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Old 05-30-2012   #1
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 59
Looking at buying a new high end paddle, need opinions

I'm looking at buying a high end paddle for whitewater kayaking. Been looking at the Werner Shogun and AT2 Standard. Also, i'm thinking of going with a bent shaft vs a straight shaft, but never paddled a bent shaft before. I'd like to hear opinions from those of you that have used these paddles, and/or other high end paddles i should look at as well.

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Old 05-31-2012   #2
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
The bends are different between those two. I liked the feel of the Werner better and its been a great paddle. I would never go straight shaft again, I have wrist/elbow problems and the bent is a huge help. Try them both if possible before buying.

"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 05-31-2012   #3
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Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
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For what it's worth, I've seen a lot more broken AT paddles than I have Werners. And as long as we're on the topic, I've seen more broken "high end" paddles than I have the more common fiberglass paddles (e.g. Werner Powerhouse, etc.).

I found the shift from straight shaft paddles to bent shaft to be very easy; haven't gone back.
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Old 05-31-2012   #4
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
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Originally Posted by craven_morhead View Post
And as long as we're on the topic, I've seen more broken "high end" paddles than I have the more common fiberglass paddles (e.g. Werner Powerhouse, etc.).
I agree with this. I've had the Werner foam core blades snap where a fiberglass blade would have been fine. I personally don't think the foam core provides enough benefit to outweigh the increased cost and the greater risk of breakage.
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Old 05-31-2012   #5
durango, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 44
i have also had much better luck with customer service at Werner when compared to AT,with broken shafts on both, sent back for warranty, at asked for $100 replacement fee while werner replaced for free no questions asked and covered return shipping
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Old 05-31-2012   #6
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Werner is still a mom and pop run family business located in Washington. Never switching from werner. Love the paddles, supreme customer service, and every blade you could ever need between offering multiple blade sizes In the same shape!
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Old 05-31-2012   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Why are you looking for a "high end" paddle? Is it just the perception that a more expensive blade must be better? Most people running stuff big enough where having their blade snap during the run isn't a very good option opt for the Werner Fiberglass paddles because they're virtually indestructible and have a good feel, even though the blades will slowly wear away over time.

If you're running easier stuff where breaking your blade in the middle of a drop isn't such a big deal, then any of the high end blades are good options. If you want to be certain that your blade will snap, go with an AT. If you want to save the snap for a good old fashion paddle blade rock chalk, go with a foam core Werner.

There are a couple other interesting options this year. Core is a new company with an innovative designer, and JK is distributing Lightning Paddles that are using some new blade layup. Both of those sound like interesting contenders to me. If you get one of those, let us know how it holds up over time.

I'm a big fan of the bent shaft for the ergonomics.
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Old 05-31-2012   #8
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Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
I love my Werner Sho-Gun
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Old 05-31-2012   #9
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 567
Paddled werner double diamond bent for 8 years. It was Stolen. Bought a Werner Stikine - bent. Paddle it for the last four. Love it. I have 20 straight werners in the program twist, player, sherpa, All straight. We got our first good ones about 6 years ago. Never have had one break and the kids keep trying to steal them. The glass blades are crisp especially when play boating, but the flotation of a foam blade feels really positive in the water. Do not get the glass bent shaft, clunky and awkward.
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Old 06-01-2012   #10
Bryson City, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 24
You might also consider what kind of boating you are doing when deciding between the two.

The AT2 Standard blade was designed for Playboating and River Running, while the Shogun was designed for Creeking and River Running.

Foam core paddles do very well on a foam pile because of their buoyancy and not so well between rocks. Anytime you create a space (foam core) between the outer materials you will lose some strength compared to a solid blade.

There is definitely a difference in feel between Werner and AT shafts. I would recommend you get your hands on both to compare.

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