Best SUP Paddles 2018 Review & Buyer’s Guide

There are many different paddles available. They are produced using a variety of different materials types, blade shapes, and levels of adjustability. The locking mechanism is easier with some products and troublesome with others. Whether a paddle is made from light aluminum or stronger and lighter carbon, or a cheaper material, it may still offer value via an easier, more reliable locking mechanism and an affordable cost. As such, there’s no one right SUP paddle for everyone but certainly, price does play a part when it comes to quality.

When willing to pay for something more premium, then carbon fiber or fiberglass are two popular options. In the case of carbon fiber, a fully carbon fiber body including both the shaft and blade is the lightest but causes problems with parts of the shaft snapping off when hitting the paddle board by mistake. A compromise is a carbon fiber shaft and another material used for the blade which is heavier but stronger at the same time.

Whether the river conditions are choppy and calm, a good paddle is essential to carve through the water while stand up paddleboarding. Below we review five models that we found provide suitability for a good cross-section of our readership.

Best 5 SUP Peddle Reviews

#1

Adjustable CARBON FIBER ‘Slider’ SUP Paddle

With the BPS Slider adjustable carbon fiber paddle, the shaft is lighter than some others due to the use of carbon fiber to reduce the weight to 1.7-pounds. The shaft adjusts easily to make changes to the paddle length to suit different members of the family.best sup paddles reviews

The blade is made from a mixture of nylon composite and fiberglass to give it a smooth yet durable texture. This avoids the common issue of chipping an all-carbon fiber blade when accidentally hitting the paddle board with it. The handle is designed using carbon fiber to give it a smooth feeling on the handle for easy grip without losing control of the paddle in the rapids or turbulent lakes.

To adjust the length of the paddle, it takes just a few seconds to do and then it locks back into position without slipping thereafter. The length range is 1,760mm on the short end and 2,150mm on the long end. The face of the blade is 400m lengthwise and 205mm across.

For storage, there is a paddle bag provided as a freebee to avoid the product getting scratched when it’s out of the water. The lining of the bag is thoughtfully produced to reflect heat away to prevent sun rays damaging the surface of the paddle or heating it up. And for people who insist on carrying a spare paddle, there are convenient Velcro ties added to the exterior to tie on a second paddle when you’re not worried about the sun at all.

Pros
Carbon fiber shaft

Nylon and fiberglass blade that avoids damage with SUP contact

Smooth carbon fiber handle for easy contact and grip

Paddle length is 1,760mm at the shortest setting and 2,150mm at the longest

Blade face is 400m lengthwise and 205mm across

Sun reflective bag with Velcro ties to strap a second paddle on the outside
Cons
  Unlikely to suit people who are under 5”7 tall

  Not as sturdy as some people expect

  Bag won’t hold two paddles at the same time inside 
#2

Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle by Own the Wave

The Own the Wave Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle comes in a choice of two or three pieces with different SKUs. The design of this SUP paddle uses an alloy shaft with a silver appearance, to it’s quite light but not like carbon fiber would have been.

The blade is made from a nylon composite to keep it sturdy but with a bit of flex in the water to glide more easily and push through strong currents well. The handle is specially designed to be more ergonomic in case you’re paddling the SUP for more than an hour.best adjustable sup paddle

The paddles are adjustable from 71-inches (1,800m) up to 83-inches (2,130mm). This is a little short of the adjustability of the previously reviewed BPS carbon fiber paddle, but it’s still pretty decent. The two pieces break apart with the longest length being 66-inches (1,675mm) to fit inside the main body of a car or in the trunk.

The weight is 2.2 pounds. This compares to 1.7 pounds for the BPS product which is admittedly partly made from carbon fiber which is where the half pound is no doubt shaved off.

The paddles are designed to float whether paddling in fresh or salt water and they come with a 12 month no quibble guarantee.

Pros
Alloy shaft

Nylon composite blades that glide well through the water

Handle is ergonomically designed for long use without hand pain

Handle has good grip

Adjustable paddles from 71-inches (1,800m) to 83-inches (2,130mm)

Breaks into two pieces with longest piece 66-inches long (1,675mm) to find in a car or the trunk

12-month no quibble guarantee
Cons
  Not carbon fiber

Seems like a looser fitting when changing lengths

Not as strong as preferred

Heavier at 2.2 pounds compared to a partial carbon fiber model 
#3

Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle – 3-Piece Adjustable Stand-Up Paddle

The Super Paddles Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle is designed in three pieces. It is produced in a series with five other SKUs including a mixed bamboo wood blade with a carbon fiber shaft, and other models that vary between being all carbon, or have shafts that are made from either nylon composite or fiberglass. Each choice affects the weight, feel and functionality of the SUP paddle. No choice is necessarily right or wrong (all carbon paddles tend to break their blades far more easily than other materials, but their trade-off is their lightness).sup paddle holder

The version we’re reviewing here is the 3K prepreg carbon shaft version with good water depth markings along each shaft. The SUP paddle is put together with stainless steel screws, so it won’t suffer too much in salt water. The blade has a patterned look and feels to it because it uses strengthened nylon to provide both durability and the ability to bend a little in forceful currents to give you better overall control.

