Gear Review: Accent Rage 4 Piece Breakdown Paddle
Product Name: Rage 4 piece breakdown
Product Brand: Accent
Best Use: Back up paddle
Sizes Available / Specs: 197cm
Location of Test: Green Truss, Sandy Gorge, Little White Salmon.
Duration: 6 months
Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 7
Overall Rating: 7
Full Review: The Rage Carbon four piece breakdown is an excellent piece of gear. In the event that your paddle is broken or your buddies paddle is broken, it's always a tense moment when we figure out who has a breakdown. The fact that this paddle breaks into 4 pieces makes it relatively easy to store in the back of your boat, either with her loose or in a dry bag. Regardless of how you store it, this paddle should stay with you at all times. Nothing can ruin a day like a lost paddle. Having the ability to still leave the gorge at the end of the day on the water instead of hiking does wonders for your confidence.
The blades will flex a bit as you paddle given that its four piece construction is held together by a unique locking mechanism that fits snugly but still allows for easy breakdown. That said, the flex is not something you typically want while running class 4/5 rapids. The paddle is comparable to entry-level paddles on the market today in terms of flexibility, stiffness, and responsiveness. While it won't hold a candle to your carbon name brand paddle, it will get you down the river as long as you realize you may need to adjust your paddling style now that you don't have your $400 sweet stick.
"The Good" List: Ease-of-use. Pack-ability. Having a breakdown paddle is a must for the dedicated creek or river runner.
"The Not so Good List": Not ideal for running hard class 4 to 5 rapids due to flex in the blades and shaft.
The Bottom Line: This paddle will get you down the river when your main stick has broken. You need to make appropriate decisions as to what you'll step up to with your breakdown paddle, but it will paddle through all features all the time- as well as the paddler handling it can paddle.