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All round Carbon 3 Piece Paddle Test 2021 / SUPboarder Pro Head to Head

In this second SUPboarder Pro test for 2021 we are testing 10 all round carbon 3pc paddles. With many of us owning iSUPs and wanting to use stiffer, lighter and more performance 3pc paddles this test was interesting to see what a selection of brands have to offer.

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Kurt
Kurt
6 months ago

Great review – well explained and very conclusive. I like my Enduro for wave and travelling. For fast touring and long distance the Lima is better. Starboard offers it with a stiff 27,5 mm shaft, awsome combination.
Did you ever tried Quickblade Trifecta or V-Drive? They are on the same Level as the latest ยด21 Starboard Range. Thx and cheers.

Matt Brookes
Matt Brookes
6 months ago

Hey guys, really enjoyed the review and glad my paddle area-measuring idea was helpful (although quoting cm2 to 2 decimal places is probably stretching the technique a bit statistically!) Would be good to see the advertised paddle area against the measured though, which manufacturers are closest to the ‘real’ area and were there any surprises (like my Enduro being bigger than my Quickblade despite being advertised as 10% smaller)? Grip would be another interesting metric. One final thing, I hope you have some paddling clothing reviews coming up soon, Beau looked like he was paddling to school in the 1950s… Read more »

Matt Brookes
Matt Brookes
6 months ago
Reply to  Will Rogers

Hey Will, one option would be to add another table showing measured versus advertised area and % difference – I think you’ve provided all the info (clicking on the individual paddles seems to show advertised area) but it would be really helpful to see it summarised in one place, and also help drive industry standardisation in how they measure blade area.

surfthemac
surfthemac
6 months ago

Hi, thank you very much for the compelling test. One thing I was still asking myself: what is the right blade size for me? As an example I really like the results shown for the Starboard Enduro, but was asking myself vs the M sie (tested version) or L blade size would be the better fit. I sup mostly in waves and weight 70kg, but want to accelerate as fast as possible. Any thoughts on ideal blade size(s)?

Reuben Ellis
6 months ago
Reply to  surfthemac

I would not go for the L blade at your weight. Im 75kg and I use a M blade size. But I do know some riders that are around our weight and they use a S blade size too (for the surf).
But I prefer the M because I can pull a bit more power into my stroke. Sounds like this is what you want to? What is the main discipline you want to do with your paddle?

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
6 months ago
Reply to  surfthemac

hiya ๐Ÿ™‚ , fully agree with Reuben about Not going for the L size.

I am one of those riders around the 75kg who uses the small blade, But!! this is just for Sup surfing, as the constant hard acceleration hurts my elbows with bigger blades.
Bearing in mind i dont live near the surf, so when i go it’s normally for a full non stop weekend.

My normal paddle is a M blade Lima on an Oval S40 shaft, used for everything from mucking about to long distance paddles

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago

Good comment and feedback Jonny.

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
6 months ago

great review as always ๐Ÿ™‚ , my friend loves her Naish Alana for all types of paddling from mucking about to racing , she is sub 60kg though

Reuben Ellis
6 months ago

Thanks for the feedback Jonny.

Salmonpincher
Salmonpincher
6 months ago

Good review & really good you included the water intake from immersion section. My current 2 piece takes on a lot of water & I regularly have to empty otherwise you can feel the added weight (obviously I shouldn’t fall off as much). I am looking at getting a 1 piece carbon so have been waiting for this review – but I’m frustrated by a lack of availability in the UK (no black project lava or surge, no starboard enduro 1 piece etc..).. For the review I hoped you were going to have. Best for surf, best for touring, best… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
6 months ago
Reply to  Salmonpincher

Thanks for your comment and glad you found the review informative. Getting hold of paddles is always struggle especially this year it seems. As far as best surf touring and all-round paddle is concerned. For me personally and also talking about three-piece paddles in the test. I would rate the Starboard as the best surf paddle. And the Lava and the JP as better all round touring paddles. The only reason is, I feel there is a bit more support with the Starboard and I am much sloppier with my paddle strokes when surfing.

