Werner has redesigned their Adjustable Ferrule. The button is now flush with the shaft. The old button -shown in the pictures- popped out about half a centimetre. Some paddlers complained about occasionally snagging, or even worse: unintended release of their split Werner Peddles . The new design of the ferrule system should prevent this.
I own a Werner Shuna paddle since half a year. The ease of use and the rigidity of the ferrule system were part of the arguments to choose the Werner prior to its contestants. It never disappointed me, it proved to be very reliable (no unintended release) and after half a year of heavy use the fit is still perfect, no rattling and no signs of any wearing out. I only find it a pity (and not fitting to the perfect finish of the rest of the paddle) that Werner uses simple decals on the shaft to indicate the degree of feather. As shown on the picture these decals tend get loose - and it's rather stupid when they are lost: you then have to guess what angle you put the paddle together... The paddle on the video on the Werner website has a second degree-scale on the inside of the ferrule system. Also part of the update?
You may argue how useful the option to change the feather of a paddle blade on the water is - once you have found "your favourite angle of feather" you will probably stick to it. For coaching groups however, I find it a big advantage - I can give my paddle to any other member of the group regardless if he is left- or right angle paddling.
Werner offers customers with 2008 and prior Adjustable Ferrules, free of charge, the Werner Button Cover. This Button Cover allows you to retro fit your, 2008 and prior paddles, to perform at the level of the new ferrule design. The Werner Button Cover creates a transition from the shaft to the top of the button and will fit both Standard and Small diameter shafts.
Earlier this year I finally decided to buy the Werner Shuna as the new allround split-paddle (I own a collection of paddles: a traditional hand crafted wooden Greenland paddle, a full-carbon racing-wing, a rigid cranked white water paddle and several lengths of touring paddles). Arguments for the Werner were -beside the ferrule system - the light weight and good balance, absence of flex, the availability of a wide shaft and the good experiences I had with the Ikelos and the Cyprus I tried out for a long time. To be fair: the Wener Ikelos and Cyprus would have been my first choice - wasn't the price tag in Europe that extreme (500 euro at that time - despite the dollar/euro-rate...). The Shuna costed about 300 euro and I hoped for a similar performance as from the Cyprus. The Shuna lacks the buoyant feel on the water of the foam core blades of the Cyprus, but blade size is almost identical. It took a little while to get used to the Shuna, but now I really like it, especially under heavier conditions (loaded kayak, strong winds).