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100% Texalium, Carbon & Kevlar SUP Race Paddle

Hydro Texcarbon

(69 customer reviews)

$325.00$475.00

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100% Texalium, Carbon & Kevlar SUP Race Paddle

Hydro Texcarbon

(69 customer reviews)

$325.00$475.00

The lightweight, balanced & responsive SUP paddle for racing, downwind & flat-water enthusiasts

When a race win is on the line, our HYDRO race paddle is the secret weapon you want to have.

With a generous sweet spot and industry-leading power per square inch, our Scooped Dihedral blade shape produces better propulsion, reduced fatigue and a stable pull

Constructed using Black Project’s proprietary TEXCARBON construction, the HYDRO is also the lightest race paddle on the market. Weighing from just 375 grams (13 oz), paddlers can maintain a higher cadence for a longer period of time––a huge advantage during tough upwind stretches or during all-out sprints across the finish.

The Hydro is the paddle of choice for 2019 world champions – Seychelle Webster, Olivia Piana, Christian Anderson, and Rai Taguchi as well as a growing number of worldwide athletes.

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$325.00$475.00

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  • Reviews (69)
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69 reviews for Hydro Texcarbon

  1. The Feel of an Artist's Paintbrush

    Clare Hirai (verified owner)

    The precision of each Hydro stroke sets the experience apart from any other paddle I’ve tried. Entry, feather, and exit are just about effortless, allowing me to maintain a higher cadence for much longer. Besides the boost in speed, the easy maneuvering of my “third leg” increase the likelihood of staying upright whenever chop and exertion conspire to knock me over!

  2. Magical Catch

    Jeffrey Matthews (verified owner)

    I bought my Hydro quite a while ago and wanted to put some miles on it so I could really put my finger on what made this paddle so great. Before trying the Hydro I was always like “meh how much difference could a paddle make”. This paddle changed all that!! First the catch is amazing, it took me a while to realize what I was feeling, this blade gathers the water so quickly after the catch the transition to the power phase isn’t even noticeable. Faster power equals more efficient stroke and a faster paddler!! Not to mention easier on the joints, I just finished chattajack in record time for me and my recovery was significantly faster! Super happy with this paddle!!🤙

  3. Great paddle, great service

    GN (verified owner)

    An incredibly light paddle that provides and great catch in both flat and choppy waters. I had been using a much larger blade and a longer shaft prior to buying the Hydro. The hold of the Hydro as well as the smoothness of the entry and release enable me to create the same power with a more appropriately sized blade. After a week of use, I have seen a notable reduction in shoulder pain without reducing my time on the water. Chris provided the best service of any SUP supplier I have contacted- he responded quickly and thoroughly to my questions and shipped the paddle to me within a day of placing the order. Highly recommended!

  4. The magic paddle

    Florian Martines (verified owner)

    Thank you Chris for your advice for the blade size which is not always an easy choice. I ordered my paddle on Monday and received it on Saturday, only six days from Maui to France, crazy! First, the Hydro with the slim shaft feels really light, looks very solid and is well finished. On the water, the slim shaft feels very comfortable and the grip is good and the flex is perfect. During my first session I was a bit disturbed by the size of the palm handle which contrary to the small shaft is quite big (I came from a paddle with a pretty small handle), but after a few sessions it feels really comfortable and allows the upper hand to be more relaxed. The blade is super stable. This paddle allows me to concentrate on what I love on the water, just paddling and having a lot fun !!!

  5. Amazing!

    Emilie (verified owner)

    I tried my new Blackproject hydro paddle today in downwind conditions. I just loved it! It’s both very light and very powerful. It’s perfect to catch even small bumps. No pain in the shoulders with this paddle. If you’re looking for the perfect paddle, here it is! Fast shipping and great advice from Chris. Thanks!

  6. Set a new PB!

    Gregjet (verified owner)

    I have been using a 2017 BP medium med flex for the last few months (That was the latest BP I could get in Australia). I had immediately set a PB first paddle (my PB’s will not set the world alight). I really liked the feel. Felt the need to experiment and bought a 95sq” blade of another brand. Set another PB but had some arm ache, especially in my 15km paddles. Thought it may be worth getting the in-between and I wanted another BP Hydro. No 2020 blades in Aus so I ordered direct from BP. Smart idea. Excellent response and got it to regional Australia in about a week. Set a new PB (not by a lot and better arm and shoulder feeling so this may be the sweet spot for blade size for me.)

  7. Like Excalibur

    ductech (verified owner)

    I was skeptical and superstitious about changing from my Quickblade Trifecta; I’m not anymore. After dealing with Chris and using the Hydro i’m now a convert. Honestly I reckon it felt like how King Arthur must’ve when he held Excalibur for the first time…for sure there’s magic involved. To me, a man who still wishes to play hard even after having shoulders rebuilt four times the difference is immediate and worth the price of admission by far. I happen to be a master Ducati technician and am exposed to arguably some of the best engineering and construction the world has on offer; Chris and the Team have earned a seat at that table. Well done in all aspects Black Project; from customer service to support to sales you have made a convert who can’t help but spread the gospel it’s that good. Much much Mahalo!

  8. Best SUP related decision

    Michael Sorth (verified owner)

    I switched to a Black Project Hydro 88 stiff flex at the 2019 Carolina Cup and used it with great success up until about a month ago. I made the decision to drop a blade size and go with a medium flex. It changed everything. The quality of the Hrydro has even gotten even better over the last year and the small size and lighter flex has allowed me to speed up my stroke while being easier on my shoulders. After owning two BP paddles I can attest to the incredible quality and light weight. Lover their products. At this point I wouldn’t consider another manufacturer. Can’t wait to get the new paddle bag.

