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Kayak paddles Werner Camano vs. AquaBound Stingray Full Carbon

Let me state up front, I’m a noob. I’m researching kayak paddles to upgrade from my cheap Carlisle magic plus for my Tsunami 125. I’m 6’1” so I think I need a 230 cm for the 26” beam. I’m looking at two paddles that seem to be in different classes because of their prices and blade material, but don’t see the value in the cost difference. So I thought I’d ask more experienced kayakers. I’m looking at an AquaBound Stingray Full Carbon at $190 and a Werner Camano at $275. The Camano should be a superior paddle but the specs seem awfully similar. Both have assymetrical dihedral blades and are low angle paddles. The Stingray has a carbon fiber shaft and carbon fiber blades with 91sq. in. of surface area and weights 28.75 oz. The Camano has a carbon fiber and fiberglass composite shaft, fiberglass blades with 101.75 sq. in. of are and weighs 27.25 oz.. So where is the $85 in price difference in performance and/or value? The Stingray has better material blades and is only 1.5 oz. heavier. Yet the Camano is priced as though it’s in a higher class. Is the extra 10.75 sq. in. of surface area and being 1.5 oz. lighter worth $85 despite the inferior blade and shaft material (NOT saying those materials aren’t good, just my research makes me believe full carbon fiber is better than fiberglass and fiberglass/carbon fiber composite.) My Carlisle weighs 29.5 oz. Can anyone explain this to me to help decide which I should get?

Comments

  • Check the specs again the Stingray has carbon reinforced nylon blades leading you to believe the blades are carbon FIBER, not so. They are good paddles but what gripes me is that so many manufacturers throw the buzzword "carbon" around and people take it to mean "carbon fiber".

  • Even so, will I notice a big difference between fiberglass and carbon fiber reinforced nylon? How much difference do you think I’d notice? Thanks!

  • edited June 11

    I just checked the specs from AquaBound, and you’re right. That ticks me off. Look at the spec REI posts!

    https://www.rei.com/product/851477/aqua-bound-sting-ray-posi-lok-kayak-paddle-full-carbon

  • My first paddle was a FG Camano, state of the art 20+ yrs ago and still a great paddle. I have two Werner carbon fiber paddles also a lower end stingray as a guest paddle. The Werner fiber paddles are a treat to use due to the weight but very pricy. I think the most importantly is to not get an aluminum shaft especially around salt water. No matter what shaft you get take it apart and rinse the ferrule after every use.
    Either the Camano or Stingray will serve you well.

  • edited June 11

    Thanks. I’m inland. Lakes (dammed lakes) and calm rivers are where I paddle.

  • You are new to paddling, so to answer your question, no the difference isn't worth $85 . Yet.
    I started in a 12' rec kayak with a paddle with an aluminum shaft and quarter inch thick , wide blades. I swear you could dig holes and split firewood with it.
    Then I got a sea kayak and immediately knew that I needed something else.
    Next was the Aquabond you are looking at. I used it for years and loved it.
    By then I had the bug, saved and bought my first CF paddle. Heaven!.
    I still have it but it's getting old, so I got a newer, slightly lighter model.
    If you can afford the more expensive paddle, go for it. That saves intermediate steps.
    I've had a CF WING, but that moved on. I have made several GP that friends have enjoyed.
    My go to now Is a Swift Wind paddle because now arthritis has an opinion.
    It's a journey.

  • I have had a Werner Camano for a long time and wouldn't trade it for anything. I think comparing it to the Aquabound, Stingray, you would find the shaft on the Stingray quite flexy. That is not for me. The glass Camano with it's carbon reinforced shaft is very stiff--as it should be. One thing you might find about the Camano is that it might take a little getting used to. The blade wants to find it's own center, or it might flutter--not a big thing; most paddles take some getting used to.; The Camano is my prime paddle for my NC.

    So, is the Camano worth the extra bucks--you betcha. On the other hand, if you want to save a lot of money and still get a fabulous paddle, I would strongly recommend the Carlisle Expedition. This all glass paddle for the money can not be beat. I just checked and Amazon has them for somewhere around $100 depending on who is the supplier. They show a 240 for $99, but I think you are right and should stick with the 230. The Carlisle Expedition is essentially a match for the Werner Shuna at about half the price. I've had my Expedition long enough to know it is a quality paddle and is the main paddle I use on my Sirocco and another boat.

