Werner Paddles, making the switch; a year in review
So this year was the first time I changed paddles in ten years. I have stuck with my foam-filled AT2 standard for a long time and I think most people will tell you, once you get used to something it’s hard to change. With my summer plan to be on the road, and finally having a chance to get out to the California wilderness, I decided I needed to make the change to something I could feel really confident about when SHTF. Werner was the obvious choice for the strongest most reliable paddles in the industry. While the largest majority of my friends went with the straight-shaft Powerhouse, I had a friend hand me their bent-shaft Sherpa on the river one day and I was hooked. The slightly smaller blades than the Powerhouse made it a little bit more forgiving and the bent shaft is simply what I know how to use. The switch to the different style of Werner vs. AT bent shaft was no problem. By the end of the first day the Werner felt just as natural in my palm like I had been using it all along. The confidence of Werner’s continuous weave fiberglass meant I wasn’t checking my paddle for dings or cracks after every day on the river. After a full season from coast to coast I’ll never look back to my old paddles. When paddling in areas of high commitment and risk you just have to eliminate anything from your equipment that could fail you. A Werner paddle is that piece that you can hold season after season and feel good about.
For my playboating blade I got the Double Diamond. The DD is a full carbon construction with double Dynel edging and a layer of Kevlar. The foam filled blades are the only way to go for playboating whether on a wave or in a hole. The biggest difference I noticed switching to this paddle was how light and stiff it was. The super stiff paddle made moves precise and sharp. The blade shape is smooth and perfect for fast vertical strokes.
Finally, I also use Werner for Stand Up Paddling. The same construction that makes their creeking paddles so bomber goes into their paddles for SUP. I see countless blades from the other surf companies with blown out seams and chipped edges. I’ve got two full seasons on my fiberglass Carve. I can push off rocks, get rocked to the beach surfing and it doesn’t show a bit of wear. I suppose my point is, when you use Werner paddles, you’re more worried about picking the right line and pulling the next move. The paddles just do their job.