Although the sport is growing in popularity, chances are you haven’t tried stand up paddling. This surfing-paddle sports hybrid is a simple enough concept to grasp, but choosing what you grasp—i.e. your paddle—requires a little guidance.
This video by paddle-gear retailer NRS gives you the basics:
• Pick a paddle that’s 8 to 12 inches taller than you are. For use in surf, go for the smaller end of the range. For flat water, go for the bigger. Or, alternately, buy an adjustable paddle so you can use it in all conditions and share it with another person.
• The larger you are, the larger the blade you can handle. However, since a larger blade increases resistance, you might prefer a smaller one in order to go easier on your joints and paddle at a higher cadence.
• A cheap starter paddle will likely have an aluminum shaft and plastic blade. Although serviceable, this will be slightly heavier than fiberglass or carbon models. Those are lighter, stronger and have a more comfortable grip. Price is the deciding factor here.