Werner Skagit Kayak Paddles

February 4, 2018
Werner Skagit Paddle Video
Submitted by: jamoaque

Rating: 10 of 10

This could be my favorite paddle. It is carbon-shafted and offers their "Smart-View" feathering adjustment. But the real reasons for a high rating are
1) how it feels to handle it and the firm, smooth control,
2) how light it is, and
3) the blade design seems to repel the water mostly outside the boat so that the drip rings don't even have much water drainage left to deal with. For this good of a paddle, the price is reasonable.
I have owned both the FG IM and the CF IM, so this review will cover both Skagit paddles. Currently own the CF IM.
First off, the Skagit is a great design for rec kayakers. Its light weight, smooth stroke really help save energy. I find the blade to be absolutely flutter-free during the stroke which allows a looser grip. I use my paddles to push off shore, push stuff out of the way, and sometimes keep my boat still while I'm getting into it, so I stuck with nylon blades of the Skagit.

The Smart-View ferrule is great, lots of adjustment, locks up tight every time, but most importantly when its locked together, there is nothing protruding from the shaft surface, its as close to a one-piece paddle as you can get while still having the storage/transport convenience of a two-piece! The ovalized grip area is also nice, its a lot more comfortable than a fully round shaft.

There are a lot of paddles in this price range, but I feel Werner is at the top because of the 0 flutter and the best ferrule design in the business. Honestly for most rec kayakers, the FG is fine. The CF is a tiny bit stiffer in the blades, and a tiny bit lighter, but its not worth the (full price) extra cost. I got mine on sale, and personally decided it was worth it then. At full MSRP, the Skagit FG IM is a great paddle for the rec kayaker or going for partial day tours.

Being new to Kayaking, I purchased a low end Kayak and Paddle from one of the local sports stores just because the price was right. In less then 30 days I knew I had to up-grade, so I sold my first Kayak and purchased another, keeping the old paddle. Two trips on the lake with my new yak I knew I needed a new paddle, the old one (aluminum) was wearing me out. So I did what most people do, searched the internet, looked at the demo tapes, read the reviews and became more and more confused. Taking my confusion with me I headed to REI to just talk with someone, 20 min. later I bought the Werner Skagit FGIM 230cm.

I have used the paddle everyday (see I am retired and fish every day) since and believe it is the best addition I have made, the paddle is GREAT! Even if it only lasted a season, it is money well spent, however it is more likely to last for sometime due to the fine workmanship. You can not go wrong with this paddle.

Submitted by: dancash

Rating: 9 of 10

I've had the 230 cm small shaft, CF model for two seasons, well into my third. It's my go-to paddle. It's tough. I've pushed off rocks, logs, mud, sand, and got stuck in ice crystals where I thought for sure I'd crack the blade trying to moosh through that stuff. I love this paddle.

I got the small shaft because my hands are small. With cold weather gloves it feels like a normal shaft and my hands last longer than with a normal shaft plus gloves. Long length because I paddle a loon 138 which is a very wide boat. I keep it slightly feathered because that's my natural tendency in open water.

The only complaint is that the decals for the feathering adjustment came off at the end of one season. It's possible that hard use combined with sun, rain, and encounters with sand bars might have been a little much. I emailed Werner and they sent me new decals but in the end I decided to just scratch some adjusting markers into the shaft pieces.

Aside from that, it's really holding up. I've used it hard, two or three times a month and a couple long camping trips. Rivers, creeks, and lakes only. No whitewater.

I'll replace it with the same model if I lose it or break it but I hope it lasts. I finally got it looking just the way I want. Scratched up, nicks at the edges, permanent mud stains from the Wisconsin River. It's beautiful.

Submitted by: informed I bought the Skagit as a back up paddle. I had used my wife's (although short for me) and I liked it. My primary paddle is a Camano and while it is basically the same, the blade materials make it a little heavier.

I feel it is a good buy for the price. It has the same features - adjustable paddle angles, etc.) as it's more expensive brothers. My uses for it is for a back paddle and a loaner paddle for guests that use one of our boats. I feel the blade material will actually be more durable than Werner's next price point, which is over double the price!

Very good buy for the money and good for many levels of paddle experience.

