For the past couple years, I have been using a Werner Cyprus, which is a great paddle overall, however, I have bought two of them and the locking ferrule broke on both of them. I’ve written about this in more detail here, but the end result is I was stuck with a taped together two piece paddle.
When it came time to buy a new paddle, in this case for an upcoming trip where I can’t just throw my paddle into the back of the truck and instead need a working two piece paddle, I simply couldn’t justify spending any more money on a two piece Werner, given how many issues I’ve had, as well as heard/seen, with their ferrule.
I began to look for alternatives to the Cyprus and ended up getting a Lendal Cadence, as the paddle was a similar size/weight to the Werner Cyprus, but uses a locking lever, their version is called a Leverlok, as opposed to a spring powered push button locking system like Werner’s.
I took it out on the lake right after I got it, but this weekend, I was able to put it through its paces a bit, during a 17 mile circumnavigation of Bear Island.
For the most part, we didn’t do a ton of surfing, but I did catch a few waves and there was plenty of rough water, so I got a good feel for the paddle.
Total Distance: 16.98 Miles
Max Speed: 13.21 MPH
Average Speed: 2.98 MPH
Moving Average: 3.17 MPH
Duration: 5.7 Hours
Description of Trip
This was my second time circumnavigating Bear Island, although the first time we paddled in the Intercoastal Waterway, while this time we hugged the rear of the island.
We had the tide working in our favor and the wind to our back as we left Bogue Inlet and paddled ocean side to Bear Inlet, so we made great time following the outgoing tide and then had a very nice push to our back.
We did a bit of surfing on our way down. There was a sand bar or low area most of the way, so the waves would break once a little ways from shore, then again once they got closer. We spent most of our time in-between these two breaks.
We ended up being a bit early coming through the inlet and the water was still quite low, making it slow going as we made our way behind Bear Island. The swell in the inlet itself was a lot bigger, or at least consistently bigger, than what we had paddled through, but there was a relatively short area where it was actually breaking and we made it through without incident.
After completing our circumnavigation, we paddled out one more time into Bogue Inlet, then turned around to ride some of the following seas and play in the confused seas on our way back to our put in.
First Impressions of the Lendal CadencePaddle
Obviously, it will take some time, like a a year or so, to generate a useful review of the Lendal Cadence paddle, so I will do a followup once I have used it more. However, my first impressions are quite favorable.
The paddle is light, but feels quite strong. Unlike the Cyprus, which has a round handle, the Cadence has an oval shape to it. This will take some getting used to, as I’ve not paddled an indexed paddle for any extended period of time, but it was comfortable.
Rolling, surfing, and other paddling maneuvers were comfortable using the new paddle.
Compared to the Cyprus, the biggest difference is the surface area of the paddle blade, as well as not having the buoyancy feel that you get with a Werner foam blade.
The Cadence has a surface area of 570 CM, compared to the 610 CM of the Cyprus. (In retrospect, I think I should have gotten the CadenceX, which has a surface area of 650 CM.)
However, even with the reduced paddle size, I didn’t have any trouble keeping up with my partner who was paddling using a Cyprus.
The difference in buoyancy will take a bit of getting used to though, as that really does make the Cyprus have a very light feel and is a noticeable difference between the two paddles.
The Leverlok is great so far and seems like a far superior design, but really the real test will be in a year or two to see how it holds up. However, as it stands right now, it appears to be a much better thought out and engineered system than Werner’s locking ferrule.
I did a day paddle at Emerald Isle this week. There was very little wind and swell was pretty small, but as usual, the play spot near the point of the island delivered. There was also some neat confused seas out towards the middle of inlet, just on the inside of the boat channel, where we played for a little bit, before heading over to Bear Island for lunch.
Most notable was probably my buried bow, where I pearled a lot on a steep, but small, wave and managed to recover. It is difficult to tell from the video, but I was leaning back pretty aggressively, which, along with the water not being a foot shallower, I credit for not loosing it there.
There were also a couple close calls, where I was a bit too close for comfort to my paddling partner.
Yesterday, a buddy and I completed a relatively short 9 mile paddle from the public access on Emerald Isle to Bear Island and back.
