The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Werner Vibe Review

The Vibe is a great all-around paddle that moves water well and is easy to manage.
Vibe
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $165 List | $131.99 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Cuts cleanly through water, durable blade
Cons:  Heavy
Manufacturer:   Werner
By Shey Kiester & Valentine Cullen  ⋅  Jul 26, 2018
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87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 10
  • Performance - 30% 9
  • Ease of adjustment - 20% 9
  • Locking Mechanism - 20% 10
  • Weight - 20% 6
  • Compactability - 10% 10

The Skinny

The Werner Vibe established itself as a front-runner early in testing. The paddle offers some of the best performance of any of the paddles tested with a high-functioning blade design. With 16 inches of adjustability, the paddle was easy to modify when switching between multiple users of varying heights. Plus, the Vibe's LeverLock mechanism offers efficient adjustability. Thanks to this model's smooth performance, easy adjustability, and a superior locking mechanism, this is an excellent SUP paddle at a reasonable price point.

This model, while high-performing, does feature materials that aren't as top-of-the-line as other models. If money isn't an option and you're looking for the highest quality materials, look at the Werner Trance 95. If you're on the opposite end of the spectrum and you're seeking a simpler model for less, we recommend our Best Buy, the Bullet Proof Surf Alloy.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


The Vibe's 10-degree offset is optimal for recreational paddling  while lending high performance.
The Vibe's 10-degree offset is optimal for recreational paddling, while lending high performance.

Performance


While the Werner Vibe has some flashy new features, like a sweet locking mechanism and a solid paddle design, our reviewers were initially skeptical of its performance capabilities. However, on almost the first paddle stroke, the Vibe proved its mettle, which is reflected by its high score in this metric.


This paddle features a rectangular shape with a hybrid dihedral/scoop profile and 10 degrees of offset. The result is outstanding performance on the paddle's entry, catch, and a more stable paddle stroke. The consistent width of the rectangular paddle allows for a more gentle catch and smooth pull through the water. The dihedral design is less aggressive than paddles like the NRS Rush that feature a bit more of a bend in the dihedral, and our reviewers found that this resulted in a more stable forward pull. The scoop helps you generate power.

The rectangular shape of the dihedral Werner Vibe.
The rectangular shape of the dihedral Werner Vibe.

Plus, the new locking mechanism featured on this paddle played into the overall performance as well. Because this mechanism so low profile, our reviewers found that it significantly reduced the amount of fumbling that occurs when switching your paddle stroke. The Vibe's locking mechanism allows it to have versatile adjustability while its profile resembles that of a non-adjustable paddle.

Ease of Adjustment


The Vibe features 16 inches of adjustability, which was in the middle of the adjustment range for the paddles reviewed. However, while it lacks an extra two inches found in models like the NRS Rush or BPS Adjustable Alloy, our reviewers found that 16 inches were plenty of wiggle room to allow for adjustments between paddlers of varying heights.


Plus, the Vibe features marks for both the height of the paddler and the paddle measurement itself, a feature not present on all models in our review. This makes figuring out your ideal paddle size much easier. With the helpful measurement marks and a superior locking mechanism (which we discuss in detail below), the Vibe was one of the easiest paddles to adjust. This makes it ideal for use between multiple paddlers of different heights, or when you're transitioning from one area of water sports to another.

If the Vibe is feeling a little short it's easy to adjust.
If the Vibe is feeling a little short it's easy to adjust.

Compactability


The Vibe is available in three configurations, a one-piece, two-piece or three-piece model. Although the three-piece offering is a bit more expensive than the one-piece (about $60), it had the lowest compact profile of any of the models tested at just 34.5 inches. If you're looking for an option that can travel with you whether you're cruising on a moped, hiking into the backcountry, or flying overseas, this might be the choice for you.


While models like the Super Paddles and iGK Pure Carbon Fiber are a little less adjustable at 39 inches, these models both come with carrying cases. For some users, this might be overkill, but if you're looking for something that you can easily pack up and take with you on the go, these other options might be the right choice for you.

The LeverLock locking mechanism of the Kialoa Makai.
The LeverLock locking mechanism of the Kialoa Makai.

Locking Mechanism


As soon as our testers took the Vibe out of its packaging, there were oohs and ahhs over its locking mechanism. The Vibe's LeverLock mechanism the simplest option, and our favorite. The mechanism features a lever that pulls upward, and when in the up position the shaft of the paddle easily slides up and down. There are very few moving parts associated with the mechanism, which our testers found to be a huge benefit.


Paddles like the iGK and Super Paddle feature a system that, confusingly, is also called LeverLock, or Family Adjustable. However, these systems required screwdriver tightening out of the box thanks to their many moving parts, and they aren't as intuitive as the Vibe's system. Additionally, the Vibe presented much less play in the locking mechanism than other models like the iGK and Super Paddle. The only other paddles that feature the same locking mechanism as the Vibe are the Werner Trance and the Kialoa Makai.

Weight


Of all our metrics, weight was where the Vibe fell short. At 1.7 pounds, it is slightly heavier than the ultralight models in our review (the Werner Trance is 1.2 pounds).


This weight difference comes with a big price difference. The Trance is about $200 more, depending on the models you choose. We found that this paddle does not feel super heavy when in hand, and it might be worth the little bit of extra weight for the price and performance.

The Editor's Choice winning Werner Vibe features 10 degrees of offset and an Injection molded fiberglass construction.
The Editor's Choice winning Werner Vibe features 10 degrees of offset and an Injection molded fiberglass construction.

Best Applications


The Vibe is a high-performing paddle that is a little heftier than carbon options like the Werner Trance or iGK Pure Carbon. However, for the recreational paddler, who doesn't need the very highest level of performance, it is a wise choice.

Value


Ranging from around $100-$165 depending on the compactability you select, the Vibe is on the middle-lower end of the price range seen in our review. However, we feel that the performance packed into this paddle makes it an excellent value. Although there are cheaper options (like our other Best Buy, the Bullet Proof Surf Alloy), its performance pales in comparison to the Vibe's.

Conclusion


The Vibe offers impressive performance for an introductory price point with a gentle catch and stable forward pull. Adjusting the paddle is simple and easy, thanks to a locking mechanism that is our favorite in the review. While it is a little bit heavier than other options, the three-piece version is the most compactable option in our review. If you're looking for a recreational paddle with high-performance points, we think this is a good pick.

The Vibe is easy to take to far away places as it packs down to nothing.
The Vibe is easy to take to far away places as it packs down to nothing.


Shey Kiester & Valentine Cullen