Aquabound Sting Ray vs. Werner Skagit CF

-- Last Updated: Jun-09-12 5:42 PM EST --

So I just purchased my first kayak today, a Kevlar Necky Tesla and now I need to figure out which paddle to buy.

I'd like something relativly affordable but also good quality and efficient. I know, it's a tall order.

Craigslist has failed to yield up anything.

That leads me to these two that are available at REI:

The Aquabound Sting Ray for $140

Or the Werner Skagit CF IM for $180

As far as I can tell they seem almost identical size and weight wise, so I was hopping to get some info from people who have used them, especially if you have used both on how they compare. Also, how is costumer service from the two companies?

Also open to other suggestions. I am on a fairly tight budget.

two great paddles
They’re both great compromises between light weight, durability, and affordability. I like Werner’s 2pc shaft adjustment a little more than Aquabound’s.

Consider the Werner Skagit FG IM
I personally prefer the fiber glass blades over the carbon fiber, seems like they are just a bit stronger.

If you can spring a fair amount more go for the Werner Camano (~27.75oz).

I have also used the Werner Skagit FG IM and really liked that paddle (until I got the Camano). I really think the Werner Skagit FG IM (~34.5oz) is the same shaft as the Werner Skagit CF IM (~31.5oz) with the exception of the carbon fiber nylon reinforced blade. I didn’t think the extra money was worth the jump from the FG to CF, I did find it worthwhile going from the FG to the Camano.

Werner Skagit FG IM…
I also have the Skagit FG IM, for a year now. Great paddle, light and moves through the water easy. Was out for 4 hours Friday and while my arms were tired from the paddle back (20+mph wind in my face…) the paddle sure made the job easier.

I would agree that the CF is not worth the increase in cost, but if you can afford it, the Camano is a lighter paddle and would reward you. I wanted a Camano, but I could not justify the cost. I am 100% happy with my choice. Werner’s ferrule system is unbeatable, IMO. Lots of adjustability, and its rock solid when locked in place.

Both are heavy.
I used a Manta Ray for years and I have swung around a Skagit at the store. Both are very heavy compared to the Camano, for ex. Once I tried the full carbon paddle, I understood what all the fuss was about. They are expensive, but worth every penny. Save up some dough and get the good stuff.

If you are willing to spend…
$180 on the carbon Skagit why not spend $189 on a carbon Sting Ray that only weighs an ounce more than a Camano?


– Last Updated: Jun-10-12 9:47 AM EST –

Jaws, my thoughts exactly ^^

I know how much to value personal opinions - but here is mine anyway. I had a stingray for a year or so and hated it. It fluttered very badly. I have owned a half dozen other paddles before and after and never had that problem with them. I was delighted to get rid of the stingray. This may have been the only bad paddle they ever made but it was also the only one I ever owned from them.


You can get Camano’s on E-bay
very reasonably…picked up a new 220cm Camano (straight shaft) for $220 2 months ago, and a new (unused 2011 model) bent shaft Camano last month for $215. Great deal.

Check out bending branches
Since it will be your first paddle, you probably have no clue what length you really need, so for around the same price as a skagit or sting ray check out the bending branches slice or glide with the plus ferrule. It will let you adjust the paddle length as well as the feather angle to let you figure out what length is ideal for you. I have had one (the carbon version that is no longer available since the aquabound takeover) for years and it is still my go to paddle when things get rough

I really like my Manta Ray
I think it is a great shape and I like it a lot better than my older Werner Skagit. I’ve needed customer service from Werner and AquaBound. Aquabound service was much much better.

Lots of stores carry really really long paddles and very few normal size paddles. I’m 5’10" and I like a paddle between 200 and 215 depending on what I am doing. I got rid of most of my 230 paddles. For some reasons many stores want everyone to have a 230. Don’t get weight and length you don’t need.

FWIW, I have a nice 165/200 offer in

– Last Updated: Jun-10-12 7:39 PM EST –

my Bargain Bin section ...

The blades are still done custom for you as well.

