Not only paddle board, stand-up paddle matters as it affects your performance on the water. Depending on your style of paddling, the perfect paddle varies by length, material, blade shape, and angle.
Generally, paddlers choose their SUP based on their budget and how often they paddle. Heavier paddles are made of aluminum or plastic, and tend to be cheaper but do not perform as well as lighter paddles. Lighter and stiffer paddles are made with more premium materials, such as carbon fiber and fiberglass. Experienced paddlers tend to invest more in paddles as they can make efficient strokes without feeling the burn.
River paddlers also need to consider which material is best for rocks. Carbon fiber paddle are stiffer and lightweight, therefore making paddling more comfortable. Fiberglass paddles are better for river paddling as it is more flexible and less prone to damage from river rocks.
Fixed or Adjustable:
Getting an adjustable paddle is always highly recommended as it can fit users at different heights and activities. Only taking a couple minutes to adjust, the paddle is also more travel friendly than a fixed paddle. Do not worry that an adjustable paddle gets loose -- adjustable paddle usually gets secure with a trusty lock adjustment system that won’t easily fall apart.
You need to consider two things when adjusting to the proper length: your height and the style of paddling. Length should be your height plus 8 to 12 inches. One that’s too long will force you into lifting the paddle too high, causing fatigue. A paddle being too short will put stress on your shoulders and leg strain as you need to lean over to place your blade in the water.
Different activities affect the perfect paddle length. A shorter paddle produces powerful and faster strokes; a longer paddle allows the paddler to stand more upright in a relaxed position. You can use this simple formula to get an idea of how long the paddle should be according to the activity:
Casual paddling/ flatwater: Your height + 8” to 10” (one thumb up)
Surfing: Your height + 6” to 8” (one fist)
Racing: Your height + 10” to 12” (one shaka)
Pairing up with a kayak seat and a double-sided paddle, you can paddle in a sitting or kneeling position. However, double-sided paddles are not the most versatile because of their limited functionality. Most paddlers still prefer single-blade paddles.
Larger blades make strokes powerful, and shorter blades make each stroke efficient.
Therefore, the larger SUP, the bigger the blade size. Your weight and strength should be proportionate to the SUP size and the blade.
An additional thing to consider when purchasing a paddle is how you’re going to use it:
Surfing/ causal paddling: Tear-drop (wider shape)
Racing: Retangular (narrower shape)
Blade angle or offset refers to the degree the blade is bent to the shaft. A wider angle gives more powerful strokes and helps to conserve more energy. Depending on your paddling style, you should choose the offset accordingly.
Casual paddling: around 10 degrees
Surfing: around 7 degrees
Racing: around 12 degrees
Our ABAHUB SUP bundle comes with a paddle that suits most beginners. We also offer a variety of paddle that suits all paddle board lovers. Check them out at our Amazon store!