What’s Behind This Radical Paddle?
Which Paddle Gives Me Hope for Downwind SUP Foiling?
TJ Shares Quickblade’s Stingray and Ono Ava, and Which is Best for You!
Find both at the links below!
OK, so the summer of the downwind SUP foiling has come and gone here in the Gorge and there were two distinct winners for paddle selection. We were selling a lot of the entry level downwind SUP foiler folks the Ono Ava and this has been the tried and true for me for the last couple of seasons. It’s offered in two different sizes: a 105 and a 115, and it’s got a very aggressive 15° angle. So this paddle suited me really well. When Dave Kalama introduced it to me he said hey there’s this new blade. It’s used for Outrigger Canoe but on a SUP it actually works really well. Why? Because it offers instantaneous power.
Power in the catch is something that you need to get your board up on the foil. As the entry-level foiler, you’re usually using bigger foils as well and you don’t necessarily need all the high cadence of the paddle. More so you need very powerful strokes and you can get that with the Ono Ava without having perfect technique. I think that’s the most beautiful thing about this paddle is it allows you to be a little bit sloppy with your Technique.
And then comes this new Stingray from Quickblade. This was introduced to me this summer by Jim Terrell from Quickblade. Again it was designed for outrigger canoe. It’s offered in two different sizes. The first one that came my way was the 72 and then Jim dropped this one off after the Gorge Paddle Challenge. This is a 65. It’s super small compared to the Ono Ava and a very unique shape. Looks kind of like a football. The Wider blade has kind of a winged section to it. It kind of flares out here which allows a really good power all the way through the exit of your stroke because this blade is a little bit wider and you got to be a little bit more cautious on your technique.
The 72 is like 3/4 of an inch even wider than this one and I did notice notice when I was learning to paddle with the Stingray that I was clipping my board right at the end of my stroke right down here. So I had to adjust my stroke a little bit. It took me a few sessions to figure it out but once I figured it out I never looked back.
The advanced foilers are using slightly smaller thinner foils and they require that rapid cadence to get up on the foil and that’s what this offers – fast Cadence. A very lightweight feel when it’s in hand. I think this one comes out to like .85 pounds. It’s ultra light and a very unique new shaft this is brand new. We just got this. It’s a new carbon shaft that is tapered all the way down to the blade end. So very little drag through the water and then it’s ovalized through the center section and then tapers again to the new carbon handle.
So the stingray here at $599 – this is a paddle not only do I want but I need this at this point. It’s my favorite go-to everyday paddle for downwind SUP foiling. We’re probably going to sell a lot more of these Ono Avas though because there’s so many people getting into this sport. I would encourage those who are new to downwind SUP foiling to check out the Ono Ava. This 105 taught me a lot. This new Stingray 65 sure is a beauty though. You can get them here at Big Winds. We stock both of these – primarily in the 105 size here and the 65 and the 72 size here with the Stingray.