Aquabound Manta Ray Fiberglass paddle review

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The Aquabound Manta Ray Fiberglass paddle on the Anaktuvuk River, AlaskaChelsea rests her Manta Ray paddle on the Anaktuvuk River. Three of our four paddlers used the 210cm Aquabound Manta Ray Fiberglass paddle.

Paxson: "The yellow-bladed 210cm Aquabound Manta Ray Fiberglass paddle is ubiquitous in the packrafting world. It fulfills all of the basic requirements for a packraft paddle: it breaks into four pieces, it's tough, it's light, and its 210 cm length gives it a bit more reach than a normal river paddle, allowing a paddler to easily clear a packraft's big side tubes. At $135 retail, it's also the least expensive serious packrafting paddle around. Three of the four paddlers on Expedition Arguk used the Manta Ray Fiberglass for a cumulative total of 705 miles. We used them to push our rafts over gravel bars, pry ourselves off of rocks, and shove off of beaches. All of our paddles ended the trip scratched but strong. This is a stiff, high-performance paddle with an ironic Achilles heel: water. Fiberglass swells when wet, and this causes the blades to become firmly stuck onto the shafts if they are stored without being disassembled into all four pieces. Every night, or every other night, this paddle needs to be taken apart and the pieces allowed to dry.

River kayakers might be a little suspicous of the 210cm length, but the increased length over a standard whitewater paddle allows you to comfortably reach over a packraft's side tubes. And even 210cm may not be long enough, depending on the conditions. While a 210 with big blades is great for powerful maneuvering on fast water, on mild rivers and flat water a 230cm sea kayaking paddle will provide extra leverage and speed."