  9. Highest quality and performance SUP paddle

    gene.likins (verified owner)

    I’ve been using my Hydro M83 slender since last August – still a beginner. I’m so glad I splurged and got the Hydro. I can honestly say that the paddle matters a lot more than the board in terms of comfort and performance. I can’t say enough about the weight and the flex. I can maintain 55-60 strokes per minute with no back soreness, unlike before. The rectangular shape reminds me really sink the paddle so you can load up. My times have improved by 25%. Top notch!

  10. Hydro paddle is the ONLY paddle!

    Jennifer Panetta (verified owner)

    This is my second Hydro – I got my first about 3 years ago. At the time, it was an incredible difference from any paddle I’ve had and my other paddles have sat unused ever since. I love everything about it, from how light it is, to the shape and feel – and everything is just…smooth. I love to paddle long distance so the soft shaft has been amazing, and I tend to have a shorter stroke, so the blade angle works great for me as well. Just got the newer version after my old one had an unfortunate encounter with a rock at low tide and I could not be happier to have a hydro in my hands again right away. Chris is always incredibly helpful and responsive, and I am super appreciative. I encourage everyone who is looking at paddles or fins to ask him any questions in advance, his guidance is always useful!

  11. Thing of beauty

    David McMillan (verified owner)

    I’m relatively new to the sport and this was such a huge upgrade to my stock paddle that came with my board. I wanted something that I could grow with as I do more racing and longer tours. Chris was awesome in helping me decide on what configuration would be best for my size at 6’5 and 175lbs. I was chuckling to myself as I took the paddle out of the box as it barely weighs a thing. I love products that are made with passion and to a really high quality and this shines through on this paddle. As some other reviewers mentioned, I’m now more worried about dinging it up! Shipping was super fast too. Just buy it!

  12. Stellar Featherweight Paddle

    Judy (verified owner)

    Chris from Black Project SUP was very kind and knowledgeable in his recommendation of all the paddle specs I was unsure about (paddle length, shaft sizing, blade size). He made the decision and shipping processes super streamlined. I put the order in on a Sunday and received it that Wednesday! Just took it out for an 8 mile spin yesterday in windy (12 knot gusts) and choppy conditions. Usually I’m extremely sore in the shoulders and arms the day after a paddle with conditions like that but today, I’m feeling just a tad tight in the shoulders. The after paddle effects are marvelous — going with a significantly smaller blade size works very well for me and my body specs + long distance paddle excursions. Can’t wait to take it on all the speedy, all-kinds-of-distance trips. Thank you Chris and Black Project SUP! I am a big fan.

  13. The Hydro makes SUPing pure bliss!

    somali (verified owner)

    At the beginning of 2020 after much research into paddles I went with the Hydro Texcarbon. Chris at Black Project was more than happy to recommend a suitable blade size & shaft length/diameter after getting the relevant information from me about my paddling habits. The paddle was delivered safely & quickly. The standout features of the Hydro for me are its strength, durability & lightweight feel. It’s an extremely smooth, comfortable & forgiving paddle to use, even on those extended fatiguing days out on the water – no blisters or painful hands. I’ve been using my Hydro regularly for 5 months now, & could not be happier with my decision to get it – the quality of the texcarbon, kevlar/carbon materials is amazing, & the joining of the paddle/shaft/handle is seamless. For its blade size, the Hydro packs some serious power in a remarkably consistent, & predictable way, hour after hour on the water… Thank you so much Black Project!!!

  14. Next Level

    Humberto Puig

    I ordered my paddle after 4 pm Eastern Time on Monday 5/11/20 on 5/13/20 Wednesday I participate in 954 Race League it arrived before my race I was nervous about making a change the day of the race I was blown away with the results amazed how one piece of equipment made such a big difference Chris guided me through the purchase his advice was spot on Grateful

  15. Paddle Is Amazing! You won't regret buying one.

    Jeff N. (verified owner)

    Super lightweight, has reduced shoulder strain and fatigue greatly. Have a medium blade (5’10, 175) and it is perfect. Had a much larger area blade before and will never go back. Build quality is excellent and customer service with Black Project is second to none. Tried contacting other paddle companies before and received no response.

  16. Excellent paddle for larger, medium-cadence paddler

    Damon Toal-Rossi

    Started with the L and upgraded to the XL. I’m really able to transfer all of my 95kg 187cm body through this paddle for km after km with no shoulder pain. Works equally well on glassy-smooth days as well as choppy downwinders.

  17. The Winner!

    block.bryan (verified owner)

    I couldn’t decide on a blade size, so I tested both the Medium & Large for distance racing. I’m 180 pounds and previously used a 88 sqin. paddle. The Hydro Medium is the winner! The smaller blade has improved my left side paddle speed. With the larger blades my right side was always faster. Love the hot glued handles! I easily cut my large paddle down for down winding & technical racing.

  18. Hydro Large Blade Race paddle

    Michael Klos (verified owner)

    Been a sup racer for about 7 years and I have gone through many top brand paddles (e,g Starboard , quickblade ). The other brands are excellent but Black Project is on another league…this is by far the best paddle there is! The lightest , strongest, less strain on your shoulders paddle there is. It has such lovely flex on the shaft but not too much flex (I am on the standard medium 75 shaft). A black project paddle is worth every cent , you cannot go wrong!

