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It is a good quality low angle paddle. It is light enough that its 240 cm length does not feel cumbersome. The Posi-Lok system seems very solid. There is no looseness in the ferrule and it snaps together soundly and then comes apart just as easily. The blade has been whacked against a couple of riverside (and river bottom) rock to no ill effect suggesting that it will stand up to normal abuse. The surface finish on the shaft seems fine and does not appear to lead to excess rubbing or blisters.
Within its price range, this seems like an excellent paddle. Within its price range I would give this paddle a 10 - compared to the best that are out there I will give an 8.
I have never had a problem with the sticking ferrules (my good fortune)mentioned by others. The ferrules do fit more precisely (a good thing?) than other brands. I paddle exclusively in salt water and always 'break' and wipe down my paddles (particularly the ferrules) after use. I do store them assembled / single piece.
We recommend that you store 2 or 4 piece paddles completely disassembled and apart. Check the blade fit up before each use and if the fit up between the blade and shaft is tighter than you prefer, use sand paper and sand down the blade peg to achieve the fit up you desire. If your blade is already stuck into the shaft, we recommend placing a cold compression ice pack around the shaft at the joint area and wait 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove ice pack, make sure the push button is depressed. Grab a partner and place the blade under the armpit of one person and secure the blade tightly under the arm. The second person then can twist the shaft back and forth to loosen up the blade from the shaft. Repeat process as many times as needed.Last summer I wanted a new paddle, so I ended up giving that paddle to my son. Because of Aquabound's reliability and weight for the price, I bought another Sting Ray. I don't know if it's the new ownership or if it's built better in the US, but I have had no issues with my new Sting Ray.
Be sure if you buy a nice paddle, like an Aquabound or Werner, you take the paddle apart between uses. Seems like the people that rated this paddle poorly had that same issue.
I believe the Stingray was quicker to get the sticking problem, perhaps in part because of the smaller blades. But the sticking the first pair is one reason I bought the Stingray in the first place, but I do prefer the blade of the Stingray.
I am so glad I chose the Stingray. Its light weight makes such a difference - I can paddle for hours without tiring, and I paddle with no wasted strokes. I especially like the option for a thinner shaft since I have small hands; this helps me avoid blistering at the base of my thumb. I can't stress enough how important a component a good paddle is. People buy boats and then try to go cheap on the paddles. This is a huge mistake. You will be happy with the Sting Ray!
Regarding the problem of the shaft sticking together, there is a solution that worked for me. After a year of use, my Stingray paddle shaft was sticking to the point where feathering while underway was impossible, and separating the two sections became a two person job. I went to the Aquabound website, emailed a description of the problem, and promptly received a response from the owner describing how to adjust the fit so that the shaft would fit together again. It took me about 30 minutes of fine adjusting. The result is not exactly like-new, but close enough. If you're having this problem, don't suffer in silence, email the manufacturer for help. As described in some of these other reviews, the customer service is great.
Would buy again, recommended.
Well I got it. Now I can't believe how heavy the other ones are... and they are super light. I would never have bought the all carbon for myself and I'm really glad my wife did. They are just great... the store did give her 20% off the price so it was a little cheaper. anyway, worth every penny.
There is a very distinct crunching, snapping sound when two carbon fiber shafts are crushed flat to the pavement by a car tire. The crunching sound was followed by a nauseous feeling in my gut similar to when I misplaced by visa card. As I folded the remnants of my 2 paddles into a green garbage bag, I felt resigned to forking out another $400.
Back at the REI store, I told my sad tale to the sale clerk who refused to sell me another couple paddles until I contacted Aquabound. “They have great customer service” was all she said.
So I emailed Aquabound, and received a phone call the next day. “Send me what you have, and we will make it whole again” was the reply. Within 3 weeks, I have my paddles back, in perfect shape, with new carbon shafts and a bill for only $50.00.
I don’t recall the last time I’ve experienced such excellent customer service. BRAVO!!! REI, BRAVO!!! Aquabound
I am disappointed with the locking system for an otherwise great paddle.
Despite the fact that I had returned my paddle for a refund and bought a Werner, Joe Matuska of Aqua Bound sent me a new paddle with an upgraded version of the locking mechanism. It has seen about ten hours of paddling without incident. I have concluded that the problem with what is otherwise a first class paddle, has been solved.
Cudos to Joe Matuska for excellent product support on this issue.
I've paddled easily over 100 miles this summer in all kinds of boats, my own craft being a Heritage Marquesa/Redfish 14. The majority of those miles I've covered with my girl as my faithful sidekick AFTER the ~horror story I'm about to relate:
Looking to save some room in my Xterra for a long trip from NC to PA this past June I stashed our broken-down paddles in my girl's Ultimate 12 which sits in a J-Rack on the truck's roof. Up to PA and all around all week this arrangement worked just fine. On our way back I must've caught the wind just right and, hearing a double-thump, I checked the mirror to see half of my paddle sailing up, up... and then sailing to the pavement of the freeway somewhere around Annapolis, MD during morning rush hour. In the interest of not making any exaggerated claims I'm going to assume that the resulting damage occurred upon the female half of my paddle returning to Terra Firma and not as the result of being run over by any one of about 8 cars that were (thankfully a good distance) behind me. What resulted was the removal of a good chunk of plastic about 1/2 inch wide and reaching up almost to the hilt on the outside collar of the TLC system (female half, remember). There was and is a gap of plastic missing there. I thought my paddle was done for, but no. It still locks fine and holds a feathered angle with no problem. And, as I said... I've paddled easily 100 miles with it in this condition, from leisurely after-work stretches to a 3-day Pacific Northwest expedition in a touring boat the month after it was cracked. My Stingray has held true and the backup paddle has not been needed.
Paddle has a nice light swing weight and no flutter whatsoever under aggressive paddling. I gave the paddle a 9 based on the fact that I’ve only used it for six hours. I think if it was going to come apart, it would have by now.
We have NOT had any problem with the joints. Ours still can be disconnected. The shape of the blade is nice.
Very light...last weekend we rented a boat for a friend and my fiancee use the paddle that came with it. She was begging to have her Stingray back.
We have 230 cm models -- good length for what we do. Very durable paddle that has stood up well.
Best of all, not made in China. Made in Canada.
Good basic paddle. Do wish it had a better grip on the shaft, and that the rubber splash guards did not slide down the shaft. Minor details though.
I was not disappointed. This paddle performs far beyond its price. It is a near perfect combination of construction, low weight, value, and performance. I have a distant feeling that this paddle will do VERY well in the marketplace as more local shops begin to carry it. REI is stocking it regularly now as well. NB: A small shaft is also avail.
There is also an all carbon Stingray with a braided shaft (as opposed to wrapped)that retails for $180, if an additional $40 buys you carbon blades too.... although for rocks and docks, the resin blend is a surefire way to keep the blades intact and pretty for the long haul.
Bomber reputation for the rec paddles brought this company up in the world... now the entry carbon tour paddles for this price level are going to make a whole lot of people take a close look. Don't pass this up without a close look. The alternative will empty your wallet at least another $75-100 bucks.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
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