wanted to buy: Kialoa Axle II

I'd like to buy an Axle II for my OC1 paddling. I am looking for 48 inch but can go with a longer Axle II and just get it cut down to size.

I'm located in Vancouver BC and can be reached by email at: windchaser333ATgmailDOTcom

Submitted by ho'okele on Tue, 09/18/2012 - 1:00pm


#1 Tue, 09/18/2012 - 4:31pm

Thanks for showing the link to the Kialoa website, HKpaddler.

I was hoping to find a used Axle II to buy.


#2 Tue, 09/18/2012 - 7:18pm

I strongly recommend the Nehu double bend from Kialoa. One of the best paddles I've ever used. I would say it's worth spending $50 extra to get a new Nehu rather than a used Axle.

#4 Wed, 09/19/2012 - 11:49am

After that endorsement......buy Kialoa stock !!!!!!

#5 Wed, 09/19/2012 - 12:02pm

Luke, I appreciate the recommendation.

Forgive my novice ignorance*.....can you say a little more about the advantages of the Nehu double bend over the Axle II...as it relates to OC1 paddling?

Are there any disadvantages to using a Axle II for OC6 and a double bend paddle like the Nehu in OC1....could it confuse one's technique...?

*I've been paddling OC6 for two years now at the senior master's level. Now I would like to spend some time training in OC1 in order to improve my technique and build up more power.

#6 Wed, 09/19/2012 - 1:22pm

Ho'okele, As your local Kialoa dealer I would be pleased to assist you with your paddle selection for OC-1

I have the Nehu in stock.

#7 Thu, 09/20/2012 - 8:48am

Alright, you caught me-- I haven't actually use the Axle in years, so I really can't compare it directly to the Nehu. I can speak for the Nehu double bend though:

1) It's a double bend. For me, the feel of a double bend compared to a straight shaft is the single biggest factor. Nowadays I wont even consider a straight shaft. Your bottom hand will have a lot more comfortable grip due to less angle, and it allows you to to get more positive angle on your blade because your wrist wont be overextending.

2) It's well balanced. In my opinion, there are only a few double bend paddles on the market that are well balanced. Hybrid Kialoa's generally are well balanced, so the Nehu to the Axle will probably be similar. But many double bends are not well balanced. For some reason a lot of the double bend blades are huge which makes them blade heavy.

3) And.. the make it or break it for a paddle.. is the catch. The Nehu enables a smooth entry and allows for a hard catch. Obviously the people who make paddles know a lot more than me about this, but I would think that the hardest part to get right is the catch. It seems like a pretty fine line on how much concave to put on the power face. The Nehu actually has more of a lip than any paddle I've ever liked. Just looking at the lip on the blade made me worried, as the paddles that I'd used extensively before it (Makana Ali'i and Kia Kaha) have flatter faces. I've used other Kialoas that plopped with every stroke. In my mind, it was because they had too much of a concave lip. But the Nehu has that same oversized lip and performs beautifully. Goes to show that I really don't know what I'm talking about by dissecting paddle design.

In the end, it's a well made paddle by a very reputable company that feels comparable to the best double bends on the market. I wont go so far as to say it's the best on the market, as I think at that level the top double bends from every large manufacturer (Pure, Broadreach, Makana Ali'i, and Kia Kaha) are comparable to each other and are more a matter of personal preference.

Hopefully that helps.

#8 Thu, 09/20/2012 - 10:05am

Luke, thank you for your explanation - yes, it helps a lot!

So, now you've definitely got me interested in trying out a Nehu....I'm wondering if I have the muscle to manage the larger blade area, as compared the blade size of the Axle II. But the well thought out double bend and lip make me want to feel the paddle in the water.

OpenOcean, do you have any 48 inch Nehu double bend that can be demo'ed?

#9 Thu, 09/20/2012 - 11:25am

contact me offline at www.kialoa.ca

#10 Fri, 09/21/2012 - 10:35am

Opeanocean, do you know if the blade on the Nehu is larger than the Axle? I definitely wouldn't consider it a large bladed paddle.

#11 Fri, 09/21/2012 - 10:39am

I would have to agree with the others - once you've used a double bend paddle for a while, you probably won't want to go back to a straight paddle.
You've got a variety of options ho'okele:
1) If you want a Kialoa, they are quite plentiful - and if you're patient, you'll probably find a used Kialoa posting that suits your needs.
2) Demo (and purchase) a Nehu through OpenOcean
3) If you're really patient, I recall that Kialoa has had an online 'Holiday Sale' a few weeks before Christmas - on some of their paddles (but not all). I don't know if they'll have another sale this year.

I have tried a variety of paddles over the past couple of years - a few different Kialoas, Gillespies, a Pure,and some others - and my current 'go to' paddle - a Viper Va'a NTR from Tahiti. Although I can only speak for myself, it really comes down to the 'feel' of the paddle. I've had the NTR for a few months now, and I can say that I love the 'feel' of the NTR. It took me a couple months to start benefitting from the feel of the double-bend. This year, Viper has started manufacturing some of their shafts out of bamboo, and so far I have had no issues with mine. It's a great feeling paddle. I haven't had any joint issues with the new paddle - unlike some of the other paddles I have used. Also, the bamboo seems to be a little more 'grippy' compared to other wood shafts. There has been no need to use paddle wax or paddle tape for extra grip.