  19. Magnifico remo

    artrax2004 (verified owner)

    Llevaba tiempo pensando cambiar de remo y dar un paso adelante. Después de ver las distintas marcas y modelos de remos me decidí por el Hydro Texcarbono, me ha sorprendido gratamente por su acabo estético, calidad del material, peso y por el servicio de venta. Tengo seguro que será mi marca de referencia.

  20. Thing of beauty

    David McMillan (verified owner)

    I’m relatively new to the sport and this was such a huge upgrade to my stock paddle that came with my board. I wanted something that I could grow with as I do more racing and longer tours. Chris was awesome in helping me decide on what configuration would be best for my size at 6’5 and 175lbs. I was chuckling to myself as I took the paddle out of the box as it barely weighs a thing. I love products that are made with passion and to a really high quality and this shines through on this paddle. As some other reviewers mentioned, I’m now more worried about dinging it up! Shipping was super fast too. Just buy it!

  21. My elbows are already feeling better.

    stevea (verified owner)

    I’ve been paddling with my medium/medium Hydro for the past three weeks. In spite of more time on the water, my elbows are already feeling better coming from another vendor’s stiffer 93. The positive catch and smaller blade angle are perfect for my high cadence tendencies. Great fit and finish all over, with the shaft texture just right for grip versus quick changes and moving bottom hand position.

  22. Beautiful Paddle, Beautiful Experience

    wildsuptours

    I am an expedition paddler. I got the small Hydro Texcarbon paddle to help me on my touring adventures and so far it has been a dream! I am currently using the paddle to voyage up the entire west coast of Ireland, all 2,500km of rugged north Atlantic coastline. I spend 6 to 8 hours a day on my board and cover up to 40km per day, weeks at a time. The number of paddle stroke I do, well into the tens of thousands. Having a reliable, well crafted, lightweight paddle makes such an important difference. I started out with a heavier paddle and since getting the Hydro I can really see the difference it makes. The smaller blade size allows for more strokes with less wear and tear on my body. The grippy shaft means I spend less energy holding onto the paddle because I know my hands won’t slip. The minimal weight means I can paddle longer with less fatigue. All in all, using this paddles means I can spend my energy elsewhere, I trust the paddle to be there, doing it’s job excellently, so I can concentrate on other things, like wildlife, scenery, tides and currents, and telling the story of why I expedition paddle in the first place. The only downside is that it is so pretty, I fear the day I might damage it.

  23. Assertive and fast

    Sam Wilson (verified owner)

    I’ve had the medium size Hydro with standard shaft for a month and really like it. The Hydro has a more assertive catch and is noticeably lighter than my vector net Trifecta 86 (which I also enjoy). Paddles are so light that I didn’t think it would matter, but it’s nice to have less weight through the air. The exit with this blade is effortless. Don’t know if that’s blade angle or shape, it just works. I wasn’t sure I’d like the textured shaft, but it’s subtle and is actually a nice bit of grip. No problems there. On dry land I can see that the Texcarbon shaft is more flexible than my other paddles, but it certainly doesn’t feel soft on the water. It’s very fast, feels powerful, and yet keeps my shoulders happy. At 6′ and 175lbs I’m good with this size and it has such a solid feel that I’m curious about the next size down. Definitely no need to go bigger. Thanks Chris for the great paddle and customer service!

  24. Hydro XS: small but mighty!

    Steph Frigon (verified owner)

    I ordered the Hydro XS medium flex about 5 months ago as a first step into re-entering training as I recover from a serious overuse injury to my hip and sacroiliac joint. As some background, I am a smaller paddler, standing 64.5′ and weighing in at 115 lbs soaking wet. I paddle a 14’25” board in open water conditions, and prefer longer distance training and racing to sprints. My paddling style is about efficiency, technique, and flow, and I tend to do more higher-cadence work as I have neither the leverage or the mass to produce a tremendous amount of torque on the paddle. My previous paddle was an incredibly stiff, light carbon paddle with an 83 square inch blade face and a 12 degree blade angle. I was often feeling sore, achy, and disproportionately tired after paddling and feeling like I was hitting a speed plateau: no matter how strong I got or how hard I worked, I couldn’t move the blade powerfully enough to fully take advantage of it. Enter the Hydro… Don’t let the XS blade size fool you: it has a solid catch! The shallower blade angle makes for an assertive and clean entry into the water and allows me to initiate the power phase of the stroke much more quickly and with my body weight truly over the blade rather than feeling behind it. The blade holds firm in the water and reinforces good “vertical paddle” technique as it does not tend to flutter or side slip at all. Simply put, it makes it easier to do the right thing. In the power phase of the stroke, I found that I could more efficiently transfer power from body to blade to board, and maintain that power longer through the stroke, almost to the exit. With my old, larger blade, I found there was a delay from when I started applying force to the paddle to when the board actually responded, almost like when you’re driving a manual transmission and you’re in a gear too low. With Hydro, the transfer was much more immediate, allowing for less “bogging” down and a feeling of more efficiency. I have tiny hands, and was concerned about the wide grip fitting appropriately, but after some use, I was surprised to find that I really liked the wider handle of the paddle. I found it allowed my top hand (and thus my forearm, elbow, and so on) to relax since it wasn’t gripping so tightly, staying warmer and saving energy. Having experienced joint soreness and pain in the past, the more relaxed hand position gives my hands/wrists/forearms some mini recovery each time I swap sides. The increased flexibility of the paddle definitely has been kinder to my muscles and joints, and has allowed me to increase my training load while simultaneously healing from injury. I’m not just getting back on the water while I’m healing, I’m getting stronger and faster again while doing so. I ordered the hydro a bit long by about 1″ (7″ over my standing height) to give myself some wiggle room, as I was concerned about how the blade angle difference might impact my length preference. Now that I have paddled for several months with it, I have observed that at lower cadences I can make things work, but when I ramp up my stroke rate, I get a little stuck at the exit if there’s even a small amount of chop. I will be taking the length down by 1.5″ as I move into the spring season to clean things up a bit, arriving back at the length I preferred on my last paddle. Lastly, when investing in a paddle of this quality, I like to do my homework and talk through my questions with experts. I can’t say enough positive words about Chris and everyone at BP who I interacted with in my process of choosing an appropriate size and flex paddle for my body and goals. Thanks again for all the attention to detail that goes into your product and your customer service. I am sad I waited so long to purchase this paddle, and look forward to converting to a BP fin in the future.

