Advice on a new Paddle?

My wife and I started kayaking about two years ago,Just recreational large ponds,slow moving rivers,etc. Then last year we bought my son and daughter a kayak,The problem was we all didn’t have a nice paddle :frowning: So when the wife and I bought our kayaks we went with the Aqua Bound posi-lock paddles,I got the Manta Ray,and she got the Sting Ray. Our first outing we tried each other paddles and she quickly decided she liked mine better,So we went back to the store and bought a 2nd Manta Ray. So when we go out we have two manta rays, One Sting Ray and we bought my daughter a cheaper big box store kayak that came with a Aluminum shaft paddle that is just god awful and heavy!

So we just had our first outing for father days and it went just how you would expect,No one wanted that damn heavy crappy Paddle! lol
So im in the market for some new paddles,I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Aquabound Manta Ray,as this is our Third season with them and I feel they work great,Light and had no problems with them and the cost isn’t too bad at under $150. But these are the only paddles I’ve ever used,So is there anything better around the this price point?

I know some paddles can get pretty pricey,But I would go up to the $200 or so if a paddle is that much better,But then again it’s hard to justify since we are just recreational paddler’s. So before I just order some more Manta Rays,Let me know if you think there is a better paddle,Or a better bang for the buck paddle Around the price of the Aqua Bound Manta Rays,Thank You!

The Carlisle Expedition is widely touted on this forum as the best “bang for the buck” paddle. I’m sure you’ll soon be hearing from many here singing its praises.

My wife and I both started out with Aquabound paddles. She bought a Sting Ray hybrid and I bought a Sting Ray carbon. They are fine paddles - we now use them as spares and loaners - but after a couple of years as our interest grew we both bought Werner Cypress carbon paddles. Of course the Werners are much more expensive but the difference is very significant.

You might also check out Werner’s Tybee and Shuna models…

And checkout Lendal

Finally, consider your use of the paddle and its design spec - read up on this at the Werner website. If you currently prefer the Manta Ray over the Sting Ray then I assume you guys prefer high-angle paddling, but don’t get paddles with blades that are too large for you. A larger blade might seem more powerful at first but it will tire you out faster and may even cause repetitive motion injuries.

I’m not familiar with any paddles at your price point or any of the paddles that kfbrady suggested, but their advice not to go too big is good - I don’t like any blades larger or more aggressive than my Epic Relaxed Tour full carbon, which cost more than double your budget and I use for mostly high angle paddling, though most experts would describe it as a low angle paddle.

Sorry for the divergence from your quest for options under $200.

I own a very pricy Lendal, but I still love my Manta Ray. When my posi-lock broke a few years back, their Customer service blew me away. Based on a post here about how to repair, they contacted me and shipped me a brand new paddle.

Well here’s the Carlisle Expedition pusher. All I’m saying is take a look at one and see how well built they are. The good part is that they paddle as well as they are built, They are built to last and for the money, I’ve never found a paddle that even comes close. The last time I looked, the suggested retail price was $179, but that might have been bumped up a little lately. However, it isn’t hard to find them on sale around the Internet for prices well under the suggested price. I have a bunch of paddles to choose from and Werner gets the nod on my long distance boat, but the Expedition is the one I use on my Sirocco. Choosing a color is made easy too, because the Carlisle Expedition only comes in yellow.

I have a friend that does expedition paddling. I think he uses a Aqua Bond, Manta Ray, 240cm. He is a big guy and hard to keep up with.

What ever you get size them properly. Don’t fall into the too short paddle trap.

@Overstreet said:

What ever you get size them properly. Don’t fall into the too short paddle trap.

Size definitely matters, both blade size/shape and shaft length.

Too large of a blade or too long of a shaft can make paddling much more effort than it needs to be.