Best SUP Paddles

SUP Paddles - Reviews & Guides For 2020

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SUP Paddles buying guide

No matter the weather, standup paddleboarding is a thrilling water activity to enjoy with your family and loved ones. However, with the low-quality SUP paddles, the whole experience can be ruined quickly.

While selecting the best paddles, you have to deem certain elements. For this, you require proper knowledge about the characteristics.

Gathering all the information can become a tiresome task. With a plethora of options available in the market, you can easily invest in the wrong product.

A comprehensive buying guide provides you all the information under a single roof. You can analyze all the models with your requirements and funnel down the best product.

So, without wasting any more time, lets us start with a brief introduction and dive deep into this immense guide.

What are SUP Paddles, and why should you opt for them?

If you are a paddler from the SUP community, you will understand the importance of having a paddle with the right length and size. A SUP paddle is an essential gear which is mainly used by the paddlers for stand up paddling.

If you choose a larger blade, it will cause more strain on your shoulders to pull it through the water. Therefore, you need the right SUP paddle that you can hold more efficiently.

It will help you reduce several problems like sore shoulders, rapid fatigue, back pain, etc. help you achieve a good speed quickly. This the best way to avoid any joint injuries while paddling.

Things to deem about while selecting appropriate SUP Paddles

Length

It will always be useful to choose the right length of a SUP paddle for you. Most paddlers get perplexed when it comes to buying the SUP paddles that have the perfect length.

A longer paddle is cumbersome to handle, while a shorter paddle may cause back pain as you need to lean over uncomfortably.

So, you can follow the below-given tips to find the right length of your SUP paddle—

  • Keep the paddle standing vertically to ensure that the tear-drop shaped blade can touch the floor.
  • Stretch one of your arms up above the head and check where it reaches on your paddle.
  • The T-grip handle must touch the arch of the wrist if your paddle has the right size. Having an adjustable will let you fix the shaft length according to the fit.
  • In case you are buying the paddle from online, you should add at least 8-12 inches to your actual height to select the paddle's length.

On the other hand, you can choose either an adjustable length paddle or a fixed-length paddle.

Adjustable length paddles come with versatility, and as the name suggests, you can adjust the length according to your convenience. Also, you can easily share your paddle with any of your taller and shorter friends.

By contrast, fixed-length paddles are non-adjustable, but they come stiffer and lighter. Some designs can be cut down to get the proper length of your need.

Material

You must choose the high-quality material for the SUP paddle, and it will help you get a paddle with moderate weight. Also, the stiffness of the paddles is determined by the quality of the construction material.

However, before choosing the material, you should consider whether you want a lightweight paddle and how much you want to invest in your paddle. You should also get a flexible paddle to avoid the risk of injury.

Some of the most common materials used in constructing the SUP paddles are mentioned below:

  1. Plastic

Plastic is mostly used to make the grips and shaft of the entry-level paddles because it is incredibly durable. It works compatible with aluminum shafts.

  1. Aluminum

Aluminum is used for designing the shaft of the paddles. It is lightweight and affordable, but it is not stiffer than carbon or fiberglass. Aluminum shafts are very appropriate for beginners.

  1. Fiberglass

Fiberglass can be an excellent choice for both shaft and blade. It is lightweight but stiff, so you can transfer the power of the stroke more efficiently. But, it comes a little costlier than fiberglass and plastic.

  1. Carbon Fibre

No other material available in the market is as light and stiff as carbon fiber, but it is the most expensive material. Usually, both the shaft and blade of a high-end paddle are built with carbon fiber. Oppositely, cheaper models have a composite construction.

  1. Wood

You will find some paddles completely designed with wood, while others use wood on the blade only. Though wooden paddles look beautiful, they are heavier and costlier than other materials.

Blade Size

The blade size you need for your SUP paddle practically depends on your personal preference because you will find no universal rule to determine the blade's size.

You should choose the blade size according to your paddling type, body type, and several other factors.

Another essential thing you should remember while choosing the SUP paddles that you will need a larger blade if you are larger. You can follow this recommendation to get a proper blade size as per your body weight:

  1. 150 lbs and less: 80 to 90 sq. inches
  2. 150-200 lbs: 90 to 100 sq. inches
  3. 200 pounds and more: 100-120 sq. inches

Having a larger blade means you will be able to move a large amount of water quickly. Larger blades work more effectively to take some powerful strokes that will help you to achieve a good speed quickly.

On the flip side, shorter blades work more efficiently because they do not strain your muscles and joints. You can pull a short blade more conveniently, but it can not move much water like a longer blade.

Blade Shape

The blade shape of the SUP paddles significantly impacts the blades' movement through the water.

