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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 | $32.24 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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39
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 6
  • Performance - 40% 3
  • Ease of adjustment - 20% 5
  • Locking Mechanism Security - 15% 4
  • Weight - 15% 4
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The considerably lower price tag on the SeaSense makes this a tempting option for anyone looking to purchase an affordable paddle so they can get out kayaking without having to break $50. 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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Price $32.24 at Amazon$159.89 at REI
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Pros Very economical, durable blade construction.Very sturdy and durable locking mechanism, smooth blade performance, easy to adjust, lightweightLight weight, secure locking mechanism, high performance bladesSecure locking mechanism, light weight carbon blend shaftDurable shaft and blade construction, wrapped fiberglass shaft provides textured grip
Cons Heavy, locking mechanism wobbly, foam grips prone to slipping.In the more expensive rangeExpensive, blades prone to wear if not treated well, locking mechanism can get stickyHeavier than some models available, locking system can become stiff to adjustHeavy blades, play in snap button locking system
Bottom Line A budget paddle for those who want to get on the water but are not concerned about performance.This paddle consistently was a top performer across all metrics and it was not hard to select this paddle as a winner.This paddle is designed for those looking for a higher performance option.Don’t be fooled by the bland rental paddle look, the Skagit FG has premium quality features and is able to perform.The Magic Plus has a lightweight shaft and durable blades that deliver powerful strokes at an affordable price.
Rating Categories SeaSense X-Treme II Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon Werner Camano Werner Skagit FG Carlisle Magic Plus
Performance (40%)
10
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3
10
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9
10
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9
10
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6
10
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6
Ease Of Adjustment (20%)
10
0
5
10
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10
10
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8
10
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8
10
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6
Locking Mechanism Security (15%)
10
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4
10
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10
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9
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9
10
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5
Weight (15%)
10
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4
10
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8
10
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9
10
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6
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4
Durability (10%)
10
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5
10
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10
10
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8
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9
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9
Specs SeaSense X-Treme II Aqua-Bound Sting... Werner Camano Werner Skagit FG Carlisle Magic Plus
Measured Weight 1190g 850g 820g 1000g 1190g
Shaft Material / Construction Aluminum Carbon Carbon blend Carbon blend Fibreglass
Blade Shape Asymetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Asymetrical
Shaft Shape Straight Straight Straight Straight Straight
Style Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle
Offset L45 0 R 45 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R L45 0 R 45
Weight (230cm) advertised 865g 761g 953g 1128.31g (220cm)
Breaks Down To 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece
Blade Material/Construction Fiberglass filled nylon blade abX Carbon Reinforced Nylon Fiberglass laminate Fiberglass reinforced nylon Fiberglass reinforced polypropylene
Length Options 243cm 210, 220, 230, 240, 250 cm 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments 220, 230, 240 cm
Adjustment style Push button Posi-Lok® ferrule system Smart View Adjustable Smart View Adjustable Push button
Other Options 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 to the Bending Branches Whisper 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 Aqua-Bound, Camano and Skagit). This model is perfect for a brief lake float or short journeys. The foam grips reduced performance, and the point of connection felt shaky. This model would not be recommended for extended tours (over two hours) or for paddlers who are looking for high performance. It is $25 cheaper than its closest rival from Bending Branches. However, it was also heavier and with a less stable securing mechanism. 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 SeaSense is not a high performance paddle and may limit those wanting to go on more challenging adventures
The SeaSense 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.

The Sea Sense in an option for kayakers not intending to take many strokes during the day.
The Sea Sense in an option for kayakers not intending to take many strokes during the day.

Ease of Adjustment


The adjustment system was easier to use than most, however, this was partly because the connection point was noted to be inherently loose in the first place.

The Sea Sense 2 pieces uses a simple snap button connection.
The Sea Sense 2 pieces uses a simple snap button connection.

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 Werner paddle's Smart view adjustment system, or Aqua-Bound's Posi- Lock ferrule, delivered a significantly superior point of connection for the two-piece paddles.

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 concerns for those looking to do 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. Touring kayakers looking for an affordable option with slightly less weight may also want to consider the Best Budget Buy award winner, the Bending Branches Whisper.

Durability



The polypropylene blades were observed to be durable and not prone to easily damage. Testers had concerns 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.

The plastic blades are functional with no frills.
The plastic blades are functional with no frills.

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 aluminum shaft, testers observed no other wear and tear to the paddle.

Best Applications


For those looking to potter around on the water without covering any significant distances, this paddle may be a good option.

The SeaSense is not designed for extended journeys
The SeaSense is not designed for extended journeys

This paddle would make a very affordable spare kayak paddle to keep for multi-day touring emergencies, or as a spare for when friends or kids want to join you in your inflatable kayak.

Value


At $40 this is the cheapest paddle we tested. Although the performance difference was notable compared to the Werner Camano or the Aqua-Bound Sting-Ray, this paddle provides excellent value for the introductory kayaker.

Conclusion


It is hard to contend with the great value of this product. If you are looking for a spare paddle for your hardshell kayak, or are considering getting a paddle for your inflatable, this may be a paddle worth spending your money on. For $25 more consider the Best Budget Buy award winner, the Bending Branches Whisper

The SeaSense makes for an affordable spare paddle for occasional use in relaxing conditions.
The SeaSense makes for an affordable spare paddle for occasional use in relaxing conditions.

Other Versions and Accessories


The SeaSense X-Treme II is available in seven different color combinations and lengths 84" or 96".


Sara James