Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review of the Stinger - River Running SUP Paddle

Check out this great review of the Werner Paddles Stinger - River Running SUP Paddle

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:

Specs:

Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_Specs
  • 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.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_ABS_Palm_Grip.jpg
    The ABS plastic grip is as durable as it is comfortable.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_Strong.jpg
    These blades are not coming off, or going to take on water anytime soon. MADE WITH PRIDE IN THE USA.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_reinforced_tip.jpg
    Reinforced fiberglass tip. Push off of rocks, bash whatever you need to when you are going to battle on a class III run.

  • 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.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_Blade_closeup.jpg
    Less blade at the tip for shallow rocky water, and more in the throat for improved bracing and power on a full stroke.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_Blade_Comparison.jpg
    The reverse teardrop shape is apparent when the Stinger is placed next to the Carve.

  • 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.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_3_Piece.jpg
    The 3 piece Stinger compliments any inflatable SUP well. When portability is important, a 3 piece is the only option.

  • 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.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_Very_Little_Flex.jpg
    Making an attainment move requires a powerful blade, and a shaft with very little flex.

  • 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…

Cons:

  • 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.
    Werner_Stinger_SUP_Paddle_First_River_Specific.jpg
    The Stinger is designed to be used on the river, and withstand the rigors associated with downriver paddling.

The Verdict:

If you’re a whitewater kayaker who has recently begun drinking a form of a highly addictive Kool-Aid, known as River SUP, you should take a look at the Werner Stinger. It’s the ONLY river specific whitewater stand up paddle on the market. Leave it to Werner, to build a true whitewater SUP paddle, that can withstand the rigors of downriver paddling. Besides all of the cool features packed into the Stinger, it’s made in the USA, and backed by Werner’s awesome customer service. That is a pretty tough combination to beat for only $218.95.


Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin