Reviewed by Matt Hudgens
The Werner Sidekick is a popular paddle, one that has been around a few years. Out of the box, one notices a few things, one, the Werner certainly isn’t the lightest paddle out there, but it’s got a nice feel to it, with fairly low swing weight. You’ll also notice that the workmanship is superb. The paddle blades are graduated in three steps, meaning that as you get closer to the end of the paddle blade, the blade is thicker. The Sidekick has down turned blades, meaning that the centerline of the blade is angled relative to the shaft, it looks strange, but simulate paddling and its purpose becomes clear. When the paddle is used, it puts the blade in a very vertical position.
On the water, the Sidekick has a powerful, well balanced feel. There is little flutter, and the angled blades provide incredible power for throwing down. As well as extensive playboating and river running, I also used this paddle with my surf kayak, and felt I could accelearate onto the wave VERY quickly, and once there, it worked great as a rudder.
I’m a fan of this paddle. I do think it could be too big and too powerful for smaller paddles, but Werner has thought of this, with smaller sizes available, then Player and the Twist. One other slight quibble, I wish the Sidekick was available in brighter colors, for visibility if you’re ever looking for your paddle in the river.
Werner makes paddles with legendary durability, and the Sidekick is no exception. After several months of frequent use, the blades show just the slightest wear on the ends, and I’m hard on paddles. Overall, just about everything I want in a paddle.