When we checked Magic Seaweed for Bogue Pier, it was predicting 1 foot seas by around noon, after 2-3 foot seas the previous day/evening. However, this seemed at odds with the wind speed reported by both Windy and Magic Seaweed, as they were both calling for an onshore wind with gusts around 30 MPH for most of the day.
Upon arrival at the public beach access, we took a quick look at the surf before offloading our boats. It was definitely still over 1 foot, with several 3+ foot breaking waves.
However, the biggest issue was the wind. It was blowing hard enough that even on waves that were far away, a noticeable amount of spray was being pushed off each wave. It was also a very strong sustained wind.
After a few minutes of watching the surf, we decided to put in and got our gear together, then launched and began paddling in a southern direction towards the Bogue Inlet. With such a strong wind to our faces/side, communication was difficult and it took a fair bit of mental energy to push through it. There were times when the sustained wind gusts seemed to go on for several minutes before dying down.
We briefly toyed with the idea of doing some surfing, but decided that with the strong wind and relatively short interval between waves, it probably wasn’t a good idea.
Instead, we opted to push down to bear island, take a break, then head back. Our hope was that if the surf report was correct, the winds would start dying down by the time we started paddling back and worst case, the wind would at least be more towards our back and we could take some advantage of the following seas.
There was some minor shoaling around the point of Emerald Isle, as there usually is, but we picked a path close to the beach and skirted most of that, heading into the inlet. Rather than go directly across Bouge Inlet, we paddled into the inlet for about 1/3 of a mile, before turning back and heading towards Bear Island, setting a ferry angle to take into account the strong wind.
There was some minor shoaling this way, but much less than if we had gone straight across from Emerald Isle. However, I still ended up unintentionally surfing a bit as we worked through the colpitis seas.
On Bear Island, we got into the Baffi Bag(which it turns out I have no idea how you actually spell) and while the wind howled around us, enjoyed some warm tea and snacks. Occasionally, one of us peaked our head out the bag to make sure our boats were still clear of the rising tide and hadn’t blown away.
Due to the wind, we had a brief safety talk before leaving. If one of us went over during the crossing, it might not be possible to hear a scream, so we discussed radio channels and also reiterated the importance of keeping an eye on one another.
We got a nice push across the inlet, with some following seas and made it back around the point by going in between the breakers close to the beach, as we had on our way out.
With the wind to our back, the paddling was much easier and after two miles, my paddling partner said ‘this looks surfable’ and so we decided to do some playing. There ended up being a brief respite in the wind and some fun breaking waves, so we surfed for about 3 miles along the beach on our way back to the take out.
During a short break, we discussed paddling an additional 4 miles(round trip) down to the pier, so we could checkout some of the damage from the hurricane. A section was missing, which neither of us had seen, so we were keen to take a look and the surfing was fun, but we decided against it.
In the end, it did seem like the wind died down some as predicted, but as we were loading our boats, it picked up again, making us glad we hadn’t gone down to the pier and back.
Distance: 9.14 Miles
Average Speed: 2.3 MPH
Moving Average: 3.2 MPH
Distance: 5.88 Miles
Average Speed: 2.5 MPH
Moving Average: 3.3 MPH
Distance: 3.8 Miles
Average Speed: 3 MPH
Moving Average: 3.1 MPH
Distance: 2 Miles
Average Speed: 3.8 MPH
Moving Average: 4 MPH
Distance: 3.26 MPH
Average Speed: 2MPH
Moving Average: 3.1 MPH
Top Speed: 9.9 MPH
I had my last paddle of the year today at Falls Dam.
The US Army Corps cut the release rate down from around 5,000 CFS to 2500 CFS last Thursday. I believe this was in order to reduce down stream flooding along the Neuse River ahead of some rain.
On Saturday, we discussed heading out to the dam to play on Monday morning, assuming they hadn’t increased the release rate by then.
Fortunately for us, they still hadn’t cranked it up at 8:30 when we got on the water and there was a light rain, so we ended up with a wonderfully overcast and cool paddle.
I think for surfing, the sweet spot is a bit lower, closer to 1400 – 1800 CFS.
At the higher rate(2400 – 3000 CFS), I spent less time surfing and more time practicing my ferries and peel outs. My paddle partner, who wears a heart monitor, noted that his heart rate was higher during our session today than it generally gets during his sprint work at the lake.
