Werner Sidekick Review

While traveling back east to visit family, I decided to go paddle some whitewater with my girlfriend. Unfortunately, we not only had to pay to demo kayaks, but if wanted a paddle worth a damn we had to pay to demo them. Rather than put money towards nothing, I instead put the money towards the purchase of a new paddle. Having wanted to try a playboat specific paddle for a while now, while also being in a 2016 Jackson Rockstar... I decided I would I pick up a Werner Sidekick.

I took the paddle out the first day on The Dryway, a class IV- run with some fun playboating potential. Fast forward four months later, and I've now used the paddle extensively in a multitude of environments. I've also shared the paddle with a few others, and here is the general consensus from myself and the others in our group who have paddled it.


  1. The main thing that stuck out to me about the paddle to myself and others was how nimble it was in the water. Moving the paddle around for control while surfing or playing in a hole was far easier than other paddles I'd experienced before. Draw strokes and other such strokes requiring manuevering the blade in the water were near effortless.
  2. The downturned blades made surfing a breeze and ruddering strokes were quickly initiated as advertised.
  3. Big enough paddle face to initiate tricks for us heavier set paddlers, not so big that it gets stuck in the water pulling you over when you aren't looking for it to do so (see agility statement above).
  4. Werner durability. I've beaten on this blade pretty good, and have broken about 3 paddles at the Bend Whitewater Park. I've not broken this one and it's still going strong infact!


  1. The same design aspect that makes this blade agile in the water is to it's detriment rolling. In most water, you won't notice it. It pool rolls as effortlessly as anything else. However, if you're trying to roll in the thick of it and the water isn't agreeable, then the difference really shows up. Paddling this back to back with an AT Eddy quickly for both myself and a friend quickly demonstrated we had the same experience. We could consistently get a good purchase with the the broader blade of the AT Eddy, but not with the Sidekick. They swam infact during such struggles, and I had a few times where I had to setup for a second roll attempt. I had no such problems with the Eddy.

Overal Verdict:
Not a paddle any of my crew will be taking into the thick of it, given the choice that is. It is however a great paddle for the pool, play parks, or on downriver play rivers that are not likely to be munching you in crazy holes and other features.