Author Topic: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?  (Read 3247 times)

jondrums

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
I am absolutely loving my mana 90 paddle for foiling, but I've now ruined several paddles by hitting the foil while I'm paddle pumping.  I can't afford to buy another Mana that I'm just going to crack again.  Any suggestions on an alternative that'll still feel great in the water? - a bit heavier would be a fine trade-off for durability.

Dusk Patrol

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 880
  • PNW
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2020, 06:32:51 PM »
Assuming you're cracking the blade?

How about a paddle built tough for whitewater (SUP)?  Werner's high aspect blade shape feels great in the water, and maybe even will give you the extra few centimeters of space needed to avoid the foil.  But the value prop is the blade durability.  On the lighter carbon Legend it's achieved through extra edge protection.     

https://wernerpaddles.com/paddles/sup-whitewater/legend-99-1-piece-straight-shaft

19 oz  - 99 sq in blade, but high aspect shape which does not feel like 99 sq"

Or a glass blade and just as light... the Flow.  less than 20 oz  - Can get it on sale in a two piece right now on Cheap and Steep - $160 

https://wernerpaddles.com/paddles/versatile-use/flow-85-1-piece-straight-shaft

And Kialoa makes an 85 sq " bomber whitewater paddle called the Makai (maybe a play on "Paddle to the Sea")?  I've never used it though, personally.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2020, 06:42:47 PM by Dusk Patrol »
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4

jondrums

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2020, 07:58:51 PM »
when I'm pumping/paddling with a big wing, the face of the paddle can smack the leading edge of the wing.  I've got a collection of blades that have a compression crack right across the backside where the front struck the foil (perpendicular to the shaft).  Usually happens when I'm pumping high in the water, low in my stance catching a wave, and/or turning away from the paddle.   Otherwise, the paddle mostly goes above or outside of the wing.  I'm not sure if a high aspect shape will be better or worse, I'm thinking worse for those times when the paddle is going above the wing. 

Anyone else having this problem?  Maybe my technique sucks, or maybe I'm riding the big high aspect wings more than others (GL240 is worst offender)

Dusk Patrol

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 880
  • PNW
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2020, 09:12:48 PM »
Sounds like Ke Nalu should put a foil proof (Mana90) blade into production.
Ke Nalu are you listening? : )
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4

jondrums

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2020, 09:34:06 PM »
thanks for the recommendations btw.
I guess I might be spoiled by being able to buy just a blade from Kenalu - that Werner looks great, but of course I have to buy a whole paddle.  Are other companies making the hot-glue style paddle blades?  I've been using hotglue on hockey stick shaft to blades for 25 years now, all paddles should be that way.

SUPdad

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2020, 09:57:10 PM »
Maybe a longer mast or a shorter shaft? :D
I canít even paddle when trying to pump...too many things going on all at once!  :o

Dusk Patrol

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 880
  • PNW
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2020, 10:31:29 PM »
Yeah Ke Nalu is the only paddle maker I’m aware of that offers hot glue blades. I suppose you could arrange with a maker to sell you an unglued blade, but that means your contemplating replacing blades in the future, and that’s the situation you’re trying to end.
I think Ke Nalu making a foil proof blade is an excellent idea. It fits in their modification niche, and there are more than a few foilers out there. And it gets you the blade you like. AND ... “FoilProof”  (...foolproof) is not the worst name... Ke Nalu you can have that : )
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4

supthecreek

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 6792
  • Walk directly at what you want
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2020, 03:19:23 AM »
KeNalu makes a VERY durable blade, that is inexpensive, but it is heavy.
$45
the Honu
Fiberglass reinforced nylon blade.

https://kenalu.com/collections/paddle-components/products/honu-blade

burchas

  • Custom Built
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2020, 04:01:29 AM »
Try ZRE paddles. Very light & durable due to their roots (river racing). The great things about this brand is customizability.
You could ask them to reinforce the area where you hit the blade and you'll most likely get it but it doesn't stop there.

All my ZRE paddles are now with a Quickblade P56 and extended grip (with 6 inch adjustment), custom flex oval shafts with kevlar finish for better grip and whatever blade size
I can think of. That's how customizable they are. They also adapted my QB V-Drive and my Kenalu Mana blades to fit their shafts so I can use some of the other great
blades out there with my system.

Great service and warranty if something ever happens, 100% Made in the US yet the price very competitive.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 04:09:58 AM by burchas »
in progress...

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 23255
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2020, 06:17:57 AM »
Like Creek, I was going to mention the Honu. If you can break one of those you're really doing something.

But I think Lane still does the forever warranty, meaning if you break a blade or other part you can send him a picture and he'll sell you a replacement deeply discounted. There's nothing like the Mana for rescuing a bad stroke, and there's no question that paddling while you're pumping is not going to be the best stroke you ever made.

You might also shorten your paddle a bunch. If you're keeping your shaft long to enable paddling while you're pumping I'd say it must be too long if you manage to hit the wing. I suspect that paddling while you're pumping is as much a habit as it is effective. Everyone I'd seen doing it pretty much just makes a splash with the paddle, not a lot of force applied. 

I managed to hit my GL240, even with my weenie pumping and relatively upright stance. But it was a day that I forgot my surf/foil paddle and used my downwind/flatwater paddle. Much longer. I was having a tough time getting into the waves with the longer shaft. Problem solved the next day, with my usual shorter paddle.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

jondrums

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2020, 08:10:43 AM »
Ponobill, I can certainly say that pump pump paddle is much more efficient than just pumping.  I can go roughly twice as long before I collapse.

I'll drop Lane a line about a Mana since I'm totally addicted.  I'll probably also buy a home.  Zre looks promising too.  Thanks

PonoBill

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 23255
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2020, 09:58:42 AM »
Try it with a shorter paddle. I think it could be as much a timing and changing muscle engagement thing as it is propulsion. I watched Junya doing his pump-paddle thing, and as powerful as his usual stroke is, when he was doing the pump-paddle thing he was mostly just splashing. You might be different, but that's what I've noticed with others.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Beasho

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2573
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2020, 12:38:05 PM »
I love my MANA and would NOT consider changing.  These paddles are light and powerful and fast. 

But mine too has taken a beating.  Like the rest of my foil gear I consider it fungible.  Therefore it's going to break and I am going to have to fix it. 

Here the edge is getting beaten and I have 2 distinct foil strikes.  I agree this mostly happens in smaller surf with bigger foils. 

My paddle is short ~ 1" overhead.  I think I have been hitting the foil less with the 29" mast. 

jondrums

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2020, 06:55:58 PM »
with the beaches closed, I've been doing a lot of dockstarting (like 3 sessions a week for the last several weeks).  Apples to Apples - same board, same foil setup with and without a paddle - I can pump around for about twice as long with a paddle before I am so exhausted I've lost my will to continue.

Thanks Beasho, I was hoping there would be a better solution, but maybe I just need to repair and replace periodically.

Mmac

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 47
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Cheaper and more durable alternative to kenalu Mana paddle?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2020, 07:22:36 PM »
Kenalu's are nice paddles but that Mana 90 blade is an unusual beast.  It was the first blade to cause huge shoulder pain for me.  Switched paddles and no problems since.