I bought a Native Watercraft Ultimate 12 the first year they appeared over any other kayak or canoe... I saw all the leaders at a boat show at the biggest dealer in the US. I looked for a good quality paddle and bent shaft seemed to make sense. I picked a Cascadia by Werner from REI. I have used it in lakes and the James River at Richmond, VA probably 200 times, easily. On lakes, I have likely used it 70-100 times.
The paddle tips are fine, no damage or breakage, it remains comfortable to paddle. It is stout and not especially light. But in a river or on a breezy day, a bit of weight to the paddle helps. No arm or wrist pain ever, even paddling a river for 5-6 hours while fishing.
They are not cheap, and they are not cheaply made. You could use this an adult lifetime with reasonable care. A paddle is NOT the place to cheap out; and get the long length ... 240 CM.I originally purchased my Werner Cascadia bent shaft as a low-cost entry-level paddle when I switched from Greenland style to Euro. The expectation at the time was to relegate it as a spare when I found the paddle I really should have.
Since then, I've found it to be a capable and comfortable paddle on numerous day trips and week-long self-supported wilderness outings. The nylon blades have held up extremely well to Lake Superior rocks with very little flutter and I've had zero wrist problems with the bent shaft (though I've never had wrist problems anyway).
I chose to save money versus weight and am not unhappy with the choice:
Cascadia with bent glass shaft @ 37 oz./$250
Camano with bent carbon shaft @ 29 oz/$405
This spring I spotted an updated version of this paddle at REI with the new adjustable ferrule system, so I cashed in my dividend, claimed my 20% off coupon, and put the old three-position feather Cascadia on the back deck of my Aquanaut.
Yes, there are lighter and arguably better paddles out there, but it's tough to beat the value of this stick.
Build Quality - 9/10
Durability - 9/10
Design - 8/10
Weight - 7/10
Value - 10/10
Overall - 9/10