I have been using VE paddles for some time now as I was able to very quickly order a set of customs left handed cranked full carbon paddles and have them delivered within in matter of days. Superb service. This was a lifesaver and I have found that the construction and durability is as good as the customer service.
I was intrigued when I saw that VE also make a range of Sea Kayaking/Touring paddles. I managed to get hold of a set of Vertical Element Explorer Aircore Pro paddles for review.
I grew up on the North East coast of England and spent a great deal of time paddling in the sea whether it be surfing or exploring the cliffs and rocky shore a matter of a few miles from my home. Although I really enjoy paddling in the sea if on a long trip in heavy swell I do get seasick and remember a number of trips when I was younger where I was hit hard by seasickness. I must confess that over the years the surfing has continued but the exploring the coast has dropped off.
However over the course of the summer I spent some time up on the West Coast of Scotland at the Unsponsored HQ summer retreat centre opposite Knoydart. This part of the world is a haven for both whitewater and sea kayaking, so it made sense to take advantage of the sheltered waters around Loch Hourn.
I’ve been using Vertical Element full carbon custom crank paddles for some time and love them. I was able to get a custom set of paddles (left handed) on a cranked shaft ordered and delivered within a couple of days (inc a weekend). Awesome service and a great British product.
James Bebbington has put this little promo together about VE.
OK first things first, I am right-handed but paddle left-handed and have done for decades. This makes the process of purchasing paddles a bit of a nightmare! My last two sets of paddles have been Werner Sidekicks and in the case of my full carbon versions had involved a long wait for them to arrive from the States.
I make no apologies for comparing the Vertical Element paddles against my Werner paddles in this review as Werner paddles are considered by many to be the best WW paddles on the market.
Vertical Element paddles are put together here in the UK, any length, any feather. So from ordering, paying and then receiving, in my case took all of four days including a weekend. This in itself makes them a very attractive option for me. My VE’s are full carbon, cranked shaft, set at 35 degrees and 197cm in length. So apart from the cranked shaft I have went for a set up that is identical to the Werner Sidekicks that I have been using for the last few years. I have been using the VE’s for a couple of months now so it’s about time to commit my initial thoughts to the site.
A little background on VE:
Vertical Element is a British company driven by elite paddlers with backgrounds in composite engineering and advanced design.
Using this experience and knowledge we have created a new standard in white water paddles.
After an extensive period of research and development by Britain’s finest creeking and freestyle paddlers, we are ready to share this innovation in paddle design with you.
VE offers a personalised service priding itself in the manufacture of lightweight paddles that optimize power and enhance performance
A few images of my new Vertical Element full carbon cranked paddles.
Full review to follow.