KeNalu paddles are highly configurable and you are never stuck with the choices you made. They are assembled with hot glue, so most changes you want to make can be done with a heat gun. Still, it saves you money and time to pick the right components the first time. The weights listed in the descriptions below are for "Elite" paddles. Both the Elite and xTuf blades are made in the same molds, so except for materials (which result it slight weight differences) they have the same design. While xTufs are heavier than our Elite paddles, at 495 to 565 grams, they are still among the lightest paddles available. The xTuf Blades are made with reinforced, high-quality fiberglass. The Elite blades with high strength lightweight 3K carbon fiber.
The first selection is blade design and size.
The Mana is Ke Nalu's next step in the evolution of paddle technology. It comes in two sizes, intended somewhat to compliment the Konihi sizing. The Mana 82 is 6.75" x 17" (82 sq. in.) and the Mana 90 is 7.25" x 18" (90 sq. in.). It's streamlined tip creates a smooth as silk entry. Increased scoop and enhanced concaves create more power from smaller square inch blade sizes.
The Mana also utilizes similar "winglets" as our Konihi, which provide rock solid stability; all of this combines to provide you with more power and less fatigue.
The Konihi comes in two sizes, The Konihi 84 is 7" x 17" (84 sq. in.) and the Konihi 95 is 7.5" x 18" (95 sq. in.). The Konihi 84, with it's narrower longer profile makes it the choice for those who like to maintain a very high cadence. The Konihi 95, like the other mid-sized blades, is intended for more power oriented paddlers. The winglets incorporated into this design are technology borrowed from modern aircraft wings. Just like an aircraft wing, paddles create high pressure (on the blade face) and low pressure (on the blade back) and just like wings when these pressures converge they create vortices that reduce efficiency & can also cause other problems. The winglets help divert these vortices out and away from the blade creating a more efficient stroke with improved blade stability and increased drive. This blade will blow your mind, it's truly a game changer! And if you're serious about racing or performance, look no further. This is the blade for you.
The Ho'oloa comes in two sizes, The Ho'oloa 84 is 7.5" x 16" (84 sq. in.) and the Ho'oloa 95 is 8" x 17" (95 sq. in.). At the same size in sq. in. as the Wiki the Ho'oloa 84 is great for smaller paddlers or those who like to maintain a very high cadence. The Ho'oloa 95 is intended for more power oriented paddlers who prefer a higher aspect design. The Ho'oloa has a slightly softer, but still positive, catch and a more powerful feel due to it's narrower & longer outline. It's a great all around blade that works well both for racing and in the surf.
The Wiki 84 is 8" x 15" and 84 square inches is ideal for smaller paddlers or anyone who likes to maintain a very high cadence. The Wiki 74 is 7.5" x 14" and 74 square inches. This is the lightest paddle on the market at 442 grams, and yet it's stronger than paddles that weigh three times more. You really do have to be prepared for a fast cadence though, this blade recovers very quickly. It's not just light, the weight difference is all in the blade, so it's all swing weight. If you're not prepared for it your rhythm will suffer, but it's pretty easy to get used to it. Most paddles weigh at least twice as much.
For larger, more powerful paddlers, even those used to smaller conventional paddles, we recommend the Maliko. At 8.5" X 16" and 95 square inches, it's a very powerful paddle, but the wobble-free design means it's easy on your arms and shoulders. It weighs just 494 grams. The only paddle on the market that is lighter than that is the KeNalu Wiki. Most racers and surfers will find the Maliko to be ideal. It hits the sweet spot for combining power and rapid recovery to give the greatest efficiency.
For advanced paddlers and power surfers we recommend the Molokai. At 9" X 17" and 105 square Inches it has a powerful catch. The design of the KeNalu blades ensures a firm, strong catch in any size, but it's particularly impressive with the Molokai. Despite the big blade, the Molokai is still an ultra-lightweight paddle, at only 499 grams. Big wave surfers like the reliable catch–it's simply always there, and advanced paddlers and racers appreciate the power and efficiency. There's simply not much slip with this paddle.
You need a disciplined stroke to handle this blade, you can't just muscle it. Use proper technique and it feels like it has power assist. Slack off a bit and it's a truck.
The standard shaft is 63 inches long. Add 19.5 inches from tip to ferrule for a Molokai paddle and two inches for an Ergo T or Ergo handle and it's 84.5 inches max. With a Maliko blade it's 83.5 and with a Wiki it's 82.5. The Classic T handle is an inch longer at 83.5. The Extended Ergo T handle adds as much as seven inches to any paddle to allow the standard shaft to go as far as 90.5 inches.
The Long shaft is 67 inches–4 inches longer, so a Molokai blade in an uncut shaft is 88.5. With an Extended Ergo T handle it can go to 95.5 inches.
All KeNalu shafts have a micro sharkskin texture that grips your hand in the pull direction. You can tune the grab with light sanding. All the Elite Flex shafts look the same regardless of the flex–a beautiful herringbone carbon fiber finish.
100 Flex: Most people will want the 100 Flex Carbon shaft. It's the lightest, the strongest, and you simply don't need much flex with a KeNalu paddle. The tapered shaft provides a little flex at the upper handle, and the wobble and vibration that flex helps to damp isn't there to begin with. Most people find the taper flex that softens the pull to the upper hand is all they need.
90 Flex: But if you want a tiny bit more flex and you don't mind an extra five grams of weight (a US Quarter is about 6 grams) then you will like the 90 Flex Carbon shaft. It flexes a bit more at the upper hand. It has a nice feel.
xTuf Shaft: The xTuf Carbon shaft is made from impact-resistant unidirectional carbon fiber. Unidirectional fibers are wound on a bias, providing stiffness, torsional strength, and vibration damping. This is a great shaft for coupling with our larger blades since it reduces the catch shock and stores energy for launching you into waves and swells. The flex has different characteristics compared with our Elite shafts but to compare the xTuf would feel about like a 70 Flex and the xTuf(S) about an 80 Flex. It tapers from 1" at the handle end to 1.25" at the blade end. The first 6 inches of the handle end are not tapered to permit shortening the shaft without changing diameter. After 6" the shaft tapers .002" per inch of length. If you trim your shaft more than 10" you may want to order a "fat" handle (special order only). The blade end is reinforced with an extra layer of carbon fiber but can be trimmed 2" without compromising the reinforcement.
All KeNalu handles are 100 percent carbon. Your choice is a matter of taste and experience, but here's some criteria.
If we were going to standardize on a single handle this would be the guy. It's comfortable for a wide range of hand sizes, offers the comfort of a Ergo handle and the control of a T.
Beautiful and comfortable, anyone used to big ergo handles will like this one. We cheated it a little towards the T handle because we can't stand handles that don't tell you what your paddle angle is. Best for people with large hands.
This is the canoe paddlers handle. If you grew up using a full T then you'll be happiest with this. It's not as comfortable as the Ergo T, but what precision!
Extended Ergo T
The Extended Ergo T is a $50 option. It's a bargain at that price for two reasons. First, it's an expensive part to make, and second, it lets you use one paddle for surfing, racing, and cruising.
That's the choices. They really aren't that hard to make, no matter what you choose you're going to love this paddle. It's the lightest, strongest, and most technically advanced paddle on the market. What's not to love?