It piddles! It paddles! It makes your deltoids skeedaddle! It tears your aching limbs off if you don’t show it respect in the form of a practiced yet strong torso rotation. If being in the doghouse is a sign of being a bad paddle, this carbon 220 cm Molokai is the resident rabid Doberman Pincher at the Werner kennel. Agreeing wholeheartedly with reviewer Sploosh below, I strongly advocate this paddle for a powerful paddler who is “one” with his (no “hers” need apply to team Werner Molokai—it’s not you, it’s the paddle) latissimus dorsi and serratus anterii (i.e. the trunk muscles). I'm a high angle paddler but this behemoth paddle can turn my shoulders into a slithering mass of black cherry Jell-o if I show it a hint of “arm”. Keep to the torso, and we are talking about a paddle that will accelerate with the best of them. Why wouldn’t it--the blade is the size of a snow shovel. Perhaps they should have called it the Werner Snow Devil.
Lightweight, my all carbon, bent shaft model is a pleasure to look at. It grabs a washtubful of water per stroke but exacts the toll from your shoulders; you can definitely feel it’s wrath after about 20 minutes of paddling. I would not recommend this paddle for an all day sojourn unless you’re name is Popeye and you remembered to put a can of spinach in your day hatch. I've learned to use a lower paddle angle for self preservation, but a Werner Camano would likely serve anyone better overall for a long tour. I use the Molokai with my lickety-split Prijon Barracuda as a workout paddle and it does excel if you will be on the water for a short time (30-60 minutes) and wish to develop a torso like Michelango’s David. If you are more the Jacques Cousteau-Marlin Perkins animal observer type, you will want to get no closer to Molokai than a trip to it’s namesake island.
Werner has, as of this writing, discontinued the Molokai. Too much liability with dislocated shoulders, perhaps. I own a large bladed Werner Corryvrecken fiberglass, which I enjoy soundly, and when I compare the blades, they are only slightly different in geometry, and about the same size. I am certain that the transparent, thin fiberglass weave of the Corryvrecken (still my favorite overall paddle) allows just enough “give” to make paddling it a pleasure. For even more ease of high angle paddling, I own and recommend the smaller bladed Werner Shuna—particularly promising for female and youth paddlers. I've got a few hundred miles on my Molokai now and really like the paddle. My boat is a WS T-165, I'm a 50 year old, 6'2" paddler. My Molokai is a 220cm, RH at 60 degrees. I paddle year round and would like to see more defined indexing at the grip area of the shaft for glove use. The Molokai catches and exits nicely for me and my stroke. Bracing is great with this big blade and screw rolls are a cinch given the high amount of boyancy the Molokai delivers with the sweep stroke. The Rocky Mountains are hard on paddles, especially the blades. The Molokai is holding up very well in this regard. Shaft union remains nice and snug.
All in all, my favourite paddle, having aced out my Kauai. A great blade for the energetic paddler or a larger paddler who likes a relaxed cadence with dramatic forward propulsion. Caution: The Molokai is aggressive enough in the water that one's forward stroke needs to be in tune in terms of torso rotation. Don't try to 'arm power' this paddle. Pleasant waters to ya.It flutters! It dives! It blows in the wind! It rips your bloody arms off! I'm a more aggressive paddler than most but I'm no match for this monster paddle. It grabs a lot off water but exacts the toll from your shoulders. I enjoy this paddle for 20 minutes, but after that its a struggle. I've learned to use a lower paddle angle for self preservation. A high angle causes more fluttering, diving and flying in the wind. It's completely unmanagable with my 27" wide Islander Ventura, but works a lot better with my sleek Cobra Eliminator.
If you don't paddle very far, have a fast boat and gorilla shoulders (or are trying to build gorilla shoulders) you may like this paddle. It's light and well-built. It's the best paddle I own for paddling my Eliminator. But that will change when I can save $300 for something better.