In my last post, I talked about a couple of Werner fiberglass paddles in which the shaft broke while students were learning to do a standard paddle float solo re-entry. The first paddle to break was a five year old paddle with an older ferrule style in which the button sticks up above the rest of the shaft. Although it was not covered by warranty, I did have Werner repair the broken shaft and they replaced it with a newer button style in which the button is flush with the shaft making it much less likely that the button wILL get depressed accidentally during rescues.
Along with my repaired paddle, I received a couple of “button covers” which are rubber rings that go over the paddle shaft and around the button on the old-style paddles preventing the buttons from being accidentally depressed. If you own an older model Werner paddle with the adjustable angle ferrule system that has the button that sticks out, you can e-mail Werner with your name and address and they will mail out a button cover to you at no cost. I would strongly recommend that you take advantage of this courtesy if you own one of these paddles, especially if you use it for rescues.
My second broken paddle was deemed a defect in materials/workmanship and is being repaired at no cost as I speak. I should have it back in a couple of weeks.
While I was somewhat disappointed that I needed to send two paddles in for repair within a month, these are the only paddles that I have had to send back for repair in over twenty years of kayaking and Werner has done a very good job of handling both repairs. (I have broken two other paddles, but I can’t blame Werner when I drove over one of them and broke the other when I capsized in the surf zone.) My repaired Shuna came back with a new shaft, a new ferrule, and one new blade and I paid less than half the cost of a new paddle.