Sunday, December 28, 2008

Werner Paddles - ferrule system updated

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).


Helge Helligsøe said...

Hello, Hans

Have you tried to order the Button Cover from Werner? One of my Danish kayak colleagues ordered the Button Cover a month ago and have not yet heard from Werner - or recieved anything. Do they ship it to Europe at all?

I am the happy owner of a Werner Camano for about 2 years now, but as you said, the label that indicates the degrees is glued badly to the shaft - I lost mine after less than a month. Finally, I had to remove it entirely.

Hans Heupink said...

Hi Helge!
I have sent Werner an e-mail the other day. I'll tell you, when I hear more from them. After the holidays I'll ask my dealer, perhaps he knows more.

Btw: You've got a nice kayakblog - there must be a very active kayakscene in Denmark. Such a pity I don't understand Danish!

Tony said...

Thanks for the tip Hans. A friend had his paddle come apart this past summer while trying to roll in a sea cave and the paddle came apart. I've sent my request for the free upgrade in.

Tony :-)

Helge Helligsøe said...

Hi Hans
I too ordered the Button Cover yesterday - hope it will arrive soon. Unfortunately, I can't contact the dealer who sold me my Camano - his shop is closed.

It is true that there are many paddlers in Denmark - I think we are about 1.200 members in Havkajakroerne, which is a nationwide organisation for seakayakpaddlers. But that's just a small part of all paddlers. There are also a lot of paddlers blogging everywhere througout the country.

You can read my blog in dutch if you want, just use Google Translate. It is not perfect at all, but it can be used. I use it when i want to read eg. spanish or portuguese blogs, otherwise i wouldn't understand a bl**dy word.

Try in dutch here:

Happy New Year to you...

pinkandgeek said...

I work at a paddle shop and I noticed this on a few of our new paddles last month. Initially, I though the buttons had just malfunctioned, but upon further inspection, they seemed to be working properly. Our rep said that they had updated it, and I think that it was a welcome change. I am interested to see if any big fingered paddlers have any issues.

Helge Helligsøe said...

Hi Hans
Two days ago i recieved my Button Cover - how about you, did you ever get one?

I've posted photos of the Button Cover on my blog if you want to see it.

Hans Heupink said...

Hi Helge!

Two weeks ago I received a e-mail from Werner that they will send me a button-cover after the holidays. I'll have to wait a little bit. No hurry ;-)

I looked at the pictures on your blog - the cover looks a bit bulky to me - it creates a quit abrupt and pronounced ring around the paddle shaft. Hope this ring doesn't hook behind the deck lines when you want to pull out the spare paddle from below the decklines (actually the button itself does sometimes hinder a bit). Let's see it!