  25. Light as a Feather

    Jared Harju (verified owner)

    I went from a pretty large paddle to the texacarbon hydro small. I couldn’t be happier. I went for a 14 mile sup today and no fatigue and had some pretty good speed bursts during this session. Thanks Chris @ Blackproject

  26. Pure awesomeness!

    Lance Shaw (verified owner)

    Loving this new Hydro as my race/ocean paddle! I had the normal diameter/regular carbon paddle and liked it but since I have smaller hands I’ve been jonesing to try out the smaller diameter Texcarbon shaft so I finally bit the bullet and ordered one. I paddled it for the first as soon as I got it and it’s weird, I feel like the shaft is stiffer but more forgiving at the same time, my stroke definitely feels more positive and powerful. I loved it so much that I ordered a new Surge with a shorter small diameter Texcarbon shaft for surfing. I absolutely love the textured shafts from BP – not too rough but no slippage.

  27. Both my shoulder and elbow pain have disappeared!

    Don (verified owner)

    I love my Hydro Medium. I have a history of shoulder issues (3 surgeries, 2 torn rotator cuffs and 1 torn labrum) and elbow pain (chronic tendinitis) that have limited how often and how long I could paddle. Before paddling I’d have to apply KT tape to my shoulder and forearm and afterwards I’d plan on several applications of ice therapy. I purchased my first Black Project paddle about 3 months ago. Both my shoulder and elbow pain have disappeared. And I can’t say enough about how helpful Chris Freeman is.

  28. This paddle is simply the game changer!

    Ondras

    This paddle is simply the game changer! Just fell in love in the first stroke with it. Enjoying every single training using the HYDRO!

  29. Awesome paddle!

    Jon (verified owner)

    First of all this paddle is super light, combined with the slight flex in the shaft means less pressure on my shoulders so I can paddle for longer. The medium blade is just right for me and has a really nice feel through the stroke. The textured shaft is also great and doesn’t slip even when wet, great service and quick delivery to the UK.

  30. I shattered my personal best for 10kms by 4 minutes!

    Vincenzo

    I recently decided to try a Hydro (S78, RDS), having been impressed by the build quality of a BP Lava I got last year for recreational paddling. The first impression was that the catch with this blade is excellent, with minimal lateral movement through the power phase. The all important feel is simply nicer than my previous race paddle. The first few uses didn’t magically add any extra mph to my sessions – however, the weather has been windy pretty often of late. I could feel the power in this paddle, but it wasn’t coming together over longer distances. Today though, the new paddle “clicked” as my technique adapted to it. A perfectly calm morning gave me ideal conditions. It felt strong throughout the session and I could feel it was going to be a quick time. Resisting the urge to check until I finished, I was blown away to see that I had shattered my personal best for 10kms (which I have been struggling to even get near lately) by 4 minutes! I’m amazed by this difference, and am looking forward to see how it goes the next few months. Thanks Chris and team for producing an amazing bit of kit!

  31. The Texcarbon shaft is great and never slips.

    Nico Andrey (verified owner)

    I switched from a major brand 86 sqin paddle, going down to a 83 I was amazed by the power and catch of that paddle. The paddle is very light and it does help when going for longer distances! The new texcarbon shaft is great and never slips.
    Great paddle upgrade!!!

  32. The Hydro has allowed me to reduce pressure on my shoulders after recent surgeries.

    Steve Williamson (verified owner)

    This paddle has allowed me to change my stroke reducing pressure on my shoulders after recent surgeries. Basically the paddle just works I am using the 83, down from the 86 I was using from another vendor and coupled with the Ray fin paddling is good

  33. My lumbar disconfort is gone!

    Marcus Souza

    The best paddle I had! Very friendly, fast and extremely light! The Hydro S is perfect for me (67kg/178cm). Thanks Chris for your help and all of info!
    I´m very happy to improving my performance! My lumbar disconfort is gone! I note my power phase is more forward, thus let my center of gravity forward too. This means more cadence with less strenth.
    Now, just focus on cardio and better techinque!
    Aloha!

  34. The service and advice from Chris is second to none.

    Ali Wright

    I have taken delivery this week of x 2 of the one piece Hydro Paddles from Chris to my home in Thailand. My wife and I race, train and paddle for fun daily and having used this paddle this week for race training, the improvemnets in my split times are amazing, cutting 30 seconds off each KM. The blade I use is the 83 which gives me excellent forward reach when I plant in the water and more power for the pull back. The addition of the non slip grip shaft is so good along with the light weight, both of which allow for a very efficient training session with less grip slips…….I also have the 3 piece travel version and this too is great to have on hand when traveling around. These are now my permanent “go to” paddles for all my daily work outs and leisure paddles. The service and advice from Chris is also second to none. Great job and thank you so much.