Usually, two kinds of blade shapes are found in the market, and their performance differs from each other.

It is up to your personal choice, which shape you will prefer the most for the blades.

  1. Tear-Drop

The bottom part of this blade is the widest, so you can push more water with a broader surface area. It means you can have a few powerful strokes that can be very useful for enjoying a slower-cadence.

This is the reason why most SUP paddlers prefer this blade shape over the rectangular shape.

  1. Rectangular

The blades designed with the rectangular shape become narrower at the lowest, so it offers you less surface area to move the water.

As a result, rectangular blades can create gentle strokes that are good for your joints and shoulder. You can select these blades for the high-cadence stokes.

Offset

Offset refers to the cone angle that is created as the blades bend down from the shaft. It is essential for the SUP paddles as the angle's degree determines how vertically you can hold the blades while moving through the water.

This is how it also decides the power each stroke will have during paddling. It is not essential to scrutinize the offset angles when you are about to choose the blades.

Instead, you can check the given offset recommendations, which are determined by different paddling styles:

  1. If you enjoy SUP surfing, you can go for a 7-degree angle.
  2. Ten degrees will be appropriate for all-around or mixed paddling.
  3. You will need a 12-degree angle for SUP racing.

It will also be better to follow the manufacturer's guides before buying the paddles to get an accurate offset cone angle for better performance.

Locking Mechanism

Having the best locking mechanism for your SUP paddle is crucial because it ensures a secure grasp of the handle. Usually, the handle grasp comes with an ergonomic design. But with a double-lock system, it will become more comfortable to use.

The double-lock system makes it identical on each end. Because of the spring-loaded pin, the blade can stay fixed in a particular place without any movement. Therefore, you will have less chance to lose your paddle on the water.

The clamp works effectively to retain the power to take powerful strokes. This double-lock mechanic is easier to adjust between 71"/180cm and 87"/220cm in less than 15 seconds.

This safe and secure locking set-up can hold the shaft and blade without any issues, and thus it is incredibly convenient to use both on the water and land.

Handle Grasp

The handle grasp or grip is found at the end of the SUP handle. You must check the handle grasp properly while you are in search of the best SUP paddles.

You should always look for a handle that comes with an ergonomic design so that you can hold in comfortably in your hands.

You should also make sure that the handles are confined enough to be adjusted to the paddlers' height. It should be suitable for your paddling conditions as well.

The paddling conditions change from time to time, and you should prepare yourself in advance to adjust the paddles when you are on the water or land.

The locking mechanism plays a vital role in determining a secure grip of the handles. It will be better to check the locking set-up of the handles and the grasp to guarantee a safe and secure paddling.

Palm Grips and Storage

  1. Palm Grips

There is the paramount importance of the palm grips to enhance the SUP paddles' performance that you can not overlook. Therefore, you should consider this while choosing the grip style for the handles.

You have to pay attention to different other factors for getting the right grips, but the first and foremost thing you should look for is comfort.

The grip you are selecting should be comfortable enough that you can hold for an extended period easily. So, you should opt for a grip that is designed ergonomically.

  1. Storage

You should also consider the space you have before buying the paddles, and in case you have a lack of space, it will be better to have a paddle than to get apart.

There are different multi-piece models available in the market, and you can easily break them into three separate pieces. So, it will not be difficult to store these handles in limited space.

Blade Angle

If you look at a SUP paddle carefully, you will get to see that the blade creates an angle while coming down from the shaft. So, you should consider this blade angle of the SUP paddles to get more powerful strokes.

There is a specific reason why the blade creates the angle instead of coming down straight from the paddle shaft. Because of this angle, you can get more thrusts while pushing the water down.

As a result, it pushes the board in an upward direction without creating much water friction and thus helps you move forward.

Nevertheless, you must hold the paddles in the correct way to get the full advantages of the design of your SUP paddle.

Clever Design

You may not find these features on all SUP paddles, but it will be wise to search for the clever design in the model you are buying.

  1. Scale

The primary purpose of using the scale is to help you adjust the length of the paddle according to your convenience. It is located below the T-bar on the paddle shaft and helps the paddlers adapt an accurate length.

You should check whether you are getting the desired length while you are standing or kneeling, and you need to remember the numbers. It will make you able to resize the paddle length whenever you want without guessing the number.

  1. Dual lock pin and clasp

It is closely related to the locking mechanism of the paddles. With this particular system, you can assemble the paddles quickly, and it takes very little time.

This is how you can ensure the maximum safety of the blades, and you will get a double secured blade attached to the shaft.

It will also be fun if you attach another blade to the SUP paddle, and you can get a kayak paddle at ease.

