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Werner Skagit FG Review

Don’t be fooled by the bland rental paddle look, the Skagit FG has premium quality features and is able to perform.
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Price:  $135 List | $108.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Secure locking mechanism, light weight carbon blend shaft
Cons:  Heavier than some models available, locking system can become stiff to adjust
Manufacturer:   Werner
By Sara James ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 23, 2018
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


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

Our Verdict

The Werner Skagit includes features from Werner's premium line, such as the Smart View adjustable ferrule system and carbon blend shaft. Although the reinforced nylon injected molded blades put the paddle on the heavy side, it has the added benefit of being more durable. All this for less than half the cost of the Camano makes this a great value performance paddle. Overall this is an excellent option for those looking for a robust kayak paddle that will deliver a quality performance.


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Pros Secure locking mechanism, light weight carbon blend shaftVery sturdy and durable locking mechanism, smooth blade performance, easy to adjust, lightweightLight weight, secure locking mechanism, high performance bladesDurable shaft and blade construction, wrapped fiberglass shaft provides textured gripAffordable, durable blade construction
Cons Heavier than some models available, locking system can become stiff to adjustIn the more expensive rangeExpensive, blades prone to wear if not treated well, locking mechanism can get stickyHeavy blades, play in snap button locking systemHeavy aluminum shaft, play in locking mechanism
Bottom Line Don’t be fooled by the bland rental paddle look, the Skagit FG has premium quality features and is able to perform.This paddle consistently was a top performer across all metrics and it was not hard to select this paddle as a winner.This paddle is designed for those looking for a higher performance option.The Magic Plus has a lightweight shaft and durable blades that deliver powerful strokes at an affordable price.This is an affordable entry level paddle that you can rely on.
Rating Categories Werner Skagit FG Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon Werner Camano Carlisle Magic Plus Bending Branches Whisper
Performance (40%)
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Ease Of Adjustment (20%)
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5
Locking Mechanism Security (15%)
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Weight (15%)
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Durability (10%)
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Specs Werner Skagit FG Aqua-Bound Sting... Werner Camano Carlisle Magic Plus Bending Branches...
Measured Weight 1000g 850g 820g 1190g 1050g
Shaft Material / Construction Carbon blend Carbon Carbon blend Fibreglass Aluminum
Blade Shape Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical Asymetrical Dihedral, asymmetrical
Shaft Shape Straight Straight Straight Straight Straight, oval
Style Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle Low-Angle
Offset 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R 0, 15, 30, 45, 60 L and R L45 0 R 45 L45 0 R 45
Weight (230cm) advertised 953g 865g 761g 1128.31g (220cm) 1049 g
Breaks Down To 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece 2 piece
Blade Material/Construction Fiberglass reinforced nylon abX Carbon Reinforced Nylon Fiberglass laminate Fiberglass reinforced polypropylene Polypropylene
Length Options 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments 210, 220, 230, 240, 250 cm 205 to 260 cm in 5 cm increments 220, 230, 240 cm 220, 230, 240 cm
Adjustment style Smart View Adjustable Posi-Lok® ferrule system Smart View Adjustable Push button Push button w/ basic ferrule
Other Options Also available with higher blade construction Available with smaller diameter shaft

Our Analysis and Test Results

Similar to the Camano, the Skagit FG utilizes Werner's Smart View adjustment system and carefully designed blades to deliver a high-quality paddle.

Performance Comparison


The Skagit would be a perfect companion for a sit on top kayaker.
The Skagit would be a perfect companion for a sit on top kayaker.

Performance


This paddle didn't have the higher performance feel of paddles with a carbon or fiberglass blade construction such as the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray and Werner Camano. However, when considering cheaper paddles with a plastic blend, it is important to remember that not all plastics are created equal. This particular blend is well suited to kayaking. More rigid than the Bending Branches and SeaSense, the Skagit blades deliver a more effective stroke, with less flutter.

The Skagit is a dependable and reasonably priced paddle.
The Skagit is a dependable and reasonably priced paddle.

Ease of adjustment


The Smart View system makes this paddle easy to adjust, assuming you haven't allowed sand or grit to collect in the connection point. The viewing portal enables paddles to identify the feather of the paddle, making it straightforward to adjust with little thought. Werner offers nine options for the blade feather angle, which testers found more than sufficient to meet different needs and paddling conditions.

The Smart view adjustment system is easy to use.
The Smart view adjustment system is easy to use.

Locking Mechanism Security


At first glance, you could easily mistake this paddle for a one-piece. Even after paddling with it on the water you are not likely to experience any instability in the point of connection. This system consistently outperformed the basic snap button system used by the Magic Plus and the Bending Branches. The only system out there that tested as more secure was Aqua-Bound's Posi-Lok.

You take thousands of strokes when you go kayaking. Make sure these are the best they can be.
You take thousands of strokes when you go kayaking. Make sure these are the best they can be.

Weight


The reinforced nylon injection molded blades make this paddle heavier than the fiberglass laminate Camano. However, it still weighs in less than most of its competitors due to its lightweight carbon blend shaft.

The testers were quicker to tire using the Skagit than Camano due to its heavier blades.
The testers were quicker to tire using the Skagit than Camano due to its heavier blades.

Durability


The blades on the Skagit are more durable than the Camano, and we identified it as one of the toughest of all those we tested. It shone in the gravel bank test and survived being tossed in a roof box for hundreds of miles with other gear rattling around. After extensive use, testers found that the two-piece paddle became difficult to adjust or dismantle. The adjustment point benefits from some basic care to ensure that this does not happen.

The Skagit held up in rough conditions.
The Skagit held up in rough conditions.

Best Applications


If you intend to use a recreational sit-on-top kayak, you are likely to find this paddle perfectly adequate to your needs. This paddle is also well-suited to an emerging paddler looking to purchase a paddle they know they can rely on to perform for years to come. Those looking to tour long distances or perform high-speed sprints may want to consider a lighter, higher performing paddle such as the Camano or Aqua-Bound

Value


The Skagit delivers many features of a premium paddle like the Werner Camano, for a much lower price. We, therefore, consider this a paddle to be a great value. However, it is possible to purchase a perfectly functional paddle, like the Bending Branches for $100 less, so some may argue that this price is still too much for a first paddle purchase.

The Skagit has adjustable drip rings.
The Skagit has adjustable drip rings.

Conclusion


Given the significant price difference between the Camano and the Skagit, we expected a more significant difference in performance. Although the Skagit is heavier and doesn't have the same smooth catch and pull in the water, it still lives up to Werner's quality name and delivers a more than satisfactory performance. Novice paddlers are unlikely to notice the slight flutter that the blade can deliver when placed under duress, however expert paddlers may notice this when digging in for a stroke and wish they had the more rigid Camano or Aqua-Bound

Other Versions and Accessories

  • Also available in 1 piece or 4 pieces.
  • Lengths 205 to 260cm in 5cm increments
  • Werner also makes this paddle with Carbon Fiber reinforced nylon injection molded blades
  • Skagit hooked available


Sara James