I have the Sawyer Venom bent shaft/adjustable OC1 paddle and my girl has the Copperhead bent shaft ww K1 paddle. Same construction in both. I like the shaft of the Sawyer bent shaft (both OC1 and K) much more than the Werner as its more like a AT in that it indexes better and fills the hand but the blades have (to us) a better feel. So far, I'm really liking mine and she loves hers. They both feel solid and seem to be well made with a good amount of wear area built into the tips of the blades... The shaft seems to be a little less 'heavy duty' than an AT, is that where your friend is breaking his?
I was wrong it's a total of 6 breaks all shaft related, one break was a wedge between rocks so that one doesn't count. Thank god I carry a breakdown or the hikes would be on, I use a werner, sometimes my AT and even my cheap tywarp is still alive.