PADDLING
Resources

These standup paddling resources will help you learn more about SUP paddles and fins while keeping you up to date with the latest news and innovation at Black Project. While we aim to make it easy for you to select the best products for your paddling needs, if you have specific questions which are not covered please ask a question.

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Get to Know Chris: The Story of Black Project’s Co-Founder Chris Freeman

Since a young age, Black Project co-founder Chris Freeman has been passionate about watersports. A competitive career in windsurfing first brought him to Maui at 18 years old and the experience was life changing. While Freeman would eventually return to the U.K. to build a successful career in Education, Maui kept calling him back. The pull of the water proved too strong. After his long-time friend Tom Hammerton began designing specialized windsurfing fins, the duo decided to take a chance and go all-in––Black Project was born. Over the past decade, the company has grown exponentially to become a leader in both windsurfing and standup paddling industry. While World Championships and high-performance paddles and fins have become synonymous with the Black Project name, Freeman never lost sight of those humble roots and his original goal: Help more people enjoy the experience of being on the water. What was your career path/background

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How To Measure SUP Paddle Shaft Stiffness

 Understanding shaft and SUP paddle flex will help you make an informed paddle buying decisions; remember that in general, heavier paddlers need a stiffer shaft whereas lighter paddlers need a softer shaft. To be able to compare shafts we need a precise way of measuring flex. By understanding how shafts bend under load we are able to fine tune your paddling experience. To measure the flex of our shafts we: Support the shaft at two pivot points 150cm apart. Apply 50kg of force to the center of the shaft. Measure the deflection in millimeters. What do the numbers mean? A shaft with a rating of 75 bends 75mm when the 50kg force is applied. What is considered a stiff, medium or soft shaft? Stiff = < 65 Medium = 65 to 105 Soft = > 105 Need help choosing a paddle? ASK A QUESTION Learn more about paddle and

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How Does Paddler Height & Weight Affect Shaft Flex Choice?

Too many paddlers are risking injury––because they’re using a paddle that isn’t tailored to their size and needs. And while paddle length and blade size get most of the attention when it comes to customization, shaft flex is just as important. Your height and weight makes a huge impact on the amount of shaft flex you generate, which in turn, makes a huge impact on your paddling comfort, board speed, fatigue and risk of injury. To better understand how to strike the optimal balance between paddle shaft rigidity and flex, this guide will explain some basic paddle physics concepts and answer your shaft questions. Learn more the benefits of smaller, shorter and softer paddles.  How Does Body Type Affect Shaft Flex? Let’s start with a quick physics experiment. Take an uncut paddle at 87 inches, hold it at the top and feel the flex as your bottom hand applies force

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Carbon SUP Paddles: How Innovative Design & Superior Materials Fuel Black Project’s Performance Advantage

The higher the carbon content, the better the paddle, right? Well, it’s a little more complicated. Typically, paddles with a higher carbon content are more expensive, lighter and offer faster reflex characteristics. By reducing weight, this allows the paddler to experience less fatigue and be less susceptible to overuse injuries. However, building a great paddle requires much more than carbon––it also requires innovative design, sound structural integrity, and ultra-efficient hydrodynamics. In fact, poorly designed carbon paddles are often too stiff and fragile, leading to sub-par performance and a shorter lifespan of the paddle. Remember, the goal should always be to optimize the paddling experience––not marketing objectives.  In this article, we will explain how Black Project engineers blend innovative paddle design with ultra-high-quality carbon, Texalium and Kevlar to build the strongest and lightest paddles on the market. Because to achieve an unparalleled paddling experience requires an unparalleled paddle construction, it is not just about

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Introducing the All-New Infinity FLASH Race Paddle by Black Project SUP

Norm-breaking, record-shattering, performance-driven––these are just a few of the factors that Dave Boehne (Infinity) and Chris Freeman (Black Project) consider when designing a new product. So what happens when standup paddling’s top performance board builder and highest-quality paddler maker team up and collaborate? They create a race paddle that is so fast, it can only be named––the FLASH. As an encore to their successful collaboration in 2019, Black Project and Infinity went back to the drawing board to build an even faster, lighter and smoother paddle. The FLASH meets those goals and more––a premium pro-level race blade that is ideal for paddlers ranging from professional racers to weekend warriors looking for an ultra-light, high-quality paddle. For more details, Infinity lead-designer Dave Boehne, Infinity athlete and APP World Tour Champion paddler Shae Foudy, and Black Project founder Chris Freeman share some insights about this collaboration and why the FLASH lives up its

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6 Things to Know About The Hydro REFLEX Paddle

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.   View 2021 Paddle Collection #1 – What makes the Hydro REFLEX different from the regular Hydro? The REFLEX version of the Hydro is

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The Benefits of Rounded Edges and Seamless Joints on a SUP Paddle