  35. You don't have to race to love this paddle.

    Dean (verified owner)

    You don’t have to race to love this paddle. I’m 5’7″, 150 lbs, 64 yrs old and a Soul SUPer. It is the lightest paddle ever. It’s 2 ounces lighter than my Quatro (I use for SUP surfing) and 8 sq inches smaller blade than my Werner GP, allowing me to go shorter. I got the 83 medium/slim shaft. It’s comfortable and efficient. Equally as important as the board you choose. Thank you Chris! P.S. My friend won her class in Tahoe on a Black Project paddle and fin.

  36. I used my son's Hydro and had to have one of my own.

    dwayne.childers (verified owner)

    I owned top tier paddles form 3 major manufacturers and couldn’t find an all around winner. I learned to deal with either pain in my back or shoulder and different paddles for different conditions. I was told to contact Chris and haven’t looked back since. Chris took the info I gave him and recommended a paddle that was perfect. Our second purchase was a new Texcarbon Hydro for my son as a reward for winning a race. I used his Hydro twice and had to have one of my own. I can’t say enough great things about the paddle. At first I felt that I wasn’t as efficient paddling but the numbers don’t lie. I realized it was just that much easier on my body and resulted in less fatigue. Do yourself a favor and buy a paddle fin bundle! I’m 5’7″ and 175lbs using the 83 and I have no desire to try another paddle until Chris designs something better, good luck!

  37. Amazing customer service from Chris.

    Mark Hewitt (verified owner)

    I have both the Hydro paddle and the Ray fin. I love them both but the important thing to note is the amazing customer service from Chris. He worked closely with me to get the right paddle and I sooo appreciate it. Great experience and I would recommend both Chris and his products 100%.

  38. I love the power of this paddle!

    Joe Suvak

    I just have to say how very very happy I am with my XL hydro 95. I love the power of this paddle ! So light and smooth, the best paddle I have ever used. I am so much faster with this paddle , and cannot wait for my next race ! Thank you so very much Chris for the best customer service in the world !!!! You are the best !!! Now …. maybe a fin !!!!!

  39. Chris spent over 30 minutes on the phone with me and numerous emails to find the right paddle(s) for me.

    Rob

    There’s not much more to say than whats been said in the other reviews. I don’t think you can find a better paddle out there IMO. Looks great. Catches peoples attention. So LIGHT. I will, however, comment on the process. Chris spent over 30 minutes on the phone with me and numerous emails to find the right paddle(s) for me. Like skis, bikes, golf clubs, etc… not everyone is the same with regards to ability, skill and intended purpose. Not everyone plays like the pros and as such, may have different needs. You can dial in the right shaft/blade/handle/stiffness and they will help you along they way. I never realized how much that would make a difference in my performance. I’m an experienced paddler but my height/weight and board all played a roll in the selection. You’ll see the difference right away. Let Chris and the BlackProject SUP guys dial you in.

  40. I was immediately impressed with the smoothness of the catch.

    Sean Owen (verified owner)

    I am 76 w/ shoulder problems that have develops over 20 years or so from various sports. Have paddled with other high end paddles that only aggravated my shoulder – limiting my time paddling in any given session. I asked Chris for advice re a paddle fit and he recommend a little more flexibility and shortening paddle length a bit. I took his advice and bought a Hydro M83. first day out I was immediately impressed with the smoothness of the catch and release, but best of all after a lengthy high tempo workout – about one third the stress on my shoulder and no pain that night ! Happy, Happy

  41. Chris Pike

    I have used several high-end carbon paddles, including: Quickblade Trifecta, Quickblade V-Drive, Starboard Bolt, and Starboard Lima. They are all nice paddles and have distinct advantages and disadvantages over each other. The V-Drive 81 has a fantastic catch, but feels heavy pulling it through the water, and I feel like I fatigue faster with it. The Trifecta 86 feels smooth through power phase, but has a vague catch. The Bolt 79 seems to offer a good compromise, having a defined catch, but remaining smooth through power phase. The Bolt was my favorite paddle until I got the Lima 75, which offers exceptional smooth entry and exit, while retaining the smoothness through the power phase. The only downside is that the catch is not as defined as the Bolt. The smaller size also promotes a faster cadence, but at times feels a bit too small. I list all these different paddles and their strengths and weaknesses to illustrate what is to me the most impressive characteristic of the Black Project Hydro – it somehow manages to find the perfect balance between all the desired aspects of a high-performance paddle. It is smooth through power phase without wanting to drift from its plane of travel. It is smooth on entry and exit, but still has a defined catch. The blade design of the Hydro did not look as impressive to me as the Starboard paddles with their quadruple concave, but it works perfectly. I’m very impressed with the Hydro. The joints of the 3-piece paddle are the best I’ve seen. The hexagonal lock is rock solid, and there are no bulky locking mechanisms that disrupt the natural aesthetic line and tactile experience of the paddle. In short, it’s an amazing paddle. Having tried a few different high-end paddles, I am very impressed at how well the Hydro compares.

  42. C Coulson (verified owner)

    Broke my carbon paddle shaft by another top maker, so ordered a Hydro S78 with thin medium flex shaft and small handle. I also got the other makers latest. I prefer the hydro and Have been using it almost exclusively. Why? 1) the slimmer shaft, 2) the flex is better in a smooth way and 3) most importantly the blade plants quietly and secure in the water for powerful strokes without slippage. Feel it is a better tool for developing a more modern stroke. Thanks Chris for fantastic service.

