The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Werner Camano Review

This paddle is designed for those looking for a higher performance option.
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Price:  $285 List | $274.95 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Light weight, secure locking mechanism, high performance blades
Cons:  Expensive, blades prone to wear if not treated well, locking mechanism can get sticky
Manufacturer:   Werner Paddles
By Sara James ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 23, 2018
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87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 6
  • Performance - 40% 9
  • Ease of adjustment - 20% 8
  • Locking Mechanism Security - 15% 9
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

Testers enjoyed paddling with the Werner Camano due to its lightweight feel, and high-quality blade design, which made for smooth, effortless strokes. The fiberglass laminate blades helped this paddle stand apart from the crowd. Not only do they look good, but they also perform on par with the best. We also prefer the Smart View adjustable system used on the Camano to the snap button found on many budget paddles like the Carlisle Magic Plus. However, it fell short in testing when compared to the Posi-Lok used in the top scoring Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

A top performer in most tested metrics, this paddle was barely beaten out by the Aqua-Bound. Werner has a history of making well designed high-quality kayak paddles, and the Camano lives up to their prestigious family name.

Overall the Camano scored just a little less than the Editors' Choice award winner (the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray), and just above the Werner Skagit FG, a less expensive paddle.

Performance Comparison


Due its high performance and light weight  the Camano proved to be a popular choice when winds picked up and the lake became choppy.
Due its high performance and light weight, the Camano proved to be a popular choice when winds picked up and the lake became choppy.

Performance


Along with the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray, the Camano placed joint first for performance. The fiberglass laminate blades are responsive, delivering no noticeable flutter when put under duress. This can be attributed to the rigidity of the materials, as well as the dihedral blade design, delivering Werner's signature high-quality paddle experience.

The  Camano (top) and Skagit side by side.
The Camano (top) and Skagit side by side.

The Skagit and Carlisle Magic Plus were the next runners-up in terms of performance. However, the difference is substantial when compared side-by-side with the Camano. Although the difference in performance is probably not necessary for the novice recreational paddler, it is noticeable.

The Camano's sleek blade design delivered a smooth entry and exit point for the paddle.
The Camano's sleek blade design delivered a smooth entry and exit point for the paddle.

Ease of Adjustment


Scoring just below the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray, the Camano came in second-place for ease of adjustment. It is no surprise that it tied with the Werner Skagit, which uses the same Smart View adjustable system. The Smart-view portal makes it easy to identify and select the correct blade angle to suit your kayaking needs.

Testers found the Smart View adjustable system was very clear to use.
Testers found the Smart View adjustable system was very clear to use.

Locking Mechanism Security


The Camano's Smart view adjustment made the paddle feel secure, with little play in the shaft. In this metric, the Camano significantly outperformed all the paddles using the snap button system including the Carlisle Magic Plus, Bending Branches Whisper and SeaSense X-Treme II. However, it did not feel as bombproof as the Aqua-Bound .

You don't want to be worrying about your paddle when you are out kayaking.
You don't want to be worrying about your paddle when you are out kayaking.

Weight


The Camano is the lightest paddle tested in the review, weighing 30g less than the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray and 180g less than its third rival in weight, the Werner Skagit FG. Novices and experts noticed this weight difference and were especially grateful for the lighter paddle when heading out for longer distances.

Those looking for a high-intensity work out will enjoy having the Camano in their hands.
Those looking for a high-intensity work out will enjoy having the Camano in their hands.

Durability


The Smart View adjustable system will require a bit of care and attention if a paddler wants it to work effectively over time. A regular rinse should be sufficient, as the primary concern is the build of grit and sand in the locking mechanism.

Internal of the Werner paddle shaft
Internal of the Werner paddle shaft

The fiberglass laminate also is prone to damage if the paddle is not stored or transported well. For example, if you were to throw it in the back of a truck under a kayak, you may notice the blade wearing down from the friction created as it repeatedly slides around. This paddle would benefit from a user that took care of their gear.

Although they have the same shaft  the Camano outperformed the Skagit considerably due to its efficient blade design and lightweight fiberglass blade construction  making smooth relaxed strokes easy.
Although they have the same shaft, the Camano outperformed the Skagit considerably due to its efficient blade design and lightweight fiberglass blade construction, making smooth relaxed strokes easy.

Best Applications


This paddle is suitable for those looking for high performance, or those likely to be covering long distances in their kayak. If you have some extra cash to spare and would like to make life easier for yourself when you are floating on the water, this high performing lightweight paddle will not disappoint you.

Testers were happy to have the Camano in their hands during out multi day kayak tours.
Testers were happy to have the Camano in their hands during out multi day kayak tours.

Value


The cost of the Werner Camano is significantly higher than the others tested for this review, but also half the price of some of the other costly options on the market. Considering it was $85 more than the award-winning Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon, some may view this paddle as unnecessarily expensive. However, compared to the other paddles tested, the difference in the performance and feel of the paddle is noticeable, even for the novice paddler. Long distance paddlers will be especially grateful for the reduced weight, and after miles of kayaking, your arm muscles will be glad you invested in the extra cost.

Paddling around Skunk Harbour  Lake Tahoe
Paddling around Skunk Harbour, Lake Tahoe

Conclusion


Overall, this is a high performing and enjoyable paddle to use. Scoring within the top three positions across all testing metrics. The Smart-View adjustable system required a bit of extra care and attention. However, it provided a simple to use and reliable adjustment point.

Those that are considering this paddle but would be willing to compromise weight for durability and cost may want to consider their Skagit FG, another paddle from the Werner family that utilizes the same blade design and high-quality shaft. The additional weight comes from the polypropylene blades that are heavier but more durable.

Other Versions and Accessories

  • Also available in one piece or four pieces.
  • Bent Shaft available
  • Blade available in carbon
  • Hooked adjustable version available for fisherman


Sara James