How To Choose Paddle Board Paddles: A Guide To Find The Perfect Fit

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Navigating the variety of paddle board paddles on the market can seem overwhelming. Did you know that choosing the right stand-up paddleboard (SUP) paddle is just as vital as selecting your board? This comprehensive guide will help you streamline your decision-making process by examining types of paddles, factors to consider before buying, popular brands, and maintenance tips.

Let’s dive in and find your perfect fit!

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Types of Paddle Board Paddles

There are several types of paddle board paddles to choose from, including fixed-length paddles, adjustable paddles, 3-piece paddles, inflatable paddles, and hybrid paddles.

Fixed-length paddles

Fixed-length paddles are a go-to for many experienced paddle boarders. These paddles, crafted to one specific size, offer an unchanging experience in water across different bouts of use.

Since they don’t adjust like their counterparts, you get a consistent feel each time you hit the water. This consistency leads to improved precision while steering and maneuvering your stand-up paddleboard (SUP).

Made from various materials such as carbon fiber, fixed-length paddles provide durable and lightweight options that help minimize paddling fatigue. They also fit perfectly into defined styles of SUP activities such as surfing or racing where standardizing equipment is key for performance and rules compliance.

However, keep in mind that these models might not be the best bet if multiple people varying in height will use your SUP gear since there’s no room for sizing changes with these types of paddles.

Adjustable paddles

Adjustable paddles cater to a variety of rider heights making them ideal for most paddlers. The key advantage of these SUP paddles is their adjustable lengths, negating the need for precise measurements before purchase.

This flexibility makes it easy to tailor your paddle length based on the type of water you’re tackling or even personal comfort and fatigue levels.

Switching from calm flatwater touring to choppy surf conditions simply requires shortening or lengthening your paddle, adding versatility to your SUP experience. Adjustable models also offer convenience if multiple people use one board, allowing everyone an individually suited paddle height.

Carbon fiber construction adds durability without sacrificing lightweight performance – a balance that’s much sought after in stand-up paddleboarding.

3-piece paddles

Three-piece paddles offer unrivaled convenience, especially for paddle boarders who love to travel. Designed to easily break down into three compact parts, these paddles save plenty of space and make packing a breeze.

Lightweight yet highly durable, you’ll find most models crafted from tough materials like carbon fiber. Their adjustable lengths accommodate a wide variety of rider heights and skill.

Whether you’re embarking on calm water touring or bracing exciting surfing waves, the versatility of 3-piece paddles ensures an enjoyable experience every time. With its portability and flexibility characteristics, it’s no surprise why many paddlers prefer this type over others in the market.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Paddle

Before purchasing any paddle board paddles – there are several important factors to take into consideration.

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Paddle length

Paddle length is an important factor to consider when choosing a paddle for your stand-up paddleboard (SUP). While most SUP paddles are adjustable, allowing for a wide range of rider heights, it’s still crucial to find the right length that suits your body and paddling style.

A paddle that is too short can result in inefficient strokes and strain on your back, while a paddle that is too long may cause you to lose control and tire quickly. Finding the optimal paddle length will ensure comfortable and efficient paddling, enhancing your overall experience on the water.

You can use this guide to get a good idea of the right paddle height for you:

Paddle blade size and shape

Paddle blade size and shape play a crucial role in your paddleboarding experience. A larger blade size offers more power, ideal for racing or paddling against strong currents. On the other hand, a smaller blade size is great for leisurely paddling or longer-distance touring, as it reduces fatigue.

The shape of the paddle blade also affects performance – a concave design provides stability and control while a flat shape allows for faster strokes. Consider your paddling style and goals when choosing the right paddle blade size and shape to maximize your enjoyment on the water.

Paddle weight

A crucial factor to consider when choosing a paddle board paddle is its weight. The weight of the paddle can greatly affect your paddling experience, as it determines how much effort you require to exert and how quickly you may become fatigued.

Most paddles are designed to be lightweight, making it easier for you to maneuver and paddle for extended periods without straining your arms. Carbon fiber paddles, in particular, are known for their lightness and durability, making them a popular choice among paddlers of all skill levels.

So when browsing for a paddle, keep in mind that a lightweight option will help enhance your performance on the water while minimizing fatigue.

Paddle material

The material of the paddle plays a crucial role in its durability, performance, and weight. Carbon fiber paddles are a popular choice among paddle boarders due to their lightweight yet strong nature.

They provide excellent power and efficiency while reducing fatigue during long paddling sessions. Fiberglass paddles are another option that offers a good balance between weight and affordability.

They are durable and offer decent flex for added comfort. For those on a budget, aluminum or plastic paddles can be suitable options, although they tend to be heavier than carbon fiber or fiberglass models.

Paddle handle grip

The handle grip of a paddle is an important consideration when choosing the right SUP paddle. The grip should feel comfortable and provide a secure hold to prevent slipping during paddling.

Some popular handle grip options include T-grip, palm grip, and ergonomic grips. A good handle grip can enhance your control over the paddle, reduce hand fatigue, and make your overall paddling experience more enjoyable.

