I bought a Bending Branches Whisper paddle to go along with my new kayak. It performed fine, but when I tried to get it apart again the button was stuck and when I was finally able to get it unstuck the button is bent and stuck inside the paddle. A bit hard to explain, but long story short I’m not really happy with this aspect of build quality and looking for recommendations for paddles in the ~$100 range?
You’d be hard pressed to find a better paddle than the Werner Skagit in that price range.
First things first. Call Bending Branches (715-755-3405 ) and explain your issue. Chances are they’ll offer to fix it or replace it.
For a better paddle look at things like the Aquabound Stingray or Manta Ray (list price $110 in fiberglass, $140 with a carbon fiber shaft - discounts of at least 15% are easy to find) or possibly a Werner Tybee or Skagit for maybe $20 or so more.
There are winter sales. Be a member with card.
The Camano with glass blades n carbon fiber shaft is the community standard bottom of the barrel touring paddle.
But a Skagit, like its creek, is enough.
an Aquabound is retarded.
BB will prob bend over backwards to silence your whining. Maybe send a new paddle…
Another vote for the Werner. I got my Werner Skagit Hooked using a coupon at ACK.com bringing it from $130 to $105 I believe. Just assembling the paddle alone feels like great quality. The adjustable ferule system is fantastic.
a few more $$$
You probably will have to pay a little more than $100, but the Carlisle Expedition is hard to beat. Do check them out before you make your decision.
Aquabound and BB are the same company
…so I’m not sure how one is “retarded”, whatever you meant by that.
All of the other recommendations are good. Go to a store where they stock both the Stingray FG and the Stingray Hybrid, and hold them both in paddling position. You pay $30 more for the Hybrid, but the weight savings is worth it.
The Werner Skagit and Tybee are both excellent options for $130. One is low angle, the other is high angle. Figure out what style feels right for you, and go for it.
Where did you buy it?
Seems like the store where you bought this should take care of it. Or you could call Bending branches and they will likely help you fix it.
I really like AquaBound paddles far better than Werner and have had far better customer support from calling AquaBound than Werner.
I have a carbon Aquabound Sting Ray and a carbon Werner Cyprus. The quality of the Sting Ray is decent, but the Cyprus is a far better made paddle. Of course, the Cyprus costs twice as much but the quality difference to me made it worthwhile.
As for customer service I’ve never had to call either company but I’ve seen good reviews of Werner’s here on this forum.
Replace the button
You can get them at shops like this one:
If you like the paddle, fix it. It’ll cost you $5 or less, and take about a minute to do.
I had to replace one on a paddle I paid $300 for, so the price of the paddle isn’t relevant. It’s one you like that matters.
I also say Werner Tybee or Skaggit…
…depending on your boat and the water you paddle.
I have a 240 Skaggit that I used with a 25" wide sea kayak and now use it with an older inflatable. Great, reliable, low angle paddle.
The Tybee is my next acquisition as a high angle paddle for occasional surf play in my current boat. I tried one and liked it.
I also started on a 220 BB Whisper. I occasionally use it to stay in practice with a euro blade, but mostly it is my spare on deck when I use a GP.
Call Customer service
When I had issues with the ferrule on an AquaBound MantaRay, I posted here for advice on how to repair. AquaBound contacted me directly and sent me a replacement paddle.
Paddling companies are often run by people that love paddling as much as we do. They do right by their customers.
P.S. I am very satisfied with my AquaBound MantaRay CF. I bought the StingRay hybrid for my wife
I just wanted to follow up and say thanks for all the advice. I did end up contacting Bending Branches and they were great to work with and did end up sending me a replacement paddle.
Also, I tried my brother in law’s Werner Skagit and really liked the feel of it. But, because of this customer service experience, I think I will check out the Aqua Bound Sting Ray first.
Is there a shop
If so, wander over n swing a $400 paddle.
Zget a grip on weight.