Latona Description

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Latona Reviews

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I own three paddles: a…

Submitted by: miguelmarsh on 5/12/2020
I own three paddles: a European-style Werner Camano (27.6 oz.), and two Greenland-style paddles, a GearLab Kalleq (25.9 oz.) and a North Point Paddle (Latona, 28.5 oz.). Each is 220 cm. While the Werner and GearLab carbon fiber paddles are an ounce or two lighter, the paddle that gets the most use (by far) is my wooden Latona. The Latona fits perfectly in my hands. The shaft is not entirely round like the Werner and, to a lesser extent, GearLab paddle. A cross-section of the shaft would be somewhat oblong and the shaft has a slightly larger diameter (Latona=4 3/8"; Werner=3 7/8"; GearLab 4 1/8".) The shape fits perfectly in my hands. I'm 5'8". (My wife and son, who are each about 5'3", agree that the Latona fits best in their hands, too.) I go on long paddles. I seldom paddle less than 10 miles on a river or slough, and sometimes as far as 18 miles in the ocean. I paddle 3 mph when I'm going easy, and 4+ mph when I'm trying to makeup some time. That means that I am frequently paddling for 3 to 5 hours at a stretch. The Latona paddles very efficiently at all speeds. While I do not have the mathematical skills to calculate the surface area of the paddle blades, I assume that the Latona has a somewhat smaller surface area compared to the other paddles. The GearLab paddle is approximately 1/4" wider than the Latona. That said, my cadence is faster and there is practically no vortex created by the Latona, even when I'm paddling hard into the wind. I've done my 18 mile paddle across a section of Monterey Bay with the Latona and with GearLab's Kalleq. Both are great paddles, but the super-lightweight 2-piece Kalleq has become my back-up paddle. This isn't scientific, but I feel that the Latona enters the water more smoothly than the GearLab paddle. Even in ocean swell I don't get any "plops" when the paddle strikes the surface of the water. On the slight downside, the Latona, being wooden, requires more maintenance, and the Werner Camano the least. The Werner has been through hell and still looks great. I haven't performed any maintenance besides rinsing the joint where the two halves meet and wiping some 303 Protectant on the blades. The GearLab paddle hasn't had as much use. It has a beautiful carbon fiber subtle design. But GearLab paddle already has two small white spots on the dark blade. I'm not sure how those got there because I have only used that paddle in the ocean and I carry it in a case when I transport it. The Latona has had the most work. I use it for everything, including (gulp) prying up trash from the muddy slough shore. The paddle's wood is in fine shape still. The hard ash wood tip and edges are untouched. The softer cedar has a couple of minor dings from prying up trash, but those don't impact the paddle and are hard to see. So the wood has held up fine, but I do need to lightly sand and reapply teak oil about once every six months. (I paddle about 2-3 times per week.) Finally, all three paddles are good looking. The Werner with its classic yellow blades stands out, and the GearLab paddle, with its aerodynamic design, looks like it can fly. But nothing matches the beautify of wood. If you buy a North Point paddle, though, beware. People will repeatedly stop you to tell you how beautiful your paddle is.