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The Ikelos' knifelike edge and light weight offers a clean entry and hookup when grabbing that first handful of water, and a smooth stability throughout the stroke, with no tendency to flutter when under a strong pull. With its big barndoor blades, the Ikelos feels solid even when bracing in rough water. Despite its large surface area and solid plant, the Ikelos does not place undue strain on the shoulders or arms when driven with good paddling form and torso rotation, even on touring days of many miles with a loaded boat. And, with their buoyant foam-cores and broad surface area, the blades practically set themselves up for a roll.
I've paddled the Ikelos for two full seasons now, in a variety of conditions. My only minor complaint involves Werner's Adjustable Ferrule System. It's a slick feature, but both of my Werner paddles which utilize this fine-tolerance mechanism have experienced intermittent problems with jamming in the open position, allowing the paddle to slip apart and refusing to remain together. Despite avid care to keep the ferrule free of dirt, sand, and the lubricants which attract them, this has happened to me and a couple of friends, the only cure being to blast the recessed device with a garden hose and pry it loose with a long screwdriver. If this minor problem persists, I'll consider calling or sending the paddle in for Werner's highly-respected customer service.
Hits: light weight, quality construction, smooth hydrodynamics, solid on-the-water feel Misses: intermittent jamming of adjustable ferrule system
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Hands down the smoothest bite and largest catch you'll ever find. This paddle cuts through the water so sweetly and putting the paddle in the water locks it in place. How you pull is up to you. Incredibly light and strong, worth every single penny. Anyone who has ever spent any time pulling water with something this light, strong and smooth can't go backwards.
I find that the Ikelos does all things well, but it really shines when you are linking strokes. If you think it might have to much surface area for you, try a Werner Cypress (sp?). A last suggestion, once you have choosen an angle of feather, never change it. It is important to know where you blades are realative to the water surface, if you are changing your feather than this changes. The next time you go for that big brace it may not work.
Some people on P.net have indicated that the high/low angle dichotomization of paddles is a marketing technique. I disagree and feel that the performance of this paddle is enhanced in a high-angle venue.
The paddle has a nice powerful catch. It is easy to brace with it. The ferrule system is excellent with many options for paddling angles.
Not quite as silent as the Kalliste, but a big improvement (and a lot easier to use) than the bulky Corryvecken. I use a 220cm...probably go with a 215 if I get a skinnier boat someday. But don't feel that you need to get a short paddle, as swing weight and friction are extremely low. I liken it to sticking a velvet knife in butter: plants firmly and the YAK moves...not the water!
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