Werner has an excellent line of whitewater paddles for general river running and creeking. With a similar shape, but in three blade sizes (Powerhouse, Sherpa, Trip) there is a paddle to suit
most paddlers. We tested the Powerhouse, the largest of the three,
in the surf, and on many rocky California rivers.
Out of the box, a few things are noticed. First, the red blades are welcome, being a nice visible color. As with all Werner paddles, the construction and finish is exceptional. The paddle
isn’t the lightest around, but feels well balanced, with a nice
swing to it. It has Werner stepped blade, which puts thicker
fiberglass at the ends of the paddle for strength, while keeping it
thinner elsewhere for weight savings.
On the water, the Powerhouse earns the name. It’s a big blade, with tons of power. Great for getting up to speed quickly, and must make moves, there’s not shortage of grab. You can feel the large
blade when bracing or rolling, so it’s a real confidence inspiring
design. That said, this paddle in this size would be inappropriate
for smaller paddlers, or anyone lacking well conditioned arms and
shoulders, but for them there are two smaller sizes available, with
the same shape and awesome Werner construction.
With sturdy construction and proven strength, Werner paddles are a good value, sure to justify their price with years of service. This new series of blade shapes has good power and feel in the
water, and will probably be a favorite for many paddlers both new
and experienced, for many years to come.