Paddle Review Category

Werner Powerhouse Paddle Review

Werner Powerhouse  (The “go to” unit)

The Pacific Northwest has so much to offer all types of paddlers.  I often find myself grappling with a familiar decision as I stand, staring blankly yet again into the rack of blades in front of me.  Between the two of us, I think my wife and I have accrued some dozen or so paddles that all hang vertically near the base of the basement stairs waiting for action.  Short surf and freestyle blades, burley creeking ones, slalom, long light weight sea touring paddles, canoe, carbon, glass, wood and all the rest…The perfect paddle for every occasion if I could just manage to fit them all on my back like a quiver of arrows, able to pull each of them out as the perfect situation for their use presents its self.

It’s been a dry summer so the rivers have been low.  My plan was to head out to the coast for a little long boat surf session and perhaps a tour around to check out the caves and arches on the outside of the break as the tide drops out.  Before I know it, I yet again find myself reaching, almost reflexively at this point, for the same one.  My trusty 200cm bent-shaft Werner Powerhouse.

It’s tough as nails for the surf and rocks and still light enough to crank some miles without taxing my shoulders too much.  The full carbon shaft is super comfy with great ergonomics and shape making it easy to feel not just where my hands go but what the blade angle is without looking.  The glass blades tend to wear down over the years but crack and chip less than any carbon paddle I’ve ever owned.  It’s just at home dropping into the maw of a towering curler on the sea as it is on the creeks and rivers it was designed for.  If you boat whitewater, be it salty or not, be sure to check this one out: the Werner Powerhouse.

Paul Kuthe

Saltwood Paddles Vitamin C

I’d been eyeing up Saltwood Paddles Vitamin C for a while and finally took the plunge.  It is easily one of my favorite paddles now.

Here’s the bottom line on this beauty — light and aggressive.

Top to bottom:  The over-sized T-grip gives me a great handle to control fine feathering with sure grip.  With a slight curvature above and aggressive curvature below, my palm comfortably saddles over the top of the T-grip and the underside makes a great hook for reeling in stuff (like canoes).  Saltwoods’s signature hollow, laminate, wood shaft with glass sleeve reinforcement is as good as it sounds.  Although this canoe paddle isn’t indexed like their kayak paddles, their construction remains warm in the hand while being both light AND durable.  Lastly, the blade.  Certainly the highlight of this paddle is not it’s sharp looks and light weight, but the draw of Saltwood Paddles Vitamin C is how the blade performs.  From slalom design, this blade is AGGRESSIVE.  Square corners frame a carbon blade spooned yet flat.  With such powerful catch, acceleration is always waiting.  Still, the blade has a flatness to it that makes slicing and blending strokes smooth, strong, and predictable.

I look forward to pushing this paddle and myself, just to see which breaks first.

-Andrew Romanelli

Saltwood Paddles Vitamin C

Saltwood Paddles Vitamin C; Photo by Andrew Romanelli

All of Saltwood Paddles’ blades are available through Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe.  Don’t see what you’re looking for?  Give us a call at 503-285-0464 so we can get it for you.

Thule Get-A-Grip paddle holder

Thule Get-A-Grip paddle holder

The Thule Get-A-Grip paddle holder accessory makes my life a little easier.  So far, I have carried up to 5 kayak paddles at a time, but I’m confident I could securely fit a sixth!  When I’m already transporting boats, gear, and bodies, it is far more convenient to carry all of our paddles on the roof rack.  Nobody likes hitting the back of their elbow on a sharp blade when shifting gears, and very few passengers actually enjoy squeezing themselves around a bundle of paddle shafts cutting across their seat.

Not only does the Get-A-Grip paddle holder make the drive nicer for driver and passenger, this accessory also locks!  When I go for a post-paddle bite and beer, I know that all of our paddles are locked to my roof rack.  Having gear stolen before, I am interested in making any further theft as difficult as possible!

A plastic-coated steel cable (with paddle-friendly rubber guard) cinches your paddles securely.  Locking the accessory prevents someone from releasing the cable.  At the same time, it locks the thumbscrews that secure the Get-A-Grip paddle holder to your roof rack!  Voila!  This accessory will work with Thule and Yakima crossbars, as well as most factory crossbars.