Submitted by: demmerich This is an outstanding kayak paddle for the money. Great for a beginning paddler who needs to match usability with economy. It's not the lightest paddle, but its weight isn't unreasonable at 34oz. This straight shaft paddle is also a great buy for the more experienced paddler who wants to toy with feathering. Adjustable to 60 degrees right or left at 15 degree increments, the Skagit allows lots of options to discover your best set up for paddling. It was this option that made me replace a lighter wooden paddle with the Skagit on an endurance paddle because I could adjust to head winds much easier.
I have the Skagit CF IM, and I love it. It's my first paddle, and it has served this beginner very well. Its oval grip is quite comfortable, and it has a solid feel - but is also light enough that I can handle it all day without tiring. It's also very durable and holds up well to rock encounters
This paddle is so versatile and great. Very light weight and work great for all around kayaking. I love how the paddle is collapsible for easy storage and the shaft fits great in my hands with no blisters and great grip even in rough water.
Submitted by: Pspector I purchased the Skagit after using a Seven for 5 years and have not been disappointed. The weight and design make paddling a very comfortable experience without any arm fatigue. I have also found the connection and feathering mechanism to be as advertised - easy to connect, adjust, and take apart.
Submitted by: morrowlong I acquired a pair of Werner Skagit paddles which had been used by a kayak/canoe rental and excursion company. They were in great shape and none the worse for wear. These are fiberglass and are extremely light. The amount of feathering allows for adjustment in increasing increments of 15 degrees and the paddle is very easy to take apart. The paddle blade is medium in size (e.g. not as large as the Aquabound paddle I use for sea kayaking).
I absolutely love my Werner Skagit paddle. It's lightweight and strong enough to bear my weight (240) when entering on open water. I particularly like the easy connectivity between the two shafts and the nice sync feel when they connect. The only complaint is that Werner is an expensive paddle no matter what level you're buying so they shouldn't cheap out on the looks of the lower end models. Kinda looks recreational level but performs like a pro.
Submitted by: SteveK

Rating: 8 of 10

I have a Werner Skagit FG IM in 230cm that I bought in 2011 to use with my Tsunami 140 kayak. It seem like an excellent paddle, far better than most other paddles I have used on borrowed boats. The current model ferrule system is brilliant, allowing the paddler to set nearly any angle of feathering you can imagine. Unlike my pricier Nimbus Mistral paddle, the ferrule on the Skagit is easier to break down for transport. Weight is nicely light compared to aluminum shafted paddles.

In use, I find the 230cm length is great for low angle paddling and the dihedral of the blade on the Skagit makes for smooth pulling action. The perfectly round shaft is OK for gripping but I do prefer the oval cross section shaft of the Mistral.

So now I use the Skagit as my emergency spare paddle and keep it on the foredeck of my boat. I plan to get a longer 240cm Skagit for my husband to use next summer when he gets a kayak. He also likes the 230cm, but thinks it is too short for him.

Submitted by: RKBerta I have two of these Skagits. They are both the carbon fiber shaft and carbon fiber reinforced blade. The first one I bought 4 years ago. It had a feather system with holes and a locking pin. I drilled a few more holes to gives some more positions. It has had no issues of reliability or premature wear...still like new.

I recently bought a second kayak and wanted another paddle so that my family could take out both kayaks at the same time. I was so happy with the first I bought the current model which now has an index system so you can select various feather angles set at 15 degree increments. The joint on both are tight and no flexure in the joint or the paddle shaft or blade. Both are the same length 220mm (I am 6' tall). Besides the much improved feather indexing system I didn't see any changes in material or shape which I thought were always perfect for me. The handle is slightly oval...just enough to help you maintain a good grip and know where the paddle is oriented. The color of both the blade and handle is black. This color is OK but if given a choice a non black color on the handle might be preferable as when sitting out in the hot sun the black can get fairly hot. I sometimes will put it in the water to cool it down before starting to paddle.I also thought that a brightly colored paddle blade might be useful as an emergency safety "flag". I am thankful that they resisted going to an oversize blade. The blade enters the water cleanly and pulls straight without feeling you are dragging a huge "barn door" through the water like an oversized blade does.

I give the older model a 8 and the new one a 9 based on its excellent feather index system and it would have been a 10 if they had made the whole thing bright yellow or at least the blades. But I wanted this version and features so I decided I could accept the color.

Nice, lightweight, fiberglass paddle. I got mine on sale online at REI. I've used it a dozen times or more on lakes and it is very nice. Mine is adjustable in 15 degree increments from 0 to 75 left/right. I like the slightly flattened shaft for the grip.
Submitted by: mdloon100

Rating: 7 of 10

I purchased the Skagit through mail order based on Werner's fine reputation. It has the old style three position ferrule, which has a fair amount of movement at the joint. I realize this is only an entry level paddle but I had expected better from a leader in paddle design. If you must impress your paddling partners with the Werner name on your paddle, the Skagit should work well for you but there are many other quality brands in the same weight range for a lot less money.
Submitted by: meretricious Really comfortable paddle. Once I stopped trying to muscle it, my kayak moved along with little effort. I too like the slightly flattened spot for your right hand. The newer ones have more feathering options than mine - my fiberglass handle only has the two 45 degree positions. Very light swing weight for the price, and the blade is sturdy - I have the bad habit of pushing off of things with it, so no carbon fiber for me...
I got the paddle as part of a package deal with my kayak, so price was not a factor. Well made, light weight, performs well, adjustable. I like it and might buy another with my next kayak.
I just used my new Skagit paddle for the first time today and I am impressed. I got it relatively cheap at one of the more popular online retailers and it would have been worth paying full price of $125.00 if I had to. The fiberglass reinforced nylon blades are very smooth in the water and the fiberglass shaft is easy on the hands and relatively light. I paddled a quick 5 miles today with no fatigue whatsoever. The flattened grip helps a little with that too. There is no flex whatsoever, which I like and you can feather it 22 degrees in either direction. The Skagit doesn't move quite as much water as I would like but it moves my Tsunami 145 along at a good rate of speed. Great paddle for the price.
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