Select Paddles W1 Ultra Review

Another unique import designed to do something clever, the W1 Ultra is an adjustable shaft kayak paddle from French manufacturer Select Paddles. The build quality of the full carbon/Kevlar lay-up, including versatile river running/freestyle blades, is top-notch, but the changeable shaft length—a first for whitewater kayak paddles—is what really grabbed our attention.

The W1 bent shaft adjusts up to five centimetres, while a straight shaft gives you 10 centimetres to play with. Both also feature limitless feather adjustment. The offset placement of the ferrule lock reduces the likelihood of a break mid-shaft but creates a slight off-balance in paddle swing. The ferrule itself uses an Allen key lock—slip-proof, but we don’t recommend working the tiny metal key with numb fingers anywhere near moving water.

All Select Paddles are also available with a standard one-piece shaft. Available from Kayak Import, | $399

This article originally appeared in Rapid magazine, Early Summer 2010. Download our free iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch App or Android App or read it here.


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