Rewind to May 28th, 2008. The year I was starting to get heavy into kayak fishing I was involved in a pretty nasty car accident. I was out of work for 7 months and had a brand new kayak that I couldn't even take out on the water. My injuries eventually healed and I fed my addiction to being a plastic navy member. The first paddle I purchase was a fairly light carbon fiber 2-pc paddle. It was light, compact and got the job done in the beginning. After a few hours on the water my left arm (where the injury was) would be sore. Sometimes even a backwards paddle stroke would even catch me off guard and I would really feel it. I figured the pain was something that I would have to live with my whole life. 11 screws and 2 plates that held my arm together would hinder me from really ever putting any miles in on the water. A worthy sacrifice to enjoy the peacefulness and tranquility that is offered by through kayak fishing.
Fast forward to last December. It was time for a new paddle. I had researched and looked around. Picked up every paddle I could. Checked out what other people were using.All the brands, all the different models, bent shaft or straight shaft, red or blue? When it was all said and done there was really only 1 logical choice. Enter the Werner Best Shaft Kalliste. At 28 oz. this thing feels like a carbon fiber feather. Yet still feels rigid pulling through the water. I chose the bent shaft due to my previous injury. The bent shaft helped me align my wrists while paddling and provide a better paddle stroke therefore creating less discomfort in my injured arm. When you hold this paddle in your hands it just feels natural. For the first time in years I was able to really put some distance on my kayak. The Wilderness Systems Ride 135 is no sports car, but with a paddle like the Kalliste I was cruising all over in it. The adjustable ferrule system help cut through the wind on those less then perfect days. and its 2 piece design makes it super compact.
Werner makes some top notch products. They have a paddle that will fit your style of kayaking without a doubt! With so many different colors you can even customize their look. From the shoals of Virginia Eastern Shore to the skinny water of Mosquito Lagoon in Florida. The Kalliste has yet to find a situation it inst suited for. I hope this review will at least reach 1 person out there in kayak fishing-land who was in the same "boat" as me (pun intended) to make their choice easier when choosing a new paddle.