Submitted: 08-29-2007 by pH2inNC
Great Paddle! Money well spent! Great, light swing weight and balance with no discernible energy-sapping flex.
I was skittish about the price tag but with a Christmas gift card, my REI dividend, and 20-percent-off coupon I got the all-carbon version of this paddle for ~50 bucks out the door. If I had it to do over knowing what I know now I'd pay the $200- without a blink.
I've paddled easily over 100 miles this summer in all kinds of boats, my own craft being a Heritage Marquesa/Redfish 14. The majority of those miles I've covered with my girl as my faithful sidekick AFTER the ~horror story I'm about to relate:
Looking to save some room in my Xterra for a long trip from NC to PA this past June I stashed our broken-down paddles in my girl's Ultimate 12 which sits in a J-Rack on the truck's roof. Up to PA and all around all week this arrangement worked just fine. On our way back I must've caught the wind just right and, hearing a double-thump, I checked the mirror to see half of my paddle sailing up, up... and then sailing to the pavement of the freeway somewhere around Annapolis, MD during morning rush hour. In the interest of not making any exaggerated claims I'm going to assume that the resulting damage occurred upon the female half of my paddle returning to Terra Firma and not as the result of being run over by any one of about 8 cars that were (thankfully a good distance) behind me. What resulted was the removal of a good chunk of plastic about 1/2 inch wide and reaching up almost to the hilt on the outside collar of the TLC system (female half, remember). There was and is a gap of plastic missing there. I thought my paddle was done for, but no. It still locks fine and holds a feathered angle with no problem. And, as I said... I've paddled easily 100 miles with it in this condition, from leisurely after-work stretches to a 3-day Pacific Northwest expedition in a touring boat the month after it was cracked. My Stingray has held true and the backup paddle has not been needed.