This made sense to me, as I had noticed that in the first 5 minutes, I was expending more energy and could actually feel my heart beating, than I could over the course of our 13 mile sea kayak surf session the other day.
The US Corps ended up turning the release up by around 600 CFS after we had been paddling for about an hour. I sort of noticed the difference in the back of my mind, but the changes didn’t really click until later when I looked at the water levels during our run and could look at it in retrospect.
In total, we paddled about 3.7 miles, over the course of 2 hours.
Our moving average was close to 2.7 MPH, with a top speed of 9.2 MPH.
The area we were playing in by the bridge and release point is about .07 miles of river, which is where most of that 3.7 miles came from.
As luck would have it, a local photographer, Wayne, was there and took these awesome shots.
I have owned two Werner Cyprus Paddles, which is one of their nicer carbon fiber high angle paddles. I love the design of the paddle, it has a great weight, and the added buoyancy of their carbon blades is great.
However, in what is relatively short order given the cost of these paddles, both have had problems with the locking ferrule system, which holds the two ends of the paddle together.
I bought my second Werner Cyprus assuming that I had been too rough or careless with the first and that this was the reason the button failed and would no longer work to lock the paddles together. The second one ended up failing similarly and like the first one, the button just never seemed to work that well.
As a result of my experience, in addition to talking with others who have faced the same issue with Werner’s two piece paddles, I think it is likely less to do with me being careless and more that their adjustable ferrule system is poorly engineered or designed.
The Problem With Werner Two Piece Paddles
Ultimately, both my Werner paddles failed in more or less the same way.
The button stopped pushing up on its own, would no longer reliably pop-out and lock when you pushed the paddles together, and sometimes it was nearly impossible to get the paddles apart.
After only a few paddles, I noticed something was wrong with the button on my first paddle and reached out to the guy who I purchased it from, a Werner Dealer, who provided instructions on how to wash out the paddle.
This was my first high-end paddle and admittedly I was a bit rough on it. Although it got washed well with clean water after each use, I hadn’t really understood how sensitive the button was, so had pushed it down too far a few times(which is a no-no with Werner paddles). I also had to do a repair on the blades after doing some whitewater with it and banging it on a rock.
So, when it got to the point where it wouldn’t consistently lock on it’s own, I decided to buy a new one believing that I just had done a poor job taking care of it.
I was much more careful with my second Cyprus, making a point to never push the button down further than necessary(because it will get stuck) and never taking it to the pool, because I thought maybe it was the chlorine that caused the spring/button not to work on the first paddle.
I got a bit more use out of this one, but it ended up failing in the same manner as the first.
I think the problem is several fold:
Internal Spring: The spring is either too weak and/or made of poor quality metal for a coastal environment.
There is no guide for the button, so if you depress it further than the depth of the shaft(only a few millimeters), it gets stuck and won’t come back up(this is compounded by spring issues)
I believe as you put the two ends together, the button needs to be depressed a little bit and is supposed to move down slightly on it’s own and then pops back out locking. However, the guide/internals pieces that force it back up don’t appear to work well.
The above are my best guess after having given the issue some thought and discussing it with other paddlers, but it is possible there are other things going on.
The end result though is that I have a two-piece paddle that I just tape together, as a piece of electrical tape works better and is more reliable than the Werner Ferrule System.
The Paddle is Fine, You Just Suck at Washing Out Your Gear
If you do any research on this issue or talk to people about it, undoubtedly you are going to get advice on how the paddle needs to be washed out after each use and depending on how close you are to the person, how poorly of a job you are doing.
In fact, when I contacted Werner about this and more or less provided all the same info in this posting, they started out the email with:
I am sorry that you have been experiencing some issues with salt and grit in your ferrule systems.
It isn’t surprising they lead the email with a warranty get out of free card and while it is entirely possible I just suck at washing out my gear, I am one of the more anal people I know about washing my gear.
All my gear gets washed out after each use with clean water as soon as is possible, which is often less than 1 hour after I get off the water. Doesn’t matter if it is lake, river, pool, or salt water, I spray everything down after each paddle.
After my first Werner Paddle failure, I was even more diligent about caring for my paddle. I generally use this process:
Spray paddle completely top/bottom
Take paddle apart, spray again, making sure to get inside/outside of the ferrule
For the piece with the button, extra time is spent spraying off the inside.
