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Werner Camano Review

This paddle is designed for those looking for a higher performance option.
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Price:  $285 List | $285.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 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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79
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 9
  • Performance - 40% 7
  • 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. However, it fell short in testing when compared to some of the other adjustment systems available.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Werner has a history of making well designed high-quality kayak paddles, and the Camano lives up to their prestigious family name. This paddle was a high performer in most tested metrics.

Performance Comparison


We were happy to have this paddle in their hands during our multi-day kayak tours.
We were happy to have this paddle in their hands during our multi-day kayak tours.

Performance


The Camano placed just behind the top performers in this category. 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.

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

Ease of Adjustment


It is no surprise that it tied for ease of adjustment with the Skagit and Kalliste, which uses the same Werner Smart View adjustable system. The Smart-view portal makes it easy to identify and select the correct blade angle to suit your kayaking needs. This system does benefit from basic maintenance or the help of a second pair of hands.

The male connection point of the shaft  is prone to drying out and can become stiff to adjust if not maintained properly.
The male connection point of the shaft is prone to drying out and can become stiff to adjust if not maintained properly.

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. However, it did not feel as bombproof as some of the other mechanisms available from Aqua-Bound and Wildnerness System.

This sleek blade design delivered a smooth entry and exit point for the paddle.
This sleek blade design delivered a smooth entry and exit point for the paddle.

Weight


The Camano is one of the lighter paddles tested in this review. Novices and experts noticed this weight difference and were especially grateful for the lighter paddle when heading out for longer distances.

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.

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.

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.

Those looking for a high-intensity work out will enjoy having this lightweight paddle in their hands.
Those looking for a high-intensity work out will enjoy having this lightweight paddle in their hands.

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. There are cheaper paddles that scored higher overall in the tested metrics. However, this paddle outperformed most of the cheaper models in terms of performance. 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.

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.

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.
Due its high performance and lightweight  this paddle proved to be a popular choice when winds picked up and the lake became choppy.
Due its high performance and lightweight, this paddle proved to be a popular choice when winds picked up and the lake became choppy.

Those that are considering this paddle but would be willing to compromise weight for durability and cost may want to consider the 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.

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


Sara James