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Keep it light.
With the Trance 95 Carbon Stand-Up Paddle, Werner aimed to make the lightest paddle available for SUP; at less than a pound, it may well have succeeded. Both the shaft and blade have a carbon construction for a super-low weight and equally super stiffness. The blade has a long, slender shape with an edge guard lamination to glide through water with ease, and the straight shaft has a ten degree bend to enhance power at each stroke. The small palm grip gives a women-specific feel, and the medium is ideal for most men.
- Carbon shaft and blade
- Straight shaft
- Long, slender, rectangular blade with dihedral
- Men- and women-specific palm grips
- Item #WER001T
- Q & A
Great Feather-light All-around Paddle
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The good: The Trance is an excellent all-around/touring paddle. It is almost too light to be real but delivers smooth power to your stroke. At 95 sq.in. I think it is a little too small to be regarded as a race paddle but if you're smaller framed or have a particularly high stroke rate it still might be the ticket. Dihedral blade is well designed so that you get almost no fluttering, even on off strokes. This promotes a loose grip which is a good thing.
The not so good: The Trance does not excel in the surf. It's narrow and long blade design requires deeper water penetration on the initial part of the stroke to get full power - that's not so great when the surf gets hectic or if you're sprint paddling to get on a wave late. Again, its 95sq.in. might be a little undersized for a dedicated surfing paddle.
Also of note is that my paddle had a defect in the shaft near the handle that got worse over time and eventually water started getting inside. I think this was a very unique situation because I've had Werner paddles last me 15 years without incident but sometimes stuff happens.
So why four stars out of five? First of all, I'm not going to hold the defective shaft against Werner because I'm convinced this is a totally isolated problem. I gave this paddle four stars because it does many things very well. From cruising flat water on my 11'6 all around board to even getting into some light surf on my 10'6, this paddle does exceptionally well. It only begins to feel out of place when I'm on my 9'5 surf-sup in a dedicated surf session.
Buying tip: Order this paddle an inch longer so you can get all of the long blade in the water to maximize your power.