When my hand built Trance Werner paddle arrived at my doorstop, it was like Christmas in July. And yes, I know, it’s now September, but I wanted to take some time to use my “baby” before reviewing.
I imagine you can already tell this is going to be a favorable review! If you paddle a lot, like I have been this summer, do yourself a favor, invest in a good paddle. You won’t regret it.
I bought my 12 foot Bote Lowrider SUP in April off of Craigslist and was very pleased with the purchase. Along with it came a plastic paddle that is dead to me now. I had the pleasure of demo-ing the Werner paddles at a SUP event hosted by SheJumps at Fish Creek on Saratoga Lake. The awesome rep, Joseph Vidarte, sent us out with a fleet of paddles to try. I had already had my eye on Werner paddles and this experience confirmed my inkling that this was the paddle I wanted.
I decided on the Trance 85. The Trance is a carbon paddle and at 15.5 ounces, it made my plastic paddle feel like it was made of lead. It has a long, narrow, blade shape. The 85 refers to the surface area of the blade. This smaller blade is easy on the joints and great for higher cadence paddling. Additionally, there is buoyancy in the blade itself that gives an extremely light feel. The carbon shaft although light, feels stiff enough for power, but not overly stiff on the joints.
When it came to sizing, both Joseph and the customer service rep. I spoke with when I called where very helpful. I am 5’6″ and went with the 76″ paddle. I personally think if you are going with an ultra light paddle like this and making the investment, go with the one piece paddle. I also went with the straight shaft. If you plan to travel and paddle a lot, I can see getting the three piece paddle, since once you use it, you will literally never want to use another paddle again.
Just prior to getting my paddle, I did my first trip out around the Boston Harbor Islands. After a couple mile round about of Bumpkin Island from Hull, a stiff headwind picked up on the way back (of course). It had been my fifth day in a row paddling (after a busy week of guiding at Kripalu Center) and my shoulder really started bugging me. Later I was worried I might have a small tear in my Infraspinitus muscles because it continued to bother me while paddling… that is until I got this paddle.
This here is a case of it being SO worth the money spent on the upgrade. I highly recommend this paddle and highly encourage you if you are new to SUP-ing and doing a lot of it, particularly distances in potentially windy conditions, don’t even hesitate, just do it! I’m so glad I did!