Werner Cyprus v. Werner Ikelos Paddles

I am going to buy one or the other. I have no clue which is best for me. I am new to Kayaking but an experienced paddler. I can’t try both. I currently use a shortish bent shaft carbon canoe paddle and based on my years of paddling open boat I am reasonably confident that my natural style will be high angle which is why I am choosing between these two models. The only difference between the two so far as I can tell is the size of the blade. I am a strong paddler 60 years old. I will need to convert my open boat paddling style to kayak. I am not racing. I will paddle in a variety of fresh and salt water and in various weather conditions - lots of day trips, some longer multi-day trips.

Any one familiar with these paddles able to chime in with an observation or opinion?

How big are you?

– Last Updated: Aug-26-11 9:01 AM EST –

I have the Cyprus, friends have had the Ikelos. The Ikelos is a shoulder-killer unless you are a quite big, strong person because the blade pulls so much water. For most of us, including the average sized guys, the Cyprus is the better blade.

Size matters here because, with a properly sized blade, you can increase your cadence without strain. Cadence is a lot of getting speed. So smaller can be better.

PS - You can accommodate the bigger blade size by using shorter strokes, which means a faster cadence, which may or may not be comfortable for you over a longer paddle.

Personal preference
These are both very good paddles. I know a number of skilled paddlers who use each. The Ikelos is a very powerful blade. It is akin to an Epic Active Tour. The Cyprus is easier on the body. Very aggressive and/or large paddlers I know prefer the Ikelos. Many others prefer the Cyprus.

add Shuna

– Last Updated: Aug-26-11 10:26 AM EST –

to the mix
From my experience, "bite" goes like this:

The choice of blade is dependent on your level of fitness and paddling style. Most people will find Cyprus or Shuna adequate.
Try before you buy would be the best advice, but that is easier said than done in most cases.

shoulder issue
I’m 5’10" not in great shape but strong. My shoulders are strong - but they hurt all the time. Right shoulder surgery twice. Most of my paddling power comes from my body, not my arms or shoulders. Paddling generally does not cause me a lot of additional shoulder pain but it may be because I tend to paddle on the right side which means my worst shoulder is always low - ie. not stressed. Kayak will be a whole nother issue.

My personality is such that I often bite off more than I can chew - or so my wife tells me.

Am I answering my own question?


– Last Updated: Aug-26-11 12:45 PM EST –

You need a smaller size blade, as well as run don't walk to instruction in the forward stroke with the double blade so that you are taking the strain as correctly in a kayak as it seems you are in the canoe.

I have both
I like both & use both - the Ikelos more often. From your description of yourself & shoulders, I would suggest the Cyprus.

I have both…
…both are BS now. The Cypress in 210 and the Ikelos in 205. I used to have an Ikelos SS in 210 and it was usually too much of a good thing. The Cypress was my paddle of choice.

I replaced the Ikelos SS with the BS and went shorter. Upped my cadence a touch and feels much more comfy. It’s still a pretty big stick but I am preferring it now over the Cypress.

Size seems to matter.

Next year I’ll buy a shorter Cypress.

Is there some reason …
… you are choosing between those two paddles? My wife has a Cyprus and I have used it. It is a very good paddle. You cannot go wrong by choosing it. But there are other paddles out there. In particular you can talk to Patrick at ONNO paddles. His paddles are top of the line, very light, and adjustable (both feather and length). He is very knowledgeable and can talk to you about what is appropriate and why. Give him a try.

A word of caution …
… Choosing the wrong paddle can be a painful lesson.

Several years ago decided I wanted more speed. So I did some research, then went off to a local paddle shop that had a great end of season sale on Werner paddles. I had a different brand paddle that was close to a Cyprus. So I looked at the Shuna and Ikelos. After trying both, the person helping me proclaimed Ikelos, like the sorting hat in Harry Potter.

The first real paddle a week later, and I found my stoke had developed a pronounced slice, like my golf game. After reading and paddling, the slice only got worse: if no correction, I’d end up where I started, like an errant torpedo.

So one day I went out determined to power through this, and ended up with one extremely sore shoulder. If left alone for a week it would feel a bit better, but then any physical activity would aggravate it. A doctor visit and ultrasound later, I found out the damage I had caused. I opted for therapy over surgery, and after a while it got better. But I can’t lift weights, and it won’t take much to set it off again. I had to give up paddling for nearly 2 years.

For what it’s worth, get some very good advice. The folks I bought my new boat from spent as much time with me on the paddle as the boat.

A paddle with a larger blade, other things being equal, requires a better stroke. A poor stroke with inadequate rotation is a sure way to shoulder problems. A quality forward stroke is something that develops over time and practice with good instruction. Someone starting out should definitely go with a smaller blade. It will not disadvantage you and is much less likely to create shoulder problems. Size is important but not in the usual way. Go smaller and learn good technique. Then add a larger blade when you need it.

Try before you buy…

– Last Updated: Aug-26-11 11:02 PM EST –

Ooops, double post.


Try before you buy…
“I can’t try both.”

There’s got to be shops or at least groups in your area. Beg, borrow, con, whatever, to get your hands on at least one of them. You’ll get a lot more sense of what will fit you.

For some people, paddle is extremely personal. The wrong one is money thrown away.

I had tried one well-regarded paddle and hated it. I’m glad I had the option of returning it.

just get the Cyprus
seriously, it’s the more widespread for good reasons, the Ikelos is great for when you’re feeling really macho, otherwise it’s just a beast of a blade, un-necessarily huge and taxing.

wait, wait, i feel it coming… the next poster is going to tell you to get with the times, go native and get your GP thing going, it’s far superior to these primitive Werner tools for those who get it.

Look at the Shuna, it’s between the two with regards to blade size. Best of both worlds.

Make sure you get the right lenght
These paddles have relatively short blades, so a shorter overall length compared to some others may be necessary. Make sure you have the option to try/exchange if you get the wrong one. Plus your style/conditions change - that’s why an extendable length shaft is a very good thing but Werner does not offer one as far as I know. Also consider the AT Xception range - different feel from the Werners. I have not paddled the Epic relaxed tour model, but the Active tour is nice (but quite powerful - may or may not need that, looks like you won’t).

Bent or straight shaft is a personal choice too. I have tried the bent and straight shaft Cypress and prefer the bent shaft version. That said, I like the feel of the blade in the water of the Lendal Kinetic Tour even better (but wish their ferulle offered a no-tool option like the on the Werners or even better, adjustable length like on the Epics)…

If you want mainly to travel forward, why not consider a wing? Something comparable to an Epic mid-wing or a small-mid, when used properly, will probably give you a better turn of speed for your efforts.

Shuna vs Cyprus vs Ikelos
Cyprus and Shuna have exactly the same blade size but since Shuna lacks buoyancy (in the blades) it feels different in the water.

I have tried Shuna and own a Cyprus and Ikelos. I would recommend the Cyprus as a great allrounder, but Shuna is a great choice if price is a factor. Ikelos + heavily loaded kayak + long distances in tough weather + tight schedule equals pain, but Ikelos is great for shorter training sessions and roll practice.

Which Length
Would you recommend a 205 Cyprus to someone that’s 5’10 with longish arms? What lengths have you tried?

Made a decision

– Last Updated: Aug-28-11 10:22 PM EST –

Even though my shoulders are shot I can wield a very big graphite Zaveral blade for hours on end paddling a loaded tripping canoe because I use my body, not my arms, to paddle. Onno paddles are made with the same shaft that Zaveral uses so that will seem familiar. We'll see. Thanks for all the good input.

Good choice! n.m.