I carry mine upside down (shown above) to make more room for more boats, but you decide what works best for you!

I love my Thule rack.  Though it took quite a while to save up for it, the limited Lifetime Warranty means I’ll have it for a long time.  And the Get-A-Grip paddle holder is one of Thule’s least expensive accessories at a mere $64.95 (in 2013)!!!  Which means you get a lot of bang for only a little buck.

Check it out on Alder Creek’s website HERE, or call 503-285-0464 to order one.

-Andrew Romanelli

Saltwood Paddles Hustle

Saltwood Paddles Hustle

I  first got the chance to try out a Hustle from Saltwood Paddles on a quick jaunt around Ross Island with some clients this spring, and I am very pleased to report that this elegant kayak paddle exceeded all of my expectations. New for 2013, the Hustle takes comfort and versatility to new heights while still delivering everything you’d expect from a Saltwood Paddle.  The mid sized blades on the Hustle are perfect for touring in a variety of conditions and feel incredibly smooth as they move through the water; perfectly balancing catch, power and resistance to create a blade that is at home on the flats and in turbulent water as well.  The Balsa mid core in the blades aid bracing and rolling, yet they still allow you to bury the paddle in the water and maximize your catch when a powerful stroke is required.  Beyond the balanced shape and feel of the Hustle, I really enjoyed the unique feeling and flexibility of the spruce shaft and the indexed hand grips that are prominently featured on all the offerings from the Saltwood Paddles line-up.  Some folks may be going for the smallest shaft possible, but I’ll take the extra control and comfortable feeling of an ergonomically designed hand grip any day (it helps me keep a light, loose grip, too!).  If you’re in the market for a versatile, elegant touring paddle, I highly recommend taking one of these locally crafted paddles out on your next paddling trip.

-Dave Trageser

Come into our Jantzen Beach location to check this paddle out!  It’s available in Straight Shaft and Bent Shaft.

Werner Skagit Paddle

Werner has established themselves as makers of innovative, high quality paddles. They take no exception to this standard, even at the bottom of the price range. The Werner Skagit paddle and Werner  Tybee Paddle are exceptional paddles for a serious value.


The Skagit is a classic low angle design that provides comfortable, relaxed paddle strokes. It’s the same design found in their high end Camano paddle, only made with more cost effective materials. The injection molded blades are fiberglass reinforced, giving them a fair amount of rigidity. The blades don’t feel as flimsy as other options in the price range. The carbon shaft is very rigid and light weight, and features a ferrule that eliminates any play in the shaft. When both halves are joined, it feels very close to a one piece paddle.

The Tybee features the same durable construction as the Skagit, in a high angle design. The oversized blades are capable of immense power, and are very smooth through the water. The Tybee makes an excellent bang around paddle since the reinforced nylon blades can handle some serious abuse. Most manufacturers don’t make inexpensive, true high angle paddles. With the Tybee, you get a similar design and feel to a high end touring paddle, at a fraction of the cost.


Either the Skagit or the Tybee make an outstanding first paddle. They will inspire confidence and encourage growth and proper technique. They also make exceptional spare paddles. They are bomb proof, inexpensive and will feel similar to your primary paddle.

– Meloy Ady

Werner Powerhouse

I’ve been using my Werner Powerhouse for the last few months and I couldn’t be happier with the way it performs out there on the river.  The Powerhouse is everything you expect a Werner Paddle to be: light weight, extremely tough and durable, well made (in the U.S.A. no less!) and engineered to feel like no other paddle out there on the market.  The Powerhouse is the perfect blade shape and size for creekers and river runners who want the most performance out of their paddle, providing ample catch and punch to each stroke with a clean, smooth finish that won’t wear you out.  The Powerhouse features a carbon shaft that is light weight, stiff and strong, as well as beautifully crafted laminate blades that combine to create a perfectly balanced paddle that feels like a dream .  Werner’s Neutral-Bent shaft is outstandingly comfortable to use, and it sure is nice to be able to feel where your hands are supposed to be when rolling after partying down in a hole for a while!  Simply put, the Powerhouse is the lightest and toughest whitewater paddle on the market, and its flawless design is backed up by Werner’s legendary customer service, why use anything else?

