The Aqua-Bound website doesn't do this excellent paddle justice and misses out on selling some of the best features. This is a phenomenal paddle for anyone that's looking for a lightweight, incredibly well designed paddle that is reasonably priced. When I first opened the package I fell in love with the bright green fiberglass blades. I'm not big on how my gear looks, but this is quite an eye-catcher. As I took a closer look at the shaft of the paddle, I noticed a checkerboard pattern. The surge shaft is checkboarded with a pattern that is glass smooth around the shaft (the direction to turn the paddle when using the feather angle) and is rough up and down the length of the paddle. The paddle turns smoothly in your hand, but prevents slipping; it's a great idea and is executed very well. After I gripped the paddle I was VERY pleasantly surprised by two facts. First, the shaft of the paddle is a bit smaller than usual, making it incredibly easy to grip. This is a very comfortable paddle to hold and doesn't strain the hands. Secondly, the shaft is slightly ovoid. This actually makes it incredibly comfortable and lets you know exactly how the paddle is oriented in your hand. After taking the Surge out on a 14 mile paddle, I appreciated the careful design and construction of the shaft even more. The Surge is hands-down the most comfortable paddle that I've used. I did some short and long sprints along the way and there is absolutely no flex in the blade; I dug as deep as I could but didn't detect the slightest flutter. Overall, this is an outstanding paddle, especially for a more high-angle touring stroke.