Read reviews for the Sting Ray Hybrid by Aqua-Bound as submitted by your fellow paddlers. All of the reviews are created and written by paddlers like you, so be sure to submit your own review and be part of the community!
I've been using an older Aqua-Bound fiberglass paddle which has worked well, but was looking forward to something a bit lighter. This paddle is a pretty cost effective compromise - quite a bit lighter for not all that much more money. I have the version with the adjustable feather, and am still experimenting with whether I want to use a non-standard amount, but it's nice to have the option. The paddle looks good, feels good, and is a real joy to paddle. I like the feel and the design in general. Not too many miles on it yet, so no reading as to durability but it seems sturdy enough.
This is my 4th season with the Sting Ray. It's also the 5th or 6th paddle I've owned over the past 20 or so years of paddling. I have to say it's by far the best paddle I've ever owned or used, especially considering the cost. Light weight, strong, it has taken all of the abuse I can give it, and believe me I am not gentle on my equipment. I don't intentionally abuse it, but I do use it to the max.
Three times since I've had this Sting Ray I've been in a situation with friends where we've swapped kayaks, paddles, etc. just to try them out. In all three cases the person trying my Sting Ray ended up buying one of their own. One of these people had a $300+ Werner (which I also liked very much) that had developed a small crack in one of the blades. She had been concerned about trying to get it fixed or the cost of replacing it. The Werner is now her spare.
I ended up with this paddle, rather by accident, as it was included with a used kayak I had purchased, and I could not be happier. At the time, my primary paddle was a $350.00 Werner Camano Carbon, which developed cracks on both blades. Werner told me they would repair my Camano, for $260.00, which is roughly $130.00 more than the Aqua-Bound Sting Ray Carbon costs, brand new. With the Sting Ray weighing only 5 ounces more than the Camano, I simply could not see any reason to go back to the Werner.
The Sting Ray uses a carbon fiber shaft, which cuts the weight down considerably, and fiberglass infused blades, which, judging by the amount of physical abuse I tend to throw at my paddles, are considerably sturdier than the more costly carbon fiber blades on my Werner. Another point in the Aqua-Bound paddle's favor, is the shaft locking system, which they call Posi-Lock. This ferrule is as adjustable as that found on my Werner, however, it is far more forgiving. My Werner was constantly getting stuck together, as I was fairly negligent in cleaning the internal parts. My Aqua-Bound has never stuck together.
It's at this point that you need to ask yourself, is it worth it, buying a Werner? They cost $240.00 more than an Aqua-Bound, are less forgiving than an Aqua-Bound, are not as durable as an Aqua-Bound, and all that they offer is weighing 5 ounces less than the Aqua-Bound.
For me, it's a no-brainer.