Submitted: 12-23-2003 by Bill Stevenson
I have been using a Werner Camano, carbon, bent shaft for almost 2 years. Periodically I swap with friends to try other paddles and this always leads to discussion. The following comments and observations are respectfully offered:
1. If you are just getting started a bent shaft paddle is the way to go.
2. Bent shaft is difficult to adjust to for those who started with a straight shaft.
3. Straight shaft is easier to adjust to for those used to bent shaft so it is feasible to use a bent shaft as a primary, with a less costly straight shaft for backup.
4. For those used to bent shaft there are never any times when it is not an advantage over a straight shaft.
5. Hand placement is perfect on the bent shaft Camano and it is very easy to control this paddle even in difficult surf or high wind conditions.
6. The Camano is more rugged than the similar Kaliste, both have slight flutter in some situations, easily controlled and not a problem.
7. The light weight of the carbon really starts to matter on long days on the water, but is probably not as critical for young, strong paddlers, or those who only go out for short, leisurely excursions.
8. People who are used to aluminum or fiberglass paddles find carbon very nice. People who prefer wood paddles find carbon unpleasant.
9. The people at Werner are great, their customer service is faultless, and their products are well made and generally trouble-free.
10. I think any high grade paddle from a reputable company would prove satisfying for a paddler who has no prior experience. For experienced paddlers the issue of which paddle is the best one for them becomes more difficult. So for anyone reading these comments who is just starting out recognize that your first paddle is critical. For a wide variety of uses and users the Werner Camano, bent shaft is a very good place to start.
11. In my opinion we spend too much time worrying about which boat to buy. In reality our paddle choice is much more important.