One thing I noticed about Kialoa is there limited blades sizes. If you buy a Nehu, Lanikai, Axel, etc, each model has one size of blade. What might be a good size/weight for a 250 pound dude will likely not be the best for a 120 pound gal. With the Pure, Gillespies, Viper etc. paddles, there are a variety of blade sizes - and you should be able to find a size that is suitable for you. This is when buying a new paddle would be more advantageous than buying used. Yes, you'll end up spend more than if you bought used, but you'll have a better chance of finding a paddle that is more suitable for you.


#12 Fri, 09/21/2012 - 11:09am

@luke, it's extremely close - I've sold more Axel's this year, due to their popularity as an "all arounder", particualrly with new paddlers. The Axel blade face is 108 square inches while the Nehu is 111. the majority of the difference is in the blade length.

The Nehu came on line after the Kialoa Teva Hoe, (their longest outrigger blade face at just over 20"), showing a trend towards narrower, but longer blade shapes.

hope that helps,

#13 Fri, 09/21/2012 - 11:52am

The Nehu blade is 18 inches long with a width of 9 5/16" and a surface area of 111.25 sq inches

The Axel II blade is 16 1/2 inches long with a width of 9 1/4 inches and a surface area of 108 sq inches.

My experience with the two are that the Axel II tends to plunk upon entry while the Nehu enters much smoother. Might be the fact that the Nehu has a more thinner/sharper tip while the Axel II has a much thicker/not as sharp tip.

In terms of feel, there doesn't seem to be much difference for me to pull harder or softer even with the size difference of the two blades.

I have both the single and double bend versions of the Nehu. For some reason, I prefer using the single bend in the OC6 while the double bend in my OC1. Might be because I sit higher in the OC6 and the entry and catch feels better using the single bend. When I've used the double bend in the OC6, the entry and catch didn't quite feel right.

I'm glad Kialoa came out with the Nehu blade as the double bend Teva Hoe was too much of a beast to use in my opinion. Also glad they offer the Nehu in both single and double bend as it gives paddlers more options to choose from to suit their paddling style.

I know they have a Wacky Nehu available, but I wonder if Kialoa would come out with a Nehu with a carbon (flex) shaft like the Keone for OC1 use?

#14 Fri, 09/21/2012 - 12:32pm

Lots to think about here - thanks for all your input!

I am definitely still a novice paddler but trying to make the most of my paddling experience with a good match of gear to ability.

Among my club/team no one, not one, is paddling with a double bend paddle. It seems that most just buy the popular paddle that they see others using. As OpenOcean said, the Axle II is viewed as a good all around paddle so many start there.

E7M you feel the slightly longer blade of the Nehu does not affect your power phase much as compared to the Axle II which is good for me to hear because I am that 120 lb gal canadaAM was referring to and I'm aware that it would probably not be wise for me to go with a much larger blade than the Axle II for fear that I don't have the muscle to power it through the water.

OpenOcean, I have sent you an message offline.

#15 Fri, 09/21/2012 - 2:28pm

Looks like no used Axle II is showing up and after reading what Luke had to say about the Nehu DB, I was interested in seeing how the Nehu DB felt like but the local dealer, OpenOcean, did not have the double bend Nehu but only had the regular Nehu.

in the meantime.....
I started thinking, if I was going to spring for a brand new paddle for OC1...
about my options....

I've heard a lot about how excellent the Pure paddles are and see that they have one specifically for OC1. I'm trying to reach them now about ordering one. If I'm going to shell out for a brand new paddle, might as well get one that's got a good reputation for being a good fit for light weight OC1 paddlers like me.

#16 Fri, 10/05/2012 - 7:34am

the Otoro is a great paddle too. it's a narrow blade but almost the same overall area as the Nehu and the Axel II (plus or minus 1-4 square inches). so it is another option from Kialoa. I paddled with the Otoro once and decided to buy it for V-1 use. works great. with its teardrop shape you get a nice quiet entry and solid catch. never used the Nehu so I'm unsure how they compare.

#17 Fri, 10/05/2012 - 11:24am

thanks for that suggestion, jc9_0

#18 Fri, 10/05/2012 - 12:34pm

I use a 52' axel in OC6 and a 50' Nehu for OC1. I steer 90% of the time so I have not found the need to invest in a Nehu for the OC6 but I absolutely love it for OC1. I demo'd an otoro from Kialoa (all you have to do is sign a contract and pay for shipping) and I could not take a single stroke without cavitation.

#19 Sat, 10/06/2012 - 8:08pm

Thanks for your feedback about the Nehu and the Otoro, altolax. I have an Axle II that I use for OC6 and really like for the team boat. Just a few days ago I ordered a lightweight Pure paddle from Odie for OC1. The blade size and shape is very similar to the Axle II but I think the paddle is slightly lighter and, of course, I got it slightly shorter than the paddle I use for OC6. I'm really looking forward to the trying the Pure paddle!

#20 Mon, 10/08/2012 - 4:04pm

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