I just got a session in with a new Ke Nalu Mana 82 with Xtuf shaft. I'm coming from a Hippo Stick Size it adjustable length paddle with a larger ~87 blade if I read the specs right. I'm 5'11 85kg and I cut the paddle to 74". With my old paddle, my left elbow would hurt during every session, I tried not squeezing tight and everything other tip I could find but still same pain. Searching this forum I saw that folks were recommending a smaller blade for shoulder/elbow issues, so I splurged and ordered the Mana. Holy cow this thing is amazing, it is so light and easy to flick around, to my astonishment, I had zero pain in my elbow after a 3.5 hour session, I'm so thrilled! My buddy and I swapped paddles and now he's ruined, says his old paddle feels like a club by comparison. He's gonna order one too and he's way more disciplined about gear purchases than I am. I thought the ergo handle was too small, but felt fine in the water and I like how the flat side helps me orient which way I'm holding it. The sharkskin texture on shaft is great too. Not trying to bag on the Hippo Stick cause I'm guessing one of their high end paddles with a smaller blade could have felt similarly awesome, and I think my elbow issue may have been due to a combination of the paddle blade characteristics and my sloppy form.
I agree with you I love mine, what else can I say?
I have two Ke Nalu paddles with the XTuff S shafts. One Milko95 one Konihi. And a third 100 flex shaft with a Mana 90 blade. The soft delivery of the XTuff shaft is great! The Mana is my favorite of the three blades. All three of my paddles have the extended ergo T handles for easy length adjustments. Great choice on the 82 and the XTuff!!
Was on the hunt for a decent paddle, after starting SUP on cheapies and hand me downs with giant blades and getting really worryingly sore shoulders. Read into the Mana after seeing this thread. There is some interesting discussion on other forums by racers and downwinders.
I don't want to ruin shoulders for the future, and there is some great points about shoulder stress re the high aspect blade especially when paired with a shaft that has some give, so pressed click on a Mana 82 xtuf(s) ergo handle... and I'm glad I did.
Maybe it's just me coming off the shovels I was using, but it does look quite small (actually it is quite small. width x height compared to for example the Sunova blades that are also 82 sq inches is a lot smaller). I dunno if different mobs measure blade area differently, or if the Mana's surface area is hidden in all the convolutions of concaves and winglets.
It feels like you paddle a bit faster, but easier, if you know what I mean. Kind of like pedaling a pushy in a lower gear. For the same speed your legs are going faster and there's less tension on the chain. Less tension on you shoulders.
But once you get used to it it just works the same. In fact it works well. when you jam it down and reef on it you still get into a wave the same. It is narrow and light as a feather... that will no doubt save a few rail bangers. I still get to where I need to be, seemingly just as quickly. The texture of the way the carbon wraps on the shaft is grippy. The ergo handle is super comfy and tells you which way the paddle's facing, and the shoulders actually feel better for it!.. AND it was delivered in less than two days!!! That's pretty good for up here on the frontier.
Excellent choice. You will love that paddle for many years!!