I have had a set of Seven 2 Signatures now for 4 months, in that time I have used them for playing and river running. These blades appear to be radically different to anything else available on the market at present. They feature some innovative solutions to some classic problems inherent to kayak paddles. Not all necessarily work.

The blades I have are 197cm length, so for someone of my height (5’6”) are a bit long. I have found the grips to be the best part of these paddles, the plastic molded grips mean you’re hands are in the correct place on the shaft every time, they are warm and non slip meaning you don’t get blisters (about 10 years to late in my case). Although I have never suffered with wrist and elbow pain when paddling I am told that the angle of the grip reduces this, however this does mean they feel very strange initially. However if you are prepared to persevere it will pay off.

The shaft is a solid carbon core and when first viewed does appear very thin (probably the thing most commented on by people seeing them for the first time) it is supposed to increase power through energy storage, although I have not noticed any difference.

These paddles are marginally heavier than my other paddles (Werner Players), but not to the users detriment. I have found the blade to be good with very little flutter. I am slightly worried about the longevity of the paddles as they are wearing quite quickly (I admit most of my kayaking is done on an artificial course were paddle wear is an all too common problem). However the difference between these and my players is that when these wear down to the air pocket (approx 6cm of wear) then they have had it. The air pocket is designed to make the blade more buoyant and lighter, this in turn means that the paddler does not tire as quickly and aides bracing and rolling. You also start off higher and have greater leverage when required in freestyle. It certainly makes them more buoyant as to whether I tire any slower I probably don’t paddle for long enough at a high intensity to notice.

Overall I would say they are a good set of paddles, particularly if you were thinking of going cranked shaft. I have heard of people breaking them but there aren’t many paddles that I couldn’t say that about, and these come with a one year guarantee. If you are looking for something that stands out from the crowd these are certainly the ones.

Dan Haworth

UPDATE: Out of the 6 or so paddles that I had distributed to the guys, a couple of sets are still in use. They have seen some significant wear from use at the Tees Barrage but as yet the wear has not hit the air core. A few of the other paddles have been set aside in favour of cranked Werner paddles.