The adjustable paddle is 72-inches (1.82m) in the shorter length and 86-inches (2.19m) at the longest adjustment. The paddle is suitable for paddlers who are over five feet in height. The adjustment takes about 20-30 seconds in total, so it doesn’t require much effort.

The paddle weighs approximately 1.56-lbs (25 oz.) due to the carbon fiber shaft, but it doesn’t lose strength in the 12-degree angled blade so it’s unlikely to chip.

The SUP paddle is supplied with a closed-cell foam lined bag to provide protection from accidental damage. A strong nylon fabric is used with the bag and it has 3 separate compartments too. There is an inner aluminum lining to reflect heat out and stop the paddle’s materials from getting hot.

Pros
3K prepreg carbon material on the shaft

Grippy design along the shaft too

12-degree angled blades made from nylon with a patterned look

Weighs 1.56-lbs which is very light for a SUP paddle Adjustable paddles are 72-inches (1.82m) up to 86-inches (2.19m) at the long end

Must be five feet or taller to use

Adjustment requires 15-20 seconds to complete

Free nylon bag lined with closed-cell foam for protection and interior lined with aluminum to reflect heat
Cons
  Part of the product is glued together which can come apart after a year of use 
#4

Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle by BPS

The BPS Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle comes either on its own or with a blade cover too depending on the SKU selected. The paddle itself is made in two pieces with an alloy shaft that’s light enough but finished in a black color to look similar to the blade. There is also a depth measurement all the way along the shaft to check how deep the water is in that part of the lake or river.sup travel paddle

The blade is a nylon composite which is a popular material for durability in the water. It has a smooth feel and a clean design with the BPS logo prominently shown. The paddle is intended to float in either salt water or fresh water without sinking to the bottom of the riverbed. Even when the SUP paddle is trapped underwater, it won’t sink from the pressure.

The adjustability is good at 71-inches (1,800mm) on the short end and 83-inches (2,130mm) on the long end. The two pieces break down with the shortest being 66-inches (1,675mm) to fit inside a car or in the trunk.

BPS is a modest family-owned business that deals exclusively in water-sport products. A 12-month guarantee is provided with the product.

Pros
Alloy shaft that’s been colored black to match the color of the blade

Nylon composite blade with textured look

Adjustable from 71-inches (1,800mm) on the short end to 83-inches (2,130mm) on the long end

Two-pieced paddle whose shortest piece is 66-inches (1,675mm)

  Floats in salt water and other types even when submerged for a few minutes

Family-owned business

12-month guarantee
Cons
  The adjuster sleeve moves around unexpectedly sometimes

The handle is not that durable and sometimes has been seen to break off

Doesn’t hold up well against heavy winds where the product can get bent out of place 
#5

Fiberglass SUP Paddle – 3-Piece Adjustable Stand Up Paddle

The Super Paddles Fiberglass SUP Paddle goes another direction to either an alloy or carbon fiber shaft by using fiberglass instead in this model. This is matched with a nylon blade that has an attractive dotted pattern on its main surface. Stainless steel screws hold the three-piece black design with white accents together.bending branches sup paddle

The fiberglass adds a luxurious high-end element to a paddle that’s designed to be usable both for beginners and advanced paddlers alike. The paddle floats on the water without difficulty, so you won’t lose it at the bottom of the riverbed.

The adjustable SUP paddle breaks down into three pieces. At its shortest, it’s 72-inches (1.82m) in length and at its longest, it’s 86-inches (2.19m) in length. Paddlers who are over five feet won’t have an issue using this paddle. Despite coming in three parts, it only takes 15-20 seconds to put it together or make a length adjustment.

No bag is supplied to store the paddle inside safely which is a shame.

There is a 12-month warranty supplied with this fiberglass SUP paddle.

Pros
Fiberglass shaft

Nylon composite blade

Three-piece design

72-inches (1.82m) at its shortest length and 86-inches (2.19m) at its longest

Paddlers taller than five feet can use this paddle

15-20 seconds need to assemble it or change the paddle length

12-month warranty
Cons
  No paddle bag is supplied which is disappointing

  The heavier blade makes this paddle a little out of balance during use

Scratches quite easily

Conclusion

Deciding what SUP paddle to purchase is a difficult choice. When you have not bought one previously, the choices are confusing and it’s not easy to make a final pick.

The first question is whether your arms are strong enough to paddle with a heavier SUP paddle or whether you need one with a carbon fiber shaft or an all carbon fiber construction. Depending on the answer, the product list narrows considerably. Clearly, when going for an all carbon fiber or partial carbon fiber building materials, the price will rise notably.

We would suggest to you to forget the price in the first instance because if you buy a paddle that’s too big and heavy for you to paddle through the water for more than five minutes before getting hand and arm fatigue, you’ve got a real problem. You’ve then wasted your money on something too large and too heavy and you’ll need a replacement which could end up costing you more than if you just bought the lighter, more expensive SUP paddle at the start.

Once this is decided, there are models that are made in two parts or three parts, but the secondary criteria that count is how long or short will the paddle adjust up/down to? For particularly tall or short people, the length of the adjustable SUP paddle matters a great deal too. If it won’t reach to the length you need, it won’t be much use to you either.

After this, things like the company behind the product and the length of the warranty become important.

Good luck with your SUP paddling.

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