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Shuna Carbon Bent Shaft Paddle

by Werner Paddles

Reviews

Brilliant engineering and ergonomics

Submitted by: on

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.

Overall impression:
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.

I recently spent a month paddling with my new Carbon Shuna in…

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I recently spent a month paddling with my new Carbon Shuna in the Queen Charlotte Straight, between northern Vancouver Island and the mainland coast. It is beautiful country, with a rich history of human presence that overlays the physical wildness of the place. It was my first trip with the new paddle – a bent shaft, 215, carbon Shuna. As a two piece paddle, I slotted the shaft together before we loaded up our vehicle and the ferule fit snugly in place. The two piece shaft feels excellent – the brand new ferule has no play in it whatsoever, and there is no loss of power in the transfer from the paddler to the blade.

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.

I love this paddle. Lightweight and cuts through the water like…

Submitted by: on

I love this paddle. Lightweight and cuts through the water like butter. The bent shaft allows me to change my hand position which benefits my wrists.

I have two paddles, a 210cm Werner Tybee and a 220cm Werner…

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I have two paddles, a 210cm Werner Tybee and a 220cm Werner Bent Shaft Shuna. Both are great paddles, but the Shuna is truly a joy to use. I really didn't expect that big of a difference between the two paddles, but to my delight, the Shuna is so much easier to paddle with and I seriously have increased the speed at which I can paddle my kayak with less fatigue. I have a Venture Kayak Flex 11, which is perfect for all the activities I like to do on the water. I'm 6'1" at 190lbs, and both paddle and kayak perform perfectly. If you want a great paddle, the Werner Shuna is it !

I plan to follow this up, but so far this paddle is…

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I plan to follow this up, but so far this paddle is outstanding. I've been out with it twice, and it makes my boat (Necky Manitou 14), which I've always loved, feel faster and more agile. I've been using a high angle style the last 2 years after buying the Brent Reitz DVD, and I've liked my Aquabound carbon StingRay, but there's no comparison.

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.

If you've never paddled with a high-end paddle before you owe it…

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If you've never paddled with a high-end paddle before you owe it to yourself to try one out. I'm very happy with my Shuna and would recommend it to anyone. You'll soon forget the sting of the high price and enjoy the pleasure of a really good paddle for many years. If you look around and you're patient, you can probably find a 20% off deal somewhere. I waited for REI to have one of their "20% off any one item" sales. The bent shaft took a little getting used to, but as with the above reviewer, it was not really an issue. The combination of the light weight and the bent shaft has made paddling much more comfortable for my 49 year old body, and I'm paddling much faster and longer than I ever have before.

The Werner Shuna in my quiver is a straight shaft fiberglass model…

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The Werner Shuna in my quiver is a straight shaft fiberglass model, and I find it to be a superb paddle. As the prior reviewer noted, it is a high angle paddle, but has a slightly smaller blade area than, for instance, the Corryvrecken (which I also own). My two Shunas, 215 cm and 210cm, are the workhorses of my quiver of paddles, and tend to be the ones I use most frequently. They are the most forgiving of the high angle Werners on the joints, esp the shoulders, which can really get rocked with a large area paddle and high angle style over a long day of paddling. The Shuna pulls less water per stroke—speed is not quite as high, but you can paddle longer. The fiberglass is transparent, orange, and really does seem to be lightweight (although the carbon fiber is a tad lighter at much greater expense). The need for varying feather angles is especially key for high angle paddling and wind, and the adjustable ferrule is rock solid and very handy. Although I own a several Werners, for an overall great high angle paddle, I give the nod to the Shuna. One point deducted because of the price, which I find high for all Werner products. Keep and eye out for this paddle on eBay or Paddling.net classifieds. Paddle on.

After agonizing over the myriad choices of paddles available and reading all…

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After agonizing over the myriad choices of paddles available and reading all the recent magazine reviews, I decided to stick with Werner since I am very pleased with my Sidekick whitewater paddle. The Werner website suggested a 215 cm length for my 6'1" height and 23.5" wide Dagger Specter 15.5 and the paddle seems to fit well. I wanted to finally try a bent shaft paddle, but was concerned about the adjustment period for the new grip. However, during my first miles with the new paddle, I found it to be a non-issue. Though I was tempted to get the larger blade Ikelos or Corryvrecken, my preference was long distance cruising comfort rather than top acceleration or racing. The Shuna seems to fit the bill perfectly. It is extremely light and I fully expect it to live up to Werner's bulletproof reputation.