Moreover, you can opt for the front face of the paddle blades to have a better performance on the water.

How to care for and maintain SUP paddles

You must take care of your SUP paddle in the best possible way so that you can use them for a long time without any replacement. If you can adequately maintain the paddles, they will surely last long for years.

You can follow these practical tips to maintain your SUP paddle effortlessly –

  1. Clean properly

Cleaning the paddles is an inevitable part of the maintenance process, and you must clean them regularly.

First, you need to rinse the paddles with clean water to remove the dirt and debris and then clean them with a gentle cleanser. Finally, rinse them again with fresh water to wash away the cleaner from the paddles.

  1. No direct exposure to sunlight

You must keep your paddles away from direct sunlight. Otherwise, they will get damaged by the harmful UV ray coming from sunlight. UV rays can have harmful impacts on the materials and structure of the paddles. It also affects their longevity in a very negative way.

  1. No use of air compressor

You should strictly avoid using an air compressor. Otherwise, it will impact the reliability of the paddles. Air compressors produce hot air, which can harm the materials and paints of the paddles, and they will lose their durability very quickly.

  1. Do not drag the paddles.

You must avoid dragging to take proper care of the paddles. After paddling, people get exhausted and start dragging the paddles on the ground, which can be very dangerous for the paddles. The edges may become weak because of the friction and tend to break easily, which you do not intend for.

  1. Use frequently

You must consider the frequency of use to keep your SUP paddle long-lasting. If you use the paddles frequently, it will enhance their performance. When you store the paddles for a long time without using, you will shorten the lifespan of the paddles, so use them as much as you can.

  1. Maintain room temperature

You should store the paddles at room temperature and cover them adequately to protect from dust and debris.

  1. Keep it dry

Before storing your SUP paddle, make sure that it is dry. Otherwise, moisture will create cracks and damage very easily.

  1. Professional repairing

You must take the paddles to a professional for repair so that you get the most reliable service for your paddles.

How to hold SUP paddles

SUP paddling can be very tiring and cause strain on your hands and shoulders if you do not know precisely how to hold a SUP paddle. Below are some tips to guide you in the right way to hold the paddle correctly.

  1. Keep blade angles away from you.

You should ensure that the blade angle is not sloping toward you. It is a common mistake that most of the beginners make, so you must be aware of it while holding the paddle.

In this position, the paddle will create more drag, and in turn, it will slow you down. But if you keep the blade angle away from you, it will push the water more efficiently and create a lift that will help you to move forward smoothly.

  1. Know the right position of your arms

It is very crucial to know which arm should go on the top. You should check whether your arms are too close or too far to determine the perfect position of the arms.

Your one hand should be on the T-bar while the other one is on the paddle shaft and thus lift the paddle over the head. Simply put, try to make a 'Y' with your arms.

Then bring down the paddle to your head and keep your elbows at an angle of 90-degree.

Now, one hand should be placed on the T-bar grip and the other on the shaft. Also, both the elbows should be at an angle of 90-degree.

  1. Do not use arms to paddle.

You should paddle with your core instead of your arms because your arms are not as strong as your core. So, it will be better if you use the core muscles and twist your torso while paddling.

You can bend on the knees slightly when standing on the board and look straight to get the right position.

  1. Push down and pull back

Another essential point that will help you master the padding is to understand how to push down and pull back to take powerful strokes without any extra effort. Push your paddle gently through the water, and pull the paddle back to the ankle.

  1. Try to maintain good posture.

You will need a rigorous practice to get the right posture to hold the paddle effectively. Bend your knees down a little but never lock them completely. Make sure that your back is straight and keep the shoulders level to obtain a good position.

FAQs

  1. What is the process to size the SUP paddles?

Make it a thumb rule even if you are a beginner or trained professional, you should always go for a longer paddle than your height. Although the size of 8 inches is considered the regular SUP paddle size, make sure you don't have any back or joints issues.

  1. Do SUP Paddles come in different sizes?

Yes, SUP paddles are designed differently for adults as well as kids. Thus, you need to check for your ideal size before purchasing the right paddle for yourself. Also, you can opt for adjustable SUP paddles for having no issues.

  1. Do SUP paddles float?

Yes, there are different SUP paddles designed with the floating ability.

  1. What are the reasons for SUP paddles being angled?

SUP paddles are angled for two main reasons:

1. When you paddle, water gets lifted. So, an angled paddle enables you to keep it properly.

2. It also enables the blade to move with less force for convenient and greater support.

Final Verdict

With all the information under your possession, all you need is to select the best SUP paddles. Here in this guide, we have presented all the information in a well-organized structure.

Skim through the pointers and purchase an elite product for your expedition.

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