PaddlesReviews

Werner Cyprus Review: A Lightweight Carbon Kayak Paddle

Werner Cyprus review - a carbon fiber kayak paddle

The Werner Cyprus paddle is Werner’s most popular Performance Core high-angle paddle. It features mid-size carbon fiber blades filled with foam, which gives the paddle a more buoyant feel when on the water. The ferrule features a geared adjustment system for a precise fit. Werner claims that the Cyprus fits a wide range of paddlers, and that the paddle is great for linking strokes, bracing and rolling. This is my Werner Cyprus review.

Specifications

  • Surface area: 610 sq. cm
  • Blade length by width: 46 by 18 cm
  • Weight for 210 cm: 23 oz.
  • Available length: 205 to 230 cm

Werner Cyprus Initial Thoughts

I’ve owned a 210 cm straight shaft version of this paddle for four years, used it for over 1,000 miles of touring, plus more miles of day trips and feel ready to do a Werner Cyprus Review. When I was first shopping for a new paddle, I had experience with a number of brands, but I mostly used my Werner 201cm whitewater paddle for everything. I was also working at a guide at a place that used Werner paddles. I had grown to trust the paddles after seeing them abused daily for several years. While I liked my whitewater paddle for touring and day trips, I wanted something slightly longer and lighter. The Werner Cyprus seemed a good paddle to try.

Someone lent me a 215cm version to demo for a week and while I put it through its paces, I really started to enjoy it. The blade was smaller than my whitewater paddle, but still powerful enough. Catches with the blade felt quick and were silent. The surface area felt easy on my back and I did notice that my cadence quickened, and because of that my kayak’s average speed raised. Obviously, the whitewater paddle was just too much surface area for touring. When I’m by myself, I like to lay back on my rear deck and look at the sky while dragging a paddle blade on one side for stability. When I first tried this with the Werner Cyprus, the blade edge caught and I ended upside down. During the roll, I popped up quickly and it felt like the buoyancy helped get the paddle to the surface quickly during the setup.

After the week-long demo, I was hooked and ordered a paddle in 210cm, because I felt that the 215cm version was just too big for my 21-inch wide kayaks. The length actually felt clumsy to me.

Paddle Construction

The paddle and blade are constructed from carbon fiber, which has a beautiful black weave. The finish came from the factory completely smooth and without a single blemish. The foam in the blades gives each blade a 3D shape across the back. The thickness of the foam sandwiched between layers of carbon gives the blade strength and stiffness not possible with a simple carbon layup for the same weight. I’ve also tried a bent shaft version and the construction was equally as nice. In fact, every Werner paddle I’ve seen is of high quality.

One downside of such a smooth finish is that I find the paddle rotates easily in my hands. I use surfer’s Sex Wax to make the shaft sticky.

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Werner Ferrule

The Werner Cyprus features Werner’s adjustable ferrule. The ferrule has notches at common feathers and those geared notches lock the paddle together with almost no slop or wiggle. It’s not as tight as Epic’s lever locking system, but it’s way better than a spring clip system. The advantage of Werner’s system over system like Epic’s is that nothing rises up above the paddle’s shaft, so it feels more like a one piece paddle. It has settings for 45 and 60 degrees. I use 45 because I find using that feather keeps my tendinitis from flaring up.

I haven’t had any problems with the ferrule other than the typical sand jams. I just used the hair dryer method of getting a jammed paddle apart to fix the problem.

Weight

This paddle weighs 23 oz. It feels light. When I hand it to someone using a heavier paddle the first thing they do when it gets into their hands is smile. The lightweight actually saves you energy during the day, because you end up lifting much less weight. If you paddle for eight hours on a typical touring day, you’ll lift the paddle over 28,000 times. A few ounces adds up. For example, if you use Werner’s Shuna, which weighs only 3.5 oz. more, then you end up lifting about 6,000 more pound over the day. I hate lending this paddle to someone else, because it means that I have to use their heavier paddle.

In addition to the lightweight, Werner boasts that their paddles have a low swing weight, which means that the ends weigh very little, so swinging the paddle back and forth takes less work. It certainly feels that way to me. If you pick up a paddle with heavier blades — even other carbon paddles — you can tell the difference.

Rolling

One feature that I really like about this paddle is the extra buoyancy of the foam blade. It helps for rolling and seems to pull the blade to the surface. Where it really shines though is during sculling side braces and balance braces. It’s very easy to balance brace with this paddle vs. one without foam blades. To me it actually feels like using a wooden Greenland paddle when balance bracing. Recently, I was teaching a new paddler to balance brace. She just couldn’t get it with her paddle, so I put the Cyprus into her hand. She got her first balance brace instantly.

Forward Stroke and Other Strokes

I don’t have anything to complain about. The blade shape and size catches the water quickly, it’s size feels about right for my strength — I wouldn’t want anything bigger — and the blade releases from the water just as easily as it catches. It’s a very quiet blade. When underwater, I find that I can easily move the paddle to link up strokes. One problem that I have with it is that the smooth shaft rotates and slides around easily in my hands. Now and then I’ll notice that the shaft has moved more towards one side than the other, so I have to slide it back, like I mentioned above I either use grippy gloves or wax to counteract this problem.

