Submitted: 07-18-2008 by mikeHK
I decided to buy an Onno paddle after seeing so many good reviews for this small firm on Paddling.net.
I have several paddles already, but have had problems with the metal push buttons sticking on two of them, and I can no longer take the paddles apart. Another paddle I own has a ferrule to tighten it after adjusting length and feather, but this tends to loosen while paddling.
Pat of Onno Paddles certainly lived up to his reputation for good service, and we exchanged several emails before I opted for one of his Carbon Signature paddles at US$250. The paddle arrived in Hong Kong, where I live, within only three days after I made payment by PayPal. I couldn't believe how light it is, and how beautifully crafted. I sent Pat an email thanking him, and he replied to say he had given me one of his top of the range all-carbon paddles. They should cost US$350, so he had given me a US$100 discount!
The paddle can be adjusted between 215-225 cms (my choice of lengths), and all you have to do is flip a tiny lever where the two sections join, after making the adjustment. Simple as that, and tight as can be. I've never seen this lever method before. I changed the length three times while paddling last weekend, going for speed and then relaxing supportive strokes, and it only took a few seconds. Loosen the lever, and the two halves come apart easily, which is a boon while at sea.
The paddle feels really comfortable in the hands, and I'm very pleased with it. You can't get the personal touch from the big boys. Here's to small companies like Onno and long live the Internet for giving us the chance to find them.