Aqua-Bound’s Manta Ray vs. Whiskey Kayak Paddles

aqua-bound's manta ray vs. whiskey kayak paddles

Our Manta Ray and Whiskey kayak paddles are both high-angle paddles designed for power and speed. Let’s compare the two models to see how they’re different…

Manta Ray vs. Whiskey: Blade Size

While both models are high-angle paddles, the Manta Ray has slightly bigger blades—105 square inches compared to the Whiskey’s 95 square inches. There’s quite a difference in blade shape, though, as you can see from the above photo.

The Manta Ray’s blades are longer and slightly narrower at 7.25 x 18 inches while the Whiskey is 7.8 x 16 inches. Here’s why:

The Manta Ray is designed for a variety of high-angle or loaded-boat situations: for flatwater paddlers with heavily-loaded kayaks, high-energy paddlers, packrafters and kayak anglers. It’s a universal large profile for these types of uses.

The Whiskey’s blades are the true high-angle shape sought after by sea and whitewater kayakers. The short + wide combo is ideal to edge around the gunwall of the kayak for optimal forward propulsion when the blade is closest to the kayak.

Manta Ray vs. Whiskey: Blade Materials and Colors

The Manta Ray’s blades are crafted with nylon reinforcement and designed to take a beating. This gas-assisted nylon resin is the most durable plastic option on the market. These blades have a thin profile and sharp dihedral, so they're lightweight and flutter-free in the water.

And kayakers can take their Manta Ray into the unknown with no concerns about the blades holding up in any conditions. Performance + durability + value.

Carbon fiber is black by nature, so the Manta Ray Carbon’s blades are black. The colors that work best with the nylon resins are limited. We’ve found the yellows and whites to come through the cleanest and offer the most consistency for the Hybrid, Fiberglass and Aluminum models.

kayak surfer with aqua-bound's whiskey paddleKayak surfers love the Whiskey! (photo courtesy of @pete.lavigne)

The Whiskey’s blades are compression molded to provide the lightest performance. They’re truly designed to reduce fatigue over long distances. They’re not as strong as the Manta Ray blades, but are still tough enough to handle most paddling conditions. Performance + weight savings + a lifetime of paddling.

As with the Manta Ray Carbon, the Whiskey Carbon is only available in sleek black, limited to the color of carbon.

The Whiskey Fiberglass blades are made of fiberglass that’s compression molded. We’re able to provide our eye-popping patterns and colors by adding a silk fabric in the mold.

Manta Ray vs. Whiskey: Shaft Materials and Styles

With the Manta Rays, as you move from aluminum to fiberglass to carbon you get massive upgrades in weight, strength, and overall performance—longer paddling trips with less fatigue.

As you go up in price, the shaft material becomes more expensive to manufacture but offers substantially better value to the user.

The 100% carbon fiber shaft on the Hybrid and Carbon models isn’t the most expensive carbon out there, but it offers consistent performance and doesn't cut any corners like blended shafts do.

The carbon shafts with the Whiskey—now we’re talking elite levels of performance. This is the same carbon fiber used to make jets, Olympic ski poles and road racing bikes. This shaft is designed to maximize the strength-to-weight ratio and keep you on the water longer with less effort.

bikerafter with aqua-bound's whiskey paddlePackrafting on fast-moving rivers is a high-angle sport (photo courtesy of @thebikeraftguide)

Manta Ray vs. Whiskey: Ferrule Systems

A kayak paddle’s ferrule system is the way the two halves of the paddle are connected in the middle.

The Manta Ray is available with either a snap-button ferrule for two feathering angles, or our patented Posi-Lok ferrule system for unlimited feathering angles. The Posi-Lok in this model is a fiberglass construction.

The Whiskey only comes with the Posi-Lok ferrule system. In this model, the Posi-Lok is constructed of 100% carbon, which is another way we can keep the weight down.

Manta Ray vs. Whiskey: Weight

The Manta Ray is a very nice mid-range paddle while still offering as much durability as you’ll ever need. The carbon model weighs just 29.5 ounces, the lightest high-angle injection molded paddle available.

From there, the hybrid model weighs 31.75 ounces, the fiberglass weighs 35.25 ounces and the aluminum weighs 37.75 ounces. You can see how the materials used make quite a difference.

Now look at the Whiskey…

The Whiskey Carbon with the straight shaft weighs a mere 23 ounces! Light as a feather. The bent shaft model is just 25.5 ounces. The fiberglass models are 26 ounces and 28.5 ounces.

aqua-bound's manta ray kayak paddle
The Manta Ray visits South Korea (photo courtesy of @thetravelingnaturalist)

Manta Ray vs. Whiskey: Price

The materials used and the weight differences are what make up the price difference in these paddles.

The Manta Ray Carbon 2-piece paddle with the Posi-Lok ferrule is $199.95. The Whiskey Carbon 2-piece straight shaft paddle with the Posi-Lok ferrule is $374.95.

See the Manta Ray models.
See the Whiskey models.

We recommend all paddlers buy the lightest-weight paddle they can afford. As the paddle goes up in price, the weight will begin to come down as more expensive paddles use higher-quality components.

The rule of thumb: every ounce of weight saved equals 100 less pounds carried in an hour.

So if your paddle is four ounces lighter and you paddle for five hours, you just saved yourself 2,000 pounds of paddle in a day.

The Aqua-Bound brand is known for offering the lightest-weight and best overall value at every given price point. Other paddle brands may offer different bells and whistles, but our track record has proven you get what you pay for.

Got more questions? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based Customer Service team help you choose your new paddle today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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