Remember to consider your personal preferences and try out different handle grips before making a decision.

Paddle price

When it comes to the price of paddle board paddles, there is a wide range of options to fit different budgets. Paddle prices can vary based on factors such as the material, brand, and features of the paddle.

While it’s important to consider your budget, keep in mind that investing in a higher-quality paddle can greatly impact your paddling experience. Carbon fiber paddles tend to be more expensive but offer lightweight durability.

Researching different brands and reading reviews can help you find a paddle that offers great performance at a price point that works for you.

Best Paddle Board Paddles On 2024

So now that we know all about the different types of paddles – let’s talk about the best ones to consider buying in 2024.

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These are all really good choices and you will be happy with any of these that you choose πŸ™‚

Category:Top Product:
Top Overall PaddleSuper Paddles Elite 12k Bamboo
Top Paddle For BeginnersAbahub Carbon Fiber Paddle
Best Performance PaddleNixy Carbon Fiber Pro
Best Paddle For TravellingRedSnake Hydrodynamic Paddle
Great Mid-Range PaddleSereneLife Free-Flow Paddle
Best Quality DesignThurso Carbon Hybrid Paddle

Let’s go into each of these one by one to give you some information and the reason why I am recommending these.

Recommendation 1: Super Paddles Elite 12k Bamboo (Top Overall Paddle)

paddle board paddles

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features
Length: 72’’ to 86’’ (182cm to 218cm)
Weight: 24 oz (680g)
Shaft: 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber shaft
Blade: 15.5” (39cm) long 8.5” (22cm) width
Blade Angle 5Β°

Super Paddleboarding, hailing from California, has innovated the pinnacle of paddleboarding paddles. With its ultra-lightweight design tailored for agility and peak performance, this paddle boasts a carbon core complemented by an elegant bamboo overlay. It’s the most impressive paddleboard paddle I’ve come across, and it’s a must-have for enthusiasts of all skill levels

– Amazing paddle performance
– The bamboo vinyl looks super cool
– You can easily adjust and lock the paddle length
– It’s as light as a feather
– A bit on the pricier side (but it’s totally worth it)

Recommendation 2: Abahub Carbon Fiber Paddle (Best Paddle For Beginners)

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features
Length: 72’’ to 86’’ (182cm to 218cm)
Weight: 24 oz (1kg)
Shaft: 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber shaft
Blade: 15.5” (37.13cm) long 10.7” (22cm) width

paddle board paddles

If you’re just starting out in paddleboarding, this paddle’s got your back. It’s pretty much the ideal starter paddle. It missed the full five-star mark because of its upper joint placement near the handle, which gave my wrist a bit of trouble during extended paddling. But if your sessions are under 2 hours, this issue probably won’t bug you, making it a solid choice.

– Has a simple design
– You can get a lot of power from the paddle
– Made of very durable materials
– Great price
– The upper joint is close to the handle

Recommendation 3: Nixy Carbon Fiber Pro (Best Performance Paddle)

paddle board paddles

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features
Length: 72’’ to 86’’ (182cm to 218cm)
Weight: 20.5 oz (581g)
Shaft: 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber shaft
Blade: 15.5” (37.13cm) long 10.7” (22cm) width

This paddleboard paddle is globally recognized and favored by elite athletes across various events, from long-distance to quick sprint paddleboarding. Thanks to its all-carbon fiber construction, it’s ultra-lightweight. Add to that a fortified ABS edge for forceful strokes and a high-quality latch mechanism to prevent any unwanted rotation at the joints during paddling.

– Very light
– Made of great and durable materials
– You get rapid acceleration with the 9⁰ paddle angle
– It’s strong and sturdy
– This paddle is more advanced and is designed for power instead of stability

Recommendation 4: RedSnake Hydrodynamic Paddle (Best For Travelling)

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features
Length: 72’’ to 86’’ (182cm to 218cm)
Weight: 24 oz (1kg)
Shaft: 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber shaft
Blade: 15.5” (37.13cm) long 10.7” (22cm) width

paddle board paddles

I’m totally smitten with this paddle! It’s not just versatile, but also packs a punch. Its carbon fiber body is both featherlight and tough, and it compacts neatly for travel. The standout feature for me? The ergonomic handle, which does wonders for wrist comfort. If you’re on the hunt for a fresh paddleboard paddle, this one’s a top contender – it secured the #2 spot in my tests.

– The handle is really easy on your wrist
– It has a lot of power
– You can easily lock and adjust the length
– It doesn’t twist or move when paddling
– The handle does get a bit slippery because of the carbon fiber

Recommendation 5: SereneLife Free-Flow Paddle (Great Mid-Range Paddle)

paddle board paddles

Where To Buy: Amazon

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Specs & Features
Length: 72’’ to 86’’ (182cm to 218cm)
Weight: 18 oz (0.502 kg)
Shaft: 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber shaft
Blade: 15.5” (37.13cm) long 10.7” (22cm) width

Honestly, this SUP paddle is pretty middle-of-the-road – and that’s totally okay! If you’re in for some laid-back paddling adventures, it’s a solid pick. The blade is crafted for a balance of strength and stability, and you can adjust it to fit your height perfectly. While it might not be the most robust paddle out there, its affordable price tag makes up for it.

