Submitted: 04-21-2010 by RKBerta
I have two of these Skagits. They are both the carbon fiber shaft and carbon fiber reinforced blade. The first one I bought 4 years ago. It had a feather system with holes and a locking pin. I drilled a few more holes to gives some more positions. It has had no issues of reliability or premature wear...still like new.
I recently bought a second kayak and wanted another paddle so that my family could take out both kayaks at the same time. I was so happy with the first I bought the current model which now has an index system so you can select various feather angles set at 15 degree increments. The joint on both are tight and no flexure in the joint or the paddle shaft or blade. Both are the same length 220mm (I am 6' tall). Besides the much improved feather indexing system I didn't see any changes in material or shape which I thought were always perfect for me. The handle is slightly oval...just enough to help you maintain a good grip and know where the paddle is oriented. The color of both the blade and handle is black. This color is OK but if given a choice a non black color on the handle might be preferable as when sitting out in the hot sun the black can get fairly hot. I sometimes will put it in the water to cool it down before starting to paddle.I also thought that a brightly colored paddle blade might be useful as an emergency safety "flag". I am thankful that they resisted going to an oversize blade. The blade enters the water cleanly and pulls straight without feeling you are dragging a huge "barn door" through the water like an oversized blade does.
I give the older model a 8 and the new one a 9 based on its excellent feather index system and it would have been a 10 if they had made the whole thing bright yellow or at least the blades. But I wanted this version and features so I decided I could accept the color.