First up in our head-to-head comparison of Werner touring paddles will be the Camano versus the Kalliste. Both of these paddles represent the mid-range (with respect to blade area) of Werner’s low-angle touring paddles. The blade area makes these two paddles well suited for stronger, injury-free paddlers and those who are looking to get more power out of their strokes and braces. Both paddles feature Werner’s adjustable ferrule system and come in a variety of options (small shaft, neutral-bent shaft, various lengths, ect). Otherwise, here’s the apples to apples comparison:
Layup: Carbon shaft with fiberglass blades (Premium); Carbon shaft with carbon blades (Performance)
Weight: 28oz (Premium); 26.5oz (Performance)
Blade Size: 650cm2
Cost (MSRP): $275 (Premium); $350 (Performance)
Feel on the water: Paddling with the Camano in your hands is an absolute dream! This paddle offers a sturdy catch with sustained power and absolutely no flutter throughout the duration of the stroke. The blade area provides impeccable stability for sculling and bracing while remaining nicely balanced for efficiency on those long paddles. Overall this is an excellent paddle!
Layup: Carbon shaft with carbon performance core blades (Performance Core).
Blade Size: 650cm2
Cost (MSRP): $400
Feel on the water: The exceptionally low weight of the Kalliste gets high marks but that’s the best that I can report for this paddle. This paddle offers a sturdy catch but the foam core in the blades makes it relatively unstable throughout the stroke with noticeable flutter. The additional buoyancy of the foam core also makes the blade seek the surface which further destabilizes the stroke. The smooth power face allows for fluid transitions, sculling and bracing. Overall this is a good paddle but leaves some performance to be desired.
This one is a no-brainer; the Camano takes this head-to-head match-up in a landslide! There’s no getting around the fact that the Camano blade shape is at the head of its class. Its stability and power from catch to release is bar none! One would think that the low weight of the Kalliste would earn this performance core paddle higher marks. In my opinion, the foam core in the blades of this paddle is a bit too much and throws off the stability of an otherwise solid blade shape. The more reliable stability and lower cost of the Camano make this paddle the clear winner.
Next up is the Little Dipper vs the Athena