Then, while the button was working, I would work the button slightly while sprayin inside and out of paddle
When the button stopped working on its own, I used my long finger to push button up/down slightly while spraying inside/out
When that no longer worked, I used a piece of metal to carefully work the button while spraying inside/out
Spray inside of paddle, outside of paddle, button area, etc one last time.
Let dry so water drains from paddle
When putting it together again the next time you use it, inspect and clean with water
From discussing this with others, I have heard soaking them and using a bit of dish soap may help. And in fact one of the times it got stuck together, I was able to get it free by soaking it at the lake, while pulling on it under water for 20 minutes.
Regardless I think the steps I take to wash it out would be sufficient to keep it in working order.
Tips for Getting it Together
Before the Werner paddle got to the point where it didn’t really work at all, I had a few tricks that seemed to work for getting it together:
The button only needs to be depressed very slightly. Don’t push it any further than needed to take apart or put together.
Use long finger to push button up from inside
Fill both ends with water and slam them together, combing with finger trick. The water pressure seemed to force button out
The button will work itself up as you paddle, so often it will start out a little depressed, but by end of day actually pop out. So, if it is locked, don’t worry if the button is still a bit depressed
If they are stuck together, try putting the paddle behind your knees crouching down slightly and pulling apart. I’m not sure why this works, possibly because it forces you to keep the two ends straighter, but I have seen this work in some cases.
Other people I have spoken with have described similar sorts of tricks and several mentioned carrying a screwdriver or wood piece of some sort as a fix in-case it came apart while on a trip and they needed to get the button back out.
Taping it Together
Even when I was able to get the paddle apart, I would often use tape on it, as it wasn’t actually locked. After awhile of fighting the button, I decided it was better to just leave the paddle taped together and turn it into a one-piece paddle.
A bit of electrical tape around the seam is effective and it had gotten to the point I never knew if I would be able to get the paddle together at the put-in. On multi-day trips, I was scared to take it apart, because I didn’t want to end up without a paddle in the middle of know where.
An Un-Official Survey
I initially thought this was something I was doing until a surf session a year or two ago. One of the paddlers had the same Werner Cyprus I use and had taken it apart during lunch break, but could not get it back together. I showed him my finger trick and was able to get it locked and we finished up the day.
A few months later, I met a different paddler who had a Werner Cyprus paddle and was having issues at the put-in getting it together. I showed him the filling the paddle with water trick, as my finger trick didn’t work, and was able to get it locked.
A little while after that, someone I know who had bought a bent shaft Cyprus described his frustration with the locking system.
After this, I began to realize that maybe it wasn’t just me and so whenever I see someone paddling with a Werner I ask them about it(that is how I got the soaking/dish-soap tip).
To date, I personally know 4 people with Werner Cyprus paddles with the same issues described above. I also know 3 others who I’m not sure what paddle they have, but have faced this issue.
Among these people are instructors, trainers, dealers, and some very advanced paddlers. Most have indicated that they know others with this issue and that it is a fairly common problem with Werner Paddles.
At least one person has received a warranty replacement for it, but said it was years ago while there were issues with Celtic paddles breaking and thought Werner might have been a bit more keen to fix the issue given the time.
Does this only happen to the Werner Cyprus?
4 of the people I know with issues also have Cyprus paddles, although I’m unsure what the other 3 used(they had all switched to Celtics). The Cyprus is a great paddle otherwise and one of their top rated, so it could be just that serious sea kayakers are more likely to go with the Cyprus more than anything else.
However, one of the people has an old fiberglass Shuna, which works as you would expect even though it has been his spare paddle for years and probably doesn’t get washed out as well as his main paddle. It isn’t clear if it is the model or they changed designs at some point, but the button on his Shuna feels great.I also know someone else with a new Shuna that feels a lot better than mine, although to be fair, it has only been used a few times as of the writing of this post and only in very sanitary conditions.
I think it is more likely that the common thread, is that everyone I have talked to is a coastal kayaker and most are very active, with 1+ paddles a week.
Despite how much I like the design of the Cyprus, my next paddle is not going to be a Werner. I am leaning towards a Celtic paddle, as I think the lever-lock system they use seems to be vastly superior to Werner’s.
