Starboard SUP Paddle

SUP Paddles

What is the best SUP paddle? The best paddle is a fixed length light carbon paddle. Shaft that is as stiff as you are comfortable paddling with and blade size to match your cadence, power and weight. Fixed carbon paddles are quite expensive and fragile so maybe not the best option for everyone especially if you are just starting and on a tight budget.
The difference between a good paddle and a bad one is huge. And believe me when i say it’s HUGE! A good and light paddle almost feels like it paddles by itself. The difference is a lot more noticeable than between a bad and good board.
So investing in a good paddle when starting out might be an investment that you don’t regret in the long run. Cheap inflatable board packages usually come with not that good paddles. With an paddle upgrade you can make paddling much more enjoyable.

In this article i will go thru what are the things you need to consider when buying an adjustable or fixed SUP paddle.

SUP Paddle Blade

Starboard Lima tufskin blade

SUP paddle blades come in different shapes, sizes and constructions. All of these variables have an effect on how the paddle feels.

SUP Paddle blade construction and shape

From my experience you want the blade to be as stiff and light as possible. Stiffest and lightest blades are made out of prepreg carbon. These blades are of course the most expensive ones. I don’t like to paddle with these blades in waters where unexpected bottom or rock contacts are possible. Hard rock contact can easily nick the rail of the blade. These nicks must be repaired with sanding, sometimes little epoxy is also needed.

SUP Paddle Blade construction.
Starboard prepreg carbon blade construction.

If you get a lot of rock contacts where you paddle you might wan’t to go with an different construction. Starboard offers a good more durable construction for these circumstances.

Starboard TIKI TECH SUP paddle blade construction.
Starboards TIKI TECH blade construction

SUP Paddle shape

SUP Paddle blade size

Optimal SUP paddle blade size depends on many variables. Board, paddler and discipline.

SUP Paddle blade size chart
Starboard Lima blade size chart

SUP Paddle shaft

SUP Paddle shaft flex
Starboard shaft stiffness.

Adjustable SUP Paddles

2 – Piece Adjustable SUP Paddles

3 – 4 Piece Adjustable SUP Paddles

Starboard 3-piece adjustable sup paddle

These paddles are commonly known as travel paddles. When inflatable SUP boards came to the market they where soon followed by 3-piece paddles. You can disassemble the paddles in to three pieces. When disassembled the paddle fits in the same bag as your inflatable board.

Starboard 4-piece adjustable SUP paddle

Fixed SUP Paddles

How to determine what is the best SUP paddle length.

Pullup & Dip Calisthenics equipment.