Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

The Werner Sprite Kids kayak paddle is a very nice paddle that seemed really pricey at first, but seems a bit more reasonable as time passes.
Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Cost vs Benefit… vs stubbornness

It may be useful to start this review by stating that I first thought a $90 kids paddle was absurd. I searched the web and found countless kids paddles for less than $40. I even, very smugly, I might add, ordered a Dragonfly ECO Sport Elite kids’ paddle from REI for $20… thinking I had outsmarted the paddle pros at Werner.

The whole experience has effectively turned into a big piece of humble pie.

It is tempting to throw a comparison chart right here in the review and differentiate the many features of the two paddles to make my point… but that won’t really shed light on the issue. Specs and flashy product descriptions don’t really convey the important difference that I witnessed.

*Updated Oct, 2017

Where to get one

Good question. I see the Sprite still listed on the Werner website, but they don’t sell direct to customers. These stores carry Werner paddles:

Well… THAT was awkward

In short, my 7 year old son looked awkward and uncomfortable heaving around the huge bladed Dragonfly “kids” paddle on his Ocean Kayak Yak Board. His form was terrible and he quickly tired of trying and insisted that I tow him back to the dock so he could go to the playground. It just seemed like work with the Dragonfly paddle, and required intent concentration on his part. That level of commitment doesn’t occur very often with a 7 year old.

In stark contrast, with the Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle my son looks comfortable, fluid, and even shows signs of proper technique. While he still often asks to be towed, his paddling time has doubled or tripled. He actually seems to be enjoying himself much of the time, and looks up from his paddling to see his surroundings.

Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Make paddling enjoyable

Sure the Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle is light, has a small diameter shaft that fits kids hands well, and has a blade shape that, to my only moderately trained eye, suggests that some thought went into designing. Those are great features, no doubt. However, the benefit is in seeing my son enjoying paddling, instead of enduring an exercise in frustration.

One thing that I have to mention, as it is very effective with all of my kids (aged 5,6, & 7), is the smiley face on the paddle blades. Of the various paddles that they’ve all tried, the one that they always hold correctly is the Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle. They remember that the smiley face needs to be looking at them as they paddle.  Brilliant, on Werner’s part, if you ask me.

Do you really need a kid sized paddle?

Lastly, a doctor told me that kids should NEVER be given adult paddles, as they are too heavy and the blades are too big. The combination of weight and aggressive “bite” in the water of the big blades results in too much stress for the not-yet-fully-developed kid’s shoulders. This is a decidedly bad thing and can cause long term shoulder issues. My central point of disgust with most so-called “kid’s” paddles, is that they have full sized adult blades mounted on shortened adult sized shafts. The Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle has a blade size and shape, as well as shaft diameter, length and weight that are all appropriate for kids.

Here are the specs from the Werner website:

  • Proportionally smaller blades and shaft for kids.
  • Advanced blade design for smooth, stable strokes.
  • Fiberglass reinforced nylon blades on smaller diameter carbon blend shaft.
  • A real touring paddle for kids.
Surface Area 407 sq cm
Blade Length x Width 47 x 12.5cm
Weight for 200cm
Straight Shaft 850g/30oz
Recommended Length 190-210cm
Available Lengths:
Straight Shaft 180-230cm

Low-angle available in 10cm increments

Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Werner Sprite kids kayak paddle review

Pros:

  • Ours is yellow, and the extra bit of visibility is appreciated.
  • Light weight
  • Durable
  • Appropriate sized blade for a kid, so it doesn’t wear them out as fast
  • Blade shape provides a smoother “bite” in the water than a flat blade

Cons:

  • The price. What can I say, I’m “thrifty”.

Overall

The Werner Sprite Kids kayak paddle is a very nice paddle that seemed really pricey at first, but seems a bit more reasonable as time passes. If it were stolen, I would immediately scour craigslist for a replacement. If I couldn’t find a discounted used Werner Sprite Kids kayak paddle, I might actually shell out $90 for a new one.

Gears rating

Gear Score
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The Werner Sprite Kids kayak paddle is not cheap, but is a good investment in a quality kids paddle.

Please leave a comment to let me know if this review was helpful to you.

 

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.