While I would probably recommend a one-piece Werner, I would not recommend anyone that is a serious paddler(especially a sea kayaker) go with a two piece Werner Paddle.
I think at the end of the day, even if it is truly an issue of grime/sand/dirty getting in there, which I am not convinced is 100% of the problem, I feel like the fact that it happens at all and seems to be rather common is indicative of a larger problem with the design.
If you have a drysuit, there is a better than average chance you burp it and if not, have probably have an opinion on why not to.
Burping a drysuit is when you force the air out of it, usually by squatting as you open the neck gasket a little bit. This lets a lot of the air out of the suit.
Personally, I always burp my suit because I find that being in the water with a drysuit full of air is uncomfortable/weird.
However, I discovered another good reason to do it periodically.
A few weeks ago, I squatted down to burp my suit and felt a rush of air come out the neck. This is because the neck gasket wasn’t fully sealing and air was finding a way out. I was able to get to fit a bit better, but it was clear that the gasket was wearing out and no longer working correctly, especially when I would roll and feel a tingle of water down the back of my neck.
Of course, regularly swimming is probably more important for testing, but in this case, I got a nice heads up that the gasket needed to be replaced before I even got on the water.
Replacing the Gasket
I ended up replacing the gasket on my own and so far, think it is working well. Kokatat has a video on how to replace it and the place I bought it from included a helpful printout that was much more detailed.
I opted to make my own “tool” rather than purchase the official Kokatat neck gasket tool for $60-80.
Finding a circle to make the clamp was a little tricky. I went to the local craft store and I think a floral craft ring might work well, but they didn’t have one in the right size. In the end, I found a spool of wire in the garage that had a heavy-duty cardboard top that was almost perfect.
The diameter was 9.5″, which seemed to be about right for my drysuit, although it is possible a 10″ circle might work better. For the outside clamp, which is basically a circle cut in half with the center missing, I found that a 1.5″ wide outer circle band worked well. I initially tried 2.5″, but that was too tight to fit around the rest of the gasket.
I think it more or less went well, although next time am going to go with a little less glue and be more careful putting it on. I ended up with a slight overhang on one end, a bit more glue then I would like squishing out from between the old and new gasket, and a few spots f glue on the inside of the gasket.
Otherwise, I am pleased with the results, although still need to do a proper float/roll test later in the week.
Recently, a friend and I completed a 18.4 Mile Circumnavigation around Holden Beach, a barrier island along the southern end of North Carolina. This was a bit of a spur of the moment trip, but we decided to jump on it, as the sea state was very calm(0-1′ swell) and there was almost no wind.
We headed towards the coast later afternoon on Thursday to spend the night in an AirBnB just outside of the Holden Beach/Shallote area. The AirBnB was rustic to say the least, as it was a permanent camper truck, behind a mobile home, in a trailer park.
The next morning, we woke early and headed to Holden Beach to eat breakfast at the Main Street Grill, before heading across the new bridge. We stopped briefly to take a look at the ocean, before returning to the wildlife access boat ramp immediately under the bridge.
Working Against the Tide
The put-in was only about a mile from Lockwoods Folly Inlet and when we launched at 8:30, tide was going out and close to mid-cycle, as high tide was around 7AM. Instead of taking the easy ride out Lockwoods Folly Inlet, we opted to paddle South down the Inter Coastal Waterway towards Shallotte Inlet.
This put us working against the tides initially, but we hypothesized that about halfway down the island, we would get a bit of a push as we neared the other inlet. If we had gone out Lockwoods Folly Inlet, it would have been a very fast ride, but given it was only a mile or so, it would also have been short lived.
It took about 5 miles or so, but we eventually felt the current go slack a bit and noticed the downstream V was less pronounced on the markers/pilings. At this point, we picked up some speed and went from a slow 2.5-3MPH up to 5-6MPH.
We reached Shallotte Inlet in about 7 miles and since the sea state was so calm, cautiously paddled out the inlet, before taking a short break ocean side.
Since there was almost no wind and swell, the ocean was much like glass and we made quick work of the ocean side paddle. We stopped once by the Holden Beach Pier, then paddled down a bit further and stopped ocean side by the bridge.
Killing Some Time
High-tide wasn’t until 2PM and we didn’t want to head back through the Lockwoods Folly Inlet until the tide has changed, but it was a short paddle and we had about an hour to kill.
