When paddle boarding, there are two pieces of equipment that determine the type of experience you will have: The paddle board and the paddle itself. Choosing the right combination of these is essential to getting the most out of your paddle boarding adventure. Paddles, for instance, are not all the same. They can be made out of one of or out of a combination of a variety of materials that affect not only their price but also their weight and their strength. Other features, such as whether or not they are adjustable, what quality of materials they are made out of, what shape the blade is, and how maneuverable they are on the water, also affect their feel and performance. Following are the best SUP paddles in a variety of categories.
Best Aluminum SUP Paddle
Aluminum SUP paddles are some of the least expensive SUP paddles available. However, their inexpensive price does not mean that they are an inferior product. Instead, the best aluminum SUP paddles provide a practical combination of lightness and strength that make them both easy to manipulate and strong enough to handle the demands of the water. Often, they come with an aluminum shaft and a plastic or carbon blade.
Bullet Proof Surf Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle
The adjustable alloy SUP paddle from Bullet Proof is one of the most versatile, responsive, and durable aluminum SUP paddles available. It comes with an aluminum shaft that makes the paddle a light 2.2 pounds, light enough for virtually anyone to handle easily. In addition, it comes with a composite nylon blade for strength and responsiveness during use, and it floats in both salt and fresh water. Reviewers note that this paddle is extremely easy to carry and use because of its light weight.
Perhaps the most outstanding feature of this paddle, however, is the fact that it is adjustable. The paddle’s height adjusts between 71 and 83 inches, and receives praise from reviewers for its ability to accommodate paddlers of all heights. The adjustment mechanism also receives praise from reviewers for its ease of use. For ease of transportation and storage, the paddle breaks down into two separate pieces. Durably constructed in addition to all these features, the adjustable alloy SUP paddle from Bullet Proof is an excellent choice for any paddler on a budget.
Best Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle
Carbon fiber SUP paddles are some of the lightest and strongest paddles on the market. While they cost more than aluminum paddles, they take the strength and lightweight features of the aluminum paddles to the next level. Many of these paddles weigh less than two pounds while remaining durable. Many of them also boast extra features, such as specially-designed blades, in addition to their light weight and exceptional strength.
Bullet Proof Surf Adjustable Carbon Fiber “Slider” SUP Paddle
The adjustable carbon fiber “Slider” SUP paddle from Bullet Proof offers a number of features that make it one of the best carbon fiber paddles. First, it comes with a carbon fiber shaft and a composite nylon blade that is designed to resist breakage and chipping. The result is a lightweight paddle that reviewers praise for being virtually effortless to use on the water.
In addition, this paddle adjusts in length to accommodate paddlers of all heights. It adjusts anywhere between 84.5 inches and 69 inches. Reviewers report that the paddle’s unique Slider system of adjustment works as advertised, allowing them to adjust the paddle whenever and wherever they need to. As with Bullet Proof’s other paddles, this one floats in both salt and fresh water, comes with a blade cover, and receives reviews for the high quality of its construction, making it a premier choice of SUP blade for any frequent paddler.
Best Fiberglass SUP Paddle
Fiberglass paddles are a middle ground between aluminum paddles and carbon paddles in weight, strength, and price. As a result, they are an appealing choice for anyone wanting to start paddle boarding with a medium-range paddle or for anyone looking for an affordable alternative to the aluminum paddle. Fiberglass paddles are especially useful for longer paddle boarding adventures, when having a paddle that does not tire out the arm is an important factor in how long you can stay out on the water.
Bullet Proof Surf Ultra Lite 100% Fiberglass Shaft Performer Adjustable SUP Paddle
The Ultra Lite possesses a completely fiberglass shaft and fiberglass and nylon composite blade to offer maximum lightness and strength for a medium-range price. Reviewers praise this paddle especially for its ability to improve the speed of their paddling, their maneuverability, and their energy level while out on the water.
The Ultra Lite also boasts Bullet Proof’s Slider adjustment mechanism that allows the paddle to move in length anywhere between 84.5 inches and 69 inches. The Slider mechanism is designed to allow paddlers to adjust the paddle’s length quickly and effortlessly. In addition, the wide range of heights that the paddle accommodates makes it a good choice for grown paddle boarders of all heights, as well as for some children. In addition to being able to float in salt and fresh water, and in addition to a free blade cover, these features make the Ultra Lite a highly-praised, quality paddle for SUPers of any skill level.
Best Wooden SUP Paddle
Glass SUP paddles offer advantages that cannot be matched by other types of SUP paddles. For instance, these paddles often weigh less than do aluminum paddles, while remaining strong and durable. In addition, they are often combined with other materials, such as carbon, to further improve their weight and strength. When these features combine with an affordable price, therefore, they make a good choice for paddlers who are looking to save money and enjoy a fun paddling experience.
Red Paddle Co. Glass & Bamboo Adjustable 3-Piece SUP Paddle
The SUP paddle from the Red Paddle Co. sports a combination of fiberglass and bamboo to provide a lightweight feel, a low price, and a high quality performance. The paddle’s combination of glass and bamboo also creates a ratio of weight to strength that is designed to make it move and feel better when used. Combined with a gradually curving blade, this ratio allows the paddle boarder to enjoy optimal performance from this paddle while they are on the water.
In addition, the glass and bamboo SUP paddle from the Red Paddle Co. breaks down into three pieces, making it easy and convenient to travel with, and it adjusts in height to accommodate a variety of paddlers. As a result, paddle boarders who use this paddle will enjoy an affordable, high quality, and portable experience.
Best Kids SUP Paddle
While some SUP paddles, because their height can be adjusted, are suitable for use by children, paddles designed specifically for kids allow children to enjoy paddle boarding with greater comfort. These paddles are often adjustable so they can grow with the child over the course of several years. They also sport smaller blades and smaller grips, and are shorter than adult SUP paddles to maximize comfort and usability for small children. The results are durable paddles customized to the needs of smaller people.
Cannon Paddles Kids Booster Adjustable Length SUP Board Paddle
The Booster by Cannon is an aluminum SUP paddle designed specifically for children who are 48-58 inches tall. The paddle itself is adjustable between 60 and 68 inches in order to grow with the child and therefore serve as a useful paddle boarding tool for several years.
The Booster possesses other features that make it stand out among other children’s paddles as well. For instance, it comes with a smaller blade and grip to make it more comfortable for children to hold and easier for them to maneuver. In addition, it is designed to adjust easily whenever a different length is required. It also floats and possesses an insert in the aluminum joint to make it stronger. As a result, it is able to stand up under the harsh usage to which children often put it. Reviewers praise the Booster for its quality construction and for its usability by even small children, affirming its value as one of the best kids SUP paddles out there.