Try Craigslist nationwide
Use Search Tempest to search Craigslist nationwide for a specific paddle. Then simply ask the seller if he is willing to ship it to you. I bought a couple of Werner all-carbon paddles very cheap by that method.

There is a huge difference in quality between a carbon shaft with plastic blades and an all-carbon paddle. It’s worth it to hunt for a used all-carbon in good condition if you can’t afford a new one.

It’s quite surprising how many people buy an all-carbon Werner paddle, use it a couple of times, and put it on Craigslist.

Another strategy I’ve used successfully: buy a kayak off Craiglist that happens to come with the paddle you want. Keep the paddle, resell the kayak. I got a new Werner Camano that way. Final cost for the paddle: zero.

This should also get you thinking about ways to get the kayak you want but think you can’t afford. Again, people buy a high-end kayak, store it in their garage for two years, and put it on Craigslist.

deals there, Pat. If I didn’t already have a wall full o’ paddles… :slight_smile:

I do need to get another foot bar from ya though for my other roto boat. Hard to enjoy a kayak without one now!

Waterbird is Brilliant
"Another strategy I’ve used successfully: buy a kayak off Craiglist that happens to come with the paddle you want. Keep the paddle, resell the kayak. I got a new Werner Camano that way. Final cost for the paddle: zero.

This should also get you thinking about ways to get the kayak you want but think you can’t afford. Again, people buy a high-end kayak, store it in their garage for two years, and put it on Craigslist."

Wow! Great idea.

Thank You
I have been watching craigslist for the last few months and people are either selling cheap aluminum paddles, or want what the paddles cost new.

I’d really like to be able to return the paddle if I find I don’t like it, so REI is really my preferred source. $180 is just about out the max of my price range, I am just curious what the $40 difference between the Aquabound and Werner paddles are.

I understand saving up, but I would also like to actually get out on the water, and I can’t really do that without a paddle, well I could but I don’t think my side of the kayak hand splashing is very efficient.

@Shady Clip + nymtber: Thanks for that suggestion, they even have those in stock at my local REI(very limited selection).

@FrankNC: Thanks for the info on length, I’m 5’11" would 220cm(the shortest available at REI) be OK?

@Onno: I really love the look of your paddles, and everyone has good things to say about them, and if I had any experience or knew what I wanted I’d definitely buy from you. But I’m a beginner and want to be able to return the paddle if it doesn’t work for me.

@Waterbird. Fortunately, I was already able to get the kayak I really wanted, and didn’t think I could afford, at a great deal: A Necky Tesla 17ft in Kevlar.

@Everyone Else: Thank you for taking the time to help out a newbie!

You should also check
out the H2O Eco Rec Paddle. It is another great option and a really nice paddle for the price. It goes for $129.00. There is no flutter and it is quite light weight for the money.


Size 215-220
I believe that is pretty narrow boat so you probably don’t want to go any longer than a 220. A 215 might feel a bit better, if you could find one. Overall, 220 is probably a safe size.

Go to REI swing the paddles around a bit, see how the shaft feels. Sadly a $500 paddle is going to feel nicer than a $140. Lighter is better and look for a nice solid blade.

Werner seems to be more popular. Aquabound seems to give a bit less weight for the price. Both are decent quality. I think you just need to trust your feel on it. The $140 paddles you are looking at are good starters anything less I think you get into the “junk” range.

Besides it is always good to have a second paddle on your kayak. Just view this one as being your back up someday.

Look for Kayaking shows in your area, but they are usually in the spring. They usually give good deals on paddles – I got my Skagit CF IM for $100 from one of them and my Camano for I think $230.

Ask Rei
If you do not like the 220 can you bring it back and have them order the 215? If they say yes, it seems like a no brainer. Also if you buy the one brand and do not like it can you trade it for the other and the difference in price? Locally they are very very good about returns.

Camano carbon fiber
weighs 25-3/4 oz. in straight shaft. The Manta Ray you linked to is almost three oz. heavier. That’s a big difference.