Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle review

The Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle is a nice step up from the Carlisle Day Tripper, although the street price is roughly double. I can’t say enough about how much the blade design reduces flutter and wobble, and makes paddling more enjoyable. If I lost this paddle (as someone else already did), I would look seriously at replacing it with the same model, although probably at sale pricing, not at full retail.

Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle review

The strange story of how I came to own this paddle is at the end of the review.

I’ve found the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle (Amazon) to be an acquired taste. The first time I used it, I loved it… but that was more circumstance than attributable to the paddle itself. When I tried the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle with my normal kayak and compared it to my Carlisle Day Tripper paddle (review) (Amazon), the Harmony felt odd. Not sure why, but I gave up on it quickly. Recently I was challenged to a short, straight line race between two other paddlers on our “home” lake. The Carlisle Day Tripper paddle proved to be a disaster under heavy, spirited paddling. The flutter was awful and it felt like it may break under the load (just like the glass shafted Azul paddle I broke the week prior). This eye opening experience prompted me to give the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle another chance.

*Updated March 2017

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Bye, bye flutter

Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle review

Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle review

And I’m glad I did! The Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddlee has proven to be MUCH more stable under spirited paddling than the Day Tripper paddle. Where the Day Tripper paddle blades would flutter and wobble disconcertingly under even light load, the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle blades are flutter and wobble free for me under light or heavy paddling.

Well, that is only partly true, but my fault. When I paddle properly and insert the blade face in the water perpendicular to the direction of travel, I get no flutter or wobble at all. If I’m more than a few degrees off from perpendicular, I get significant wobble even on light strokes. Since I am a fairly aggressive paddler that uses a very high angle, slow paced, higher power stroke, the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle is proving to be a more comfortable paddle for me. I suspect that the reason I initially chose the Day Tripper paddle over the Harmony is that my stroke was still unrefined enough at the time that I often felt blade flutter or wobble. With a better stroke I’m now finding that the blade face of the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle may be a touch small for me, as I often feel that it is cavitating on power strokes.

What else?

Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle review

Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle review

Other attributes of the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle include a sturdy feeling two-piece aluminum shaft (ovaled on one side) that adjusts for 60 degree feathering to the right or left, molded, asymmetrical blades, drip rings. It feels solid, which may be attributed to it’s slightly heavier weight. The shaft is black, with white plastic blades. Not the best combo for being spotted by boaters, but better than the black blades on the Day Tripper paddle

I don’t see much benefit in the slick black shrink-wrapped plastic in the hand-hold areas of the shaft. They are good a reference on where to place my hands, not much else. I think I would prefer a rubber grip for some cushioning and better gripping. I may actually remove the plastic and replace with some rubber shrink wrap. I’ll update this review if I do.

*Update: I haven’t replaced the plastic, but I have removed some of it. Sadly, the shaft bumped on a dock which tore a jagged hole in the plastic, making it REALLY uncomfortable.

Here are the specs from Harmony:

Review of the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle

Review of the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle

Harmony Adventure TAP

  • Length: 210cm (although can be ordered in other lengths)
  • Color: White (Blade)
  • TAP (2-piece)
  • Asymmetrical Touring blade
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon blade material
  • Balanced design for smooth swing, reduced flutter and precision water entry
  • Ovalized control hand indexing
  • Shrink wrapped grip area
  • Drip rings
  • Average Weight: 39.4oz
  • MSRP: $90.00

Pros:

  • Solid feel, little to no movement in the shaft joint, even under heavy load
  • Blade design that is flutter/wobble free, if paddled properly
  • Well balanced
  • Drip rings actually stay in place (Yay!)
  • Adjustable feather so I can use it feathered, or my wife can use it unfeathered.

Cons:

  • Lack of padding at the hand grips on the paddle shaft
  • Drip rings won’t stay in place on the shaft… slide around while paddling
  • A bit hefty at nearly 40 oz.
  • Big price jump from the Day Tripper ($45 street vs $90)
  • Not so sure about the blade face size. May be too small for me.

Gears Rating:

Gear Score
Gearswww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.comwww.dyerware.com
A step up from an entry level paddle, the Harmony Adventure TAP kayak paddle is a reasonably priced option and a solid performer.

Originally posted 2010-08-18 16:14:35. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

About Jeff

Jeff is the Editor in Chief of Gear Report and a National Shooting Sports Foundation Media member. He reports on the outdoor industry, reviews gear for camping, hiking, shooting, hunting, paddling, backpacking and other active pursuits. A USAF veteran, Jeff earned a MBA in Marketing and Health Services. He specializes in consultative selling and internet marketing. As the VP of BD & Marketing, Jeff provides sales and marketing leadership to MGECOM, Inc. and helps http://MGECOM.com acquire new clients in need of solutions for online merchants in need of Affiliate Marketing program management. Jeff founded and manages Cress Sales & Marketing LLC, offering online sales and marketing consulting and services to online merchants and service providers.