I've stayed out of the Whetstone thread until my paddles came in and I got a chance to paddle with them. The background:
I had decided to invest in a bent shaft Lendal. I picked the most deluxe and lightweight options I could. Price - ~$370. The final email enquiry to Great River Outfitters I asked one final question: How much does it weigh?
41 ounces was the reply back. At nearly 2.5 lbs, I had suddenly lost my desire to have a bent shaft paddle and because of the thread here I checked into the Whetstone paddles. But which model? T1 or T2? For the original $370 I bought one of each - and I have to say, I like them both!
Of course they are light. Using just my calibrated hands they each feel about the same weight as a carbon fiber Werner that one of my paddling partners uses. Noticeably lighter than my Swift paddle.
The first one I tried on the water was the T2. The long narrow blade I didn't like at first because of the lack of power. It reminded me of my greenland paddles - you need a higher cadence to make it go. But after an hour I had gotten reaclimated to the higher cadence and was totally won over to make this my trip paddle of choice.
The T1 and T2's dihedral looks like it was mashed slightly flat on the non-power side of the blade and it doesn't protrude a lot on the power face. I expected this to cause a lot of flutter, but it wasn't so. In fact, sculling and sweeps were so smooth it took me a long while to get used to it! The T2 reminded me of my greenland paddle in how easily I could sweep it through the water. My swift sculls and sweeps pretty well, but I never realized how much I was having to push that blade through the water until I tried the Whetstone.
The T1, with it's bigger blade was closer in power to my Swift paddle. It immediatly felt more comfortable in my hands than the T2 because of the larger blade until I became accustomed to the T2. I like the T1 also and it will be my paddle of choice for short trips, sprints, and skills practice.
Both blades are less curved than my Swift, again I thought this would add flutter to the paddle, but it didn't. The slight curve seemed to actually fit my paddling style better as the blades entered the water with less splash. Something - I'm not sure if it is the semi-flat dihedral on the non-power face or the slight curve of the blade - made the whole paddle experience seem slick. By this I actually mean the blade entered and exited the water as though it had been coated in oil or some other slick substance.
With both paddles I could roll easily, and the decreased resistance as I swept the paddle meant I could reduce the effort I needed to move the paddle through the water. I also had to slow my sweep down because it moved through the water so easily.
And finally, the paddle blades are somewhat stiffer than my Swift fiberglass blades. I had become used to the slight flex in blades on my Swift as I did an extended paddle roll or brace. These carbon fiber blades didn't want to flex at all, despite my 215 lbs trying to make them.
With a 30 day no questions asked return policy, I figured I couldn't go wrong. But I liked both paddles so much I'm keeping them both. The *only* negative I've found so far is the decals are on the non-power side of the blade. I'm going to have to find my own decals for the power face so I can tell at a quick glance if it is right side up!