Selecting Your First SUP Paddle

Selecting your First Paddle

It may be intimidating buying your whole SUP gear for the primary time.  And costly.  Understandably you don’t need to lay our a fortune in your first set of apparatus. However on the similar time, you need to get stuff that’s going to final for a number of years and never have you ever working again to the shop for upgrades after only a few months.

What do you have to do?

It looks like there’s numerous data out there on buying boards  – whether or not you’re taking a look at a tough board or an inflatable, or a race board or a extra multipurpose board. However there doesn’t appear to be as a lot data on choosing your first paddle, so I’m right here that can assist you out.

A tempting place to chop prices

New SUP paddles vary in price from round $50 to $500 USD.  It’s most likely tempting to go for one thing on the decrease finish of the size whenever you’re making your first buy, because you’ve already shelled out a good bit of coin in your board. I’d prefer to counsel you rethink that and goal for one thing in the course of that vary for a number of good causes.

Your paddle could make or break your paddling expertise

Your paddle is the connection between the muscle groups you employ to propel your self by means of the water and the water itself.  Whenever you paddle, it turns into an extension of your fingers permitting you to “really feel” the water you’re pulling your self by means of.  It’s rather more akin to a musician’s instrument or a surgeon’s scalpel than the board is.

A paddle that’s gentle but sturdy, correctly balanced, has the correct quantity of flex, has a blade that simply grabs and releases water each stroke, and enters the water cleanly makes paddling way more pleasurable than one which feels uncomfortable in your fingers and doesn’t have the stiffness or the standard of blade design and building to trace by means of the water cleanly.

Choosing Your First SUP Paddle

Not solely does a greater paddle make your paddling extra pleasant, it really lets you paddle higher.  You’ll be a greater paddler, proper from the beginning, in case you don’t go low-cost on the paddle and as an alternative buy one among at the least reasonable high quality.

You’re probably to purchase new boards rather more typically than paddles.  

Crucial factor about your first board is that you just select one you may comfortably stand on.  For those who do this, it’ll serve your functions effectively for first 12 months or so at the least and also you’ll have tremendous pleasant periods out on the water.  You’ll have the ability to study new expertise, study good paddling method, study to paddle in quite a lot of situations and are a lot much less prone to really feel restricted by instability. Nonetheless, in case you actually get into paddling, I assure you that ultimately you’ll need to get one other board.  It’s inevitable.

I keep in mind beginning on a 12’6” x 29” board.  Inside a 12 months I had bought that and bought a 14’ x 28” board.  Since then I’ve transitioned to a brand new board virtually yearly and now experience a 14’ x 19.75” flatwater board and a 14’ x 23” huge water board.  But in that 10-year interval, I’ve solely used 4 paddles. The fact is, if you buy paddle to start out with, it’s going to final you for years and also you’ll undergo boards way more rapidly than paddles.

Your paddle is a crucial security consideration

Once we consider security gear for SUP we rightly consider a PFD and a leash.  You must by no means paddle with out both as they fairly actually save lives.  Nonetheless, your paddle needs to be thought-about a chunk of security gear as effectively.

Your paddle not solely lets you make your board transfer, it additionally helps you keep in your board by aiding your stability and supporting you whenever you lose your stability.  It’s crucial that you’ve confidence in your paddle’s integrity, particularly in case you’re paddling in tough or transferring water or away from shore.  In case your paddle breaks, not solely does it affect your capacity to remain in your board however it additionally impacts your capacity to get again to shore.

The easy fact is affordable paddles break extra ceaselessly than larger high quality paddles.  Going out on the water with an affordable paddle, particularly on huge,open our bodies of water is taking an pointless danger.

How a lot do you have to be paying in your first paddle?

Paddle costs usually vary from $50 to $500.  For those who go low-cost and buy a $50 paddle I assure you’ll be shopping for one other inside a brief time period.  As quickly as you strive one thing higher you’ll be unable to make use of a budget one you first bought.  The distinction is that noticeable.

Buying one thing that’s mid-range in value is the most effective strategy.  Right here’s why:

  • It can prevent from having to exit pretty rapidly and buy one other (most second paddle purchases are mid-range paddles.)
  • It can final you a variety of seasons till you’re actually sure that you really want or want a high-end paddle.

If a low-end board prices $500 it’s not unrealistic for mid-range paddle to price half of what you paid in your board.  In my e book that’s deal as a result of, for causes outlined right here already, your first paddle is definitely extra vital than your first board.

Suggestions for buying your first paddle

1. Purchase from a store moderately than Amazon.  Buy from someplace the place you may get some recommendation concerning the paddle you’re buying.  A good store offers you sound recommendation in your paddle choice, moderately than simply the bottom potential value.

2. Attempt to purchase a good model.  Manufacturers like Quickblade, Kialoa, Werner and Black Mission paddles provide a variety of high quality paddles.  Selecting a mid-range possibility from any of their product traces is an effective alternative.  Additionally, many board producers carry their very own paddle traces as effectively.  Manufacturers like Starboard and SIC Maui soar to thoughts as manufacturers which have a superb vary of paddles.

3. Think about shopping for an adjustable paddle.  For those who’re new to paddling and produce other relations that shall be sharing the gear then contemplate shopping for an adjustable paddle.  Most high-end paddles don’t come as adjustablesbut most mid-range paddles can be found as adjustables. Keep away from a budget adjustables.  They’re even worse than a budget one-piece paddles.

4. Correctly dimension your paddle, together with top, blade space and form, shaft stiffness and so forth.  One of many benefits of buying from a store is that you’ve a greater likelihood of getting sound recommendation on this regard than if you buy from a big-box retailer.


Paddling SUP will not be solely superior train, it’s enjoyable.  However it’s much more pleasant whenever you’re utilizing the appropriate gear.  In all my time paddling I’ve managed to nonetheless have a good time paddling on a awful board with a pleasant paddle in my fingers.  Nonetheless, I not often have as a lot enjoyable on board whereas utilizing a awful paddle.  When buying your first set of apparatus strive to not skimp on the paddle choice.  It has at the least as a lot to do with having enjoyable on the water as your board does.

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