  43. Claire Thorburn (verified owner)

    Is it possible to love a paddle too much! Made the transition from a three piece to the Hydro and just love it! Super clean catch and velvet soft stroke – I flew! Have shoulder issues and pathetically soft skin means I suffer from blisters so easily – after two three km sea paddles not a hint of a blister or shoulder fatigue. One very happy paddler looking forward to racing! Chris was so helpful in choosing the right shaft and length too – thank you Chris and Kiana – and product arrived from Maui to UK in super time – even my postie was impressed!!! Love the textured shaft – such a clever touch!

  44. Christoph (verified owner)

    I am 5’7”, 171 lbs. So far, I used various paddles from 86 up to 100sq. I wasn’t never really convinced, they were either too stiff, too heavy, too slippery, too big or too small…
    I purchased 2 HYDROs, the 83 back in march and a few weeks ago the 88. First I was skeptical, when Chris recommended the 83. This is smaller, then the smallest paddle I used before. But Chris convinced me to go for the 83. THANK YOU! It is awesome! It’s so lightweight, easy to handle and the flex is great (no more shoulder pain). I am using it for everyday training and longer distance races. For short distance races I got the 88 as a luxury ;-). But, if I had to choose a one-for-all paddle for myself, I would go for the 83 again. It’s by far the best paddle I ever had.

  45. Dmitri T (verified owner)

    Great paddle. I purchased Hydro 83″ to upgrade similar sized brand name paddle. This paddle is super light and feels great through the stroke, with zero blade flutter. My arms and shoulders feel less fatigued. All stats are up. I will definitely buy 88″ for shorter races. I am 5’10”, 180 lbs. Big thanks to Chris for great customer service and flawless delivery to Canada.

  46. Davide Latremouille (verified owner)

    This is probably the best paddle I’ve ever owned to date out of all the paddling disciplines I’ve been involved with (flat water canoe and kayak, white water kayak and SUP). The Black Project Hydro is dramatically lighter than any other SUP Paddle I’ve tried but is also extremely durable (so far into my Black Project SUP Paddle ownership experience…although I do try not to abuse my sports equipment). I found that with my Black Project Hydro SUP Race paddle even if I put my SUP paddle blade into the water at a “bad angle” almost as soon as I started taking a stroke the blade shape would “force” the direction of the stroke to the most ideal angle and position relative to the SUP itself (a great feature indeed).

  47. KIMBERLY SCHIVE (verified owner)

    Long overdue review of the Hydro slim 73. I’m 5’7″, 125 pounds. Wanted something smaller than the 84″ blade I’d been using, and, given my height, was leaning toward the 78. But I’m pretty lightweight for my height, so maybe the 73? After chatting with Chris, I decided to give the 73 a try. The paddle arrived, and it looked small. And so different from anything I’d ever paddled with. But I decided to put it to the test immediately, so I took it to my first race of the season.

    Dumb, right? The beginning was as ugly as you might imagine. Not to mention that I somehow ended up in the water (the FREEZING cold water) before the start. Still not sure how that happened, but… ugh. So, my start was slow, and, of course, I was working at getting the feel of the paddle. The race crossed a large bay into a pretty annoying headwind, maybe 13–15 MPH at that point, and then up a river to a buoy turn and back. Going from the bay into the river, I was back around fifth or sixth, but, all of a sudden, I started to click with the paddle. I was thinking about something Chris had said about relaxing into the stroke, and once I started consciously doing that, I got into a higher cadence right away and worked my way up to second. Caught my breath for half a minute, then passed the leader about 500 feet before the buoy. I made the turn, passed the pack coming into the buoy, and never looked back. Wind stopped completely after about a half mile — so much for that tailwind I was expecting — so it was just paddle-paddle-paddle to the finish. Was able to maintain a pretty high cadence and good speed and ended up winning by about a minute. And it’s served me equally well in several races since.

    My second hydro slim has just arrived — a 78 — and I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but my thought is that the larger blade might work better for a shorter distances, while the 73 would be great for distance.

    The slim shaft is GREAT, and I really like the grip. Wasn’t sure how I’d adjust after never racing with anything other than a T-grip before, but I’m sold.

    Best. Paddle. Ever.

  48. Jeff

    Love the paddle!!
    Have had it in waves and flat water. Pace for my interval training is up! Love the grip how there is texture on shaft to prevent slipping down but it eases for rotational. I’m catching much better and keeping the paddle more vertical. Transferring more on the power phase. I’m able to increase strokes per minute with this paddle. The medium flex shaft actually feels good on the joints. Have gone to the Hydro 88 from another brand paddle of 100 blade size. I’m really stoked! Thank you for a great product!

  49. Michelle Currier

    I was able to really test out my Hydro Race Paddle during the 2019 Graveyard at the Carolina Cup and I was amazed how well it performed through so many conditions. The Graveyard was a great test for it as you have to handle going through Surf, Downwind, UpWind and more surf. I am 5′ 1″ female paddler, so having a paddle that it is fitted to me is extremely important. This paddle is lightweight, handles all conditions and allows me to dig harder when it is needed.

  50. Andrea Sorze (verified owner)

    I’ve been testing my brand new Hydro paddle twice, both in a river for long distance race and in the sea, for a more technical training. Saying it with rationality: it is a really good paddle. I got stocked by the incredible feeling it transmit during each stroke, from the moment you put it in the water, up until you take it out and move forward to the next stroke. The design highly reduces vibrations and undesired movements. so that the paddle behaves exactly as expected. Even the shaft is really good, with a comfy but solid grip, ensuring paddle will not slip away during strokes or side changes.

