Pickin’ Your Paddle: A Short Guide to SUP Paddles

So you’ve got your board, now what? Making sure you have the right accessories is key to a successful and fun paddleboarding experience! With many different types of paddles available, choosing the right one for you can be confusing. We are SUP (stand up paddleboard) experts here at CRS and have some great tips for you to consider!

  • Length – Key for form and efficiency
    • For touring and general recreation, choose a paddle that is approximately 8 to 12 inches more than the rider’s height.
    • If you can determine your paddle in person, follow these steps:
      • Stand with the paddle vertically, the blade touching the ground.
      • Reach your arm above your head and notice where the handle lands. If properly sized the T-grip will rest at the bend of your wrist.
      • Purchase adjustable paddles if you can
  • Material – Determines the weight and stiffness of the paddle
    • The lighter the paddle, the easier maneuvering through water will be. Stiff paddles can be exhausting on muscles and joints but are more efficient for power.
    • Materials include:
      • Plastic–durable and affordable
      • Aluminum–lightweight and affordable
      • Fiberglass–lightweight yet powerful, mid-range pricing.
      • Carbon Fiber–The lightest and stiffest material but the highest priced. Good for long-distance or frequent paddling.
  • Blade – The size and shape of the blade determines how the blade itself moves through the water and depends on the type of paddling you do. A good rule of thumb in determining needed blade size is, the larger the rider, the larger the blade size can be.
    • Blade Size
      • Large blades are more powerful and assist in gaining speed quickly
      • Small blades are more efficient. They move less water with each stroke but are easier to pull through the water, preserving energy.
    • Blade Shape
      • Tear Drop – The majority of the blade’s surface area is pushing water, which means a more powerful stroke.
      • Rectangular – Promotes a gentler stroke and is easier on the muscles and joints of the body.

Call on of our Recreation Specialists today to learn more about our paddles and boards!