Wenonah Black Jack vs ZRE Medium bent?

No p.net reviews on the Weonah Black Jack carbon bent shaft paddle http://www.wenonah.com/products/template/product_detail.php?IID=49&SID=054d1f79e32948a739d4ec2d310dd50c or their Black Lite bent or straight shaft canoe padles and no discussion threads for the Black Jack either, so I thought I’d ask about them.

Has anyone here tried the Wenonah Black Jack? If yes, what did you think of it?

How does it compare with the ZRE Medium?

Feel free to also discuss the Wenonah Black Lites also.


Other than being carbon
there’s no comparison. The Black Jack’s of yesteryear were good paddles. The most recent ones are over weight and under built. Not nearly as strong as Zaveral paddles.

I guess that’s why nobody talks about
them much around here.

The Black Jack advertised to be about 11oz, which is only about 1oz more than the Zav Medium.

Check out GRE’s carbon bent abd Werner’s too.

blade weight
Wenonah’s shaft and handle are extremely light, all the weight is in the blade. It makes them feel tons heavier than Zaveral.

Werner’s new paddle has a stronger catch than the Zav Power Surge, not the best for general cruising.

I’ll have a 50" Black Jack in a week or
so to compare to my 47.75" ZRE Medium and 51" Barton and ZRE Black Rec paddles. I won it in an ebay auction yesterday before I had the bad news that they have relatively heavy swing weight and are relatively fragile compared to the Zav Medium. I happen to think that my 51" Zav Black Rec has much heavier swing weight than the 47.47" Zav Medium, so maybe the swing weight of the Black Jack won’t be too dissapointing.

At 8-5/8" wide the Black Jack is wider than my other carbon bents: Zav Medium = 8.25" and the Zav Black Rec and Barton are 8.5". I use the 47.75" x 8.25" Zav Medium the most on flat water and rivers. I prefer the narrower blade for most of my flat water day trips. I sometimes prefer the larger bladed Barton on rivers when I need more boat response per control stroke. I rarely use the 51" Zav Black Rec, but it’s a good option from the center seat in our royalex Wenonah Solo Plus. The 51" paddles seem a little long in most applications, but I’ve been hesitant to shorten them, because sometimes they’re the right length, but I may shorten the Zav Black Rec down to 49" some day to fill the gap in my carbon bent shaft options and have only the Barton at 51". I paddle a variety of canoes in a variety of conditions with a variety of seat heights, so a variety of paddle lengths is desireable for me.

I paid $125 for the Black Jack (about 1/2 retail) in “like new” condition, so I should be able to sell it for what I paid for it if I decide I don’t like it or need the money.

Now, if only the local lakes would thaw out so I can try it when it arrives.

Happy paddling.

Black Jack = relabelled ZRE?
I received the Wenonah Black Jack today and it looks exactly like my ZRE Medium in every way except the lable on the blade.

The 50.5" Black Jack swing weight feels a little heavier than my 47.75" ZRE Medium. The difference is little enough that it may be attributable to the extra 2.5" of shaft length.

The water is frozen around here, so I have no idea when I’ll get a chance to try it out.

When I checked out the Wenonah paddles at Canoecopia back in March, Wenonah specifically told me they were manufacturing their own paddles. The models a few years back were produced by Black Bart, however after his untimely demise they had to do something else. The new paddles I looked at were not put together well and were unbalanced. Certainly could not remotely compare to the Bart I have, or to the Zav’s either. I wonder if they saw the handwriing on the wall and have now gone to Zav?

They look and feel identical to me.
I couldn’t tell any difference in workmanship or fit and finish compared to my Zav Medium.

The blade shape and construction, the handle and the shaft all look exactly the same to me.

The Black Jacks are either made by Zaveral or very good copies.

Blade weight feels the same to me.
The look and feel of the Wenonah Black Jack appears Identical to my Zav Medium. It looks like a relabelled ZRE. I’m pleased.

I seem to recall Black Jacks are
Chinese made… or that something came from Wenonah in a box stamped ‘Black Jack, qty:, made in China’

they are now
They haven’t always been. I think the switch happened four years ago.