What to Look For in a SUP Paddle
Choosing the right paddle to go with your stand up paddle board can seem like a daunting task. There are so many different options when it comes to size and materials and the information can be overwhelming. We are here to help you narrow down your choices and find just the right paddle for you.
Is this your first paddle?
If so, aluminum paddles can be a great choice. Yes, they are a bit heavier but they are highly durable and very affordable. One thing to note is that since aluminum is a heavier material, these paddles can sink. So, if you are worried about losing your paddle we recommend checking out one of the brands that adds a foam rubber flotation piece to the shaft.
Who will be using the paddle?
If the paddle will be used by more than one person, opt for an adjustable paddle. The general rule of thumb is that your paddle should be roughly 8"-10" above your head so that when you are standing on your board, the blade is fully submersed in the water. Your own preferred paddle length can vary over time depending on what you are doing (racing, paddle surfing, etc) so it's good to start with an adjustable so you can find what works best for you. Then you can moved to a fixed paddle for a more lightweight and performance oriented feel tailored to your preferences.
Are you looking for a higher end / lighter paddle?
If aluminum paddles seem too heavy you may want to consider fiberglass or carbon fiber paddles. These materials are extremely lightweight, strong and durable. Not only are they more comfortable to use on longer distance paddles, these lighter weight materials can also help you speed up your stroke and create a more efficient paddle technique. You'll also find a range of fiberglass/carbon blend paddles which are a less expensive option with similar performance.
What about different blade sizes?
The actual blades on the paddle can vary in size and personal preference plays a big role in this category. The benefit of a smaller blade is lower weight and higher cadence (faster reps). Generally, smaller paddlers may prefer a smaller blade. The larger blades can offer a stronger push through the water but require more power behind each stroke so this may be a more effective choice for larger riders. The conditions you are paddling in can also affect your choice, like racing or paddle surfing. If this is your first paddle we recommend finding something mid-sized (8"-8.5") that can work well for all conditions.
For more detailed information on paddles and the various options that are available, check out some of these articles below.show related articles
How to Choose the Right Stand Up Paddle Board Setup
So you've paddled a few times and now it's time to buy? Read on for some quick tips about how to choose the right stand up paddle board.