I constantly read about guys and gals wanting to know about the best paddles. And then we get the same thing...Makana Alii, Broadreach, etc. I think whenever someone recommends a paddle they should also indicate the difficulty in getting one. I love my Makana,.,,.best ever Glad I knew someone who knew someone.. Tried to get a Broadreach for my one man...went on their site, sent resoponse, Same for someone trying to get a Makana. Instead of bragging about an exclusive paddle...let them know it is going to be a potential customer contact...and then let them know what else is out there...There are other great paddles that can be purchased same day or that are offered by someone willing to communicate with a potential customer. .

Submitted by poidog on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 5:54pm

That's why when it comes to canoe paddles, I buy Dave Chun's Kialoa Paddles because they available at most shops, and if no more or I want custom order, I call up and receive them in about a week. Been dealing with this paddlemaker for ovah 20 years, going back to the days when he make iako for my Honu one-man.

And when it comes to kayak wing paddles, I buy Patrick Cooley's (Pog) Onno Wing Paddles because they the lightest, toughest, most comfortable and help me go faster than all the other wing paddles I own. They are custom handmade in Hilo, Hawaii, and yes, you'll have to wait at least a month or so, while he makes them from scratch. But worth it!

#1 Sat, 02/23/2013 - 11:33pm

We're an up and coming paddle company out of San Diego, California. We make everything in house. We pride ourselves on talking to and working with our customers both new and old. Our goal is to build the best high performance paddle possible at a reasonable price. We currently have demo paddles all throughout southern California. If you want to try a demo, shoot us an email and we'll work something out.

#2 Sun, 02/24/2013 - 9:23pm

As noted by poidog, it seems that the "really good" paddle makers tend to have either long lead times, or just very poor response to customers when it comes to ordering paddles. I (and others I know) have had the same experience with Makana Ali'i, Broadreach, Kia Kaha, Quickblade, and others.

I have found a couple operations that make great paddles and have excellent customer service...

Malama Custom Paddles (Maui) is awesome and Malama Chun (and his wife Karen) do a great job talking with their customers to get them exactly what they want. My Malama blade is a prized possession.

Kai Ko'o Paddles (as mentioned in the above post by one of its founders) is also a great operation and very dedicated to customer satisfaction and making high quality paddles. I've had the opportunity to demo a few of their paddles and found them to be as good (if not better) as any other paddle on the market (including the Makana Ali'i that you'd pay an arm and a leg for and then have to wait up to 6 months+ to receive). I like the Kai Ko'o paddles so much that I purchased two... a double bend and a straight shaft with two of their different blade designs. Both are great for OC6 and OC1, very comfortable, and have a great catch. And, best of all, you don't have to break the bank to buy one! These are less expensive than Kialoa, and much better built.
At the very least, check out their site and shoot them an email...

#3 Tue, 02/26/2013 - 7:23am

If i could make a point here, the craftsman makes all the difference. I true craftsman can work on one paddle for the rest of his life, just making small subtle changes to seek perfection. I personally paddle with an OOS Mike Owens works out of Haiku here on Maui and makes beautiful, durable paddles. I think what is lost in many paddles makers is that they are suppose to be beautiful, and be able to take the pounding that we give them. Mike's paddles are a little different from the traditional paddles in they have a scoop to them. Mike is new to paddling making as he is a fourth generation boat builder (first OC1 and surfski coming out of molds this year) but he has a true gift at it. If you get a chance check them out. But the point is find something you trust, try other peoples paddles, even try other lengths just to get a feel and then enjoy.

#4 Tue, 02/26/2013 - 8:42am

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