Werner Paddles Zen 95 Review

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Werner Paddles recently released its Zen series of stand up paddles with a new adjustable lever-lock system.  The largest blade in the series, the Zen 95, was sent to Stand Up Journal’s headquarters in Maine for review.

Billed for it’s versatile use, the Zen paddle was tested in frigid winter North East surf and Maine’s whitewater rivers.

Zen Paddle Review Jeremy Cass Werner river

Jeremy Cass, a river surfer, reports the Zen 95 holds up in the white water, able to sustain rock strikes with minimal damage and performs well.


Upon taking the Zen 95 out of the box, one can immediately see and feel the Zen’s clean lines and solid build quality throughout the whole paddle.

On river, the lever-lock system was rock solid and easy to adjust even when using large neoprene gloves.  While paddling the rapids, there was no noticeable play in the extension system, and the t-grip offers a ton of control for bracing and maneuvering through powerful currents. Cross strokes are smooth and in control when crossing eddy-lines on river.

Werner Paddles Zen 95 adjustable

The adjustable shaft on the Zen allows riders to tighten up or lengthen their stroke according to sport and terrain, from flat water paddling to river surfing.


The paddle held up well to a couple of rock-strikeswith only aesthetic scratches. It was even used as a support-staff to climb steep and slippery riverbanks with no issues.

Zen Paddle Werner Paddles Jeremy Cass

The angle of the Zen’s blade and feather light construction allows for smooth transfers of the paddle from side to side while surfing.


In the waves, adjusting the length of the paddle by using the measurement markers allowed for an easy transition from a large inflatable river board to high performance sup surfing where a shorter paddle is ideal for balance and acceleration.  The paddle shaft is marked in centimeters for length as well as to a person’s height, i.e. 5’10”.

Werner Paddles Jeremy Cass Zen Paddle

The adjustable power of the Zen Paddle is measured in both centimeters and by height making for easy transfer of length according to each paddler’s needs.


The Zen shines during maneuvering strokes, feathering and cross-strokes. The blade enters and exits the water without flutter or ‘catching’, and really feels like an extension of the body connecting paddler to the water.  The blade’s mellow concave does not trip on the wave-face and transitions effortlessly for cutbacks.

The Zen feels one with the water and really frees your intuition into the next move. In other words, it’s really fluid and fun.

Werner Paddles Zen Paddle Jeremy Cass

Sliding down the wave face, Werner’s Zen had purchase and fluidity, not catching on the water’s surface but creating leverage needed in turns.


Although the larger of the blade sizes were tested, the paddle was short on power, which required some planning when ferrying across big river features and timing entry into waves.  The medium flex on the shaft is easy on the body and shoulders.  Size and flex will work for a variety of body shapes and sizes.

Zen Paddle Werner Paddles Jeremy Cass

Zen colors include: Abyss/blue, Coral/pink and Caribbean/green. A full rainbow of stoke!


Additionally, the new colors are fantastic!  Plus, the paddle is backed by Werner’s legendary reputation for durability.  If you only surf or run whitewater and need an adjustable paddle, Werner offers more specific blade and lay-up options with its new lever-lock system.

Ultimately, the Zen 95 will work for almost any paddler and enhances playful movement in all kinds of water.

–Written by, Jeremy Cass via Stand Up Journal

Jeremy Cass Zen Paddle Werner Paddles

Jeremy Cass, another “Maine-iac” who surfs, sups and lives year-round in coastal Maine.

Jeremy Cass is a standup paddleboard athlete from Maine. His paddling career spans all disciplines and includes worldwide surfing, elite level whitewater kayaking and first descents and sea-kayak expeditions. Currently, he searches out the biggest whitewater and best waves on sup. He is a team rider for Starboard North America and an all-around waterman.  During the work week, he runs a small counseling center for youth-at-risk just across the street from Standup Journal’s Headquarters in coastal Maine.

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