(Last Updated On: October 15, 2021)

QUICK ANSWER: BEST SUP PADDLES

PADDLE BOARDS PADDLES COMPARISON

PRODUCT  LENGTH WEIGHT MATERIAL BLADE ANGLE BLADE AREA PRICE RETURN SHOP
Best Performance Paddle

Aqua-Bound Malta Fiberglass 2-Piece
64-74”
70-80”
76-86”
1.25 lbs Blade: Fiberglass
Shaft: Carbon
10° 87 sq. in. $$$$ 1-Year 
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Paddle for Small Hands

KIALOA Tiare Fiberglass Adjustable
66-82” 1.5 lbs Blade: Fiberglass Fiberlite
Shaft: Fiberglass
10° 80 sq. in. $$$ 1-Year
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Value All-Around Paddle

Werner Vibe 2-Piece
68-84” 1.88 lbs Blade: Fiberglass
Shaft: Fiberglass
10° 100 sq. in $$ 1-Year
 for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Great Beginner SUP Paddle

BOTE Adjustable SUP Paddle 3-Piece
66-86″ 1.87 lbs Blade: Carbon Fiber
Shaft: Fiberglass
Unknown $ 30 Days
for Refund with 20% Restocking Fee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
BoteBoard.com
Best for Beginner and Intermediate SUPers

Thurso Surf Carbon Hybrid Adjustable
71-87 in 2 lbs Blade: Carbon-Nylon
Shaft: Carbon fiber
10° 87 sq. in. $$ 30-Days
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
ThursoSurf.com
Best for Long SUP Sessions

NIXY 3-Piece 100% Carbon Fiber Adjustable
69-85″ 1.31 lbs Blade: Carbon Fiber
Shaft: Carbon Fiber
88 sq. in. $$$ 30 Days
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
NixySports.com
Reasonably-Priced All-Around Paddle

GLIDE Adjustable 2-Piece Paddle
70-86″ 1.81 lbs Blade: Reinforced construction
Shaft: Fiberglass
11° 100 sq. in. $$ 30 Days
for Refund with 20% Restocking Fee
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
GlideSUP.com
Best Kids SUP Paddle

Honu Element Jr Paddle Adjustable
50-65” 1.16 lbs Blade: Nylon
Shaft: Fiberglass
12.3° 57 sq. in. $ 30 Days
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
HonuBoards.com
Best for Beginners Schools

Surftech Janitor Fiberglass Adjustable
70-86” 2.1 lbs Blade: Nylon plastic
Shaft: 50% Carbon 50% Fiberglass
88 sq. in. $ 1-Year
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Great Balance between Budget and Performance

Red Paddle Co Carbon 50 Nylon Adjustable
70-86” 1.98 lbs Blade: Nylon plastic
Shaft: Carbon
72 sq. in. $$$ 1-Year
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com
Best Value Entry-Level Paddle

Surftech Janitor Hybrid SUP/Kayak Paddle
70-86” 2.1 lbs Blade: Nylon plastic
Shaft: 50% Carbon 50% Fiberglass
88 sq. in. $$$ 1-Year
for a Full Refund
(Learn More)
Check Price
on
REI.com

BEST SUP PADDLES REVIEWS

Aqua-Bound Malta Fiberglass 2-Piece

Best Performance Paddle

PROS:
– Incredibly lightweight
– Comfortable
– Easy to adjust with the built-in LeverLock
– Did not break when accidentally dropped multiple times
– Provide max efficiency with min effort
– Powerful enough to paddle hard
– Smaller grip and a thinner shaft for smaller hands
– Offer enough travel for a wide range of heights
CONS:
– Fiberglass is more fragile than many alternatives
– Can be pricey for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 64-74” / 70-80” / 76-86”
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Blade: Fiberglass
  • Blade Angle: 10°
  • Blade Area: 87 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Carbon
  • Price: $$$$

KIALOA Tiare Fiberglass Adjustable

Best Paddle for Small Hands

PROS:
– Cuts through the water like butter
– Flex when using in the open ocean
– Lightweight
– Easy to adjust
– Excellent paddling performance
CONS:
– One user said that he’s got broken about a year while lake paddling

