Werner Skagit FG Review
Cons: Heavier than some models available, locking system can become stiff to adjust
Compare to Similar Products
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.
This paddle didn't have the higher performance feel of paddles with a carbon or fiberglass blade construction. 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 other budget options tested, the blades deliver a more effective stroke, with less flutter.
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.
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.
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 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 delivers many features of a premium paddle 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 for $100 less, so some may argue that this price is still steep for a first paddle purchase. If you expect to be using this for multiple years to come, we think this is a great investment for introductory and emerging kayakers.
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.
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 for fishing
— Sara James