Favorite Paddles

For OC-1, OC-6 and steering blades. Any thoughts?

Submitted by JPNPADDLER on Sun, 10/04/2009 - 3:10am


#1 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 7:59am

Makana Alii

#2 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 1:42pm

broadreach big blade

#3 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 1:58pm

kialoa axel ii

#4 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 3:05pm

Huahine Rames :-)

#5 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 3:28pm

ZRE full carbon power surge with flexible shaft.

Love our Xylo wood club paddles too.

#6 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 5:26pm

OC1/VI; Tahiti Rame double bend
OC6; Kialoa Axel
Steering: My beautiful Hourn all-wood wonder, beat up now, repaired too many times to count but still beloved
If only 1 blade....Kialoa Keone

#7 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 6:07pm

Kialoa Lolo, double bend

#8 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 7:05pm

broadreach v-1s for oc-1, broadreach tahiti iti for oc-6, and all three of my new broadreach steering blades for various different ocean conditions. broadreachhawaii.com website should be up soon I'm told.

#9 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 7:29pm


Hmm, let me see?

#10 Sun, 10/04/2009 - 8:48pm

has anyone done a comparison chart, like the one eckhart has on his blog for oc1's?

might be kind of hard considering there seems to be a new make of paddle out every year, but i'd like to know which ones are the keepers.

#11 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 4:07am

Keep the ones that feel good and you can paddle fast with. Sell the ones that you can't unless they have sentimental value.

#12 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 6:11am

OC1/OC6: Kialoa Axel II
V-1: Axel II/Tahiti Rames
Steering: (Distance) Biscuit/ (Regatta) Foti
The biscuit is really light so easy to paddle and it doesnt have the huge backbone so it doesnt slowdown as much when you're poking to look around for those bumps. Foti does have the big back bone and helps for turning.

#13 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 7:52am

new makana ali'i steering blade is mean!!

#14 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 9:43am

Kialoa hybrid double-bend (not wacky-shaft) Tahitian blade.

#15 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 9:49am

Come on Goto, this is the internet, we need pictures to know such a paddle exists! Tahitian blade = rounded tip and wider?

#16 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 11:00am

The production versions aren't going to come stock in the orange color, and the dihedral on the power-face is going to be made longer, and extend further down the blade. Other than that, the dimensions are all going to be the same. Been using it for about 3 months now, and it's very light with a solid catch. Dave modeled it after blades that crews from Tahiti brought up for the Channel last year. Hard to see in the photos, but there's a slight curve/scoop at the very end of the blade...





#17 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 1:14pm

goto said:

pictures and stuff

Very, very nice. And sparkly. Looks a lot like my Tahiti Rames actually, except the T-top doesn't have the back of it rounded like the TR. Even has the little ridge on the power face where it joins the shaft.

The feel of the catch is I think due mostly to the shape of the tip. The rounded tip on entry into the water is a little more forgiving than the more straight tips of the Axel II blade for instance. I love my Tahiti Rames because of the catch.

#18 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 3:02pm

that is mean

#19 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 5:30pm

Anybody got pics of those Niu Valley paddles?

#20 Mon, 10/05/2009 - 5:39pm


#21 Wed, 07/14/2010 - 2:59pm

I know they are as rare as hen's teeth and near impossible to acquire, but does anyone have a website or contact info for Makana Ali'i/Les?

#22 Wed, 10/07/2009 - 9:07am

V1/OC1 - Makana Ali'i
OC6 - Quickblade Kanaha
Steering - Kia Kaha

#23 Thu, 10/08/2009 - 11:18am

"the beast" by mana blades 10 1/4", for the animals out there who want to pull the ocean all by themself.

#24 Fri, 10/09/2009 - 1:18pm


#25 Fri, 10/09/2009 - 2:03pm

Wood wood wood wood

#26 Fri, 10/09/2009 - 9:48pm

wood is the best as tahitian paddler

#27 Fri, 10/09/2009 - 10:24pm



#28 Sat, 10/10/2009 - 12:54pm

Gillespie Double Bend Surge Blade, beautiful paddle, light and strong.

#29 Wed, 10/14/2009 - 2:19am

Makana Ali'i contact info... anyone?

#30 Wed, 10/28/2009 - 1:02am

Just picked up my new "Pure" paddle a couple days ago. I dont know how to describe why I like it technically but I can say that my beloved broadreach is now in the house. I ordered a custom blade a little bit larger than the standard blades odie is making so it pulls like my big broadreach blade yet its lighter so it feels for comfortable when giving the 2 or 3 quick strokes to catch a bump. Either way im stoked on it. Thanks Odi. Big Island has some great paddle makers!