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 66-82”
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs
  • Blade: Fiberglass Fiberlite
  • Blade Angle: 10°
  • Blade Area: 80 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Fiberglass
  • Price: $$$

TODAY’S PRICE

Werner Vibe 2-Piece

Best Value All-Around Paddle

PROS:
– Tough
– Easy to adjust when switching between multiple users
– Offers best-performance
– Magnificent locking mechanism
– Reasonably priced
CONS:
– An increasing small but noticeable flex developed where the Vibe connects after 1.5 months of really pushing it hard during 3-4x a week sessions

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 68-84”
  • Weight: 1.88 lbs
  • Blade: Fiberglass
  • Blade Angle: 10°
  • Blade Area: 100 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Fiberglass
  • Price: $$

TODAY’S PRICE

BOTE Adjustable SUP Paddle 3-Piece

Great Beginner SUP Paddle

PROS:
– Affordable
– Easy to adjust between standing and kneeling
– High quality
– Comfortable
– Packable
– Blade is one solid piece
– Lightweight but durable
– Outstanding quality
– Great customer support
CONS:
– None

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 66-86″
  • Weight: 1.87 lbs
  • Blade: Carbon Fiber
  • Blade Angle:
  • Blade Area: Unknown
  • Shaft: Fiberglass
  • Price: $
  • Return: 30 Days for Refund with 20% Restocking Fee (Learn More)

Thurso Surf Carbon Hybrid Adjustable

Best for Beginner and Intermediate SUPers

PROS:
– Incredibly durable while staying lightweight
– Adjustable for most adult paddler heights
– Very easy to pack
– Can be converted to a kayak paddle with a second blade (sold separately)
– Stays afloat if it dropped accidentally
CONS:
– The use of nylon in the blade makes it a little heavy

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 71-87″
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Blade: Carbon-Nylon
  • Blade Angle: 10°
  • Blade Area: 87 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Carbon fiber
  • Price: $$

NIXY 3-Piece 100% Carbon Fiber Adjustable

Best for Long SUP Sessions

PROS:
– Ultra-lightweight
– Less strain on your muscles and joints
– Easy to store and transport
– Anti-twist system
– Available in 3 blade sizes for different paddlers sizes
– Let you paddle further with less effort
– More efficient stoke
Feels warmer to the touch in colder temperatures
– comes with a padded bag
CONS:
– Can be pricey for some

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 69-85″
  • Weight: 1.31 lbs
  • Blade: Carbon Fiber
  • Blade Angle:
  • Blade Area: 88 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Carbon Fiber
  • Price: $$$

GLIDE Adjustable 2-Piece Paddle

Reasonably-Priced All-Around Paddle

PROS:
– Good value for the price
– Light
– The angle of the blade makes a big difference
– Adjusts on the go
– Fantastic customer support
CONS:
– Does not break down into a smaller travel size

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 70-86″
  • Weight: 1.81 lbs
  • Blade: Reinforced construction
  • Blade Angle: 11°
  • Blade Area: 100 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Fiberglass
  • Price: $$
  • Return: 30 Days for Refund with 20% Restocking Fee (Learn More)

TODAY’S PRICE

Honu Element Jr Paddle Adjustable

Best Kids SUP Paddle

PROS:
– Best for 6-12 years SUPers
– Durable blade
– Packable
– Single screw clamps to easy assemble/broke down
– The fiberglass flex provide maximum control and stability for youth paddlers
– Affordable
CONS:
– None

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 50-65”
  • Weight: 1.16 lbs
  • Blade: Nylon
  • Blade Angle: 12.3°
  • Blade Area: 57 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Fiberglass
  • Price: $

Surftech Janitor 2-Piece

Best for Beginners Schools

PROS:
– Affordable
– Nice molded Grip handle
– Shaft anti-twist system
– Extreme strength
– High impact resistant
CONS:
– Does not break down into a smaller travel size
– Heavy, especially in long sessions

