Updated: May 31
The Ikelos Werner Paddle is made for the buffed studded paddler. It moves a lot of water, and you can powerfully cut your way through the waves with it, but you have to have the arm strength to do it.
You can feather the paddle up to 90 degrees, but I usually like to do it at 60 degrees, as any more than that and the hand twisting on the strokes becomes a bit excessive.
You will definitely feel a big difference in effort when you feather the paddle and travel up wind. Even in a mild breeze, the reprieve is noticeable.
The carbon fiber with the bent shaft is very light weight, and if you are upgrading from a fiberglass paddle, this you will feel like you've just upgraded your kayak. The foam core also means that it is very buoyant, and floats like a buoy so you won't lose it in the surf.
This is a good paddle to learn to roll with. The wide blade gives considerable support and is forgiving for those who haven't yet finessed their technique.
The one thing that I do not like about this paddle and of Werner Paddles in general and is the reason I am giving it 3 starts instead of 5, is the locking mechanism.
If you don't wash the paddle with fresh water every time you use it, the salt will encrust on the spring, the the paddle either won't unlock, which means you can change the feathering, or it wont lock in place, and can come apart when you are paddling.
The jamming usually happens around day 10 of an expedition, and you need to have a can of WD40 with you to loosen things up.
This wouldn't be that big of a deal, if it was a cheap dinky $30 paddle, or even an unbranded carbon fiber paddle from Alibaba which would cost me $250, but for $550 I expect perfection, and Werner isn't delivering it. Shame on you Werner! If a $550 piece of equipment doesn't come with peace of mind, then it's not worth $550.
The Youtube video below from Uncle Baggy gives a decent review, but he don't mention the button jamming, which you won't notice, unless you are using the paddle for an extended and continuous period.
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