There is a wide range of stand-up paddle (SUP) paddles to choose from. It is easy to get lost when you are buying one for the first time. SUP paddle for occasional or regular trips? Detachable or adjustable paddle?  We will help you to ask the right questions so that you can make the right choice

#1 Choose your paddle according to your level

If you are a beginner, it is best to go for an aluminium paddle for its strength, because it is not uncommon to fall on your paddle or press down hard on it when starting out. Another advantage of aluminium is its affordable price.

If you are a regular touring paddler, you will be looking for a more lightweight paddle that you can use for longer periods. Carbon + fibreglass models save a good amount of weight and the blades remain easy to use (they steer well like aluminium paddle blades but do not require a great technique to control them).

100% carbon paddles are even lighter, more fragile (they must be protected from impact, a carry bag is recommended) but also more technical because the blade is designed to give more power at the expense of comfort and stability in the paddling movement.


#2 Fixed, adjustable or detachable paddle?

You will generally come across fixed or adjustable paddles or detachable/adjustable paddles.

fixed paddle must be chosen carefully so that the size corresponds to that of the paddler. It will have a more streamlined design than an adjustable paddle but cannot be used by another person of a different height. It will be lighter than an adjustable paddle made from the same material.

An adjustable paddle could fit the whole family or your friends because each person can adjust it to their height. It also makes it easy to change activities: shorten it to surf waves (more compact) and extend it to paddle faster (more reach).

An adjustable paddle can also be detachable: it splits into two parts and as such fits into an inflatable stand-up paddle bag. This makes transport and storage much easier with only a slight increase in weight compared to a regular adjustable paddle.