Safer, Lighter & Stronger SUP Paddles In the early days of SUP, there was one particular issue with paddles that really bothered us––the simple act of paddling was damaging our boards. Paddles with sharp edges and pronounced joints (which many brands still use) would cut into our boards, especially when using an unstable blade that’s prone to wobbling and bouncing off our rails. Eventually, these small impacts lead to big rail damage––both cosmetic and structural––which can affect both your paddling experience and resale value. To ensure our paddlers don’t run into those issues, we carefully design our paddles to protect both your board and body. Solution #1 – Rounded Paddle Blade Edges All of our paddles are designed with carbon-reinforced, rounded blade edges. While we experimented with using plastic ABS edges on our paddles, the carbon structure proved more reliable over time. The rounded edges do not damage your board and

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Black Project’s 2021 SUP Paddle Collection

Black Project’s 2021 SUP Paddle Collection A message from Black Project Founder – Chris Freeman @chrisk97 I am proud to introduce our 2021 collection of high-performance SUP paddles. Each one of these innovative products has been meticulously designed and tested to ensure the highest quality and ultimate on-water performance. We believe every paddler, regardless of skill level, benefits from lighter, stronger and more efficient paddles and fins. With a lethal combination of cutting-edge technology and real-world feedback from our elite team of professional athletes, we are able to better design every paddle and fin we produce. The result is a collection that delivers superior speed, maneuverability and unmatched quality, a paddling experience that can only come from Black Project. After winning 19 World Titles in 2018-2019, we were eager to build upon that success in 2020. But like so many people around the world, we were forced to take a

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Introducing the Hydro FlowX

Introducing the Hydro FlowX It’s time to change the game. For the past decade, Black Project has been dedicated to designing the world’s most high-performance SUP paddles and fins. And while our team athletes have racked up 19 World Titles and smashed World Records – our ultimate goal is to help every paddler get the maximum enjoyment out of their paddling experience. In this pursuit, we have pushed the envelope and bent the “rules.” Now, the time has come to throw out the rulebook entirely.   Meet the Hydro FlowX. The World’s First Three-Dimensionally Designed Paddle Featuring a completely reimagined design, the Hydro FlowX is a paddle unlike any other. At first glance, your eyes will pop at the feature on the neck of the blade––an innovative new design that we call Advanced Flow Technology (AFT). It is designed to significantly increase paddle efficiency and smoothness by reducing turbulence and unwanted blade

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Black Project – 10 Years of Innovation and Performance

Black Project – 10 Years of Innovation and Performance Black Project was born out of a shared love for improving the on-water experience for paddlers of all skill levels. 10 years later, our passion for designing high-performance paddles and fins has only gotten stronger. And while we love seeing our athletes set world records and win world titles––BP athletes won 14 titles in 2019––what truly inspires us is YOU. We want YOU to experience that same stoke and love for watersports that inspired us to make our first fin over a decade ago. This is our story and we welcome you to join our ohana. The Start Black Project originated from humble beginnings as a backyard project for co-founders Chris Freeman and Tom Hammerton. The goal was simple: Design a better windsurfing fin that would elevate their performance and speed. While these custom fins were originally made for their own personal

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Whipr, The New SUP Inspired Fitness Sensation

Whipr, The New SUP Inspired Fitness Sensation Luke Tipple was frustrated after repeatedly experiencing one of standup paddling’s most common problems––losing paddle fitness when life’s hectic schedule kept him off the water. But instead of complaining, Tipple designed a portable, home training solution––the Whipr.  Small enough to pack away in your carry-on luggage, yet precise enough to simulate the feel of real paddling, the Whipr was designed to improve your paddling fitness, both at-home and on-the-road. Determined to simulate the most realistic standup paddling experience possible, Tipple enlisted the expertise of Black Project SUP. Over the past several months, Black Project co-founder Chris Freeman has worked in collaboration with the Whipr team to develop and manufacture the SUP accessory––an exclusive Black Project paddle shaft that attaches to the Whipr base unit. “Black Project makes exceptional equipment,” said Tipple. “I knew there wasn’t a better designer and builder on the planet

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Introducing The Paddle Bag

Introducing The Paddle Bag The padded, variable length, lightweight, low absorption, utility SUP paddle bag, ideal for long days at the beach & events. Inspired by our worldwide travels with the Black Project team the new paddle bag is designed to protect your paddle(s) while providing convenient storage of your paddling essentials.   The external sectioned mesh pockets hold your fin, phone, rash guard and leash while the pocket has a hidden key saver. The two individually padded paddle sleeves will keep your Black Project paddle(s) protected while not on the water. Built in lightweight and low absorption fabric weighing just 29 oz / 820 grams. The innovative fold over length adjustment system is designed for paddles from 57″ to 84″ (145cm – 213cm) and is secured with Velcro for ease of use and longevity. The sliding handle and shoulder straps ensures that the bag remains balanced even with varied

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