Split paddles have been an essential part of kit lists for years and the question is always asked what are the best splits??
I can conclude the Werner 4 piece split paddles are the best split paddles period.
If I could end the review there I would but I feel I need to give some more explanation.
Over the past month I’ve managed to travel about Europe both driving and flying, when one of my friends came to join the fun In Austria all I had were cranked paddles with her preferring straight shaft sticks I was left with lending her the splits. She was impressed and never once commented about them (which is always a good sign) They held up well and have since gone back into a boat for another while.
So then again a few weeks later as I flew into France with no paddle, having sold the splits to a friends canoe club earlier in the season I was leant them back to use on a creeking mission, always slightly apprehensive on using splits as a primary paddle off we went,
Quite honestly it held up as well as any single piece paddle From the first stroke the only difference I noticed was the blade size and length, usually I use a 203cm 30degree Shogun so a 194cm glass Sherpa was always going to feel difference but a few strokes in and I was away, the blade felt smooth and clean catching the water as id expect from a solid paddle and zero instability on the joints,
The paddle comes predrilled to go 45 degrees left or right hand or zero degree, so I set it to right hand and off we went,
After 3 days and nearly 30km of paddling on some of France’s steepest rivers at no point did I ever feel my paddle wasn’t up to the task,
The carbon Shaft is stiff and strong the Glass blades offer just enough flex to take much of the pressure off of impact’s and especially when rubbing down walls, The glass blades tend to wear down over time instead of chipping ofr cracking like many other materials.
If you want a paddle you can safely paddle off of any river of any grade this is your only option the light weight carbon shaft and glass blades mean when being carried its as light as it gets and once together you will notice no performance lost in your split paddle option.
Werner will build the 4pc to your personal preference but think of your group what’s going to be most useful personally anyone could use a Sherpa as its the mid size option but the Powerhouse could be on the large size for some paddlers. So I use a Sherpa 194cm as my preferred split option as many of the guys I paddle with are much smaller than me.
This is definitely a tried and tested piece of kit which will be coming with me on every adventure.
They aren’t the cheapest option but certainly in this case you pay for what you get.