SUP paddles is key to your SUP experience. Just think: the water beneath you, the sky all around, your paddle in your hand and each efficient stroke propelling you forward: it sounds perfect, doesn't it? It's important to have a stand up paddle that’s going to give you the result you want and make your experience enjoyable.
Paddles come in different shapes and sizes and are made of various materials. Choosing the right paddle—considering ergonomics, shape and size of handle, shaft and blade—maximizes your enjoyment on the water. Experts say that the paddles are even more important than the SUP, since this is what is propelling the board.
Paddle tips from Rob Casey. This video points out important tips on paddle parts, how they work along with paddle tips.
Customize your experience
There’s plenty to consider. If you plan to travel distance or spend a significant amount of time on a paddle board, you might consider a lightweight paddle to avoid muscle strain. Blades that are larger pull more water, but require more effort; narrower blades allow for quicker strokes for racing speed. How that handle handles depends on ergonomics. The overall length of the paddle is very important: how long the paddle is relative to your height has a direct effect on your technique and paddling efficiency.
There are basic guidelines for choosing a paddle, but it really comes down to a personal choice. The more you understand about customizing, the more enjoyment your travels will be.
There is more stress on your paddle than on your stand up paddle board. As with SUP boards, there are dozens of makers producing SUP paddles, and the quality varies. A paddle that is built poorly can break and leave you literally up the creek without a paddle. Look for paddle board paddle makers with a reputation for quality.
Carbon Fibre Paddles:
If light weight and strength are important to your needs, consider a carbon fibre paddle. The ultimate in lightweight paddles, these paddles are particularly ideal for long distance paddling, saving on muscle stress and fatigue. Carbon fibre paddles are pricey, but for many SUPers there's just no comparison.
This material is light and rigid. Fibreglass paddles are reasonably priced and offer reasonable performance.
Usually, the entire paddle is made of wood; they are lightweight, beautiful and are known to have shock absorbing characteristics. They can also be paired with a carbon fibre core, resulting in an even lighter paddle.
These paddles are the heaviest of all materials, but very economical.
An economical material, aluminum is typically used for paddle shafts. Although not considered a premium construction material, it can be paired with a high quality blade. In cooler weather, an aluminum shaft will be cold to the touch.
A foam core paddle offers desirable buoyancy and bracing attributes and is a favourite of many wave surfers.
What length will I need? — the most important factor.
How to choose a SUP paddle. By StandUpPaddlingTV.
Adjustable SUP paddles:
Custom-fit SUP paddle:
Why are SUP paddles angled where the shaft meets the blade?
What blade shape do I need?
Does the grip make a difference?
Why choose a bent shaft?
This SUP paddle is designed to promote a neutral wrist position—helpful for reducing wrist fatigue during cruising and touring.
back to SUP accessories and gear
Paddle boards – which one is right for you
Home – where it all started
instructional video on the basics of stand up paddling
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