Which Zaveral Paddle???

I am thinking of ordering a Zaveral paddle. I have looked at their website and it is not very clear as to what the differences are among all their paddles.

I want a big blade with a lot of bite since I more prefer a slower cadence with powerful strokes vice the opposite…even if this may not be “correct.”

So…I am thinking that the Outrigger Paddle would be best given that I think it has a bigger blade size.

However they also offer different blade shapes and weights it seems. Which blade shape do you prefer? It seems that their “power surge” is an advanced design but not sure if it has drawbacks over a more conventionally shaped blade.

Last…on bend angle. I primarily like to kneel. If I am not kneeling I like having one knee down. I only sometimes truly sit.

So…is the standard 12 degree bend probably about right for me? I have read that the bent shaft paddles are optimized for a sitting paddler. I have heard some say that their is no benefit to one if you are going to kneel. Others have said that this is not true but that a more modest bend than the standard 14 is better in this case.

I am inclinded to say that their is still benefit to the bent shaft and that the 12 degree may work well for me…what do you think?



From what I have used
I had been using a standard medium weight flat water Zav for years. I bought a used Sawyer Shockwave solo canoe maybe 13 years ago and the Zaveral paddle came with it.

Before then I was using a Kruger Cruiser bent shaft and a ridiculously wide bent shaft (I think it was a Max Craft).

I had always liked a wider blade paddle but got used to paddling a faster cadence with the narrower blade and loved the much lighter weight of the Zav.

A couple years ago I ordered a medium weight Outrigger Power Surge paddle to get back to a wider blade.

Since then I have added a couple more, an ultralight OR Power Surge which i use as my main paddle now, and a medium weight standard OR.

I have a number of canoes and get people out in them quite a bit. The medium OR’s and the older flat water blade are the paddles I supply to friends.

For a non competitor (not wicked fast cadence) I like the Outrigger over the 8" wide standard blade and from people using my paddles there is a general consensus that people prefer the wider paddles.

As far as the standard blade face vs the Power Surge, The difference in my opinion is that the Power Surge is a bit quieter paddle. I can’t say I have noticed any real difference other than that.

My older paddles both had a larger angle than the Zav standard (14 vs 12 degree I believe). I prefer the standard Zaveral angle.

As far as kneeling goes, I have nothing to offer there.

Zaveral angle
I have a couple Zav’s and I too like paddling at a little slower cadence and even throw in j-strokes to keep paddling on one side. I’ve been thinking about getting a shallower angle like 7 deg because while doable the larger angle is less comfortable on the j-strokes.

Don’t get the Rec weight paddle.
I have a Black Rec and a Medium and the Medium balance and swing weight are much better than the Black Rec.

I haven’t tried the Outrigger or Power Surge blades.

I too…
still like to do a slight J with the bent.

Also forgot to ask…what is up with all their diffent weights? is this just to match the amount of durability you want vice weight?


Different weight options:
Heavier is cheaper.

Heavier may not be stronger with Zavs. My recollection of my discussion with ZRE a year or so ago is that the Medium is about as strong as the Black Rec and it is stronger and more durable than the Light.

About the only advantage to the Black Reck is the much lower price.

get a med wt blem
best bang for your buck

Zav comments
I’ve got a number of Zav’s and also kneel 99% of the time.

My take:

  • all the lay-ups are good - you can beat the snots out of the lightest lay-up but you might actually prefer the normal lay-up since the lightest lay-ups are lighter than you need for anything but distance racing andf the “heavy” lay-ups have nice balance and feel like you’re actually holding something (in big wind lightest lay-ups feel too light)

  • I had an Outrigger zero degree but the blade was too big even though I also prefer a slower cadence with powerful strokes

  • they offer 1/4 inch increments in width and you will feel every quarter inch…it’s “big”…my 8.5 inch feels much more powerful than my 8.25

  • I still like the regular lay-up (not the rec - those suck and are way too blade-heavy) 8.25 inch a lot…I also have an 8.5 inch lighter lay-up that’s nice…so I’d avoid the Outrigger if I was you

  • I’ve never used a power surge but folks seem to like them and they may fit what you seek (bite/power)

  • almost no doubt that we’d both enjoy a 7 degree bent in the right length…so if you order one I’d say get the regular lay-up and ask for the handle to be loose (not glued) and you can shorten it until it’s perfect and then glue it…my buddy has a 7 degree Grey Owl and its awesome and some day I’ll get a 7 degree Zav when I can justfy buying another paddle when I’ve already got way too many