    At the moment, no cons hilighted… highly recommended paddle! It’s worth the price

  51. Ishay Grushka

    It’s been now about a month since I got my new Hydro TEXCARBON and my Sonic Fin. I paddle on a daily basis and belong to a race club and a race league in Israel, we paddle under all possible conditions almost on a daily basis. After using 2 of the most known brands, I noticed my shoulder injuries require a change of paddle. My first try with the HYDRO was in Florida, while taking a private lessons from Seychelle, that’s when I got to know the Hydro. It was an instant positive experience. I decided to order one, after going back and forth with Chris, I decided to order the M83 SLIM. I downsized from a 86 QB and it worked perfectly. The fin, best in the industry, nothing short of exceptional!!! You can tell a lot of thoughts went into the paddle and the fin. I recommended both to all my friends. Thank you Black Project, job well done!!!

  52. Sergio (verified owner)

    Absolutely happy with my Hydro 83! I bought it 2 months ago and every time I hit the water I keep discovering the great performance. I have tried other brands but ended up with some pain in my shoulders mostly in long distance races that’s why I decided to try a new brand. Last month I used my Hydro 83 for 12 km race and no shoulder’s pain at all. I am really happy with my decision, premium product with an excellent customer service. Chris helped me choosing the length and giving the updated of the shipping to Veracruz, Mexico. Many thanks to all the black project team!

  53. Nicolas de la Fuente (verified owner)

    Super content de ma nouvelle pagaie Hydro 88 medium stiff ! Que du bonheur ! C’est ma 4ème pagaie carbone d’autres marques et c’est la meilleure pour le moment !!

  54. Dave Enger

    The Hydro 88 is easily the best paddle I’ve used. It doesn’t wobble or vibrate during the stroke nor does it feel like stiff board. The design & flex seem to be perfect. The 88 also pulls like a slightly bigger blade.

  55. Mike (verified owner)

    I am incredibly happy with my new Hydro 88. Chris was very helpful at the Carolina Cup demo. I tried several blades and shafts finally landing on the 88 with a stiff flex. Chris made sure I had it for the race the next morning. It is so smooth and light. It feels smaller than it really is. It provides gobs of power! I’ll be buying a second paddle for touring soon.

  56. Doug Wirth (verified owner)

    The Hydro 83 was a true game changer for me, love the soft catch, easy fluid motion through the power phase, the weight and balance of the paddle makes changer over easy and efficient. Love the texture on the shaft solid grip no need for tape, the large palm handle is the best. Increased reps. Per minute brought my speed up with out affecting or over taxing my cardio.

  57. Jonathan Le Marchand BLUE PEARL

    The Holy Grail of Paddles for 85KG plus guys is the HYDRO XL965, we have been talking to Chris for a while here at Blue Pearl and were hoping for a bigger paddle than the L88 and sure enough along comes the XL95, we currently have it teamed up with the medium flex TEXCARBON shaft. This paddle has the WOW factor not only is it smoother than the 88 it gives more versatility in your paddling, want to race this paddle will do it, want to do long distances this paddle will do it, want to cruise with your mates this paddle will do it. I have had this paddle for just over 4 days and covered some 50KM with it. I have both Black Project and a number of other leading manufacturers paddles and I can say that this paddle for sure is my go to paddle.

    I am 88KG 6 foot 2 and have continued to maintain a stroke rate of 51 with this XL paddle which is the same as with the L88. The shape of the XL seems to be a little fatter at the edges which for me gives an even smoother entrance and exit out of the water, what I have done is cut my shaft down by about 2cm in order to cope with the bigger blade. I have been getting no cavitation at all with this set up and very very impressed. For our clients who are over 85KG I would for sure suggest the bigger blade as this design enables you to take a bigger blade than you think and the XL95 I really think is the smoothest of the lot, for the first time in a long time being a slightly bigger guy is an advantage you get the smoother blade 🙂

  58. Matthew Pol (verified owner)

    What a paddle! So many amazing things happening with this. My paddling is so much more enjoyable especially when pushing longer distance. The catch is smooth and the angle just makes power on tap. The L88 blade combined with the stiff shaft really lets you get moving. The blade design is second to none with the way it holds position from catch to release. Then you add the textured shaft and handle on top. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Service is amazing with personal advise and contact quicker then the locals in WA. Will be back for more now I have the best in hand.

  59. Chuck Mills

    Great paddle!! Well engineered / built and good looking to boot! I have used my new Hydro a few times now and love it. I opted for small blade S78 RDS (I am 5’7″ and 150) and now use this is my “go-to” paddle, replacing my name brand 83″. I have gained speed and tracking on flat water and the smaller blade has performed great on longer paddles. I have some elbow issues and I am hoping that the reduced diameter shaft will allow me to remain pain free. Love the textured shaft as well. Thanks Chris for the great advice on sizing (and thank you Suzie Cooney for introducing me to Chris)!

  60. Javier D (verified owner)

    Awesome paddle. The construction feels solid, even though it is super light. Cosmetically, it’s also really cool, although that is pretty subjective. I’ve only been able to paddle with it once and it felt great. It was windy, but I was able to manage the paddle fine despite it’s low weight. I’m really looking forward to using it more.

  61. Cade

    Tried the new hydro out yesterday. Was great. Very light and responsive. Moving more water with it compared to my old Kialoa. Great grip. Hands did not slip. Chris was very helpful in making sure I got the right paddle. Very happy.