Salmonpincher
Salmonpincher
5 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

I have just ordered a BP Surge ๐Ÿ™‚ – hoping to get my hands on it v soon. I’d love to know your views on paddle blade edge protection (tape, guards etc.). I’ve always used electrical tape but don’t like the waste it creates & fragments can be lost to the ocean (which is not good at all). I don’t want anything that creates a bump on the edge (like a piping shaped guard) as that seems pointless as it ruins the design / effort the manufacturer has put in to make a perfect paddle.. thanks

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago
Reply to  Salmonpincher

Good question. I personally do not believe in it either for many reasons like you are saying. Generally paddle strikes only happen when a paddler is not putting the paddle far enough into the water. And there is only a very small point of contact where the board can potentially hit the paddle when the paddle is going in the water. I would just encourage people to focus on thinking about their panel entry and paddling efficiently during the stroke by keeping their blade nice and deep and then paddle strikes really should stop occurring. There is always a potential… Read more »

Salmonpincher
Salmonpincher
5 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

That’s interesting you say that about the blade strike being only when you catch/ place the blade. I’ve been using a mouth high paddle & have been thinking that is too short – so have ordered the surge at head high, so I can cut down of necessary- but maybe that will help improve my paddle stroke as I place the blade. I really only surf – so there are potential impact moments of blade on the board when it all goes wrong ๐Ÿ™‚

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago
Reply to  Salmonpincher

Yeah let us know how you get on. For me its eyebrow hight

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
6 months ago

hi guys, i was just wondering, as a mate asked me..
The Starboard range of paddles come in different flex’s
So .. if i got a 29mm S40 and a 26mm S40, have they made them so they both flex the correct 40mm,
or would the thinner 26mm flex more because its thinner?

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago

O yes this is a very good question and something I will bring up with starboard for sure. But at a guess they would not feel the same. It would just mean the the S40 would be the stiffest in each different thickness shaft. So a 26mm and 29mm S40 would feel very different!
I might eat my words but I will find out and get back on here when I know

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
5 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

cheers Reuben

Jay087m
Jay087m
5 months ago

Hi – thanks for the review. Can I ask if you tried the Kialoa Hulu?

I would like an adjustable touring – race blade. Adjustable so I can swap boards and paddling style.

But how do the specific race blade shapes compare to general blades? Ease of paddling? Are they harder on the back/shoulders? I have only used a Fanatic 80.

Thanks!

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago
Reply to  Jay087m

Hey Jay, Race paddles do work well as general paddles overall. I was paddling a Starboard lima in the passed and it work well for all paddling. Its only surf where I use a smaller blade and shorter shaft. I think a good race paddle can easily be a good touring paddle as well.

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago
Reply to  Jay087m

And sorry no i haven’t used the Hulu.. But I have an older Kialoa and its a nice paddle.

Jay087m
Jay087m
5 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Hi Reuben, thanks for your reply. How different does an 8 degree rake feel? Does it demand a shorter shaft/lower paddling stance? Thanks, Jay

Reuben Ellis
5 months ago
Reply to  Jay087m

TBH Jay I don’t your paddle stoke has to change that much. The biggest thing is the reach you get with the paddle. Which paddle are you asking about? The kialoa?

rickcadger
rickcadger
3 months ago

The BP Lava you tested – was that their large blade size or their medium? The area you measured falls between their published dimensions for the two sizes.

Thanks.

Reuben Ellis
3 months ago
Reply to  rickcadger

Hey Rick. That was a large blade. We ideally would of got a M to test but they were out of stock at the time.

rickcadger
rickcadger
3 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Thanks for that, Reuben.

I’m 90kg and do mostly light touring on the sea in Cornwall. No high cadence or bursts of acceleration so the large will probably be good for me.

Reuben Ellis
3 months ago
Reply to  rickcadger

Yeah go for the large for sure. It will be perfect for you.

rickcadger
rickcadger
3 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Cool. Appreciate the input. I just ordered one.:)

Tatjana Terzic
Tatjana Terzic
2 months ago

Hi there, Thanks for a great review! Would you recommend any of these for someone looking into getting into racing but not wanting to have a ton of different paddles (if I want to go touring or just for a casual paddle)? Andaman? Or would you suggest an entirely different choice of paddles? 72 kg if that’s helpful. Thanks!

Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Tatjana Terzic

Hey Tatjana. I got back to your other comment but I and think the Starboard Enduro would be good. OR TBH the Andaman, JP, Black project they are all really nice paddles, that will work well doing lots of different paddling. If you don’t need a 3 pc paddle a 2 pc will give a bit more performance.

Tatjana Terzic
Tatjana Terzic
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Thank you very much!

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