  • If you want to get this done with a paddle that will last you for years, get a CF that is adjustable from 220-230. As you progress up the learning curve, you will want a faster, more narrow boat and a 230 will be too long. I started with a 240 and now use a 215-220.
    I've got two paddles on the wall, two in the garage and 4 in the truck. A lot of $ that don't get used much.

  • I have a 220 CM Camano one piece shaft that I special ordered because I went through two BB paddles that loosened up at the ferrule (I would NEVER get an adjustable length paddle). The Camano is a great paddle, but the increased square inches in the blades feel like more work for my old bones and I didn't feel the $280 was well spent. I also have a 220 CM Aquabound Stingray that use occasionally for leisurely paddles, but never liked that ugly orange ferrule that holds it together. I had a Manta Ray that also loosened at the ferrule, and I don't abuse my paddles, I never push off with any of them. My go to is a 220 CM Accent Air and an old Gala RS that has true carbon fiber blades. Both lock up tight as a drum and have for years.

  • @archman66 and @grayhawk

    This is Andrew Stern, the Marketing Manager for Aqua-Bound paddles.

    The String Ray Carbon has an 100% carbon fiber shaft and nylon reinforced carbon blades. We say “100% carbon” shaft because many comparable products have blended shafts, which means the inner 80% are rolls of fiberglass (which is cheaper) and the outer 20% are rolls of carbon. We say “nylon reinforced carbon” blades because the carbon fiber is encapsulated in the nylon weave through a gas-assisted injection molding process. Our patented carbon + nylon blade materials (called “abX”) is what makes it so light compared to more expensive models. So it does have carbon fibers, it’s just in a plastic blade, not a compression molded blade the Camano. The Camano compares to our Tango Fiberglass in that it has a laminated fiberglass blade that is compression molded in a wet layup. Compression molded blades do not offer the durability of a plastic blade, like the Sting Ray Carbon, but are lighter and stiffer. The Camano also has a “blended carbon” shaft, so it has minimal carbon in aggregate. .

    So the Sting Ray Carbon vs. Camano Glass is not an easy or perfect comparison, but there’s the background from the manufacturing side.

    In terms REI product listings, we have to select an option from a default drop down menu that REI has pre-selected, and our only option for anything carbon related is “Carbon Fiber”. That’s why you see what you do there.

    @Canadice, if you’re experiencing issues with your Bending Branches paddles or Manta Ray’s loosening at the ferrule, please contact our customer service team at sales@aquabound.com and we’ll get you fixed up right away.

    Thanks. Have a good one.

  • @AndrewStern said:
    @archman66 and @grayhawk

    This is Andrew Stern, the Marketing Manager for Aqua-Bound paddles.

    @Canadice, if you’re experiencing issues with your Bending Branches paddles or Manta Ray’s loosening at the ferrule, please contact our customer service team at sales@aquabound.com and we’ll get you fixed up right away.

    Thanks. Have a good one.

    Andrew, Thanks for clarifying the comparison, it's nice to see manufacturers monitoring discussion groups, it shows an interest that many manufacturers seem to dismiss. I appreciate the offer to help, but all my loose paddles are no longer in inventory. And although I kept the Sting Ray, it remains nice and snug.

  • edited June 13

    Yes, thanks for clarifying. I DID notice that the blade material on the AquaBound website is correct and it’s a shame that REI doesn’t offer a more descriptive option in their drop down menu. I very much appreciate that AquaBound has more complete information available to us paddlers.

  • We have to stay connected and engaged with customers, especially their perspective on how our product is performing for them. A core value for our company is to listen and learn from our customers, and then adapt, not the other way around.

    If you every have an issues with our paddles, or general paddling questions, call our live CS team at 715-755-3405. Rick, Margaret, or Brian are there to help.

  • I have limited experience and haven't used a whole lot of paddles so my depth of knowledge is barely enough to drown myself. 2 years ago, I got a 230 cm Aquabound Stingray (I'm 6'3" paddling a 25in beam kayak) and have absolutely zero complaints about it. If I really dig with it, I can feel a little flutter. The ability to change blade angles on the fly to minimize wind resistance is very easy to use.

  • edited June 13

    You should be able to get the stingray for less than that. I paid around 120 for mine. I use mine on creeks with lots of rocks so the nylon reinforced blades work well. Fiberglass blades would chip away. Look for sales as I did.