While by the pier, we had spoken with a local who told us there was a coffee shop a little further down and gave us a few landmarks to look for, so we could locate it from the ocean.
Unfortunately, since it was off-season, the coffee shop was closed and there weren’t any other open restaurants on the island side.
So, after a short walk around town, we headed back to our boats and decided to push on.
A Little Surf Play
Holden beach is pretty steep and with the low tide, small swell/wind, we didn’t have any opportunities to surf as we made our way around the island. The swell wasn’t breaking until it was right on the beach and I didn’t feel like riding it in that close.
However, as we were about to launch, I spotted a bit of an off-shore break close to the inlet and got a few nice rides as we made our way back towards the inlet.
Lockwoods Folly Inlet at Low-Tide
We were still a bit ahead of schedule and so when we hit Lockwoods Folly Inlet, it was at low tide. At low tide, there were several very pronounced sandbars and a few nice breaks off-shore, but we decided to head back to the car instead of playing.
We managed to make it through the shallows, but really were pushing it. It would have been better to wait about 1 hour after the posted high-tide or go a bit wider and through the channel, as it was very shallow.
As we rounded the corner back into the inter-coastal waterway, we had to fight the current a bit, but as soon as we made it round, started to get a push again.
As we ended the trip, we both caught a nice swell ride from a passing boat and got our highest speed of the day, 9.5 miles.
Overall, it was an excellent quick trip and marks another off our list of barrier island circumnavigations!
Total Distance: 18.4 Miles Average Speed: 2.6 MPH Moving Average: 3.6 MPH Top Speed: 9.5 MPH
Two weeks ago, I was able to get in two nice surf days at Emerald Isle. Myself and several other paddlers, put in at the public beach access on Emerald Isle, about 3 miles from the point, paddled down to the inlet and bear island, then back. We ended up paddling around 15 miles the first day and a little over 13 the next. Magic Seaweed had conditions at 1-2 ft the first day, dropping to closer to 1 ft the next. Windy had primary swell a little higher.
The second day, Sunday, was initially supposed to be only 0-1 ft according to Magic Seaweed, but they updated their forecast sometime Saturday night/evening and in-fact towards the end of the day, the swell in the inlet really picked up. We were also facing a very stiff wind in our face, so the paddle back ended up being a long three miles, where we were only averaging in the 2-2.5 mph range.
I got to paddle with several other talented sea kayakers and had a great time. Below is a quick video of me cutting through a wave, as well as some still shots from that.
The below is a map of our track and some stats:
Blue Line – 2018-10-13: 15.3 Miles, Max Speed 10.3 MPH, Moving Average 3.3 MPH, Time on Water 5:19
Orange Line – 2018-10-14: 13.3 Miles, Max Speed 9.1 MPH, Moving Average 3 MPH, Time on Water 5:34.
This is an unrelated Dam Roll from a recent paddle at Falls Dam:
This weekend, I got to do a little playing at Falls Dam as they were tapering off the release from all the water they got from Hurricane Florence. This was the first time in several months that I have been able to catch a release at the Dam. We have had a relatively dry spell for the past year or so and that, as well as scheduling, has made it difficult for me to get out there when they are releasing at a runnable rate.
So, when they dropped it down to around 2,300 CFS on Friday, I hopped on the chance to head out there, even though for me the sweet spot is closer to 1,500 – 2,000 CFS. I forgot to turn on my GPS on Friday, but the below is from the hour I spent playing at Falls Dam on Sunday morning:
For this trip, I was out for 1 hour and ended up paddling 1.67 miles, with a top speed of 6 MPH. It doesn’t sound like much when you consider that most of my paddles are 10+ miles, but it ends up being a lot of work, especially when you are working against over 2,000 CFS. I did a lot of ferrying and had a few nice surfs on the lower waves and by the bridge. Unfurtuantly, I didn’t have my camera with me, as I buried most of the front end of my boat one time as well.
As was pointed out to my by my buddy that first showed me this area, this is one of the best ways to work on your sea kayaking boat skills inland.
Edit 10/21/2018 – The below is from a different day, this time with a release of around 1450CFS. I paddled for about 2.5 hours, 3 miles, and a top speed of 7.6 MPH: