Hybrid Paddle Comparison

I know they say that its the paddler and not the paddle that matters, but for me every blade feels different and I was just wondering what you guys thought to be the most popular, reliable, blade around. Looking for information on hybrid paddles, Ive got a xylo carbon and an older Quick Blade, but Ive always been curious about Makana Ali'i's blades, Kialoas, Mana Blades, and others.

Submitted by LeonidasOfPaddling on Tue, 09/11/2007 - 12:16pm

It's not the paddle OR the paddler that goes fast - it's ALL IN THE BOAT.

#1 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 12:20pm


Seems like there are a fair number of Xylo fans out there (mostly the Zero G) and a bunch of Quickblade fans. Obviously, tons of people paddle with and are happy with their Kialoa paddles. Most of us aren't good enough or connected enough to have Makana Ali'i paddles.

#2 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 12:31pm

Its not the paddler, the paddle, or the boat. Its how you polish the bottom of the boat and what product you use. Its all in the boat prep. Look at how much time sailors spend polishing their boats. You guys are behind the times.

#3 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 12:52pm

I paddled with an all carbon paddle for years and switched to a Kialoa Axel something or other about a year ago. The hybrid Kialoa paddle is much better in my opinion, flex, feel, etc.
My technique and comfort level are so much better now that I don't have to train as much to maintain the same mediocre speed I'm accustomed to!

#4 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 1:09pm

Has anyone tried any of the "Wacky Shaft" versions of Kialoa's paddles? Or any blade with a similar extreme bend?

#5 Tue, 09/11/2007 - 11:00pm

Yes. The paddle seems to move the power stroke a little
back compared to the straight shaft. Could be that a change
in stroke technique is required. The whole idea behind the coconut tree bend in the shaft is to make it more ergonomically correct for the wrist.

#6 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 4:43am

I had right hand carpal tunnel surgery before I got into paddling. I started with a hybrid paddle and always had an issue with my right thumb area since we hold it almost like a pool stick to get the best reach. I've been using the wacky paddle since spring and my discomfort has vastly improved. Less strain on thumb. The whole hand get's the pressure instead of 3 fingers. No slipping. The bent part leaves enough room to adjust up or down as in rough water deeper paddle etc. Changing sides takes a litlle getting used to (for me 10 minutes). I use it exclusively except during 9man races where my team mates don't want me to use it. No problem I gladly switch for the race and after Catalina last sunday I'm paying the price. Oh well, back to whacky for winter OC1.
I didn't think I had to change my stroke, but I could have been just too happy to paddle painless.
Team California is the only team I know which uses whackies only.

#7 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 7:12am

I have had a few paddles in the last few years. I started with a ZRE 8.5 inch Marathon blade which I quickly switched out for Outrigger paddling. Too light and small for me and the stiffness was harder on my elbows and shoulders over time. I bought a MudBrook XP all wood which is an awesome all wood paddle, its light and has great feel and its just a super nice looking stick. I also bought and use a QuickBlade Tornado hybrid which is a really nice paddle with great feel.

Last year I bought the wife a new Kialoa Axel II and it is my favorite paddle to date . Yes she lets me use it once in a while when I can pry it from her greedy litle hands ;-) I like the smaller shaft size of the Axel II it is much easier on my carpal tunnel and grip, the feel of the blade in the water is smooth and solid and its weight is about perfect for me.

Choke Aloha all!

#8 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 9:10am

Pitt, I tried my friends axel in a change out race a few weeks back. It made my Kialoa Lanikai hybrid feel like a sledgehammer! Gotta get that skinnier shaft on the bigger Lanikai blade. Did just say skinnier shaft?

#9 Wed, 09/12/2007 - 6:20pm

Yeah Jim you did just say that. Well when you are handling the big stick all the time I guess its nice to give the hands a break and use something smaller for a change ;-)

#10 Thu, 09/13/2007 - 8:04am

I have to agree with Pittbrah about the Kialoa Axel2

Huge improvement over the Axel1

The improved internal edge protection stands up to constant knocks and bashings both against the canoe and the occasional reef hit. It's a very durable paddle indeed and still retains a great catch and good tracking when driven hard.
Hats off to Dave for building longevity into the paddles, not a lot of companies in the world improve their products to last longer any more, preferring you to buy replacements every season. Not Kialoa, i expect this one to last me for years, it's virtually indestructible, and I'm damn hard on my paddles as you know.

Cheers Rambo

#11 Thu, 09/13/2007 - 11:27am

Please register or login to post a comment.

Page loaded in 0.256 seconds.