You can purchase the most high-tech SUP but don’t expect to go anywhere if you don’t have a paddle! Buying a high quality SUP paddle is almost as important as the board itself. While most boards come with a paddle, this is not always the case. There are also plenty of cases where the board is of premium quality but the paddle is not.
As SUP paddles go, this offering from SurfTech is reasonably priced and retails at $100. It is one of the highest rated paddles and it is a classic case of getting more than what you pay for.
The SurfTech paddle is a crossover paddle for waveriding and flatwater. It is made with a durable yet lightweight aluminum shaft and it has a plastic blade angled at 12 degrees with structural rib. If you want a paddle to help ease you into the world of SUPs, this model is one of the best.
It is very apparent that SurfTech has put a lot of time and effort into this paddle because it appears to be almost indestructible. The adjustment and handle extension is exceptionally secure so you can rest assured it will last for years. While it may seem expensive, it is easy to adjust so several people can use it.
At approximately $260, the Sawyer Mana Rip 90 is one of the most expensive SUP paddles on the market. Yet it is also a bad-ass piece of work as every single one of these paddles is handmade in the USA. It features an extremely light carbon fiber shaft with a blade angled at 11 degrees. The result is a high quality paddling performance.
It is very strong and suited to SUP fanatics and those interested in competing at a professional level. You get a great no-flutter catch due to the dual scoop dihedral power face and fan profile. It also features a Dynel ToughEdge so you get absorption and impact protection. The Curled Palm Grip is another neat addition because it enables you to paddle all day while still remaining comfortable.
The specific shaft design also ensures you get maximum power from every single stroke. Make no mistake about it; the Sawyer Mana Rip 90 is the paddle of choice for pros. While it is an admittedly expensive investment, those at the top level know it can be the difference in competition so it is well worth the extra cash.
This is the more expensive paddle offering from BIC Sport. BIC’s adjustable aluminum paddle retails at around $100 whereas this Fiberglass paddle costs around $140. First and foremost, it is very easy to adjust from 170-210cm which makes it ideal for paddlers of all sizes.
Overall, this isn’t a great paddle. It’s heavier than a number of the competitors fiberglass paddles. One would think it would float because the core is filled with foam, however it does a bit of a poor job floating. Smaller paddlers have complained about the overall weight of this paddle so if you are light and/or petite, perhaps you should consider a lighter paddle.
For the same price you can pick up a Surftech Ventana Paddle which actually floats as it was intended to. And it is extremely light weight.
The BIC paddle has a few nice features, the T-handle is a great design innovation as it allows paddlers to enjoy the water for hours without grip fatigue. There is also a handy blade cover which can be used when you store the paddle.
On the plus side, the paddle glides through water fairly well and is a good choice for recreational users who don’t plan on spending long hours in the water.
This paddle has had its price dramatically reduced and is now available for as little as $65; it was originally $130. While it could be argued that the Rave Performance paddle was not worth the full price, overall it offers terrific value.
Although it comes in three pieces, assembling the paddle is child’s play as it connects and comes apart easily; there is a button in the middle which releases the paddle when pressed. When it is in three pieces, the Rave Performance offers convenient storage. It may be lightweight but it is also extremely strong and is suitable for beginner or intermediate paddlers seeking extra power for a smooth and fast release.
An innovative feature is the Qwik Snap system which enables you to make adjustments so the paddle can be from 69-85 inches long depending on your size and needs. The maximum length extension is marked out on the paddle and there is a locking mechanism with a latch and a screw fastener to keep the extension part where you originally set it. This paddle is made from carbon fiber material and the shaft is made from durable aluminum.
Overall, the Rave Performance 3-piece SUP paddle represents good value for money. In some ways, it is now a ‘cheap and cheerful’ option and would not be an ideal choice for serious paddlers but for beginners, it hits the mark.
There is a wide range of SUP paddles to choose from and picking the right one may seem like a tough decision. Be sure to test out several paddles if you can and choose the one which makes paddling seem effortless. Remember, you could be paddling for hours at a time so find something comfortable!