#31 Sun, 11/22/2009 - 2:29pm

I'm with harry, Brad has been making dbl. bends for years. Still got one from '92 when walter was still in CIP. Got a special dbl. bend from Keoni Kino (Oni Paddles) with a ball top. That is my best so far.
Water cures all, "Big Boys Kick and Glide"

#32 Sun, 11/22/2009 - 2:53pm

Goto...you had a Kialoa based on a Tahitian design ....did those ever go in production and are any double bends.The Tahitian paddle I have now is wonderful but would like some glass on one for 6 man stuff. Beat up a lot.

#33 Sun, 11/22/2009 - 6:13pm

I'm pretty sure they are in, or very near production right now. Send an email to info@kialoa.com - they'll give you the play by play.

#34 Sun, 11/22/2009 - 6:19pm

The new Kialoa is supposed to be out in 2010.

#35 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 2:44am

poidog... I have a Kialoa Tahitian Double Bend and I love it. Blade width is 9 1/4",blade length is 18 1/2"
It's a beautiful light paddle with a solid catch.

#36 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 2:47am

#37 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 5:56am

Thanks for info on the Kialoa. I will be on it. Maybe I swing it as late xmas present. Looks great.

#38 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 6:38am


#39 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 3:47pm

Email from Kialoa said their hybrid version of the Tahitian inspired double bend will be out perhaps in December. I do not know if they will have the Goto orange though. Probably need to know somebody.

#40 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 7:01pm

Goto-orange doubles as a safety signal for if you get lost at sea.

#41 Mon, 11/23/2009 - 7:50pm

So do I request the "Goto-Orange" if I want that colour....

#42 Tue, 11/24/2009 - 8:21am

Makana Alii

#43 Sat, 12/05/2009 - 10:03pm

I have ordered a Kialoa Foti steering blade, anyone have one and would like to comment?

#44 Sun, 12/06/2009 - 3:04pm

I have a Foti "biscuit" blade. No complaints. I wouldn't rely on it for heavy surf or heavy current, then again it wasn't designed for those conditions.

For heavy conditions, I use a Mudbrook.

#45 Mon, 12/07/2009 - 5:46am

My favorite paddle : SELECT V1

#46 Wed, 12/09/2009 - 4:43am

wow...that thing looks broken...5 or 6 bends in the shaft ? pretty crazy design.

#47 Wed, 12/09/2009 - 8:11am

Fitzou... got one of those and I love it too! Was hard to get to the US, but the folks at Select really came through for me. I wanted a light double bend to try out and this one is great. Still would love to get my hands on a Makana Ali'i 50" DB ;>

#48 Wed, 12/09/2009 - 1:40pm

Fitzou, She already has one of those Select V1 paddles for almost a year now, since she ordered it last December from this http://select-kayaks.com/fr/pagaies/outrigger/ site.

#50 Wed, 12/09/2009 - 4:46pm

E7M... thanks for translating ;>

#51 Thu, 12/10/2009 - 12:17pm

After spending 3 weeks with it, the Makana Alii dbl bend, Georges Cronsteadt influenced model, is by far the best Makana paddle I've owned to date. Lots of leverage, quick thru the water and a awesome release. It talks to you if your technique goes south when you get tired. Something an older, mere mortal like me needs.

#52 Thu, 12/10/2009 - 7:41pm

speaking of tons of bends, look how many bends there are in the rear iako in the picture at top of this page.


#53 Thu, 12/10/2009 - 9:25pm

Too much money for extra bends. Straight shaft or double bend under $250....works for me. Tahitian design...results tested.

#54 Fri, 12/11/2009 - 5:05pm

catdailey, the deaf ears prevail, many have asked for contact info on Makana Alii paddles....................

#55 Tue, 12/15/2009 - 3:47am

Newpaddle... I know. I've asked so many times I feel like a poor relation ;< I had the pleasure of trying one out at an OC-1 camp I attended last spring in Arizona. It was the most wonderful paddle I've ever had the pleasure of holding in my hands. Everyone who speaks about the Makana Ali'i paddles says that you have to "know someone" in order to get one. How unfortunate. Can you imagine how hard it is for those of us on the east coast (Philadelphia) to have access to anything outrigger related, let alone the most beautiful paddle in the world?

#56 Tue, 12/15/2009 - 9:14am

staying "small" is the best thing Les has ever done...

#57 Tue, 12/15/2009 - 1:47pm

catdailey- you are a fortunate one, to have had the chance to experience the often spoken of magic of a Makana Ali'i paddle. I am also east (southeast) and agree; it is like a dark hole virtually void of oc1's.
ScarySlow- I appreciate staying "small", but I would be willing to wait for one of Les's paddles if it were possible to contact and get on a waiting list if needed. I would venture to say there would be others willing to do the same.

