Over the winter of 2008-09 I had a strip-cedar kayak built for myself and it just did not seem right to paddle this boat with my carbon-fiber blades. I engaged in my quest to find the perfect paddle to fit with my perfect strip-cedar boat. After much research, talking with manufacturers, and talking with paddlers who paddle with wooden paddles I purchased a Whiskeyjack Apostle.
The paddle is artistic and beautiful. The blending of red and yellow cedar accentuates and compliments each other with beautiful grain and color contrast. The workmanship and design of art and function is excellent. However, for me the true test of a blade is how it performs on the water and not just on the beach or in the parking lot.
I paddle just about everyday teaching and/or for exercise and adventure. My Apostle has an excellent and aggressive catch with no flutter and a super-smooth exit. The swing weight is amazingly low for a wooden blade. The overall weight is on a par with most carbon-fiber paddles. The comfort of the shaft is solid and offers just enough flex while in full-power mode to lessen the likelihood of injuries.
A surprise to me when it arrived was the Lendal "paddle-lock" system at the joint. This is my first paddle with this connection joint and I now wonder why other manufacturers have not adopted this ingenious system. There is absolutely no slop or play in the joint but instead it is rock-solid.
In short, I could not be happier with this paddle. My Apostle has moved to the front of my paddle rack as my other blades are collecting dust. I just hope, as an heirloom, that my kids appreciate this functional work of art as much as I do. The company’s motto is: "paddle with soul." I concur. This blade has soul from which my own soul is invigorated when I paddle with this blade.