Introducing the Hydro REFLEX SUP Paddle
When you are in the heat of battle, knowing you’re armed with the superior paddle is a good feeling. Check that, it’s a great feeling. But while not everyone is ready to splurge for the best paddle in the sport, nobody should settle for mediocrity. To bridge the gap, we created the Hydro REFLEX.
This paddle features all of the same cutting-edge, race-winning technology we put into the original Hydro, while using an alternate construction material. Our REFLEX construction consists of 100% carbon, but allows us to offer our top-line race paddle at a more attractive price point. To learn more about the Hydro REFLEX and what members of our paddling ohana are saying about it, here are five things you should know.
#1 – What makes the Hydro REFLEX different from the regular Hydro?
The REFLEX version of the Hydro is the exact same form design of our TEXCARBON version, but with a slightly different carbon layup. This allows us to lower the price point and make the Hydro Experience available to a wider array of paddlers. A key part of the Black Project mission is to ensure every paddler has access to high-performance SUP equipment––the Hydro REFLEX is a natural extension of that goal. By changing the construction and reducing the number of options available, we are able to offer our top-of-the-line design at $400––a great value for championship-winning paddling performance.
The REFLEX construction features both unidirectional and 3k prepreg carbon to optimize flex, strength and weight. To protect against damage to board or body, our carbon-reinforced smooth blade edges have been carefully designed to increase safety. The REFLEX100 Medium flex shaft has a smooth matte finish––different from the textured shaft of TEXCARBON––and comes with our signature bright red matte palm handle. Overall, the Hydro REFLEX is excellent choice to fulfill a wide-range of paddling needs.
#2 – Who will benefit from this paddle?
Any paddler who loves the feeling of a lightweight and efficient race paddle will appreciate the craftsmanship of the Hydro REFLEX. While this is an ideal paddle for both recreational touring and beginner racers, intermediate-to-experienced paddlers will get the most performance out of this paddle. Meanwhile, beginner-to-intermediate paddlers will find the LAVA and OHANA paddles to be more forgiving.
The Hydro Reflex will reward paddlers who have spent time developing their technique and those who want to improve. If you consider yourself a paddling enthusiast, but are not yet racing consistently, the Hydro REFLEX is an ideal option that won’t break the bank. But don’t kid yourself, the discount in price does not equate to a discount in performance. To prove the pedigree of the Hydro REFLEX, several Black Project athletes including Annie Reickert @annie__starr have been using these for all competitions.
#3 – When will the advantages of this paddle be felt the most?
The paddle design is ideal for recreation, flatwater or ocean paddling and all forms of racing. Designed to protect your body against injury and reduce fatigue, the Hydro REFLEX will allow you to paddle faster, for longer and more frequently than other paddles. It’s also important to note that smaller paddlers will love the narrow diameter shaft (26.5mm) on the Small and Medium blades that offers increased flex.
#4 – Could a larger paddler also find benefit with this paddle?
Absolutely. We have Large/Medium/Small sizes available to cover all paddlers. The Large is available with a standard diameter (29mm) shaft and the Medium and Small blades come with our slim (26.5mm) shaft.
#5 – Does the Hydro REFLEX outperform other top-level paddles?
This 100% carbon paddle is lighter than similar paddles in this price range. Additionally, the REFLEX provides racers with the same World Championship caliber performance they’ve come to expect from Black Project, but at a more attractive price point. For most companies, this would be their top tier construction.
#6 – What our SUP ohana is saying about the Hydro REFLEX.
Amazing Upgrade for a Non-Racer – Courtney H
I reached out to [Black Project] for some guidance, given I was NOT racing but interested in a more high-performance paddle. I was also looking for something lighter and something that would be adaptable at my age (mid-40s). Based on my paddling style/weight/boards, Chris recommended the Hydro REFLEX (over the Lava) … and he was absolutely right. I cannot get over the lightness in the feel. It weighs practically nothing! I also appreciate this paddle will hold me accountable to technique – I can feel the difference if I am just slightly off vs. being rewarded for when I make a clean stroke. Strong, powerful, smooth – everything a paddle should be. The Slim shaft is a fantastic option for those of us who have smaller hands. My great thanks to Chris and the Black Project team for the development of this paddle, and the methodology behind it. Highly recommended to non-racers!
Higher Cadence! Without the Added Stress – bgemmill704
Blown away! So light I couldn’t believe it. This paddle allowed me to maintain that higher cadence throughout a race and significantly reduce the fatigue I used to feel. I now own 2 different sizes, depending on the type of paddling I’m doing that day.
Smaller Blade, Lighter Paddle, Faster Cadence, Superb Racing Paddle – Adrian S
Since I changed over to the Hydro REFLEX earlier this year for my racing, it has changed the way I paddle. I went for a smaller blade and combined with the light carbon shaft, this has improved my cadence and helped my stamina in long distance events, protecting me from fatigue.
SUP Paddle Comparison Data
* Weight is calculated for the Medium-Slim option, and all weights +/- 2.5%.
|Shaft Diameter (mm)||STANDARD (29)||S L I M (26.5)||S L I M (26.5)|
|Actual Size (cm2)||583||535||496|
|Actual Size (in2)||90.4||82.9||76.9|
|Paddler Weight (KG)||80 - 100||65 - 85||50 - 70|
|Paddler Weight (lbs)||175-220||145 - 190||120 - 165|
- Scooped Dihedral Blade Technology.
- Available in L, M-Slim, M-Slim, S-Slim.
- Available in 1-piece and 3-piece (2 x HEX).
- REFLEX100 Construction.
- Assembled with Hot glue for easy adjustment.
- Matte finished shaft.
Available and shipping from Maui or via your local Black Project retailer.
Photos: APP @appworldtour
Athlete: Annie Reickert @annie__starr