Submitted: 09-19-2012 by PaddlerMidwest
Be conscious of when you purchased your Sting Ray. Aquabound took new ownership in 2008 (I believe), and brought the manufacturing to the US. I had a Sting Ray that I bought in 2004 or 2005 and I had the same issue… sticky ferrule. I contacted Aquabound a few years ago and got my problem fixed. Here is what their customer service said…
We recommend that you store 2 or 4 piece paddles completely disassembled and apart. Check the blade fit up before each use and if the fit up between the blade and shaft is tighter than you prefer, use sand paper and sand down the blade peg to achieve the fit up you desire. If your blade is already stuck into the shaft, we recommend placing a cold compression ice pack around the shaft at the joint area and wait 5 minutes. After 5 minutes remove ice pack, make sure the push button is depressed. Grab a partner and place the blade under the armpit of one person and secure the blade tightly under the arm. The second person then can twist the shaft back and forth to loosen up the blade from the shaft. Repeat process as many times as needed.
Last summer I wanted a new paddle, so I ended up giving that paddle to my son. Because of Aquabound's reliability and weight for the price, I bought another Sting Ray. I don't know if it's the new ownership or if it's built better in the US, but I have had no issues with my new Sting Ray.
Be sure if you buy a nice paddle, like an Aquabound or Werner, you take the paddle apart between uses. Seems like the people that rated this paddle poorly had that same issue.