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 70-86”
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Blade: Nylon plastic
  • Blade Angle:
  • Blade Area: 88 sq. in.
  • Shaft: 50% Carbon 50% Fiberglass
  • Price: $

TODAY’S PRICE

Red Paddle Co Carbon 50 Nylon Adjustable

Great Balance between Budget and Performance

PROS:
– Shaft natural flex offers a gentler energy transfer for a greater stroke cadence
– Rigid blade
– Lightweight
– Easy to put together
– Overall lightweight feel
– Fits nicely in the paddleboard bag
CONS:
– A little bit expensive

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 70-86”
  • Weight: 1.98 lbs
  • Blade: Nylon plastic
  • Blade Angle:
  • Blade Area: 72 sq. in.
  • Shaft: Carbon
  • Price: $$$

Surftech Janitor Hybrid SUP/Kayak Paddle

Best Value Entry-Level Paddle

PROS:
– Extremely flexible when digging deep
– Quickly adjustable length
– Transform into a Kayak paddle with the induced extra blade
– Great value for the price
CONS:
– Feels heavy in long SUP sessions

QUICK SPECS

  • Length: 70-86”
  • Weight: 2.1 lbs
  • Blade: Nylon plastic
  • Blade Angle:
  • Blade Area: 88 sq. in.
  • Shaft: 50% Carbon 50% Fiberglass
  • Price: $$$

TODAY’S PRICE

PADDLE FOR PADDLE BOARDS – BUYING GUIDE

SUP PADDLE ANATOMY

MATERIAL

The SUP paddle material plays a huge impact on the weight, price, and durability of the paddle, making it the most important factor to consider and when you are buying.

  • CARBON FIBER:

This is the lightest of the list, which means spending lots of time on the water before feeling fatigued and are also incredibly strong.

Carbon fiber SUP paddles are good for racing or endurance paddling because they are lightweight and the best option for rough water and withstanding abuse because they are durable.

They are also ideal for very long SUP sessions and SUP surfing because they offer great responsiveness.

The only downside of carbon fiber paddles is the high cost, it starts around $250 for paddles that have a composite construction of carbon and fiberglass or couple a carbon shaft with a fiberglass blade, up to $600 for good quality paddles that are full carbon.

  • FIBERGLASS:

Fiberglass is an excellent lightweight paddleboard that is ideal for intermediate and recreational paddlers.

Moreover, fiberglass shafts have a flex that increases efficiency by storing and releasing energy during each stroke, making them comfortable to use and more gentle on your joints.

Compared to the other materials, fiberglass is more expensive than nylon plastic and aluminum but makes lightweight and affordable SUP paddles than carbon fiber but is slightly heavier.

  • NYLON PLASTIC:

Referred to as PU (short for Polyurethane) makes durable and affordable SUP paddle, used in paddle blades and grips of entry-level paddles.

Having a tendency to flex, plastic blades lose power in the stroke, coupled with its heavyweight, more effort is required from you to paddle, results in less time on the water.

The majority of the included paddles are made of nylon plastic blades paired with aluminum or alloy shafts.

  • ALUMINUM:

Aluminum, which is used in paddles shafts, usually makes the cheapest SUP paddles.

Compared to carbon or fiberglass, aluminum is heavy and not as stiff, and it offers poor flex properties

Another downside of aluminum is that if you drop it into the water accidentally it will not stay afloat.

All of these characteristics make it ideal only for beginner SUP paddlers.

  • WOOD:

Wood SUP paddles are sometimes made entirely from wood making beautiful but heavy paddles, or uses only a thin slice of wood visible on the exterior in order to have the wood look but remained lightweight.

SHAFT FLEX

Paddles with shafts that flex a lot lose power in each stroke but provide a smoother power delivery, making them ideal for kids or gentle paddling.

Paddles with shafts that have minimal to no flex at all transfer all your body power to the water during each stroke, making them ideal only for big guys SUP paddlers or competitive racing.

