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Kayak Consumer Switch from Lendal to Werner Paddles

Johnson Outdoors Lendal loses paddler to Werner

While it pains me to say this, I have now completely switched to Werner Paddles. I owned a Lendal XTI for over 3 years and really enjoyed using it. Then I had my bad mojo moment in surf last year, where the hydraulics of a wave essentially broke off my right paddle blade in large surf on Lake Michigan. I had a nasty swim and was none too happy. I posted the picture and articles. Lendal/Johnson outdoors actually responded and for that I am grateful.

They made every attempt to correct the situation. Just to be clear, someone at Johnson reached out to me and tried to make it right. Which I think is very commendable, and this should be noted for people who are having problems with their equipment.

However the long time that elapsed between when the event occurred and when I actually got a paddle (November to April) seems unreasonable. And when I did receive a replacement paddle, it was incorrect. Comment on this blog post if you’re curious and I’d be happy to share the bellicose melodrama.

I’d been on the phone with the customer service rep, the tech guys, and it was clear on their end the Scottish engineers knew what was going on, but the folks at Johnson seemed a little befuddled.

Lendal made a ground breaking product when they introduced the Lendal Paddlok. I loved their paddles up until the point of mine’s failure. I have many fine memories of launching down steep green faces in two different oceans, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan with that paddle. But Lendal isn’t making the paddle I bought anymore.

Until they start making that paddle again- I will have to switch to somebody’s equipment that has their act together. Suffice it to say it wasn’t actually the product failure that forced my consumer shift, nor was it the customer service, it was their inability to make a replacement paddle that was like the one I bought in a reasonable time.

I picked up my 194cm Carbon Fiber Werner Double Diamond today. Due to the cracked ribs, I am not sure when I will be back on the water. But the paddle looks pretty sweet.

6 Comments

  1. I have a Lendal with the Touring Shaft, Modified Crank (EG1) and the Archipelago Blades (SF) unfortunately I lent it out and it came back with one of the blades chipped.

    I contacted Jon at Rutabaga Customer Service Rutabaga.com the paddlesport shop and explained what happened and asked if I could purchase a new blade for it and how I would get the broken blade off the shaft.
    He said that he had a continuing conversation with Lendal this last week and here are the results. The way your paddle was built means that it cannot be fixed. The blade sets they now sell will not fit your shaft even if we were to remove the blades. When Lendal moved production to the United States, they lost the ability to build parts for their older models. Lendal wants to go outside of their normal warranty and replace your entire paddle with a similar paddle from their current offerings.

    Jon went way above and beyond what he had to do and I thank him for it. I will use Rutabaga and Lendal for my future needs and refer all of my friends to them for anything they may need. Nice to see companies around that still care.

  2. Pingback: Lendal Kayak Paddle-Warranty Update | KeithWikle.com

  3. Keith,

    A 194 Carbon XPS DT shaft along with my personal Carbon Kinetic xti’s is on it’s way.
    I think you’ll be satisfied..

  4. Keith,
    My following comments maybe more applicable to Johnson Outdoors than to Lendal itself. I happen to live in Binghamton, NY. It is the birthplace and home of Eureka Tents, which has been under the control of Johnson Outdoors for quite some time. It is also the home of the Eureka Camping Center, a national mail-order house for Eureka Tents (seconds only) and a retail outlet specializing in only products carrying the Johnson Outdoors label (i.e. Eureka, Coleman, Necky Kayak, Lendal etc.).

    About a three weeks (~June 30, 2008) ago I tried to purchase a Lendal paddle from the Eureka Camping Store. They should be deep in Lendal paddles, but the store had none in-stock, nor did the staff have any idea when they might arrive. They did confirm that they should have them.

    It will be interesting to see how Johnson Outdoors actually markets Lendal. Will they keep the Lendal paddles that we know and love or do they dumb the whole thing down for sale to rec paddlers only (i.e. make paddles to sell in Big Box stores only).

  5. Chris:

    Thanks for replying and clarifying that the XTI is still made. It is just not the same paddle as the first two Kinetic XTI’s I owned.

    Keith

  6. Keith,

    The Lendal brand is sad to lose you as a consumer and on behalf of the Lendal team, I apologize for anything we did that led to your decision. We wish you the best and if you change your mind in the future – we’d be honored to have you as one of our customers.

    I do believe there are a few things that need to be clarified given this posting and others I’m seeing from you on paddling.net. They are as follows:

    1. The Kinetik XTi is not, nor has ever been, discontinued.
    2. The delay in getting you your shaft was related to the tool for your modified crank shaft having broken and the time it took for us to build a new one.
    3. The length confusion was cleared up as I put you in touch with the head of our production and quality control, Kevin Thomas, who moved with Lendal from Scotland to Maine.

    I appreciate you mentioning my reaching out to you. It is not noteworthy as in the end we fell short for you. I appreciate the patience you had with us during our fixing the problem.

    Please email anytime if there is anything I can answer or more that we can do. Again, we wish you well with your new paddle from Werner. If it fails to meet your expectations, you know where to find us.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Heffernan
    Lendal Director of Marketing and Product Development