Werner, which sells its products worldwide, produces between 200 to 400 paddles a day, depending on the type of paddles being manufactured.

“It’s really difficult to build a whitewater kayak paddle and replicate it at high volume; it is the epitome of hand crafting,” Robertson says. “Each of our paddles is touched by 20 different sets of hands before it ends up in the rack. There are layup processes, a lot of finishing processes, sanding, and we have a really detailed quality control process. We just don’t want to let anything out of here that has a defect.”

Vectorply will have a booth at the Kayak Freestyle World Championships, where it will display Werner paddles and swatches of its composite materials. Vectorply’s staff will also have the opportunity to watch current champion Dane Jackson – who uses a Werner paddle – defend his title. They will also see firsthand how well the paddles and the composite materials stand up to the challenges of this demanding competition.

Mary Lou Jay is a freelance writer based in Timonium, Md. Email comments to mljay@comcast.net.


A kayaker takes on the white water with a paddle manufactured by Werner Paddles.

Photo Credit: Werner Paddles


Werner Paddles employs hand layup, compression molding and multiple finishing processes to produce kayak and canoe paddles.

Photo Credit: Werner Paddles