Monday, January 11, 2010

Adventure technology Ergo Tour T4C Carbon Small Shaft

Early this year I purchased a Ergo Tour T4C Carbon Small Shaft; as I wanted something a little lighter with a smaller blade for long distant paddling. I stopped by a paddle specific store in Ottawa and dropped 350 dollars on the paddle, after checking out a few other pricier options.

Weighing in at 35 ounces it is a absolute pleasure to use day after day on multi-day trips. The dihedral blades offer plenty of control however takes the few extra paddles to get up to speed compared to my other blades which are a little wider.

I paddle with zero offset to my blade unless I am in really strong wind. While I appreciated the reasons for offsetting the blade's it just doesn't feel right to me. I dunno if I'm the only one out there...when paddling with others it sure seems like it! I have tried many times to "get use to it" but keep coming back to unfeathered blades.

The shaft can be extended, however I have never actually tried it to actually comment.

Bracing feels normal with this blade and rolling is good as well. I have read about people saying these sort of blades were hard to roll with...someone say hipsnap?

The shaft is carbon but the blades are glass. This is where they are able to cut costs and pass that onto consumers. They are listed for around 270 in most places, however along with poor customer service at the paddle shop in Ottawa I got ripped off as well. Their loss, my business is now elsewhere. And I spend way too much on paddling!

The bent paddle shaft is really easy on the arms, and it's weight is a godsend after a few days paddling. This paddle has been beaten off rocks on most large bodies of water in eastern Canada, and is tough as nails. It shoes no sign of wear and looks brand new.

The only issue I have had with this blade turned into a real embarrassment. The locking lever on the blade is loosened and tightened by a small flat tip screw. I was in the St.Lawrence off Morrisburg playing around in a strong wind in my brand new Whiskey 16. I edged into a turn and when I went to brace after tipping a bit too far...the little screw had backed off...and my blade which I had thought was horizontal was perfectly vertical and heading south in a real hurry...suddenly perfect quietness...seaweed...crap!!

(Actual eyewitness account pics of the incident above of a chick in my spare kayak.."it's for your blog she said"...I said other things.)

Even more embarrassing was I couldn't roll at that time and my paddle float was in my other kayak (the one taking pictures). This being my first trip in my new kayak I had forgot my normal kit check I ALWAYS do. Two fellow TK2O members came and gave me a hand in. First time I met em...what a first impression. And to add in some first rolling class was 4 hours after this incident!

However the failure of this screw made me practice rolling for 3 months pretty well everyday and learned the cowboy I turned a negative into a positive! As well the blade can't be blamed for my inability at that time. It did contribute to my failure, but personal skill/equipment checking was the main problem. As you can see I do not suffer from lake Wobegon effect as some. Hell I have read some blogs by people who have been kayaking for 2 years and make Freya Hoffmiester look like a their own writing that is. =0) (Inside joke)

So after this every time I did any tripping I brought my gerber to adjust the screw if it decided to back off on me again. However I have not had a issue since. Go figure.

Plays in small class 1 rapids well too.

Overall I'm happy with this paddle (the actual purchase was poor customer service and high and learn). It's a nice light touring paddle that is very strong and well made.


  1. Interesting to read about someone else who prefers little or no feather. I realised this after paddling with the adjustable Werner Cyprus. After paddling at 60 with a fixed blade for years, still try to use up to 45 but can go no further. Maybe I should quit trying and go with what feels OK but I wonder how it affects paddling action...

  2. I'm sure someone with more knowledge would talk about wind resistance affecting the stroke, energy wastage as you push the dry blade forward etc.

    It just feels wrong to me. I even attempted to paddle for about a week like it, and everything just felt awkward. Bracing was messy.

    Having said that Greenland paddles are unfeathered as well!

    Glad I'm not alone in my non feathered paddling.


  3. Hoping to try a Greenland stick this year somehow - they are not a common sight hereabouts...

  4. Here in my area either. I'm currently living in the whitewater Mecca, so "long boat's" is somewhat of a rarity.

    I don't have a full command of the Greenalnd paddle myself, however I'm hoping a symposium in Wawa will be a great learning tool later this summer.

  5. I have been using a Werner with no feathering for a long time and prefer it to any angle, when the wind is strong I go with a Greenland paddle. I think feathering is overrated anyway.As you say go with what feel right for you.

  6. Cheer's steve, I guess there are more of us then I had thought!

  7. I'm a newcomer to the sport. I've been researching for a paddle purchase and found a discussion at . I typically gather enough information to thoroughly confuse myself. Maybe this article will offer you a tidbit of info that helps you in your feathering analysis.
    Enjoy the water