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Werner Kalliste Review

A featherweight full carbon paddle engineered to provide you with an exceptionally smooth but powerful performance.
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $415 List | $415.00 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Featherweight, sleek blade design, enhanced paddling style
Cons:  Expensive, not for the careless user
Manufacturer:   Werner
By Sara James ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 14, 2020
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90
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 9
  • Performance - 40% 10
  • Ease of adjustment - 20% 7
  • Locking Mechanism Security - 15% 9
  • Weight - 15% 10
  • Durability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Werner Kalliste is the type of paddle that has the ability to make you fall in love with kayaking all over again. Constructed fully of carbon this paddle feels light in your hands, and the buoyant blade design makes it feel even lighter in the water. The full gloss finish of the meticulously designed blades further enhances the effortlessly smooth entrance and exit that is felt with each paddle stroke. Paddlers from beginners through expert will notice the transformational effect this paddle can have on your kayaking stroke. Prepare to be enchanted.


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Werner Kalliste
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Price $415.00 at REI
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Pros Featherweight, sleek blade design, enhanced paddling styleReliable, lightweight, easy to adjust and extend.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 shaft
Cons Expensive, not for the careless userQuestionable graphicsIn 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 adjust
Bottom Line A transformational paddle designed to effortlessly deliver smooth powerful strokes.A strong contender across all metrics, this durable paddle is adjustable and lightweight.Spend 10 minutes comparing this paddle to the bottom spec paddles, and even a novice paddler will feel the difference.The Camano is a solid option for those looking for a higher performance from their touring paddle.Premium features without the shiny finish or heavy price tag.
Rating Categories Werner Kalliste Pungo Glass Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon Werner Camano Werner Skagit FG
Performance (40%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
5
Ease Of Adjustment (20%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
8
Locking Mechanism Security (15%)
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
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9
Weight (15%)
10
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10
10
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8
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8
10
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9
10
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6
Durability (10%)
10
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7
10
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8
10
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9
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9
Specs Werner Kalliste Pungo Glass Aqua-Bound Sting... Werner Camano Werner Skagit FG
Measured Weight 816g 970g 850g 820g 1000g
Shaft Material / Construction Carbon fiber 50% carbon/50% fiberglass Carbon Carbon blend Carbon blend
Blade Shape Asymmetrical Asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical
Shaft Shape Straight Straight Straight Straight Straight
Style Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle
Offset 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 None 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R
Weight (230cm) advertised 652g 850.5g 865g 761g 953g
Breaks Down To 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece
Blade Material/Construction Carbon fiber/foam core fiberglass composite abX Carbon Reinforced Nylon Fiberglass laminate Fiberglass reinforced nylon
Length Options 220, 230, 240 cm 220 - 240 cm 210, 220, 230, 240, 250 cm 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments
Adjustment style Push button Rock-solid LeverlockĀ® ferrule system Posi-LokĀ® ferrule system Smart View Adjustable Smart View Adjustable
Other Options N/A Also available with higher blade construction ( Pungo Carbon) Available with smaller diameter shaft N/A Also available with higher blade construction

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.


Performance


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 ultralightweight feel of this full carbon paddle helps to reduce fatigue on the paddler's joints.  enabling you ton maintain form and paddle effectively for longer.
The ultralightweight feel of this full carbon paddle helps to reduce fatigue on the paddler's joints., enabling you ton maintain form and paddle effectively for longer.

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.

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.

Nasal sebum (aka nose grease) has long been a flyfisherman's trick when maintaining the ferrule of their fly fishing rods. Few kayakers seem to have picked up this handy tip. Simply wipe your fingers on your nose and immediately wipe your finger onto the dry ferrule. Tiny amounts of this readily available lubricant will work wonders for helping to maintain the joint of your paddle in smooth order.

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.

A bad day fishing is still a good day on the water if you have this paddle on board.
A bad day fishing is still a good day on the water if you have this paddle on board.

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.

This paddle is exceptionally light  reducing the impact on your joints and enabling the paddler to maintain good form for longer.
This paddle is exceptionally light, reducing the impact on your joints and enabling the paddler to maintain good form for longer.

Weight


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.

Durability


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.

Depending on what your paddle blades are made of you may want to be careful around rocks.
Depending on what your paddle blades are made of you may want to be careful around rocks.

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.

kayak paddles  touring  Pungo
kayak paddles, touring, Pungo

Value


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.

There are cheaper paddles available but if you are looking for a paddle that will reduce fatigue and improve your performance  this will definitely meet hit the mark.
There are cheaper paddles available but if you are looking for a paddle that will reduce fatigue and improve your performance, this will definitely meet hit the mark.

Conclusion


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.

This paddle will make you want to continue paddling well into the evening.
This paddle will make you want to continue paddling well into the evening.

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