How To Pick The Right SUP Paddle | Kayak Angler Magazine | Rapid Media
Skills
Three SUP paddles lined up Photo By Ric Burnley

Jim Miller of Kialoa SUP paddles on picking the right paddle.

Tradeshows are full of cool new products and famous paddlers and anglers, but these expert incubators are a great place to learn something new. 

While I was covering Paddlesports Retailer’s on the water demo, I stopped by the Kialoa booth to talk with Jim Miller about choosing a SUP paddle. 

The famous SUP and Outrigger paddle crafters offer paddles from 500 dollar carbon fiber sticks to injected plastic value blades, but Jim grabbed a fiberglass blade, fiberglass shaft Insanity paddle to show me the finer points of SUP paddles. 

Starting with the shaft, Jim recommends a shaft that is eight inches longer than the paddler’s height. The Insanity has an adjustable shaft that allows the paddler to dial in the length for a perfect fit. I liked the rubber-ized grip that was comfortable and easy to grip for a more powerful stroke. 

When choosing a blade, Miller suggests considering the speed of the board and the size of the paddler. A big blade doesn’t always mean a faster paddle. The Insanity comes in two sizes, small and large. Miller suggests the large blade for large paddlers. Using a blade that is too big will cause a smaller angler more fatigue and possibly injury. Even a large fishing SUP loaded with gear can be propelled with a smaller blade. A bigger blade does improve stability, but not at the cost of comfort and form. 

Even if a less expensive blade saves some money and a high-dollar stick saves some ounces, choosing the right blade and shaft combo can save the paddler. Check out www.kialoa.com for more info on their products and finding the right paddle for you.

Captions

A larger blade (right) is best for larger anglers on faster boards. Smaller blades (left) will save energy and prevent injury. 

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