  • edited June 14

    Andrew Stern...
    Thanks for the info. Seems the interchangeability of the terms carbon/carbon fiber/graphite has been going on for over 20 years in the paddle business. To those who knew the difference it appeared to be purposely misleading.
    Purposely or not REI still continues to add to the confusion when a little software fix would be all it would take to make both companies look less misleading.
    This has been one of my pet peeves for a long time as you might have noticed.... ;-)

  • edited June 14

    One last question: would the Camano be a little beyond the skill of a beginner goven the the larger blade moving more water? I’m assuming whichever paddle I purchase will be used for several years at which time I could upgrade with more paddling experience.

  • @AndrewStern said:
    We have to stay connected and engaged with customers, especially their perspective on how our product is performing for them. A core value for our company is to listen and learn from our customers, and then adapt, not the other way around.

    If you every have an issues with our paddles, or general paddling questions, call our live CS team at 715-755-3405. Rick, Margaret, or Brian are there to help.

    Have you ever considered producing a Greenland Paddle to add to your line-up?

  • Archy, I started with large blades and used them for years. As long as you have a body and the conditioning to use them, they are great.
    As I have aged, my body now appreciates more narrow blades. The only loss in that transaction has been fast acceleration.

  • @archman66 said:
    One last question: would the Camano be a little beyond the skill of a beginner goven the the larger blade moving more water? I’m assuming whichever paddle I purchase will be used for several years at which time I could upgrade with more paddling experience.

    The Camano is fine for most beginners. Unless you progress to putting in lots of miles and time on the water, you may never need to upgrade.

  • The Camano is too much blade for me. I use a full carbon Epic Relaxed Tour to appease my weak muscles and joints.

    The Camano is very user friendly, if you have the conditioning for it. Easier to use than any of the plastic bladed paddles that I've tried.

    Never tried the Aquabound paddles.

    The Swift Wind Swift and Mid Swift are good options, as well. Mid is similar to the Camano and the Wind has a smaller blade.

  • I love my Aquabound Eagle Ray carbon paddle with Posi-lock ferrule. I also have a Werner Camano that cost about $100 more, and it's a good paddle but the ferrule system isn't nearly as good.

    They also have good customer service. A friend bought an Aquabound from me and used it for quite a while before he broke it. Aquabound either replaced it or fixed it for him.

  • I'm 6'0" and started off with a 230cm Aquabound Stingray carbon with my28" wide rec boat. I think it's an excellent paddle at a very good price.

    As my paddling progressed and my stroke improved I bought a 210cm Werner Cyprus for my 24" transitional kayak. Yes, it was a lot more money but it's the probably the only paddle I'll ever need - well maybe someday I'll buy a GP. As good as the Aquabound is I much prefer the less obtrusive ferrule and the smoother shaft of the Cyprus. With the Aquabound both my wife (who also had one) always wore paddling gloves as we found the shaft fairly rough, now we never do. It took a bit longer to convince her that a Cyprus was also a better paddle for her but now, while we have kept the Aquabounds as spares, we haven't actually used them in about 5 years.

  • I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Camano. I think the Sting Ray is definitely a better value. But I took the general advice to buy the most expensive I could afford.

  • @archman66 said:
    I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Camano. I think the Sting Ray is definitely a better value. But I took the general advice to buy the most expensive I could afford.

    You won't be disappointed.

  • edited June 15

    I don't think you will regret getting the Camano, but don't expect your first outing to be without some adjustment. As I said before, the Camano wants to find its own center and it likes a good form. It can be used at a higher angle, but at a low angle there is a definite advantage. Your stroke can be lengthened a bit and you will never be lifting water. Some might not think this is the best form, but I've tried everything and this works best for long distance. You will still have to go high with short choppy strokes when you sprint, or want to catch waves.

    Here's a tip that I find most new paddlers haven't figured out yet. Move the drip rings up the shaft so they never touch the water. Oh and one thing more; learn how to bow rudder.

  • Thanks for the advice. I’m definitely going to taking some lessons from an ACA certified instructor.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment for yourself, but it might help to watch some videos on YouTube to get some ideas. When I say to learn the bow rudder, I would suggest you point the paddle more toward the bow instead of vertical like most of the videos will show.

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