See Products from Aqua-Bound in the Buyers' Guide!
|Aqua-Bound in the Buyers' Guide:|
• Performance Paddles
• Whitewater Kayak Paddles
• Kids Kayak Paddles
• SUP paddles
• Canoe Paddles
• Touring Kayak Paddles
• Recreational Kayak Paddle
I give it an 8 due to having to work pretty hard with it in rougher currents (should break out a high angle at these times). And that I do have a more natural high angle stroke. I have to keep telling myself to relax with this paddle. So if you are into a nice cruising speed instead of an aggressive run, then this is your paddle for big boats.
Firstly, I have had a problem with the TLC loosening for the last two months or so, usually after a few hours of paddling at a 60deg feather. Recently my paddle has ceased to pull apart anymore. I know that I have had a problem with my lower-end rental paddles not coming apart (apparently the ferrule swells for some reason), so this must be a problem through the line.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the shaft of the paddle has a series of small, raised ridges on it, which prevent it from being totally smooth. I am not sure what purpose the ridges serve, but I think that it takes away from the overall feel and appearance of the paddle. Also the carbon layup is not quite as nicely executed as other paddles; there are some inconsistent spots where the carbon has apparently stretched. This may actually be a cosmetic blem, now that I think about it...pro purchase is usually factory "seconds."
Usage wise, the paddle does pretty well. I have always felt that the Eagle-Ray blade design is pretty solid. While not a standout for either surfing or long distance touring it does both reasonably well. It also handles most maneuvers, including rolling adequately, though for whatever reason, I have had more luck with other paddles when doing a sculling draw.
All in all, this has been a pretty good paddle for me. If I were to buy a lifetime paddle, this would not necessarily be it, but as someone who earns their living with a paddle and kayak, it has served me quite well.
120,000+ people can't be wrong!
The Paddling.net Newsletter is a must if you like to canoe or kayak! Each week it is packed with great articles, photos, product reviews, and special features. Better yet, we promise not to sell your email address to anyone; that's right ZERO spam! Sign up today and find out what you've been missing!