Article by Matthew McClifford
Although stand up paddle surfing shines as a hobby, it differs greatly from competitive SUP surfing or even as a career. You may be able to get away with regular or even cheap fiber paddles boards and paddle board paddles when paddleboard surfing just for the fun of it. When you decide to compete, however, the vast majority of the average boards and paddles for sale simply won’t do.
Paddle board racing requires specialized equipment – top quality boards and carbon fiber paddles that were designed specifically to give you an edge in a competition. Because the quality of the SUP paddle used can have such a great bearing on the outcome of the race, here are three paddle reviews addressing the top three racing paddles under 0.
Quickblade: racing paddles made by Quickblade are some of the most popular in the sport. These racing paddles weigh in at only 16 ounces and are bordered by a thin, extremely light ABS edge. Their light weight allows them a huge degree of maneuverability in the water. The lighter your paddle is, the more strokes you will be able to get in and the faster you will go. On the downside, Quickblade paddles are a bit pricey with some models costing as much as 0. Quickblade paddles are some of the stiffest in their weight category, and their lack of flexibility could be a problem for some racers. The standard grip offered for the handles of these paddles is also quite soft and tends to chip or tear faster than other brands. Additionally, the blade is wider than normal, and the blade logos have a tendency to get scuffed up or scratched off.
Carbonerro: This brand offers a variety of both surfing and racing paddles, from lower-end models to top-quality paddles. The average price of a Carbonerro paddle is lower than the average price of a Quickblade, and the company is one hundred percent focused on the SUP market. Carbonerro paddles come with ABS edges and are slightly lighter than Quickblade paddles. The logo and designs on the blade are sub-laminated and don’t wear off as found on some other models. On the downside, Carbonerro is a new face in the world of SUP products. The company is smaller and has less of a market share than some of the other SUP giants. Although this fresh outlook can definitely have its benefits, it can also mean that the company and its products are not as field-tested as other, better-established brands.
Kialoa: Kialoa makes a unique style of paddle involving an oval shaft that provides a fascinating experience and a grip that is both tight and firm. All Kialoa products are made in the United States. On the downside, there is no dihedral on the back of the blades of Kialoa racing paddles. A dihedral is a ridge or spine that prevents the paddle blade from drifting from side to side, without which paddling can be considerably more difficult. Kialoa paddles also feature a blade that is quite wide, and this can affect the rapidity with which it moves through the water.