#58 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:02am

Waiting aside (which can be over a year at times), my comment is directed at the "feel" of his paddles, which I believe would be lost if he went "big" (ie. mass production by machine or other people). Every Makana has that special "feel" because every Makana is made by the hand of the master...

#59 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:38am

Today's steering blades do extensive damage to canoe hulls. The non-skid strips are so abrasive, the koa canoes suffer as do the glass. Design is a flaw. The back of the blade should be flat. This would avoid the necessity for the abrasive strips. Polynesians had centuries of steering blades without rubber non-skid strips. Why is it, only in the recent past, we all of a sudden need these strips to abuse our valuable canoes? Once again, the canoe is being reduced to nothing more than a floating object.

#60 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:57am

I undserstand the apprehension of making makana alli blades for steering but would it really be so hard to build enough to have a small website with contact info on how to order one and/or just get on the list? Its one thing to go "hypr" global but I think its a little too much when you cant even find contact into. Imean what does a guy have to do to get on the list for a makani alii list for a double bend?

I know broadreach can be a bit of a wait but hes easy to contact and discuss paddle design and get on his list. And "Pure" paddles or super easy to talk to the builder and he will let you demop several designs then custom design one for you however you want and takes no more than 3 weeks to get, unless you try my method of buggin him everyother day then it comes in 2 weeks!

I know quality is quality but most local builders seem to have a bias towards local paddlers so im not a big fan of the big secret for a makana alii paddles for us guys who are in the state.

#61 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 8:55am

Yeah, I love the small, handcrafting artistic builders. I have waited for over a year for a custom made bike frame from my custom builder. Together, we selected every tube that made the bicycle and I was fortunate enough to be there the day she was "born." I would have been on the waiting list last March when I first tried the Makana Ali'i and might today be anticipating the arrival of my special blade. The lack of any contact information at all is absolutely frustrating.

#62 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:15am

For anyone who hasn't figured this out yet, I'm going to summarize the moral of this entire thread for you: If you want to get in touch with Les, posting on OCP isn't going to help you out, no matter how many times you do it.
...you're welcome.

#63 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 1:45pm

haha, so true

#64 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 6:08pm

is that a scientific fact ?

#65 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 8:26pm

So what? Are some of you suggesting you are on some A list with Makana Alii? I believe that kind of mentality would be very concerning to the proprietors. Those of us who are fortunate to own a Makana Alii, should first of all be fucking greatfull to have one.

#66 Thu, 12/17/2009 - 11:27pm

Maybe just learn to like the paddles you can get.Perhaps it's from growing up in the days when paddles were as heavy as sledgehammers, but I can't understand not being happy w/ any of several makers' products which are readily available today.

#67 Fri, 12/18/2009 - 5:55am

when I was a kid I sent away for a airplane out of a comic book that I never got and, that was enough for me. never again. Iv also seen guys fly with a ugly stick. So you never know. There's allot of good paddles out there.
Merry Christmas

#68 Fri, 12/18/2009 - 7:10am

I'm grateful for every makana I get, and I always give (or gift) my old ones to new paddlers who are just discovering the joys of paddling...I wish I was an "A-list"er.

#69 Fri, 12/18/2009 - 7:31am

I have had the pleasure of using a Makana Alii, It was such a great paddle it inspired me to try my hand at paddle making, after over a year of trial and error I have developed some paddles that we are testing at the moment. Just within our small hui I've have received overwhelming requests for paddles and haven't really put them out there yet. If just a small taste of what Les is experiencing, I totally 110% respect the waiting list someone like Les has just due to the fact that the amount of work to produce these kinds of handcrafted paddles is just totally ridiculous and I'm sure he stays "small" because he has to, not because he wants to. Think of the numbers for a minute, if you make killer paddles for a canoe club that has let's say 300 members and say everyone in that club orders a paddle and it takes say 1 week to make 4 paddles you can see where this is going. Now times that by 50 or 100 and you can see why the wait is sooo long to get a paddle. Then try to train and paddle on top of it, it becomes a crazy time management thing and there is just not enough time in the day to do everything, especially if you're just one guy making paddles. The joy of producing a quality paddle that someone will use is priceless and that is the reward for the paddlemaker IMO. I hope to accomplish a tenth of what Makana Alii has accomplished in the years of making paddles. I give props to every paddle maker out there giving their blood, sweat and tears to fulfill the overwhelming need for high tech paddles, you are appreciated. Just some food for thought from a fellow paddlemaker.

#70 Fri, 12/18/2009 - 9:42am

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 1.659 seconds.