Sure, the kayak is the main attraction, but for whitewater kayakers, the paddle is doing all the work. And that means it is a piece of equipment paddlers are incredibly picky about.
Two of the most trusted names in paddle construction are Galasport and Werner. Galasport, with its racing pedigree, has been trusted by Olympians and is gaining popularity in the whitewater world. While Werner, with their roots in the Pacific Northwest, has been a whitewater heavyweight for decades. Simon Coward, owner of AQ Outdoors (AQ Outdoors is a paddling shop and school with locations in Calgary and Edmonton), is here to share his thoughts on two of the top whitewater paddles of today. The following is a transcript of his video review.
Top whitewater paddles go head-to-head
Simon here from AQ Outdoors checking in with a comparison between the Werner Sho-gun and the Galasport Manic bent shaft paddles.
The Galasport is new to me. I’ve only used it a dozen times or so. As you can see with the Werner, I’ve been using this one for many years, and it’s a paddle I really love.
Galasport Manic vs Werner Sho-gun
The main difference between these two paddles is the offset blade.
Galasport here has built-in 10 or 15 degrees of forward offset on the blade, which helps with the catch part of the paddle stroke. It gives you a little bit more reach on the stroke and, in turn, a little bit more power.
In a lot of ways, it’s more similar to the Werner Odachi than the Sho-gun. Comparing these two other than that, performance-wise, I think they’re very similar. Both provide a very smooth forward, reverse and sweep paddle stroke. There’s not a lot of flutter in either. They’re both fairly large blades that provide a very powerful stroke and are best suited for well-conditioned or very strong paddlers.
The cost difference between the Galasport Manic and Werner Sho-gun
The biggest difference between the two, realistically, is the price. The Galasport’s going to come in somewhere between $800 and $900 (CAD). The Werner is under $700. So, value-wise, the Sho-gun is winning there. But what you do get in the Galasport is this adjustable two-piece paddle. It’s much easier to travel with, and you can also adjust the length based on the boat you’re paddling.
So, between the two, I have to say I really like the feel of the Galasport bent shaft more than I do the Werner. But that’s just personal preference.
I really enjoy the offset blade and getting that additional power and length of stroke in the Galasport paddle. If you’re looking for the Werner version of that, the Odachi is going to be a more comparable paddle, but I haven’t really used the Odachi much. Just using these two as a comparison, that is the Galasport Manic versus the Werner Sho-gun.
AQ Outdoors offers retail and kayak instruction in Calgary and Edmonton. Learn more about their school and stores at AQOutdoors.com.