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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
SeaSense X-Treme II
Photo: SeaSense
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Price:  $40 List | $39.15 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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35
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 12
  • 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
SeaSense X-Treme II
Awards   Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $40 List
$39.15 at Amazon
$205.00 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$104 List
$124.00 at Backcountry
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$50 List
$33.79 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Very economical, durable blade constructionVery sturdy and durable locking mechanism, smooth blade performance, easy to adjust, lightweightExceptional value, quality blade design, fiberglass reinforced nylon bladesAffordable, durable blade constructionEasy on the wallet, functional, indexed shaft
Cons Heavy, locking mechanism wobbly, foam grips prone to slippingIn the more expensive rangeHeavier than some models, locking mechanism prone to wobbleHeavy aluminum shaft, play in locking mechanismAluminum shaft transfers heat/cold, flexible blades, wobble in connection point
Bottom Line A budget paddle for those who want to get on the water but are not concerned about performanceThis paddle consistently was a top performer across all metrics and it was not hard to select this paddle as a winnerThis well-designed paddle delivers outstanding value without sacrificing on performance or durabilityThis is an affordable entry-level paddle that can get you and your family out on the waterAffordable, functional and suitable for the casual kayaker who is not looking for a high-performance paddle
Rating Categories SeaSense X-Treme II Aqua-Bound Sting Ra... Werner Baja Bending Branches Wh... Pelican Poseidon
Performance (40%)
2.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
3.0
Ease Of Adjustment (20%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
5.0
5.0
Locking Mechanism Security (15%)
4.0
10.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
Weight (15%)
4.0
8.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Specs SeaSense X-Treme II Aqua-Bound Sting Ra... Werner Baja Bending Branches Wh... Pelican Poseidon
Measured Weight 1190 g 850 g 1070 g 1050 g 1110 g
Shaft Material Aluminum Carbon Fiberglass Aluminum Aluminum
Shaft Shape Round Round Round Round, Oval Round, Oval
Blade Material Fiberglass filled nylon blade abX Carbon reinforced nylon Fiberglass reinforced nylon Polypropylene Plastic/fiberglass
Blade Shape Asymetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Asymetrical
Adjustment Style Push button Posi-LokĀ® ferrule system Push Button Push button w/ basic ferrule Push Button
Blade Offset Settings L45 0 R 45 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R L45 0 R 45 L45 0 R 45 L60 0 R 60
Length Options 243 cm 210, 220, 230, 240, 250 cm 220 cm, 230 cm, 240 cm 220, 230, 240 cm 230 cm
Style Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle

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...
This is not a high-performance paddle and may limit those wanting to go on more challenging adventures
Photo: Sara James

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

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

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

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

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

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

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