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SeaSense X-Treme II Review

A budget paddle for those who want to get on the water but are not concerned about performance.
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Price:  $40 List | $30.25 at Amazon
Pros:  Very economical, durable blade construction.
Cons:  Heavy, locking mechanism wobbly, foam grips prone to slipping.
Manufacturer:   SeaSense
By Sara James ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 23, 2018
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OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 9
  • Performance - 40% 2
  • Ease of adjustment - 20% 5
  • Locking Mechanism Security - 15% 4
  • Weight - 15% 4
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

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.


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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Very economical, durable blade construction.Reliable, lightweight, easy to adjust and extend.Featherweight, sleek blade design, enhanced paddling styleVery sturdy and durable locking mechanism, smooth blade performance, easy to adjust, lightweightSecure locking mechanism, light weight carbon blend shaft
Cons Heavy, locking mechanism wobbly, foam grips prone to slipping.Questionable graphicsExpensive, not for the careless userIn the more expensive rangeHeavier than some models available, locking system can become stiff to adjust
Bottom Line A budget paddle for those who want to get on the water but are not concerned about performance.A versatile, lightweight and reliable paddle that delivered a strong performance across all metrics.A featherweight full carbon paddle engineered to provide you with an exceptionally smooth but powerful performance.This paddle consistently was a top performer across all metrics and it was not hard to select this paddle as a winner.Don’t be fooled by the bland rental paddle look, the Skagit FG has premium quality features and is able to perform.
Rating Categories SeaSense X-Treme II Pungo Glass Werner Kalliste Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon Werner Skagit FG
Performance (40%)
10
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2
10
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9
10
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10
10
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8
10
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5
Ease Of Adjustment (20%)
10
0
5
10
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10
10
0
7
10
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10
10
0
8
Locking Mechanism Security (15%)
10
0
4
10
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10
10
0
9
10
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10
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9
Weight (15%)
10
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4
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8
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10
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8
10
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6
Durability (10%)
10
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5
10
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8
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7
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9
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9
Specs SeaSense X-Treme II Pungo Glass Werner Kalliste Aqua-Bound Sting... Werner Skagit FG
Measured Weight 1190g 970g 816g 850g 1000g
Shaft Material / Construction Aluminum 50% carbon/50% fiberglass Carbon fiber Carbon Carbon blend
Blade Shape Asymetrical Asymmetrical Asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical
Shaft Shape Straight Straight Straight Straight Straight
Style Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle
Offset L45 0 R 45 None 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R
Weight (230cm) advertised 850.5g 652g 865g 953g
Breaks Down To 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece
Blade Material/Construction Fiberglass filled nylon blade fiberglass composite Carbon fiber/foam core abX Carbon Reinforced Nylon Fiberglass reinforced nylon
Length Options 243cm 220 - 240 cm 220, 230, 240 cm 210, 220, 230, 240, 250 cm 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments
Adjustment style Push button Rock-solid Leverlock® ferrule system Push button Posi-Lok® ferrule system Smart View Adjustable
Other Options N/A Also available with higher blade construction ( Pungo Carbon) N/A Available with smaller diameter shaft Also available with higher blade construction

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.

This is not a high-performance paddle and may limit those wanting to go on more challenging adventures
This is not a high-performance paddle and may limit those wanting to go on more challenging adventures

Performance Comparison


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.

It uses a simple snap button connection with no additional internal locking features. As a result  this paddle is shakier than most.
It uses a simple snap button connection with no additional internal locking features. As a result, this paddle is shakier than most.

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.

This type of paddle is an option for kayakers not intending to take many strokes during the day.
This type of paddle is an option for kayakers not intending to take many strokes during the day.

Weight


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 plastic blades are functional with no frills. You won't have to be too concerned if you hit rocks with this paddle.
The plastic blades are functional with no frills. You won't have to be too concerned if you hit rocks with this paddle.

Durability


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.

A budget Polypropylene paddle like this one makes for an affordable spare paddle for occasional use in relaxing conditions.
A budget Polypropylene paddle like this one makes for an affordable spare paddle for occasional use in relaxing conditions.

Value


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.

Heavier and less stable than other options out there  this paddle is not designed for extended journeys.
Heavier and less stable than other options out there, this paddle is not designed for extended journeys.

Conclusion


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