  62. Quince Mento

    I’ve been putting my new texcarbon 83 Hydro w/ a reduced diameter shaft through its paces the past few weeks and am 100% pleased. Out of the box, the fit and finish is excellent. In the water, it’s a light, balanced paddle with almost no swing weight. The catch is soft but controlled; easy on the body as the mileage adds up. It is smooth through the power phase with no flutter and the blade releases easily allowing for efficient recovery. I have sweaty palms so slippery paddle shafts have been a perpetual problem. This is the first paddle shaft I’ve used where grip (w/o gloves, wax or some kind of tape) is not a concern, yet the texture does not abrade or blister the hands. All this, plus Chris’s A+ customer service makes for a perfect paddle. Get one!

  63. Franco

    The only brand missing in my paddles quiver was Black Project, and finally I manage to get one. I wanted a paddle for long distance hard works, and following the many advices available on the BP website, I’ve chosen the Hydro 83 with medium shaft. The lightness of the paddle is evident at the first touch. In the water, it has an amazing catch, probably the best I’ve tried so far ( I have 11 paddles of the best brand and top of their range ), in the power phase it’s rock solid and the release is very smooth. But here comes the surprise, all this without taxing my shoulders or other joints. I like to change my paddles, because eachone has it’s own pecularity, but since I have the Hydro I pick it up of instinct. Another very important thing is the presence of Chris Freeman, always available and kind … not a easy thing to find.

  64. Douglas Rothbaler (verified owner)

    Let me start by saying this paddle is a work of art with incredible graphics. Performance did not disappoint either. Solid catch and zero flutter through the power phase even on the hardest of pulls. My particular paddle is the 88 sq. in blade and 81″ in length to pair with my 14 x 26 Allstar and 175 lb body.

  65. Scott Cleveland

    Just picked up the new Hydro paddle M83, medium flex with texcarbon shaft! I worked with Chris helping me nail down a size that would work for me – he was super informative and provided outstanding customer service. I used the new paddle buying guide on the BP website to hone down my length/blade size based on my skill level and goals and it was spot on! It was an inch shorter than what I currently paddle but it just feels right. I usually like to “try before I buy” but I was confident in having Chris help with me with specs I needed. In the past I’ve paddled a 96 and then a 90. I originally bought this paddle for longer distance races but it will probably end up being my go to paddle for all events. I felt no loss of power going down from a 90 and in fact my shoulders felt relaxed and fresh throughout my WO. It has one of the softest catches of any paddle I’ve used and I’ve used/demoed most of the major brands. Super smooth pull and minimal flutter and in fact I actually tried to make the blade cavitate and it just seemed to correct it self. The textured shaft is an added bonus – I always used wax in the past and it either melted or got all over everything. I just threw it away – no longer required….and no hot spots either! Lastly this is THE lightest paddle I’ve ever used. I chose the medium flex and despite the light weight it has great power flex and recoil! Overall this is a really solid paddle and my first from BP….but def not my last. Mahalo Chris!!

  66. Juerg Geser

    I switched to BLACKPROJECT in April of 2015 after issues with blisters on my palm and elbow pain using other brands. The medium shaft and palm handle from BLACKPROJECT solved those two pain points immediately.
    Since then, Chris has continued to evolve the paddles and I was able to test the new HYDRO blade in late 2016 during my first SUP11CITYTOUR and loved it! Medium shaft and 88 size blade worked great over the long distances, powerful and smooth at the same time.
    Last year I started to play around between the 83 and 88 blade size (I’m 5’10 and 196 pounds), love the 88 size for downwind and long distance in flat water (I have a very low cadence), and I got to really enjoy the smaller 83 blade size together with my Infinity Blackfish for any open ocean races. The smaller blades helps me to improve my cadence and go stronger over a long distance in challenging open ocean conditions.
    With 3 different boards and all with different heights (Flat Deck to Dugout), I now own several paddles with the length cut accordingly, being able to cut and glue back together helped me tremendously to fine tune the length for each board. When I started racing in 2014, my paddle length was 81”, now I’m down to 77”, 76” and a 75” for my Dugout board.
    I just bought two new once today with the TEXCARBON shaft, I was able to test it at the end of last year, also during the SUP11CITYTOUR and absolutely loved the grip the shaft has in wet conditions (it rained a bit in Holland during the event). No need for wax anymore!

  67. Ben Colling

    Awesome paddle. I have an 83 Hydro, 73 inch long, which is perfect for me (5ft9, 145lbs) – I reckon I’m faster and tracking straighter by 10%~ vs my other paddles. Its extremely light, easy on my shoulders and finished by what are clearly incredibly skilled and diligent engineers. Truly a masterpiece.

  68. Matt

    I picked up a Hydro 88 sq in blade, had been paddling with a 96 trifecta and 91 V drive during a Demo Chris did on Oahu. The paddle catch is solid and has a lot of stability through the mid-stroke and the least flutter of my paddles. The smaller blade feels like I have more longevity on longer downwinds and on the flats for work outs…speed has picked up some speed too while being more easy on my rotater. Textured shaft is great and WITHOUT sand papering the palms of your hands.
    Going to pick up a 83″ Hydro next. Mahalo Chris

  69. Paul Davidson

    Ordered a hydro after paddling some top brand paddles and wanting to try a slightly smaller blade. Ordered the 83 and its excellent. Combines a great catch but still silky smooth through the whole stroke. Even the little things like a textured shaft to help with grip. Can throw away the wax. Superb service as well.

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