Joseph Berkovitz Posted August 13, 2021 Report Share Posted August 13, 2021 I've been on an interesting little journey with my new Lendal Storm paddle which I thought I would share. First things first though. Storm owners had been lending their paddles to me at various times over the years, trying to proselytize me and convince me of its superiority. I wasn't sure about the feel of the paddle at first, and didn't like the lock-and-key shaft-joining mechanism (I knew I would lose the key) and probably my skills just needed to grow before I could appreciate it. I think Kyle and Icelandic guide Gudni were among these Storm Preachers. Then in the fall of 2021 I was out paddling with Andy Schoeck and managed to destroy my Werner Cyprus in a rocky misadventure, whereupon he lent me his Storm for the remainder of the paddle. By the time we got to the takeout I was hooked and did not want to give it back to him. It was just such a crisp and exact feeling and it engaged the water so decisively. The shaft indexing was aggressive and I always knew how the paddle was oriented when rolling. The Cyprus now felt mushy and uncertain. It was hard to go back to it. So I ordered a Storm the next day. The waiting time was listed on the Lendal website as 4-6 weeks. Little did I know that Lendal was about to unexpectedly lose access to their factory space due to damage by their landlord's non-permitted wildcat renovation. They then ran into materials and labor shortages due to the pandemic. The wait turned out to last 7 months. Ugh. Fast forward to June: I finally got the paddle — and the wait was totally worth it. I LOVE this paddle! I feel like I am in touch with the water on a whole different level, the "road feel" of it is like a BMW compared to an Olds. They have redesigned the shaft joining mechanism to use a lever that simply grips one tube inside a fitting on the other tube with friction. There is no button to get sticky and stop working. There is no key that you have to stash somewhere. I did get some new calluses in different places due to the indexing, but no big deal. Except... except... the interior of one of the paddle shafts slowly filled up with water. It was not draining out or going away. It could not be shaken out or vacuumed out. It took me a while and some correspondence with Lendal to figure out what was happening. I had kept aggressively shooting fresh water from a hose into each end of the broken-down paddle after each use, just like I had with the Werner (to keep the button from sticking). It was a habit that had bad results in this case. With a Lendal, the bulk of the shaft is not sealed off as tightly from the ferrule as on the Werner, and water can get into the shaft more easily, by leaking past a 2" foam plug that sits inside the shaft. Squirting the water in had also forced the plug way down in the shaft where it was not reachable with any normal tool. More correspondence ensued. Lendal were happy to ship the paddle back to them at their expense, dry it out in an oven, and replace the foam plugs with more robust ones. I did not want to ship anything anywhere and quizzed them about temperatures and durations. Today being a nice hot day, I made a cylindrical solar reflector out of kitchen foil and laid the paddle in the center of it in direct sun. Several hours later I returned and the plug had popped out from the water vapor pressure inside the shaft—just like Lendal said it most likely would. The paddle is now drained dry, finally. So. That's my Storm story. I am expecting to get a more robust plug from Lendal sometime soon. In the meantime, if you paddle with me and you do not have one of these paddles already... I may just encourage you to try it. J Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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