-Dave Trageser

Saltwood Paddles: Reggie

Photo: Saltwood Paddles

November 2011

I’ve been using a Saltwood Paddles Reggie for several months now, and it has quickly earned its place as my paddle of choice for touring, surfing, and whitewater. The balsa core in the carbon blades gives a nice lift when exiting the water without feeling too buoyant, and the crisp edge of the blade catches smooth and slices cleanly through the water when linking strokes. The buoyancy of the wood shaft gives a unique feel when rolling, and the indexing gives positive grip. Saltwood Paddles are made here in Portland by boaters for boaters. For more info, check out their website here!

-Jason Self

Werner Corryvrecken Carbon Paddle

Powerful, lightweight, rigid and smooth: When combined, the preceding adjectives perfectly describe the Werner Corryvrecken Carbon. For those seeking power, the over-sized blades are unrivaled in touring paddles. With a surface area of 710 sq cm, you will go farther and faster with each stroke. Efficiency is one of the most important aspects of touring, and a large, stiff blade makes all the difference in the world. When paddle blades are made of flimsy materials, you can feel them flutter and flex through the water. This has a significant impact on energy transfer. The Corryvrecken’s carbon laminate blades are extremely rigid for a smooth, controlled and powerful feel through the water. Bracing is effortless as well, it feels as though the paddle is planted in solid ground.

The high angle design greatly improves forward momentum. The closer the paddle is to the center line of the boat, the less energy you waste turning and correcting while traveling from point A to B. I’m 6’0″ tall and i find that my 210cm Corryvrecken is the perfect length for versatility. It’s short enough for aggressive, high-angle paddling, yet has enough length to allow a relaxed stroke when need be. The Corryvrecken is a fantastic paddle whether you get the straight shaft or bent. The bent shaft is easier on your joints, but it primarily boils down to preference. I chose the bent shaft version because I like a very pronounced index, the paddle is always exactly where you want it to be. Regardless of your choice, you will never be disappointed with a Carbon Corryvrecken. It’s astounding that Werner created such a durable and versatile high performance paddle that weighs less than 2 lbs. I will be using this paddle for many years to come.

-Meloy Ady

New SUP Paddles by Werner

Released by Werner on Aug 25th 2008:

Werner Paddle Company has released a new line of SUP paddles available at the end of 2008. The new Stand up surf board paddles  are top quality and just what you would expect from Werner. Below is an exert  from the Werner blog and link.

Click here to view the Werner Blog

“Werner Paddles has announced the introduction of two new Stand Up Paddles:  The Werner Advantage and the Werner Carve. Both paddles will be available to ship beginning September 01, 2008.

As participation explodes in the Stand Up Paddle category, Werner is responding with new paddle designs that focus on the two aspects of the sport, touring and surfing.

Wpadvantageface The Advantage is a Premium fiberglass laminate construction blade with a modified tear drop shape designed to optimize straight ahead efficiency for touring.

Wpcarveface The Carve consists of the same construction as the Advantage but the shape is smaller, longer and more slender, specifically designed for dynamic surfing and turning.

Both the Advantage and the Carve come with a fiberglass oval indexed shaft and ABS Palm-grip.  Werner offers three shaft configurations. The 1-piece is the lightest weight option and is least expensive ($219).  The 2–piece is perfect for paddlers who travel with their paddle ($234).  The Adjustable length telescopes with four settings, each 1.5 inches apart; perfect for those individuals who move between touring and surfing ($259).

“Stand Up Paddling is a real growth opportunity for surf and paddle sports dealers. We are excited to expand our Stand Up Paddle offerings to respond to the specific demands of the market,” says Jim Miller, Werner’s Marketing Manger. ” ”

The Alder Creek and Canoe staff has had a chance to see these paddles in person. We all agree the quality of construction is what we would expect to see produced by the Werner Paddle Company.  A few stand up surf boards, by Laird Hamilton,  have found a way into the Alder Creek line up. We expect to see this evolving sport become more popular going into 2009. Below is a link to Laird Hamilton using the stand-up surfboard on ABC News.

Check out our selection of SUP paddles!