Werner Kalliste Review
Cons: Expensive, not for the careless user
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Aptly named after a sea nymph of Greek mythology, this paddle has the ability to transform your paddling style. It is exceptionally light, with added buoyancy provided through the blade design and materials. This optimal combination gives the Kalliste an effortless feel when powering through the water. You will want to have this paddle in your hands if you are looking to perform across long distances, or simply wanting to reduce fatigue on the water. More than anything else, this paddle feels great in action.
The high-end materials and carefully engineered design of the blade combine to provide an exceptionally lightweight, polished feel. The dihedral blade design makes sure that the water flows of the paddle equally, helping to deliver a smooth flutter free stroke. The smooth back face of the paddle also helps to ensure that the paddle enters and exits the water most efficiently, producing an effortless feel for every stroke.
The dihedral paddle blades are meticulously designed to ensure that they cut through the water like a razor through silk, allowing you to keep a confident and consistent cadence for miles on the water.
The full carbon shaft helps to deliver a smooth transfer of power, enabling the paddler to get the most out of every paddle stroke.
Ease of adjustment
The Smart View system utilizes one button to unlock the paddle and enables the user to identify their chosen blade angel by using a small view hole. In controlled conditions, all testers were able to use it quickly without guidance. Cold hands or limited dexterity make it challenging to adjust this paddle as the button requires agile fingers. Also, over time, testers noted that the internal join of the shaft can become dry, making it still to operate. On occasion, we needed another set of hands to help us dismantle this paddle. Basic maintenance ( such as rinsing the paddle in between uses) greatly helps to ensure this paddle is always functioning smoothly.
Although not our favorite option, the Smart View system used by Werner is still superior to the snap button option seen on many paddles. It is less prone to sticking, and the low profile of the button meant that it never bothered paddlers.
The Kalliste scored above average on this metric compared to other paddles; however, it was one of its lowest scores overall. Given the high end, gloss finish nature of the rest of this paddle, testers felt it was a shame that is didn't also excel in this area.
Locking Mechanism Security
The Smart View system is good enough. Most blind testers were unable to identify it was a two-piece paddle. However, if you don't need to dismantle the paddle for travel, and intend to stick to the same feather for all your paddling needs, it is worth considering purchasing the one-piece version of this paddle. If you have spent the money for such a high-end performance paddle, you might as well avoid unnecessary give it the shaft and experience the full beauty of what this full carbon paddle has to offer.
Constructed fully from Carbon, the 240cm Werner Kalliste weighs in at under 820g.
The (lack of) weight of this paddle is quite notable from the moment you first pick it up. It is not uncommon to feel like you 'air swooshed' your first strokes. Once paddlers get used to the lightweight feel of the paddle, they will find that this paddle can deliver.
Testers comments on how well balanced the paddle felt at any angle, helping the kayaker to deliver smooth and effective strokes.
The blade design further lends itself to an exceptionally lightweight feel on the water as the blade offers its own floatation, also reducing the impact on the paddler's shoulders. The Kalliste makes it is easy to fall into a comfortable but powerful cadence for extended journeys.
The smooth finish of the carbon blades makes it an easy take for surface scratches. Due to the beauty of this paddle, this probable event may upset you to the core of your soul, but it will not have a noticeable impact on the performance of the paddle.
The blade edges are reinforced with dynel, an impact, and abrasion-resistant woven material. This roping helps to protect the blades from wearing down; however, they are still susceptible to wear and tear. Careless transportation of this paddle (i.e., rattling around in the back of your truck), or blunt force trauma from sharp rocks, could cause significant damage. This is not the paddle you will lend your clumsy friend. That being said, simple precautions such as using a paddle travel bag, or traveling with the paddle dismantled inside your car, will preserve this worthy paddle for generations to come.
This paddle is more expensive than most. Constructed from carbon materials and backed by Werner's solid reputation for customer service, you can guarantee that this paddle will still be in the hands of paddle lovers for many years to come. It is not the option for those on a budget.
If you take care of it, this ultra-light, elegantly designed paddle will not disappoint you. The full carbon construction and meticulous blade design are a testament to the fact that the Kalliste was designed to provide the very best in performance. If you purchase this paddle, you will not look back, unless its to see your friends paddling behind you.
Other Versions and Accessories
- Also available in one piece or four pieces.
- Straight or Neutral Bent Shaft available
- Standard or Small shaft available
— Sara James