Paddle Power: Adjustable Paddles

adjustable paddles
Photo: JP Van Swae

Paddle Power: Adjustable Paddles

Werner Tonga
$199, WERNERPADDLES.COM
Werner has long made some of the most versatile, durable and high-quality paddles on the market. And that’s really what you want out of an adjustable. It’ll probably be your first blade, then you’ll pass it around for friends to try—and most of them won’t be the same size (we recommend the handle be only 2-4 inches above your head to protect your shoulders). Werner’s Tonga features a mid-sized blade for a wide range of paddlers and the fiberglass shaft is extremely durable. The Tonga is available in two- and three-piece versions.

Carbonerro 85 Adjustable
$265, CARBONERRO.COM
Carbonerro, from Chris Gutzeit in Santa Barbara, Calif., specializes in super-light, tough paddles that work for both surf and race. Their Cabonerro 85 Adjustable utilizes the Swiss Lock paddle adjustment: you simply twist the handle counterclockwise to loosen and adjust, then turn the handle clockwise to tighten to your liking. This quality adjustable is several ounces heavier than its sister paddles in the Carbonerro line, but it’s also got a sturdy, durable shaft that will stand up to the wear and tear of travel, or the abuse that comes with sharing.

Kialoa Insanity Fiberglass
$209, KIALOA.COM
Thanks to the craftsmanship of Dave Chun, Kialoa has built a lifetime cache of trust with the paddlesports community. The Insanity Fiberglass is the child of that dedication to quality. The Polypropelene fiberglass blade is relatively light for its durability and features Kialoa’s PowerARC™, a proprietary term for the blade’s angle that provides a clean, aggressive catch. So here’s the catch, the shaft is adjustable thanks to Kialoa’s LeverLock system, a nifty adjustable mechanism hidden in the handle that allows for 16 inches of adjustability and bomb-proof toughness that you barely notice.
This gear review originally ran in our 2014 Beginner’s Guide issue as “The Modern Adjustable.”

For more paddle options, check out the 2014 Gear Guide.
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