I find the smaller surface area of the blades feels good on my shoulders at the end of the day. Because I have a shoulder issue and don’t want to do surgery, I feel like the light swing weight and smaller blades help me continue to enjoy long-distance kayaking without losing too much power. When I shift to more surface area, I can definately feel it.

For forward strokes, I feel like 210 cm is just slightly short and 215 cm is just slightly too long for what I want. I just want a few more cm to put my catch slightly more forward.

Long Term Werner Cyprus Review

Over the long term, the paddle has held up. The blades have scratches and the tips are worn down to the fabric from pushing off sandy and rocky beaches during seal launches, but no worse and perhaps better than other paddles that I’ve used. The sticker holding the feather angles has come off a few times. I wrote to Werner about the problem, and offered to buy stickers. Instead of charging me a couple of dollars, they just sent me several replacements. I expect that the paddle will give me many more years of service.

Conclusion

I love my Werner Cyprus, and if you’re looking for an all-around lightweight paddle, then I highly recommend you buy one.

12 comments

  • Nice review, I recently bought a Cyprus having used a shuna for a couple of years. I thought the shuna was perfect until I made the mistake of swapping with someone using a cyprus on a trip, the lightness and buoyancy make a noticeable difference compared with the already light shuna.

    Jg

  • Forgot to add that the paddles now come with feather angles etched instead of the stickers that come off over time!

  • Nice review, thanks for sharing. I have a bigger brother of Cyprus–the Ikelos–and your observations resonate.

    Have you ever had a chance to compare Cyprus to Ikelos? If so, what do you think about the difference in the size?
    I’ve only tried Cyprus once for a couple of minutes in a pool in a highly contrived exercise of tug-of-war exercise with sterns of two kayaks tied together. We did this twice with one Cyprus and one Ikelos paddle, switching the two. I remember how surprised I was to find that I did not have enough power to fully utilize Cyprus–felt like pedaling a bicycle a gear or two too high. But, again, paddling a boat that is basically not moving relative to the surface of the water is not a good measure of how a paddle would feel during cruising.

    In cruising, I find that my body adjusts to a rather wide range of blade sizes over time. My wing paddle has a bigger blade area than Ikelos and a much more definite grip on the water (Ikelos is already a rather large blade). When I switch to the wing, I usually feel like it’s too large for me. After I paddle the wing for several days and switch back to Ikelos I feel like it is too small and I am wasting energy by pulling the blade through the water backwards.

    • I haven’t compared the Cyprus to the Ikelos, but I’ve used bigger touring blades. I have an Epic Active Touring. It’s 684 sq. cm which puts it between the Cyprus and the Ikelos. When I use it, I feel the difference. My cadence slows, and I end up with shoulder pain. I haven’t paddled with it recently, so I’ll have to try it again soon to see if it’s still too much surface area for me. My gut feeling here is that for the Cyprus to keep up with the Ikelos, you need a slightly faster cadence over the long haul. For the Ikelos, you just need to be a strong paddler to get the benefits.

      I haven’t used a wing for touring — I’ve only played around with friend’s wing paddles — so my observations with a wing is suspect. When I used Epic’s Small Mid Wing, it didn’t actually feel that much different than my Cyprus, and it felt like my boat moved much faster with a lot less work. I have a wing paddle in my future at some point, but before I buy one, I want to make sure that I nail the blade size and length. I’m leaning Small Mid 205 to 215cm or 210 cm to 220cm.

      I have to be extremely careful with my shoulder when paddling. It took me almost two years of hard work to get it where it’s at now, and I still get pain now and then. I imagine if I trained harder and eased myself into it, I could start using a bigger blade, but I really like the Cyprus — the power it gives me seems just right.

      • I have a friend, a very experienced paddler, sea kayaker as well as a racer. He was dealing with shoulder and back issues. Switched to wing (Epic small midwing) and found it to be a lot easier on his shoulders. I think the difference with the wing is not so much in the amount of stress on the shoulder. With the proper wing stroke the angle of force on the shoulder is different. Therefore, it sounds like some shoulder issues will be helped by the wing while others may get aggravated.

        Good luck and stay healthy!

        • That’s encouraging and good to hear. I’m going to have to borrow a small midwing for awhile and see how it goes. Thanks.

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  • I loved my Werners until I decided to try the “dark side”: Greenland paddles.
    Now I have 3 Werners left gathering dust in the shed: a Cyprus, a Kalliste and a Shuna.
    Cyprus was my favorite and felt light and nimble performing well in all conditions but strong wind (the wind would whip it around in my hands).
    I disliked the Ikelos for touring: just too much surface area. Sol;d it after a month of use.
    One thing I had problem with Werners is that the joiner was wearing out. Werner did replace under warranty two of my paddles but not sure why that happened.
    I paddle in tropical places (think Florida) and religiously wash my paddles in fresh water and disassemble after every outing in the sea.
    Maybe there is something in the water Downunder :-)

    • I know where you can send those paddles so they don’t gather dust. ;) Thanks for the observations. I haven’t really noticed anything bad happening with my joiner, but I paddle fresh water 99% of the time on the Great Lakes.

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