Ikelos carbon, high-angle, touring paddle
Surface Area: 710 sq cm
Blade Length x Width: 49 x 20cm
Weight for 210cm
Straight Shaft: 680g/24oz
Neutral Bent Shaft: 751g/26.5oz
Straight Shaft: 205-230cm
Neutral Bent Shaft: 205-230cm
Werner’s Ikelos kayak touring paddle is a lightweight, big-bladed beauty. According to Werner, “The Ikelos is an aggressive High Angle design for well conditioned and experienced paddlers who want a durable paddle with a powerful catch and smooth linking strokes.” So, when I was looking for another paddle to supplement my mid-size, low-angle Werner Camano, the Ikelos seemed the perfect choice.
My local paddlesport shop helped size me (Werner also has a slick online fit guide) and I chose a 210cm, straight-shaft model.
The Ikelos feels featherlight in the hand, and its black carbon-fiber shaft and blades glisten in the sunlight, upholding Werner’s usual excellent fit and finish and quality of construction. Like all their Performance Core paddles, the Ikelos is comprised of outer layers of carbon molded over an interior core of lightweight, rigid foam, creating a paddle with less swing weight and more stiffness than conventional solid construction.
On The Water
The Ikelos’ knifelike edge and light weight offers a clean entry and hookup when grabbing that first handful of water, and a smooth stability throughout the stroke, with no tendency to flutter when under a strong pull. With its big barndoor blades, the Ikelos feels solid even when bracing in rough water. In fact, perhaps I should say, especially in big water and conditions, since that’s why I bought mine. Despite its large surface area and solid plant, the Ikelos does not place undue strain on the shoulders or arms when driven with good paddling form and torso rotation, even on touring days of many miles with a loaded boat. And, with their buoyant foam-cores and broad surface area, the blades practically set themselves up for a roll.
In The Long Run
I’ve paddled the Ikelos for three full seasons now, in a variety of conditions. I am still impressed by its overall performance, and it’s easy to see why Werner so dominates the paddle market. My only minor complaint involves Werner’s Adjustable Ferrule System. It’s a slick feature, with a flush release button and internal retention mechanism which allows the feather angle to be easily adjusted in increments of 15 degrees, from 0 to 75 degrees in each direction.
In general, the ferrule is indeed easy to use, but both of my Werner paddles which utilize this fine-tolerance mechanism have experienced intermittent problems with jamming in the open position, allowing the paddle to slip apart and refusing to remain together. Despite avid care to keep the ferrule free of dirt, sand, and the lubricants which attract them, this has happened to me and a couple of friends, the only cure being to blast the recessed device with a garden hose and pry it loose with a long screwdriver. If this minor problem persists, I’ll consider calling or sending the paddle in for Werner’s highly-respected customer service.
Hits: light weight, quality construction, smooth hydrodynamics, solid on-the-water feel
Misses: intermittent jamming of adjustable ferrule system