– Simple design
– Looks really nice
– Affordable price
– It is made up of durable material
– Heavier than other paddles
– Has a little less power than I wanted

Recommendation 6: Thurso Carbon Hybrid Paddle (Best Quality Design)

Where To Buy: Amazon

Specs & Features:
Length: 71’’ to 87’’ (182cm to 218cm)
Weight: 31 oz (0.877 kg)
Shaft: 3 piece adjustable carbon fiber shaft
Blade: 15.5” (37.13cm) long 10.7” (22cm) width
Blade Angle: 10Β°

paddle board paddles

Using this paddle gave me serious surfing vibes. Intentional or not, that’s what it is. Its slightly heftier weight packs a punch with every stroke. Crafted from a mix of carbon fiber and nylon, it boasts rigidity and longevity. Plus, its 10-degree dihedral design ensures impressive momentum with every move.

– Really nice design and great to look at
– It’s stiff and durable
– Has a large amount of paddle power
– Easy to assemble and use
– Heavier than the full carbon options

Expert Advice on Choosing the Right Paddle

Choosing the right paddle for your stand-up paddleboard (SUP) can greatly impact your overall experience on the water. To make an informed decision, it’s essential to consider expert advice and guidance.

One important factor to keep in mind is the material of the paddle. Carbon fiber paddles are a popular choice due to their lightweight yet durable nature. They offer excellent performance and reduce fatigue during long paddling sessions.

Another crucial aspect is paddle length. While most SUP paddles are adjustable, it’s still important to choose a length that suits your height and paddling style. Additionally, understanding blade size and shape can help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Here is a great video that you can use to choose the correct paddle for you:

Larger blades provide more power, making them ideal for racing or strong currents, while smaller blades are better suited for casual cruising or surfing.

When selecting a SUP paddle, it’s also worth considering different handle designs. Some prefer ergonomic grips that provide added comfort and control while others might prioritize lightweight options with simple designs.

To further inform your decision-making process, research reputable brands like Werner that offer high-quality SUP paddles. Reading reviews from experts can also give valuable insights into performance and durability.

By taking into account these expert tips on choosing the right paddle, you can enhance your overall paddleboarding experience and ensure maximum enjoyment out on the water

Tips for Maintaining Your Paddle

Taking proper care of your paddle is crucial to ensure its longevity and performance. Here are some tips for maintaining your paddle:

  1. Rinse your paddle with freshwater after each use to remove any saltwater or debris that may have accumulated on the blade.
  2. Avoid exposing your paddle to extreme temperatures, as this can cause damage to the materials and affect its overall performance.
  3. Store your paddle in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and moisture, to prevent warping or cracking.
  4. Regularly inspect your paddle for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, chips, or loose parts. Repair or replace any damaged components immediately.
  5. If your paddle has an adjustable mechanism, lubricate it occasionally with a silicone – based spray to ensure smooth operation and prevent rusting.
  6. Avoid dragging your paddle across rough surfaces or using it as a push – off tool, as this can cause scratches or dents on the blade.
  7. Consider investing in a protective cover for your paddle when transporting or storing it to prevent accidental damage.


In conclusion, selecting the best paddle board paddle is crucial for a great stand-up paddleboarding experience. By considering factors such as length, blade size, material, and handle design, you can find the perfect fit for your paddling needs.

Don’t forget to do your research and read reviews from experts to make an informed decision. Invest in a high-quality SUP paddle that enhances your performance on the water and adds more fun to your adventures.

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Paddle Board Paddles: FAQs

How can I find the right paddle for SUP racing?

To find the right paddle for SUP racing, you need to consider details like length in inches, build quality, and vibe or feel when you use it.

Interested in finding out more about paddleboard racing?
Prone Paddleboard: The Definitive A-Z Guide

What should I look for when choosing a kayak paddle?

When shopping for a kayak paddle, browse through various products paying attention to their color, make sure to examine the items closely and learn about their cases of usage before adding them to your cart.

Does color matter when selecting a paddle board paddles?

Although color might add fun elements and personal preferences into consideration whilst choosing your perfect fit among different items; its primary purpose is aesthetics and doesn’t impact the performance.

Why should I pay attention to the build of my paddle board paddles?

It’s vital because a sturdy build ensures durability that withstands pressure during SUP racing or just having fun on water bodies.

paddle board paddles
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Jason Watson

My initial goal was to document my paddleboarding experiences with friends and family, but that has evolved into a commitment to share this sport with as many people as possible because of the health benefits & peace of mind it has given me. This sport is not only a great way to see the world, but it also helps us come closer to ourselves. Information gives us strength!

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