Whitewater / touring crossover paddle? (Shuna?)

I paddle a Dagger Stratos 12.5 which I use for everything - flatwater, heavy coastal surfing, rock gardening, occasional Grade II river.

I have a 216cm full carbon touring style adjustable (length and feather) 2 piece paddle, made by a little known brand. I use with minor feather (~15 degrees) . I (controversially?) find this paddle very comfortable to use in all scenarios, including rolling/bracing etc.

Unfortunately this paddle doesn’t appear to have the necessary durability, as during a recently beach surf session, the paddle folded / bent in on itself in the middle and is now the shape of the letter “V” rather than the letter “I” .

I am looking for a paddle that most closely resembles my existing paddle, but with whitewater strength and durability. I am happy to go a little bit shorter than 216cm if needed. However, I would prefer to stick with a feather angle around 15 degrees. Most whitewater paddles I can find seem to have a 30 degree angle, so I may be stuck with finding a 2 piece paddle that I can adjust the angle.

The Werna Shuna Carbon 210cm seemed like a good option. However, various websites that sell this paddle state that is not recommended for whitewater.

Are there any other options for a lightweight straight shaft paddle which is somewhere between 200cm-215cm, preferably 15 degree angle (or fully adjustable), and has whitewater level durability?

I use a Werner Shuna 205 cm for paddle surfing with Stratos 14.5s. It has incremental offsets of 15, 30 and 45 degrees, left and right hand control. Blade size is similar to my white water paddles but it doesn’t have the same robustness (or weight) of my white water paddles.

I think the Shuna should be able to handle class II light duty. If you are running real “boney” class IIs, then you should go with one of the heavier carbon Werner WW paddles, e.g. Shogun, Odachi. Shouldn’t take long to adjust to an 15 degree increase in offset.


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The new Aquabound Aerial series paddles are pretty amazing pieces of gear, and will hold up against hard objects (aka “rocks”) significantly better than your average blade. The ‘Minor’ size compares well to a Shuna blade (a touch bigger in overall sq cm), and will be a good match with how a lot of Stratos owners (me included) use those boats.

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Likewise, I found the Aquabound Whiskey paddle a a good compromise with its FG blades and carbon fiber shaft. Almost as light as the Werner Shuna. But, the blades are smaller than most WW paddles. The adjustable offset shaft on the Aquabound has 0, 30, 60 degree options. For some reason, the 205 cm Whiskey is shorter by about .5" than my Werner Shuna. May be attributable to the Shuna’s bigger blades?


The Shuna also comes with fiberglass blades, which are extremely durable at the expense of some weight. I think as @sing said, though, unless you are going to be bouncing off a lot of rocks, I think the carbon Shuna would be fine. I would avoid Werner’s foam core carbon paddles (like the Cyprus) for what you are doing as these are slightly less durable as far as withstanding abuse. But the solid carbon blades are pretty tough.


I’ve been intrigued by the large blade foam core VE paddles. Mostly see in videos from across the Pond. Palm is supposed to be distributor… Anyway, digression from the OP


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Thanks for the helpful comments.

Just as some additional context, my current 2 piece paddle has a narrower piece in the middle on one side where it slides into the other half. The narrow piece appears to be made of a softer material than the rest of the shaft. This is the part of the shaft that folded under pressure in heavy coastal whitewater.

Is the connection point of Werner Shuna and Aquabound Whiskey 2 piece paddles likely to be more reliable (i.e. almost as strong as the rest of the shaft)?

I’m not too worried about hitting rocks, so I’d be happy with a “touring” style paddle if I knew it would be reliable under intense water pressure, and occasionally hitting a sandy sea floor.

Just get a WW paddle. A Sherpa will be similar shape as a Shuna. I have one of each in lengths appropriate for WW and SK, respectively. The Sherpa is obviously heavier and looks like a thicker blade than the fiberglass Shuna.

Don’t risk using the black CF Shuna unless you like wasting money. It is even lighter than the glass Shuna, and it’s great for putting on SK mileage. If Werner warns you not to use it for WW, then don’t.

Werner will make one-piece paddles in a nonstandard feather angle if you order it. I got a zero feather Sherpa in a shorter-than-stock length. If there was a surcharge, it was negligible, like $5 or $10.

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When I got my sea kayak I didn’t know what I wanted for a paddle, so I got an adjustable Shuna. Length will go from 200 to 220. You can set whatever feather that you want. Mine is fiberglass, and seems plenty sturdy to me.

Was always told a 2-piece paddle is a liability on whitewater. I have a 210 Shuna which I love and a 200 Sherpa which I also love. I feel that the blades are pretty comparable with the Sherpa getting a slight edge on bracing. I think most Sherpas are one piece. Mine is 2-piece, which is unusual. If you wanted, you could get a longer Aquabound Shred (my WW paddle of choice) or something like that but they are heavier and I think it’s overkill. Whether carbon or not is I guess personal preference.

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I would just get a ww paddle, i have 2 flatwater paddles ( fiberglass and carbon fiber) and 3 different ww paddles- carbon fiber, fiberglass, and plastic. I trade out paddles according to the abuse they will see. The foam core carbon fiber flat water paddle requires a bit of care, the others not as much.

I did a low flow run yesterday on new river dries. I took the beater paddle, werner rio with plastic blades, and wasn’t shy about a few rock braces going through slots. Even class 2 can be pretty abusive to gear. In the end, you might save money by buyer a beater paddle instead of replacing something more high performance, lighter, that isnt made for abuse.

I also vote for the Sherpa. I have its bigger brother the Powerhouse (Which I don’t recommend. Only your own joints can tell you if larger paddle blades are right for you.) as well as an Aqua Bound Whiskey. Comparing the two, everything on the whitewater paddle is much more heavy duty: shaft (FG instead of carbon), blades (double thickness in key places), lack of a ferrule, increase in weight (Sherpa is listed at about 7 oz heavier than the Shuna). Should be able to take more of a beating than a touring paddle.

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Lendal Storm. 210cm-215cm. Unlimited feather angle.