Read and submit reviews for the Shuna Carbon Bent Shaft Paddle.
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I was using a Werner Tybee FG 215 for some time. It's reasonably light, reliable, and has worn well.
About 6 months ago I bought a Shuna Bent 210 (carbon shaft, glass blade). I've used it training on the river a lot, plus a few sea and lake trips. I chose the size using the guide on Werner's web site - I'm 5'10" and I found it better for high angle than the Tybee (at 215).
What I like about it:
1. The two piece design is a brilliant piece of engineering. No messing with keys or bulky clips. I really cannot tell I am using a two piece paddle because the connection is that good. It allows you to easily vary the feather to cope with wind conditions. Air pressure difference in the shaft can occasionally make it difficult to separate the parts - rotate it to free because it won't pull apart!
2. When I first used it I noticed how little it weighed. This has to reduce fatigue in the hands and arms. It is easy to speed up the stroke for a sprint. The weight feels little different whether I use high or low angle.
3. The blade design suits my style. It grips the water and I get no energy wasted though blade slip or flutter. I feel an occasional flutter under hard acceleration, but only if I exceed the blade's ability to grip. I can use a high or low angle stroke. The blade always feels reassuringly planted.
4. The shaft diameter is the same as my Tybee but the Shuna just feels more comfortable to hold. It feels a bigger diameter in the hand and the carbon is smooth and warm. It just feels good to hold. The bent shape and indexing make it easy to find your grip.
It took a while to get used to the bent shaft - but once I'd relaxed into the difference, it behaved exactly as a straight. I noticed on a recent long distance lake trip my average speed on the GPS was the same at the end as at the start. I put this down to the ergonomics of the paddle - I felt tired as if I should be travelling slower but I wasn't. I had no wrist ache so I'm sure the bent shaft made a difference.
My Tybee FG is a two-piece with the same ferrule connection - it's a good paddle for 1/3 the price - I pack it now as the spare.
The bent shaft sits naturally in the hand – while it can take a little getting used to for those accustomed to a straight shaft, after half an hour or so, the comfort of the neutral wrist alignment outweighs the initial unfamiliarity. There is still room to adjust the width of your hands, and after 150 miles my wrists and upper body felt as comfortable as on day one.
The carbon blade construction reduces the weight of the paddle enough that you have more juice in the tank at the end of long days. For me, I chose to go without the foam core offered by the Cyprus in the interest of durability, and after a month on the water the paddle showed no signs of wear beyond cosmetic micro-scratches from a month of sand and forest and sea.
The Shuna blade design offers a great balance between power and sustainable effort. In a class III wave train created by strong current at the roaring hole rapids, I could accelerate quickly and brace with confidence. On flat calm days I could lock in a comfortable stroke for 18 miles and have enough energy at the end of the day to work on rolls in camp. In a full range of conditions from dawn glass to five foot swell with wind waves, the paddle provides a quiet catch, a stable platform, and plenty of feel.
Overall, I’m pysched with my new paddle. Perhaps I could have got the 210 instead of the 215 for a slightly sportier feel and a more vertical shaft alignment during coastal play, but as an all around touring paddle, I couldn’t ask for better – lightweight, robust, comfortable and smooth, I look forward to many more miles with the Shuna in hand.
If there is a drawback, it's that I crash -- hard -- at the end of the day when I'm home and the boats are put away. That used to happen a lot earlier in the day with other boats and other paddles. Bottom line -- this paddle is worth the price, and it looks beautiful.