ADJUSTABLE OR FIXED LENGTH

ADJUSTABLE PADDLESFIXED PADDLES
Allow for use by shorter or taller friends and family members
3 piece adjustable paddles are extremely easy to store and transport
Let you easily experiment to find what length works for you
Let fine-tune the length for surfing, SUP touring, or racing
Maximize performance
They tend to be stiffer and lighter by 2 oz to 4 oz or more
They tend to cost a little less
Generally maintenance-free
Slightly heavier than their one-piece counterparts
Inhibited performance
Poor flex properties
Requires you to be experienced in order to get your exact length

PADDLE BOARD PADDLE CORRECT LENGTH

Your correct paddle length equals your height :

  • +6 to 8” for SUP surfing.
  • +8 to 10” for flat-water SUP paddling.
  • +10 to 12” for SUP racing.

Due to other factors like the paddleboard thickness, width, and personal preferences, don’t be shy about tweaking the paddle length guide above to get the most from your time on the water.

Another thing that I want you to know about is that shorter paddles are ideal for surfing because they optimize acceleration and offer better control, while longer paddles are ideal for distance paddling because they are better at top speed and improve energy efficiency.

BLADE SIZE

The blade size or the blade area is a preference that gets developed with time, but as a general guideline, the more fit you are the larger your blade can be.

RECOMMENDATIONS BASED ON THE PADDLER WEIGHT:

  • 80–90 sq. in. : Small blades are ideal for beginners and less fit small and medium SUP paddlers.
  • 90–100 sq. in. : Medium blades are ideal for medium and large paddlers or speed and racing.
  • 100–120 sq. in. : Large blades are ideal for large and extra-large or strong paddlers, or in large waves.

LARGE PADDLE BLADES VS SMALL BLADES:

LARGE BLADESSMALL BLADES
Allows you to get up to speed quickly
Help you catch a wave by providing powerful strokes
Provide better control
More power
Move slower through the water
Tire your body quickly
Better acceleration
Makes pulling the blade through the water easier
Requires less effort with each stroke
Gentle on your joints and muscles
Better energy efficiency
Require a higher cadence

In order for manufacturers to avoid too many blade size choices over SUP board different sizes and types, they tend to be around medium size blades because its covers the widest range of paddlers.

BLADE SHAPE

Even though the blade shape plays a subtle effect on the performance you get out of your paddle, it’s still something you should be aware of.

  • TEAR-DROP BLADES: Ideal for covering long distance

These blades provide more powerful strokes due to their larger blade area.

  • RECTANGULAR BLADES: Ideal for SUP racing and paddlers that want speed

Rectangular blades have less surface area making them easy on your muscles and joints with a gentle stroke.

BLADE ANGLE

Some SUP paddles are angled to the shaft with an angle that starts from 6% up to 12%.

Paddles for Paddle Boards
SUPER PADDLES

ANGLED BLADES ADVANTAGES:

  • The angle help drain the water from the blade when not in water for maximum efficiency.
  • Makes the stroke begin a little bit further for more power.
  • Makes your board glide through the water instead of dipping the board nose into water.

BLADE ANGLE RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • 7° Blade Angle: Best for surfing.
  • 10° Blade Angle: Best for all-around paddling.
  • 12° Blade Angle: Best for SUP racing.

DIHEDRAL VS FLAT

Best SUP Paddle
Werner Vibe 3-Piece

The paddle dihedral is a spine that starts from the top blade and continues fading towards the bottom of the blade.

Blade dihedral makes the water flow across both sides of the blade, increasing stability during the stroke, resulting in the paddle coming straight back during the power stroke.

SUP paddles with dihedrals are less likely to bang against the rails of your board.

Having a dihedral on your paddle makes it lose some of its power and control during each stroke, which is not a big deal for beginner paddlers.

GRIP DESIGN

Even though the grip in what makes contact with you, it remains a matter of personal preference for a certain type of riding.

The best grip design for you is one that makes you the most comfortable and feels the most secure.

The two types of paddle grips are:

  • T-GRIP: Offer a bit more secure grip
  • PALM GRIP: More comfortable.

FLOATABILITY

The paddle’s ability to float is a very important safety feature that helps get back your paddle when accidentally dropped in water.

Last modified: October 15, 2021

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