The Aquabound Sting Ray Hybrid 2 piece Posi Lock Kayak Paddle is the lightest injection molded kayak paddle available at its price point. With its mid-sized blades built of exclusive Aquabound abXII resin reinforced with fiberglass and an all-carbon shaft, the 2 piece Aquabound Sting Ray Paddle reduces fatigue and joint strain for flat-water paddlers. The Sting Ray Hybrid offers the Posi-Lok ferrule system which clicks into position firmly and securely. The Posi-Lok features strong, corrosion-free composite construction, convenient dual-button release, and infinite feathering angles. This 2-piece paddle is also available with a smaller diameter shaft.
AQ Outdoors Aquabound Sting Ray Review
Aquabound Sting Ray Kayak Paddle Review by AQ Outdoors
This is a review / comparison on two of our best selling recreational kayak paddles from the past 15 years: the Aquabound Sting Ray fibreglass and the Aquabound Sting Ray hybrid paddles.
These are made in the US by Aquabound in Wisconsin, and they have a small to medium size, low angle paddle blade. If you don't know the difference between low angle and high angle paddle blades, then check out our High vs Low Angle article or video.
Fibreglass Sting Ray Kayak Paddle
So we're gonna start with the fibreglass version of the Sting Ray paddle, which is the less expensive of the two. It has a wrapped fibreglass shaft and a push button ferrule, which is a very simple ferrule system. It does allow for angle change, right hand / left hand, and zero. It also allows the paddle to be split in two for transportation. However, these more simple versions of the ferrules have a little bit of play in them, so that's something to be aware of.
The blade is a fibreglass reinforced nylon which is injection molded. It has a spine down the middle, which creates quite a lot of stiffness and rigidity. Stiffness and rigidity in a paddle basically equal power. More flex means less power in each stroke. The upside is that a little bit of flex is easier on your joints.
This paddle comes in at about 960 grams, so it's relatively lightweight, but not as light as the hybrid.
It comes with drip rings as well. These help prevent water getting on your lap from the paddle blade when you're paddling. The Sting Ray is designed for low angle paddling, so it's ideal for wider recreational boats or just those looking for more of a leisurely sort of a stroke style and stroke rate. This paddle is not for someone looking to cover lots of ground really quickly.
When we are talking to people in the shop about the fibreglass paddle, we talk about it as being a really good value option for people who wanna get on the water. It is great if you’re only on the water for 1-3 hours. Once you get on the water longer than that, it's kind of nice to have a lighter, slightly stiffer paddle which is a little bit more effective, a little bit more efficient. This means less fatigue for the paddler over a longer day on the water.
Hybrid Sting Ray Kayak Paddle
So second up we have the hybrid version of the Aquabound Sting Ray paddle. It's largely the same as the fibreglass, with a few very obvious differences.
It has Aquabound’s proprietary ferrule system – the Posi Lock. It allows for really accurate angle adjustments and has no play in it. This makes the paddle super solid, especially compared to the fibreglass version with the push button connection, which can wiggle more over time as the fibreglass wears away. The hybrid paddle is easy to put back together with lots of adjustments and no play, which is a big benefit of the Posi Lock ferrule.
The hybrid gets its name because it has fibreglass reinforced blades, just like the fibreglass paddle, but with a carbon-wrapped shaft. This saves about a hundred grams in weight, which puts the paddle around 865 grams.
This saved weight means that over the course of a day of paddling, you'll less be fatigued and more effective in your paddling.
Everything else is pretty much identical to the fibreglass version, but the main benefits are its lighter weight and more stiffness with the carbon shaft versus the fibreglass shaft.
Aquabound Sting Ray Sizing
Both models of paddle, the fibreglass and the hybrid, come in lengths from 210 - 250cm in 10cm increments. The length that's correct for you will depend on the width of your boat and how tall you are, how long your arms are, etc.
If you want to learn more, check out our video: How to Select a Recreational / Touring Kayak Paddle.
Sting Ray 2 & 4 Piece
Both models come in 2 or 4 piece versions. The 2 piece is the most popular as there's less parts to lose and most people don't need the compact nature of the four piece paddles.
The 4 piece versions are really popular with pack rafters and those who are traveling on planes and such with them because they're much easier to store and travel with.
If you do get a 4 piece version, it does mean a couple of extra joints. This does compromise the strength and rigidity and stiffness of the paddle to some degree, but not noticeably for recreational paddling purposes.
Boat Weight Considerations
The weight of your boat is important to consider when looking for a recreational kayak paddle.
If you are paddling a lightweight Delta or an Old Town or a Wilderness Systems boat, a paddle like the Sting Ray will work fantastically.
If you have a heavier boat, like some of the large sit-on-tops or the large fishing kayaks, you probably want to consider spending a little bit of extra money and getting something that's a full carbon lay or a laminate fibreglass paddle because that additional stiffness really affects the performance of those larger, heavier boats.
Aquabound Sting Ray Kayak Paddle
In summary, both the fibreglass and the hybrid version are fantastic options for recreational paddles with relatively lightweight recreational kayaks.
The fibreglass version has the basic push button ferrule, which does have a little bit of wiggle and play to it. It has a fibreglass shaft, which has a little bit of flex and is relatively lightweight, but you lose a little bit of power. But on the flip side, having that additional flex is pretty good for your joints.
The hybrid version has the proprietary Posi Lock ferrule system, which is one of the best in the business. Easily adjustable, no play at all. Super lightweight, easy to use, no maintenance. It also has the carbon shaft, which saves you about a hundred grams in weight, increases the stiffness a little bit, which transfers more power.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or visit us in store!
|Blade Size:||6.25 x 18 in.|
|Blade Surface area (sq in):||91 sq. in.|
|Blade Materials:||abXII Fiberglass Reinforced Nylon|
|Shaft Material:||100% Carbon|
|Lengths:||210cm 220cm 230cm 240cm 250cm|