Matthew Klema Reviews The AT-4 Play E

The AT-4 Play paddle is a great, affordable bent shaft white water paddle. The blade design follows the same great blade design as the AT-2 series but is made without the foam core. The result is powerful, responsive and proven blade shape made of nylon and carbon composite fibers with a carbon shaft. It has a smooth entry and exit from the water and has great power transfer from the muscles of your body to the shaft and blade that propels you and your boat predictably forward. It is very durable and after extended periods of use shows only minor wear and tear and is less prone to crack or snap then glass.


  • Bent shaft for less strain on the wrists, arms and shoulders and better power transfer.
  • The performance exceeds any comparable paddle.
  • Durability. This paddle can take some abuse.
  • The price is unbeatable for a bent shaft paddle.
  • Comes in a variety of shaft lengths, girths (smaller for kids) and blade offsets.


  • The paddle is a little heavier then a top of the line paddle.
  • The performance (power transfer, flex, etc..) is slightly lower then a top of the line paddle.
  • No straight shaft option may be a downside to some.

The Verdict:

The AT-4 paddle is great, affordable bent shaft paddle that has stellar performance. Do you want something a little more durable then a true glass paddle? Are looking for a higher performance paddle as you learn to kayak or you want peace of mind about the durability of your paddle as scrape down a hundred foot slide? This is probably the paddle you are looking for. I love this paddle for creek boating, teaching and traveling because it does everything I need it to do and I don’t have to worry much about chipping, snapping or cracking. The performance of this paddle far exceeds any paddle in its price range. If you are looking for an affordable predictable paddle and are willing to sacrifice a little performance and carry a little more weight, but gain a little durability, this is it. Kudos to AT for making such a paddle with higher performance at a mid-range price.

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