In general, SUP paddles are made of one of three materials: Aluminum, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. Each material has certain pros and cons. For instance, aluminum paddles are the least expensive and the lightest, but also the least durable. Carbon fiber paddles are extremely light and stronger than aluminum, but are also more expensive. Fiberglass paddles fall between aluminum and carbon fiber paddles in price, weight, and strength. The paddle you choose will depend upon your budget and specific needs. Following are a few of the best SUP paddles in each category.
Best Aluminum SUP Paddles
Aluminum paddles are an excellent choice if you are concerned about minimizing cost while retaining lightness and strength. These paddles are capable of surviving the demands of the water, are light enough to handle easily, and are some of the lease expensive paddles on the market. Typically, it is the handles that are aluminum, while the blade is made of either plastic or carbon. Following are three of the best aluminum SUP paddles.
Bullet Proof Surf Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle
The adjustable alloy SUP paddle from Bullet Proof Surf is a classic aluminum paddle with the addition of a few features to increase its quality and usability. The shaft is aluminum, while the blade is a nylon composite. Reviewers praise it for its light weight (at just over 2 pounds), its strength, and its quality construction. In addition to these features, however, the paddle is adjustable between 71” and 83” to accommodate paddlers of almost any height. In addition, it comes apart into two pieces that make it easy to transport in the car. Reviewers report that the paddle adjusts quickly and enables them to easily find the size that is most comfortable for their height. Another feature which makes this paddle stand out is its ability to float, due to the inclusion of foam toward the top of the paddle. This feature makes it harder to lose the paddle, even if you drop it in the water. Finally, an included blade cover adds to the overall value of this high-quality and lightweight paddle.
Own the Wave Adjustable Alloy SUP Paddle
The alloy paddle from Own the Wave has two features that makes it stand out: They are adjustable and they float. The paddle had an aluminum handle and a nylon composite blade. It adjusts between 71” and 83”, allowing paddlers of almost any size to find the most comfortable length for their paddling experience. Reviewers report that this ability to adjust makes the paddle easier and more convenient to use. In addition, the paddle has foam inside to make it likely to float if dropped in the water. In fact, Own the Wave guarantees the paddle will float in both salt water and fresh water. This ability means fewer lost paddles and wasted money, regardless of where you do your paddle boarding. In addition to its unique features, this paddle also boasts the other characteristics of an aluminum paddle: A relatively light weight and strength combined with affordability. As far as performance, reviewers note that it works satisfactorily, while its light weight, and included paddle cover make it an excellent value and an enjoyable paddle to use.
Outdoor Tuff Adjustable SUP Paddle
This adjustable aluminum paddle from Outdoor Tuff possesses the lightweight feel that characterizes aluminum paddles, weighing in at about 2.5 pounds. In addition, like other adjustable paddles, its length can be changed to accommodate the needs of paddlers of all sizes. This particular paddle adjusts between 61” and 80”, making it a wise choice for paddle boarders of almost any height. This paddle stands out, however, because it is also collapsible, making it easy to carry and store. In addition, the handle is T-shaped for easier use and for a more comfortable experience. The blade is also ergonomically designed to minimize discomfort and maximize the rider’s ability to stay out on the water as long as they wish. It comes with a one-year warranty to provide consumers with peace of mind. The result is an aluminum paddle that is budget friend, lightweight, durable, comfortable, and convenient for any paddle boarder looking for a high-quality aluminum paddle.
Best Fiberglass SUP Paddles
Fiberglass paddles are somewhat more expensive than aluminum paddles, but happen to combine a light weight and strength in an even more pleasing ratio than do aluminum paddles. As a result, they make an appealing selection for paddle boarders who are willing to invest a little more money to achieve even lighter weight and greater strength or who are planning long paddle boarding trips during which they will need a paddle that minimizes arm fatigue. These paddles can either possess just a fiberglass shaft or a fiberglass shaft and blade.
Bullet Proof Surf ULTRALITE 100% FIBERGLASS Shaft Performer Adjustable SUP paddle
The Ultralite fiberglass adjustable SUP paddle from Bullet Proof is one of the best fiberglass paddles on the market today. Its fiberglass shaft and composite fiberglass and nylon blade allow the paddle to weigh a mere 26 ounces while maximizing strength. The light weight makes it extremely comfortable to use, and prevents arm fatigue even during long rides on the paddle board. Reviewers are generally impressed with the speed at which they can move using this paddle. In addition, the paddle utilizes the company’s Slider adjustment system that makes it easy to adjust the paddle’s height even while you are out on the water. The paddle adjusts between 69 and 84.5 inches, and can also be tightened as needed to maximize comfort on the water, all at a reasonable price. The paddle is guaranteed to float in both salt water and fresh water to minimize lost paddles and the resulting frustration and inconvenience. To add to the paddle’s value, it comes with a free blade cover to protect the paddle when it is not in the water. Overall, this paddle receives praise from reviewers for its performance as a high-quality and comfortable paddle.
>>Click to see price for Bullet Proof Surf ULTRALITE 100% FIBERGLASS Shaft Performer Adjustable SUP paddle
Best Carbon Fiber SUP Paddles
The lightest and strongest paddles are those made of carbon fiber. They are also the most expensive paddles on the market, but you get what you pay for in terms of durability and performance. In addition, extra features and thoughtful designs make them even more pleasant and convenient to use. As a result, they are a wise choice for paddle boarders looking to invest in a top-of-the-line paddle. Following are the best carbon fiber SUP paddles available today.
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. Its carbon fiber shaft combines with a composite nylon blade to maximize strength. As a result, it is uniquely resistant to any kind of damage from accidents or encountering hidden rocks. In addition, the paddle is adjustable anywhere between 69” and 84.5” in order to allow the paddle to comfortably fit paddle boarders of varying heights. The paddle uses the company’s Slider system of adjustment that makes it quick to adjust even if you are already out on the water when you decide to make the adjustments. The paddle’s quality combines with its ability to float in both salt water and fresh water, the inclusion of a free blade cover, and positive reviews from consumers, who find it effortless to use and extremely well constructed.
AIRHEAD AHSUP-P4 Carbon Composite SUP Paddle
The carbon composite SUP paddle from Airhead is a high-quality, lightweight paddle designed for maximum comfort and performance on the water. It is the lightest paddle produced by Airhead, and weighs in at a mere 2 pounds. Reviewers note that the paddle feels exceptionally lightweight when in use, and also give it positive reviews for its overall performance. In addition to its light weight and performance, however, this paddle adjusts between 63” and 70”. Reviewers report that they can easily use the paddle to accommodate paddlers of varying heights, including both taller paddle boarders and shorter paddle boarders. The result of the combination of light weight and performance, in addition to its ability to adjust to a wide range of heights, make it a wise choice for riders looking for an easy and comfortable paddle for their next paddle boarding experience.
Earth River Full Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle
The carbon fiber SUP paddle from Earth River is a top-of-the-line carbon fiber paddle designed for optimal performance. The paddle comes uncut to allow the rider to adjust the handle to the desired length for maximum comfort. In addition, the blade comes with a number of features designed to make it easier and more convenient to use. For instance, the dihedral blade boasts ABS edge protection. The result is a blade that is just flexible enough to ensure a smooth and comfortable paddling experience. The paddle also looks great, with a polished exterior. It receives praise from reviewers for how light it is (only 20 oz.), for how easy it is on the body, and for its excellent performance.