikelos or Cyprus, and you might find the 210 is even better.

NKD vs. Kestral

– Last Updated: Sep-24-14 3:58 PM EST –

Thanks for the reply. The paddle lenght systems recommend a 220, but then say to add for the SOT. I use a 206 for white water. I paddled the Kestral with it the first time out and kept banging my knees. The 220 felt better but I noticed I was swinging the paddle center side to side with each stroke. Is that good form or a sign the 220 paddle is too short? I am a big fan of draw strokes and sculling when playing which is another reason I thought the vertical blade might make sense. I never could understand why so many paddlers zig zag around obstacles. Also, I have long arms.

I cannot imagine a 230 Ikelos and wonder why Werner even makes its large high angle blade that long. If one insists on a very long paddle, then the Kalliste would be better. But even with the Kalliste, 220 would be long enough for anyone.

I had that same question
Great paddle but it’s not a low angle paddle.

I’m not sure I understand. . .
what you mean by "Swinging the paddle center side to side. With a vertical stroke, your top hand crosses over the centerline of the boat with each stroke. Best form would be for the top hand to cross roughly eye level parallel with the horizon. I hope this helps, Michael

Nothing wrong with a 230 Ikelos
if you’re 7’2".

I dont think
they make one in a 230 - I just looked at the website and 220 is the longest for the Ikelos

you could still use it as tent poles
for a circus tent

I too have an Ikelos paddle (210) and think highly of it and Werner in general but my question is how is the name pronounced?

I believe it is E-ka-los.

Paddle Selection
I went with an EPIC Active Touring paddle to allow for experimentation with the length between 215 and 225. I definitely prefer the high angle blade. The adjustable ferrule is a nice feature. I went with the older friction design to keep it clean. I started out with 30 degrees of feather, but with all the wind quickly went to 45. Pushing it hard for most of the hour+ paddle, shoulder turn and foot pressure, 220 seemed to work well but there were two issues. It had some minor flutter, primarily on my left so it may just have been technique. I caught myself gripping the left a little closer to the blade; not certain if it was cause or effect. There was also cavitation causing an annoying minor vibration, which I traced back to the the catch eddy inserting air behind the blade. Comments from anyone experiencing these issues would be appreciated.

Not Cavitation
You’re experiencing ventilation, air sucking down the backface because the paddle isn’t buried in the water. Cavitation is caused by enough prop pressure differential to extract air from solution in water; and impossible with human force.

So maybe a little linger shaft adjustment. SHortening the reach to catch generally being a poor solution.

I traded my Ikelos for a Cyprus. The larger blade works better for sprints and test paddling around the beach, but for hours in the boat the smaller blade yields higher cadence, hence more speed, and less strain on joints.

Check out the Lendals
The newest from Lendal is really nice. I’ve found they have a smoother yet firmer catch than Werners.

Lendal too
What JS said.

I’ve put a a good number of miles on the Lendal Storm for lazy paddles and races. Really smooth feel of the blade on/in the water. Reminiscent of a Mitchell Black Magic and the old Nigel Foster blades. Biased for both I guess as I carry and use both. Been using the Lendals more as I really like the shafts to boot.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY




– Last Updated: Oct-07-14 10:39 PM EST –

Thanks. I'll lengthen the shaft. It did stop when I shortened the reach. So the long arms (ape factor) do facilitate a longer paddle shaft length?

one-half of each
Put the fat blade on your offside.

Rotation against Ventilation :slight_smile:
Work on your forward stroke, it will get there. The Active Tour is a big powerful blade with strong bite. Make sure it is well planted during the catch phase of your stroke before you pull hard at it, to avoid pulling air. It is not just a matter of shaft length, arm length, and how forward the catch is - it is timing and proper entry angle too. Getting a good rotation of your body will help you slow down your pace and get the catch right. Many things to work on, so take your time and some lessons from a good coach too. Watch Gordon Brown’s forward stroke video segment here on pnet - he shows a good catch and decent rotation (although, to be honest, he is not following hos own advice and, like most sea kayakers, is pulling the paddle a bit too far behind him, stirring the water and making whirlpools :slight_smile: )

Thanks for the help. Lengthening the paddle corrected the problem. Paddling hard for over an hour I also didn’t notice any flutter; probably kept my left hand where it belonged. I did watch the video and agree that he was pulling further than I. Since the conditions were light I spent a good amount of time paddling on the edges to get to know the boat. The Kestrel turns like a truck compared to my Argosy canoe, even leaning to the outside of the turn and shifting my center of gravity back. Following my paddle with my torso on the sweep with a little body snap at the end helped quite a bit.

Forget Werner Get a wing paddle
I could never use a European blade again.