The substantially lower price tag on the SeaSense makes it a tempting option for anyone looking to purchase an affordable paddle without having to break $50. It would also make a suitable backup paddle to keep for multi-day touring emergencies or as a spare. Although the construction and weight of this paddle significantly impacted its performance, it may be adequate for those who just want to get out on the water.
SeaSense X-Treme II Review
Cons: Heavy, locking mechanism wobbly, foam grips prone to slipping.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The SeaSense X-Treme 2 is a no-frills, entry-level recreational touring paddle. It was a close contender for the Best Budget Buy award, as it is functional and has an exceptionally low price (less than a quarter of the cost of the most competitors). This model is perfect for a short lake float or short journeys. The foam grips reduced performance, and the point of connection felt shaky. Due to is excessive weight, this model would not be recommended for extended tours (over two hours) or for paddlers who are looking for performance. The Sea Sense X-Treme II is for those paddlers looking to get out on the water without making a significant investment into the sport yet.
The performance of the paddle was compromised once the grips started to move around. This happened within 15 minutes of us first using the paddle. Maybe the temperatures caused the adhesive to unbind, or maybe we just bought an unlucky paddle. However, we were pretty disappointed with this feature. Testers found that you could just pull these up to one end, which made the paddle easier to control effectively. The narrow shaft and shaky adjustment point also drew away from the SeaSense X-Treme II's performance. After long days on the water, testers were not excited to be using this paddle.
Ease of Adjustment
The adjustment system was easier to use than most; however, this was partly because the connection point was inherently loose in the first place.
Locking Mechanism Security
The looser style snap button system used on the SeaSense X-Treme II was not secure. There was a significant amount of give in the mechanism which resulted in a shaky, inefficient paddle stroke. A novice paddler may not notice or care about this shake. However, those looking for efficiency in their paddle strokes may feel frustrated. The other models of paddles tested, delivered a significantly superior point of connection for the two-piece paddles.
Due to the aluminum shaft and plastic blades, this paddle is one of the heaviest paddles tested. This is unlikely to be a cause of concern for those looking to make very short journeys. However, if you are paddling for more than 30 minutes, you are likely to notice the additional fatigue that this paddle will bring. Other budget options are not as heavy as this paddle.
The polypropylene blades were observed to be durable and not prone to damage. Testers had concerns about how the riveted join would last over time, especially if used by powerful kayakers. Although we noticed no issues during testing, we have seen multiple paddles fall apart over the years that use this same construction technique.
Within 15 minutes of kayaking, the foam grips on the SeaSense started to slip around the paddle shaft, significantly impacting the effectiveness of this paddle. Constructed of plastic blades and an aluminum shaft, testers observed no other wear and tear to the paddle.
This is the cheapest paddle we tested, retailing for a fraction of most the other models. Although the performance difference was notable compared all to the other paddles, the SeaSense provides excellent value for the introductory kayaker.
It is hard to contend with the incredible value of this product. If you are looking for a spare paddle for your touring kayak, or are considering getting a paddle for your inflatable, this may be a paddle worth spending your money on. However, if you can throw down the extra money for one of the other models, you will notice the difference.
— Sara James