Werner Kalliste Bent Shaft Paddle

Just got back from a 4-day trip, paddling the Broken Group Islands in Canada (FANTASTIC TRIP - me and my Capella 173). During a couple of crossings, I borrowed the trip leaders Werner Kalliste bent shaft paddle (230). I just loved it. I have a Werner Shute straight shaft 215, which makes me naturally paddle at a more medium to high angle. When trying the Kalliste bent shaft 230, it naturally put me into a low angle style, and I loved it, especially for long paddles. Also the extra light-weight bent shaft was much easier on my wrists than the straight shaft Shute. So, I am pretty sold on the Kalliste bent shaft 230, but wanted to get some feedback from anyone who’s used it. Since I know it depends on size, here are my specs - I am 6’ 1" tall with a 23" width on my boat, and 7 1/2" hands from base to tip of middle finger. The Werner site suggests a 220 for those specs, but since I tried the 230, I really liked it. The 220 is only 5cm more than my current 215. Any feedback to my long-winded question. Thanks so much.

Been using one for over 3 years…
…and love it. I’m 5’11" and use the 220 on boats 23" and 21" wide and can paddle high angle when I need to.

Suggest you try the 220 before buying a 230 as I have cut down my other 230 paddles to around 220 and am much happier.

It’s really the length of the shaft that matters more than the overall length as the blades vary in length.

The 220 should work well now and if you get a narrower boat you should be set.

Good Luck… GH

If you like the Kalliste, try the ATXception. IMO, it is a much sweeter paddle, and I switched from the Kalliste. Am now paddling a GP exclusively, but if I were to paddle Euro, the AT would be it. 220 is proper length.


– Last Updated: Jul-19-07 9:07 AM EST –

I orignally was looking at getting a Kalliste, but while doing some research, I was a little turned off by some of the negative reviews I was seeing about the "performance core" technology this paddles uses. (Particlarly I saw quite a few complaints of fluttering and a weaker paddle.) I ended up going with the Werner's Camano Carbon, which I love. It's basically the same paddle, but with a more standard carbon fiber build. A few ounces heavier, but still light as a feather. (And I did go with the bent shaft and love it!)

Second vote for AT
I used a Kalliste on an all-day tour, liked it but wound up buying an AT Exception Tour and prefer it. Very easy on many-times-damaged wrists. And very sexy stealth black. Apparently the current model has adjustable feather and length, both of which I wish I had. I agree that 220 sounds like the right length. Outdoorplay has a $50 coupon offer on the paddle.

FWIW, if wrist pain is an issue, I’ve found lately that a GP is very comfortable, and you could make about 20 of them for the cost of a carbon bent-shaft (but I’m still glad I bought mine).

AT vs Kalliste
I have a 226 AT and a 220 Kalliste bent shaft. The AT has less area and that is why I bought it slightly longer. Both are excellent and neither is better than the other. Strictly a matter of personal preference. I am 5’11", 175lbs and would find a 230 Kalliste too long. You should definitely try the 220 Kalliste before buying the 230.

yes, less area
on the AT, which is why I prefer it, I think. It seems to stress the elbows and shoulders less and encourage a slightly higher cadence. I suppose it has less wind resistance also (but not by much). The kink in the offset shaft is different from the Werner too, but I can’t remember exactly how.

Torso length
How much of your height is in your torso? Do you have broad shoulders? A 230 might be the correct length, especially since you are looking at a bent shaft. You need to have your hands comfortably apart.

My build dictates longer paddles than most and I am only an inch taller. Test paddling is worth more than a thousand forum responses. Go with what feels right.

What feels right
Thanks for your reply. With my 6’ 1" height, I have a shorter torso and longer legs. Yes, I am broad shouldered. I agree that trying things outweigh all the forum responses you can get. That was the case when shopping around for the right boat. I paddled a lot of boats before I purchased my Capella 173 (which I love). However, it is difficult to try different paddles in the water. Stores are not about to let you take their paddle to try out. I got a chance to try the 230 Kalliste on my recent trip, because I borrowed it from the trip leader for a while. And I really liked it. At first, I felt it was perhaps too long, but I liked the low angle it put me into. Less strokes for the same distance. It is great for touring, but I am wondering how it will be for situations requiring more maneuveribility, like rock gardens or doing quick maneuvers in small coves with logs, rocks, etc. in the water. That is my inner debate. At a price of $455, it is not something I want to buy lightly with a feeling of “Oh well, if it doesn’t work out, I can get another one”. We shall see. Thanks.

one reason i sold the kalliste was that it fluttered when loaded if my technique wasn’t perfect which it often isn’t just in the situations you described. the AT is more forgiving, and in fact excells in fine boat control strokes. not trying to sell you on a different paddle, but you’ve heard from a couple of us that the AT is superior to the Kalliste for low angle paddling. OTOH, if you really like low angle paddling and want to roll, try a GP.

AT vs Kalliste vs GP
I have not found either my AT or Kalliste to flutter at all. The Kalliste is totally solid in the water, as is the AT. I use a very low angle stroke with both. I also have a Beale GP but much prefer either of the modern paddles for both paddling forward, bracing and rolling. I am, however, not an expert roller and only do a screw roll, though I can do it equally on either side.