Werner Legend 99 SUP Paddle Review – By Mike Harvey
When I got word that Werner was coming out with a carbon SUP paddle for river running (The 2016 Werner Legend 99) I was excited. I love the stiffness and weight of carbon paddles, but given that I do most of my paddling on the rocky rivers of Colorado…I can be hard on paddles designed with flatwater and the ocean in mind.
I received my Werner Legend 99 in February and eyed a late February run down the Salt River Canyon in AZ as a perfect time to test the paddle in some fun whitewater. The first thing I noticed out of the box was the weight. The legend felt perfectly balanced with a light swing weight. The first few strokes on the river gave me confidence that the team at Werner had this paddle nailed.
A 99 square inch blade is perfect for whitewater paddling. I was able to hit the high RPM, quick strokes I prefer when running whitewater and trying to surf little waves on the fly. The buoyancy of the blade was apparent when bracing, surprisingly solid despite the smaller blade.
The test I was really waiting for happened when I misjudged the depth of a line in the muddy runoff and stabbed the paddle, full force, into a shallow boulder. I cringed and pulled over after the rapid expecting to see blade damage. I was really stoked to see the paddle was completely without damage. I couldn’t even tell which part of the blade I stabbed into the rock. The dynell reinforcement around the blade did its job really well; not surprising coming from a company that has a well-earned reputation for building some of the most durable whitewater kayaking paddles in the history of the sport.
In short the Legend is the best whitewater SUP paddle I have ever used. It will be my go to paddle this season for running rivers and river surfing. If you are looking for a high performance whitewater SUP paddle look no further.