How To Choose A Paddleboard Paddle

Table of Contents

Stand up paddleboarding, or SUP, is a great way to enjoy the water, get a good workout, and experience nature all at the same time. To start, all you need is a paddleboard, a paddle, and some basic knowledge of how to use them. While the paddleboard itself is important, the paddle is even more crucial to your overall experience. It is essential to choose the right paddle for your specific needs to make sure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience on the water. In this article, we will go over all the factors to consider when choosing a paddleboard paddle.


Why is Choosing the Right Paddle Important?

Before we dive into the specifics of choosing a paddle, let’s first understand why it is so important. A paddle is one of the main tools that you will use to propel yourself through the water on a paddleboard. Using the wrong paddle can lead to discomfort, fatigue, and even injury. Additionally, if you want to improve your technique, you’ll need to choose a paddle that is suited to your body type, experience level, and the type of paddling you plan on doing.



The length of your paddle is the most critical factor to consider when purchasing. The length of the paddle can significantly impact how comfortable your paddling experience is, how quickly you can move through the water, and how much effort you need to exert. It is crucial to choose a paddle that is the right length for your height and the type of paddling you plan to do. A general rule of thumb is that the paddle should be about 8 to 12 inches taller than you when standing next to it, but this can vary depending on various factors.

The paddling style you plan on using can also influence the length you choose. If you plan on using a more relaxed, slower stroke, a longer paddle can be beneficial. Alternatively, if you prefer shorter, quicker strokes, a shorter paddle may be more suitable. Keep in mind that a longer paddle will give you more power, but more effort will be required to use it. A shorter paddle will be easier to use but may not give you as much speed.


Blade Size and Shape

The size and shape of the blade on your paddle is another important factor to consider. Blades come in various sizes, and the right size will depend on your body type, strength, and the type of paddling you plan to do. A general rule of thumb is that larger blades will give you more power, but be more difficult to use, while smaller blades are easier to use but will provide less power.

The shape of the blade can also be critical to your paddling experience. Some blades have a more rectangular shape, while others are more rounded. Rectangular blades are better suited for paddleboarders who want more power, while rounded blades are more comfortable and easier to use for those who want a more leisurely experience.



While the weight of the paddle may not be the first thing that comes to mind, it can be a crucial factor for long paddling sessions. A heavier paddle will require more energy and effort, which can lead to fatigue and discomfort. Conversely, a lighter paddle will make paddling more comfortable and allow for longer sessions. Keep in mind that you may have to pay more for a lighter paddle, so you must weigh the benefits against the cost.



Paddleboard paddles can be made of various materials, including aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and wood. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, and the right material will depend on your experience level, budget, and the type of paddling you plan to do.

Aluminum: Aluminum paddles are typically the most affordable option but can be heavy and less comfortable to use.

Fiberglass: Fiberglass is a middle-of-the-road option that is lightweight and reasonably priced. It is a great option for beginner to intermediate paddlers.

Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber is lightweight and strong, making it an excellent option for advanced paddlers who want to maximize their performance on the water.

Wood: Wood is a beautiful and traditional option but can be heavy and less durable than the other materials. It is best suited for paddleboarders who want a more leisurely experience.



The grip of your paddle is another crucial factor to consider. The grip should provide you with enough traction to keep the paddle comfortably in your hands, even when wet. Some grips have a textured surface, while others have a rubber or foam overlay. A textured grip may provide better traction, but a smooth grip may be more comfortable to hold for long paddling sessions.



Choosing the right paddleboard paddle is critical to your paddling experience. The length, blade size and shape, weight, material, and grip all play an essential role in determining the right paddle for you. By considering your experience level, body type, and the type of paddling you plan to do, you can select a paddle that meets your specific needs and helps you achieve your goals on the water. Always remember to choose a paddle that is comfortable to use, easy to handle, and fits your budget.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

"I live and breath boardriding"

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