love it. need it. sing to it. sleep with it. even bring it along when i rent a boat. light as a butterfly. easy to adjust. prevents fatigue very well. was a little hard to take apart at the beginning but now it's easy & there are no wobble in the joint. i'm very careful to never use it as a pushing tool and careful to rinse it well after salty paddles b/c i intend to keep using it forever. can't say enough good things about it. one caveat - i use those foam shaft pads to minimize blisters. they make a huge difference.
I use a Werner Athena for touring. Got the 4-piece version because I'm often traveling on jets with the paddle. Blade size is perfect for me. I'm 6'3" 240lbs, and an active paddler in his early 60s. Went on a 10-day trip to Baja recently, and the guide was using the exact same paddle except that it was a 2-piece model. I teased him that he was using a women's paddle, and he replied, "Women and pros."
I paddle a WS Tsunami 125 or a WS Tarpon 120 and have never had an issue with either my shoulder or my wrist since I bought the Athena. Not even when we wound up going against the wind current and the tide in a fairly tight river. It may not be the paddle for everyone, but it you have wrist/shoulder issues consider it. Even if your paddle costs twice as much as your boat, you will get more pleasure from your boat because of the good paddle.
The Werner Athena is a specialty paddle that will suit a small number of paddlers. Consider it if you:
The Athena is the lightest paddle I know of. Three factors contribute to its light weight and ease of use:
In short, after demoing other brands and models, the Werner Athena was the immediate winner above all others. You feel the difference with the first two strokes—-it is feather light, stiff, quiet, and smooth. It just feels like a dream to paddle a light kayak with the Athena. Even an inexperienced paddler will feel the difference immediately—it’s like night and day.
The ferrule is fine, no problems. So I have to give the Athena a 10. There isn’t a single thing wrong with it — except the outrageous price.
If you’re not yet convinced that an good paddle is a necessity for anything more than casual kayaking, please demo some high-end models, of any brand. You’ll never go back to your $50 clunker. Then write a letter to Werner and ask why their fine paddles are so expensive.