See Products from AT Paddles in the Buyers' Guide!
|AT Paddles in the Buyers' Guide:|
• Advanced kayak paddles
• Sport WW kayak paddles
• Advanced WW kayak paddles
• Elite Tour Kayak Paddles
• Kayak Fishing Paddles
• Sport Tour kayak paddles
• Elite WW kayak paddles
After transporting it home from its second use, the locking lever was missing. I found it but not the machine screw that holds it in place. I had bought it while on the road from a retailer several hundreds of miles away and didn’t think they would know the technical specs of one of their hundreds of products anyway. So, I emailed AT and received an automated response that they would contact me within two days but they never did.
It took visits to five hardware stores to determine exactly what the oddball fastener was and find one. I'd prefer a better way to fasten a rotating piece and use of common hardware.
Not a bad paddle but there are probably better alternatives for most people.
What attracted me to the AT blade was the high angle, similar blade shape to the Werner Shuna. I am also aware that AT makes a quality whitewater blade, so I was willing to take a chance on a newer touring blade in their quiver. I also like the neon green blades, some may not like them, but I thought they are sort of funky.
Out of the box the fit and finish of the paddle was fine and of very good quality. I could tell the weight of the paddle was in the shaft and it appears the diameter of the carbon/fiberglass shaft is greater than Werner Brand paddles. The ferrel system is like many others with the little lever that lifts and closes to lock the offset into place.
I held the blade up to my glass straight shaft Shuna and the blades are almost identical.
On the water it took a few minutes to get comfortable with what was the left or right hand drive on the paddle. I had to rotate clockwise for Right vs. rotating counter clockwise with other paddles I own. The bent shaft offset does look a little unusual. On the Werner paddles their offsets bend back to the middle of the shaft and align with the shaft portion attached to the blades. The AT paddles bend and then don't bend again to align with the blades. This did take some getting used to and wasn't as comfortable out of the box as my Werner paddles. Once I got it dialed in the purchase was strong, the blade didn't wobble and I found my rhythm.
The only detraction is weight compared to other paddles I own. The AT is well engineered, but in this case it may be over engineered. Their ww paddles are bomb proof, but for this touring blade they could have easily have shaved off 5-6 ounces and the paddle could have still been strong.
The swing weight on the paddle is very noticeable compared to some of my other high end paddles. The Bent shaft Shuna with a similar blade and length is listed at 29 oz. The Oracle is listed at 34.5 oz. I knew the weight difference before I ordered, so it wasn't a total surprise. Like with anything, after a few hours, the extra weight difference wasn't too noticeable, but I think AT can shave some weight and still have this be a superior touring blade.
Rolling with the paddle is strong, but if you're very adept at rolling, you can roll with a 2x4. I had to adjust my wrists slightly to compensate for the different shaft bend on the AT. Nonetheless the catch was strong and powerful and rolling was comfortable.
I wasn't in a coastal situation, but I attempted to mimic some in water rock gardening strokes along a stretch of dock and with a right handed setting my on-side was comfortable, but I really had to concentrate on my left to do slicing strokes with my left hand (off side). I attributed this to the getting more comfortable with the different bend in the blade shaft.
The one thing I didn't get a chance to do is surf and maybe I'll update this report later. The blade does have a powerful catch and anticipate this being a good surfer.
I'm glad I've added this blade to my collection and do anticipate using this blade as one of my go to touring paddles.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!