I am a recreational and fitness paddler. I paddle a Wilderness Tarpon 140. I paddle pretty regularly averaging about 12 miles a week. I recently bought the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon. What first attracted to the Ray series of paddles was the price. A carbon paddle under $200, that’s value. I used Aqua-Bound’s website to help me choose the shape of the blade. I was concerned at first because I thought I might have overestimated my athletic abilities and ordered too much paddle. I’m 73 an have a slight shoulder problem from a previous injury. Once I started using the paddle my concerns were gone. It’s powerful and smooth. The blade is stiff with no discernible flex. It’s light weight and easy to move and the shaft is slightly oval in the grip areas. Overall it’s a great paddle that will really move a kayak and not wear out the paddler.