Review by: Colorado Kayak Supply
Inflatable stand up boards were designed to be used in places that could potentially damage or break an epoxy or hard shell SUP. Because of their incredible durability and versatility, they have dominated the river scene. Up until about 2 weeks ago, there was no whitewater specific paddle to accompany you and your board downriver. Werner was able to identify this void in the market, and design an all new blade from the ground up. It’s called the Stinger, and it’s packed with features designed specifically to make river SUP easier. This all new paddle is very easy to identify due to it unique shape. What’s up with the funky design? Check out the review to find out:
- DURABILITY:If you’re a whitewater kayaker, than you most likely know about the Werner Powerhouse. It’s a staple here in Colorado, ready and able to slay any manky, rocky gnarl that you throw it’s way. Think of the Stinger as The Powerhouse of SUP. It’s built with the same quality construction as the legendary creek blade. The tip is reinforced with an extra layer of fiberglass, the shaft is heavy duty, and the ABS palm grip is built to take a beating as well.
- RIVER SPECIFIC BLADE SHAPE:The concept behind the reverse teardrop blade shape is simple. The paddle has less surface area near the tip which means that it’s smaller, and has less of a chance getting stuck between rocks. Also, having less surface area allows for quicker and more precise strokes when paddling in shallow water. The paddle gets wider at the throat. The increased size helps with bracing, and is also powerful when you dig deep.
- AVAILABLE IN A 1, 2 OR 3 PIECE:1 piece paddles have the advantage of weighing less and being stiffer. If you do not care about portability or adjustability, and want to max out paddle performance, go for the 1 piece. 2 piece blades are probably the most popular. They are cost effective, and adjust to fit a wide range of sizes (7.5″ of adjustment). The 3 piece breakdown Stinger is a great way to compliment an inflatable SUP. Most inflatable’s come with a travel bag, with an attachment for a paddle. For traveling, and portability, the 3 piece is the way to go.
- STIFF:The fiberglass shaft used on the Stinger is as strong and stiff as any SUP shaft out there. When paddling, stand up paddlers are about 3 feet higher (than kayakers) off the water, and apply more leverage on the shaft and blade. Werner accounted for this fact, and reinforced the right areas of the paddle.
- MADE IN THE USA:ALL Werner paddles are made by hand in Sultan, WA USA. Werner also has incredible customer service. If you don’t believe us, then give them a call…
- USE SPECIFIC, NOT GENERIC:The Werner Stinger is intended for whitewater paddling. It is not designed for flatwater touring, or to be a utility paddle that does a little bit of everything. If you want a blade design that is more utilitarian,check out the Carve or Advantage. They are both designed for all around use.