Factors to Consider When Choosing a Paddle Board Paddle
There are several things to take into consideration when choosing the paddle that will work best for you when out on the lake or ocean. The length is a huge part of that, but so is the type of material that the paddle shaft and blade are made out of. The shape, and size of the blade will also factor into the equation of which paddle is right for you.
SUP Paddle Length
Above all else, having a paddle that is the right length for you is crucial. If you get a paddle that is overly long, it’s going to be a hassle to use. If you end up purchasing one that is too shore, you may have to get into an awkward position to put the blade into the water. Neither of these things are very much fun. The good news is that choosing the right length of paddle isn’t overly difficult. What you want to do is look at paddles that are around six to eight inches taller than your height.
There are both adjustable length paddles and ones that are fixed in length. Most people go with an adjustable length paddle since they are more versatile. This means you can experiment with what works for you. It also means that you can adjust the length based on what you’re doing on your paddle board.
SUP Paddle Materials
In only a couple of hours of paddling, you’ll make thousands of strokes. Having a heavy paddle can make that draining, which is why many paddlers prefer a light paddle. There are a few different options for paddle material and they each have their own pros and cons.
- Aluminum – Lightweight and affordable, but not as stiff of light as some options. Typically used for the shaft along with a plastic blade, this makes a good beginner paddle
- Carbon Fiber – Stiffest and lightest option, often more expensive. Best for those who do a lot of paddling or go long distances. Often found in high-end paddles made for long-term use.
- Fiberglass – Lightweight and may be in the blade or shaft. Fairly stiff for transfer of power in your strokes. Typically less expensive than carbon fiber but more expensive than plastic or aluminum.
- Plastic – Often seen in grips and blades of beginner’s paddles. Affordable and durable, usually paired with an aluminum shaft.
- Wood – Used as a veneer or to make an entire paddle. Often quite beautiful but may cost more and weight more than other materials available.
SUP Blade Considerations
The biggest thing to keep in mind with the blade is that larger blades are more powerful while smaller blades tend to be the most efficient. Those who have a larger body size will often want to choose a larger blade. As far as blade shape goes, the most common options are rounded or rectangular. Rounded is better for those who want power and don’t mind being slower, while rectangular have a higher speed.
At this point, you’ve checked out 10 of the best paddle board paddles on the market and learned about what you should watch for when making a purchase. Other than the tips above, you can use your own taste to decide which paddle will be the right one for you. No matter which you choose, the list above offers great versatility and all are high-quality options. Good luck!