The best SUP (aka stand up paddle board) paddle for you is the one that makes your life the easiest while out on the water. Whether you prefer shredding waves at your local surf beach or cruising around your favourite lake, SUP paddles come in a variety of styles to accommodate any activity you have planned.
Before choosing your paddle, you first must decide on what you will be doing with your SUP. The paddle you need will vary on the environment you will be paddling in. However, there are some general rules to follow regardless of the type you need.
Make sure the handle is nice and comfy. This is where your hand will be resting for the majority of the time.
Check to see if the grip on the shaft becomes slippery after being splashed with water. The last thing you want to do is lose your grip mid-way through a stroke and either drop the paddle or fall into the water yourself.
See if there is a spot where you can attach a cord to tether your paddle to yourself or the board. If you do happen to drop it, you will need to be able to grab it back to get you back to shore.
If you aren’t the only one using the paddle, opt for an adjustable paddle so you can change the height of it with ease.
Much like the boards, paddles generally fall into one of three different categories; surf paddles, race paddles and all-rounder paddles.
Surf paddles are able to flex more than the other types of paddles. They feature wider blades, made from wood, bamboo or plastic, which allows them to bend against strong currents. The blades have been designed to offer more control, letting the paddler turn quicker and perform stunts off the waves. The shaft of the paddle is also shorter, so as not to interfere with waves when surfing.
Racing paddles feature a longer blade and are made from ultra lightweight materials such as carbon fibre or fibreglass. They offer a slight flex but rebound far quicker than other types. Racing paddles typically feature a longer blade and fixed shaft design, so it is important to get the right size before you hit the water.
All-rounder paddles are durable multi-use paddles that can be used in a variety of different circumstances. A standard paddle of this type is made from aluminium or stiff plastic. They usually feature adjustable or telescopic shafts to easily change the height of the paddle for different sized users. If you plan on sharing your SUP with others, such as with other family members, an adjustable paddle is a must.
Looking to buy a paddle but don’t even have the board? Check out our range of stand up paddle boards for your next adventure!