Friday, April 13, 2012

Werner Paddles Grand Prix M1000 SUP Paddle Review

Grand Prix M1000 SUP Paddle Review by Mike Darbyshire of Deep Cove Outdoors

After putting my order in back in January I have been waiting patiently to get the new Werner Grand Prix Paddle in my hands and finally that day came last week.  Werner has spent time developing this paddle as a pure race paddle and with the change in blade shape and drastic drop in weight it sounded quite promising. After a couple training paddles, one down-winder and two races the Grand Prix didn’t disappoint.

Out of the Box:
My first reaction when I picked up the paddle is that it was very light. The swing weight was minimal and felt considerably lighter than the other ‘high end’ paddles at our shop. I was slightly concerned that the drop in weight would result in a lack of stiffness.  I ordered the mid-size blade which comes in at 98 square inches for blade size. 

The size is about the same as the Werner Nitro but it is slightly shorter and a little bit wider.  Werner has a pretty unique handle on all of their paddles and the updated carbon version feels comfortable and reduces the weight even further.   I also liked the updated logos on the blade, the yellow logo looks great and stands out in a crowd of similar paddles…Appearance is everything after all.

Racing and Touring:
Nitro on the left, Grand Prix on the right
I glued the handle on and went for a short down-wind paddle that afternoon. The blade feels great through the water with it’s dihedral shape and didn’t flutter.  I liked the narrow blade which allowed for a quick stroke rate and kept my stroke close to the board.  I tend to prefer a faster stroke rate rather than longer more powerful strokes and I felt that the reduction in weight didn’t translate to a lack of stiffness.  Maybe a bigger stronger paddler would notice more flexibility but it felt pretty stiff to me.

It didn’t take me long to get used to the paddle but I did find that during the down-wind paddle and even when the wind picked up while I was racing; the paddle was so light that when switching hands it gets blown around in the wind quite easily.  Not sure if that is a con or something I just need to get used to.

I know that over a long day of touring or racing that any reduction in weight is a blessing and I’m excited to use the paddle for this season of racing.

Final Thoughts:
I think that once people start getting this paddle in their hands and giving it a try we will see plenty of them on the water.  With 3 different blade sizes and the option of Werner’s bent shaft there should be a paddle to fit everyone.  The paddle will easily compete with the Quickblade Kanaha Elite Racer and is actually lighter and cheaper.  If you are interested in trying the paddle we will soon have two for demo at the Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak Centre waterfront location.  A bent shaft and straight shaft will be available for demo. 

If you are ready to buy they will also soon be in our retail store Deep Cove Outdoors and retail for $389.  Werner has donated a Grand Prix paddle to be given away as a draw prize at the Tour de Indian Arm race coming up on May 20th so come out and race and you might walk away with a brand new paddle! 

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin