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Race / Touring CARBON PADDLE TEST 2022 / SUPBOARDER PRO HEAD TO HEAD

Compared by us on May 7, 2022

In this SUPboarder PRO head to head test we put 16 carbon fibre race / touring paddles priced between £219 and £499 up against each other. With many of us owning iSUPs and wanting to use stiffer, lighter and more performance paddles this test was interesting to see what a selection of brands have to offer. If you are looking to upgrade your paddle or simply understand what effects a paddles performance, this mega test is one to watch! Carried out by our team of 6 testers, it's packed full of paddle information to help you understand which paddle will be right for YOU!

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dew
dew
2 months ago

You make awesome comparison reviews! Really good to have Donna, it makes the review much better for me that have a small and light weighted wife! Me and Erika loves our Lima prepegs, they paddle really good and are so light!

Last edited 2 months ago by dew
Reuben Ellis
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  dew

Thanks Dew, Yeah it’s so much better having more body sizes and ability’s in the test group. A big thanks again to the testers. Glad you are loving your lima’s.

Darren Bodek
Darren Bodek
2 months ago

Interesting, thanks for this. In the lower price category, do you think paddles like the Starboard UD/tiki-tech and Black Project Lava/Ohana (previously tested) would have topped the sub-£300 category? (Realise that’s not the focus of this top-of-each-range test, but just out of interest)

Reuben Ellis
Admin
2 months ago
Reply to  Darren Bodek

Hey Darren. This is a very good question. Possibly but its very hard to tell without paddling them. I think a Starboard UD would of done well against the Aqua M. But a lot of those cheaper paddles do have a bit more weight at the blade end. If was funny watching the reactions of our testers after they paddled the Aqua Marina each time realising it was a much better paddle than they ever possibly imagined. I will speak to the team and tell them what you said, because it’s a very justified point, thanks for bringing it up… Read more »

Daniel van Niekerk
Daniel van Niekerk
2 months ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Hi both, I can shed a bit of light on this luckily! Firstly I was MASSIVELY impressed by the Aqua Marina paddle as Reuben said in the review, if you bought one you wouldn’t be disappointed. Recently I’ve purchased myself a 2 piece Starboard Carbon Enduro (non-Prepreg) which is what’s replaced the UD in Starboard’s range for 2022. It’s a lovely paddle all round. It weighs in at 608g so a bit heavier than some in here, BUT it is £169 AND it is a beautiful paddle as you can see from the photo which may or may not have… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Daniel van Niekerk
Reuben Ellis
Admin
2 months ago

Hey Daniel, Great comment and feed back. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren Bodek

Hi Darren, great question!! Daniel has already added a perfect answer, but just to add. The thing you need to remember is, all of that R&D is still in those lower priced blades, they might not have all the latest tricks, but they still carry all the knowledge and the fit and finish will still be top notch too, which was a big part of this test for me personally. would they top the Sub £300 .. who knows , the Aqua M was Very impressive!! Maybe a Sub £300 test in the future … but i dread how many… Read more »

jeroensurf@gmail.com
jeroensurf@gmail.com
2 months ago

Awesome review and fully agree with the BP as a winner. Tried it and it is a wonderful piece of kit but that price….. I went for a cheap 2th hand naish Elite and wave 🙂 Regarding the Naish grip, I have no problems at all with in the waves but also 15-20KM tours. Something that isnt mentioned but very noticeable when you have a couple of difference paddles is shaft diameter and shaft stiffness. The Naish Elite for example has the smallest shaft diameter I ever seen before. Great when touring but still figuring out if I like it… Read more »

Jason Marcinski
Jason Marcinski
2 months ago

Great comparison! Been using a Black Project Hydro Medium for a year now and have found it somewhat fatiguing for my size (I’m similar in weight and build as Will). I thought it was too big/stiff for me, but then tried a Hydro Flow X and an Ohana, both Larger size, and they felt pretty easier! Which confused me! All three have different blade shapes, but I think it’s the shallow blade angle that makes the Hydro feel more aggressive. But all the Black Project paddles are amazing! Anyhow, just an observation I thought I’d throw out there!

M L8
M L8
2 months ago

Great info, was wondering why Quick Blade Paddles were not in this line up?

idguinness
idguinness
2 months ago

I have a Blackproject Flow X (L 88/568), a blackproject Lava (L 90/582) adjustable, a Naish carbon plus (85) adjustable. The Naish and lava are good, but the Flow X is simply better, it is very easy to paddle, almost helps our technique makes you feel like a better paddler than you are.

Todd Carlson
Todd Carlson
2 months ago

Great review. I bought a Hydro Flow X with a blemish for around $450. It had a small section ~0.5 cm2 that was sanded after the finish (took me a week to find it). Every few weeks they have a production run and sell blemished paddles (and fins) under paddle (or fin) specials on their online shop. Surprisingly fast shipping from Maui (5 days to Florida). I’m 6’2” and 110 kg. I bought a large with medium flex at 82”. Black Project recommends smaller blades, shorter shafts, and more shaft flex to minimize injuries. My previous paddle was a carbon… Read more »

cesar.pinheiro
cesar.pinheiro
1 month ago

Oh wow! Did you guys really just compare single piece paddles with adjustable ones? How should that work? That is not really helping your unbiased credibility. The test in combination with this comment section sounds almost like a PR stunt.

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
1 month ago
Reply to  cesar.pinheiro

Hi Cesar. To be honest, Fixed or Two or Three piece paddles didn’t really factor into this test. We all know a Fixed will generally be a lighter paddle with a much more useable and consistent flex, that however is not going to help a paddle if it’s blade shape has not been researched, or if it’s fittings are of a poor quality. My focus on this test was certainly on how the blades catch, if they fluttered and the fit and finish of the paddles, as a paddle of £300 and over is a very big investment, and last… Read more »

Corey Jones
Corey Jones
1 month ago

Fantastic work team! Top-notch review, thank-you. I’m wondering if the BP paddles were fitted with the new power grip handles, or the previous iteration?

sc2071
sc2071
1 month ago

I’ve been waiting for this review for ages! Well done guys, so glad to finally see it! I ended up buying both a 3pc Starboard Lima Carbon UD in Medium and Large. At 81kg, the Medium is easier for me, less strain. However, I don’t know if I should be pushing myself with the Large. I can’t believe myself sometimes, I have both paddles now to compare and I’m still somewhat unsure what I should be using. 😉 Shocked at the difference in blade area from the claimed 567cm2 to 535cm2 with the Large reviewed in the test. By that… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  sc2071

Thanks for the comment on the test. Also glad you have 2! paddles ;-). Size are still a trickly one. If you are paddling hard for longer distances then the M i think is still the one but if you are after more shorter bursts of power than the large would be best. But to be honest you’ll be the best person to decide having both the paddles to compare, good move you’re very lucky. We need to do more work on blade shape tbh. The Ultimate would be to take a paddle blade of different shapes and put them… Read more »

Dmitrii Kharitonov
Dmitrii Kharitonov
1 month ago

Hey! Thanks for your video. I am totally agree with results. But it still has a couple questions. How do you feel, is the new Black Project paddles (hydroflow x, spirit, tempo) better than classic Hydro? How do you think, is it possible to test some sprints with paddles. And can you get such top brands for tests as Braca and Quick Blade? 

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