Even the best standup paddle on earth isn’t ideal for all SUP disciplines, and even the best standup paddlers need to factor in size and skill-level to determine which paddle works best for them. Because different paddle types perform better in certain conditions, often paddlers need a few different paddles—various blade types, grips and lengths—to perform at their peak in various conditions and disciplines. All considered it’s a lot to process when purchasing a new paddle. Our five-step guide will help you pick the right paddle and customize it to suit your needs.
A guide to picking the right paddle for you based on paddling experience, budget and a wide range of variables.
How to choose a blade-size based on paddler weight, style of paddling and a range of other considerations.
A breakdown of the many options involved in selecting a paddle shaft—fixed-length, adjustable, three-piece, carbon content, flex and diameter—and which will perform best for you.
Here we analyze different grip options to optimize your main point of connection to your paddle—the handle.
Defining the best length for your paddle based on body type, board, discipline and aspirations.



Portland SUP community paddlers Evan Le and Morgan McCann meet Black Project athletes Connor Baxter and Fiona Wylde.

New Paddlers Find Tribe in Thriving Portland SUP Community

Evan Le’s first exposure to standup paddling was similar to most people’s first time trying the sport––a rental shop. The only difference is he wasn’t even looking for a SUP when he showed up. “We were renting kayaks and they happened to be out of kayaks,” said Evan. “So I went with a paddleboard instead,” The experience stuck with him, and although he didn’t take another paddle stroke for three years, he finally purchased his first board in March 2021. Since that purchase, standup paddling has become his favorite hobby. Evan went from a 45-pound iSUP to a high-performance 14-foot race board in only four months. After upgrading to a Black Project Hydro FlowX paddle, Evan’s progression has continued to skyrocket. FINDING A WELCOMING AND POSITIVE COMMUNITY IN STANDUP PADDLING As part of a Standup for the Cure event, Evan paddled 25 miles in one day on the Williamette River.

Bernd Roediger on an Infinity BlackFish paddle board on Maui with a Black Project PowerGrip SUP Handle.

New PowerGrip Handle Will Maximize Your SUP Paddle Performance

If you want to paddle faster, the power is in your hands.   Like a sticky set of tires on a sports car, a paddle handle is critical to ensuring you are not wasting effort on the water.   Over the past twelve months, we have been hard at work refining the handles for our flat water and racing paddles. To make sure we got it right, we recruited the expertise of two elite paddlers—APP World Champion Arthur Arutkin and Maui waterman Bernd Roediger.   It took a lot of prototypes and many hours of on-water testing, but our combined efforts paid off with the all-new, PowerGrip Handle.   “We developed the PowerGrip Handle with the goal of using 100% of the resources from the paddle,” said APP World Champion Arthur Arutkin. “That means putting as much power as possible on the handle, while also ensuring a better grip to maximize control of the

Black Project Hydro FlowX SUP Paddle

Reviews: Hydro FlowX SUP Paddle Earns High Praise

The response to our new Hydro FlowX has been overwhelming.  Featuring a revolutionary new design––including our proprietary Advanced Flow Technology and Deep Power Scoop––the goal of the Hydro FlowX was to redefine what a paddle stroke feels like. Incorporating over a decade’s worth of research, data and innovation, this paddle is lighter and faster than our original Hydro, while simultaneously requiring less effort from the paddler. Not only does this significantly improve speed and acceleration, but also leads to reduced fatigue and strain––extremely effective for preventing and rehabilitating injuries. We believe the Hydro FlowX is the best paddle in the sport. But at the end of the day, only one opinion truly matters––yours. Whether you are training, racing or cruising, this paddle was designed to enhance every moment spent on the water––both in terms of performance and pleasure. Here’s what the Black Project ohana is saying about their on-water experience with the Hydro FlowX.

Niek Van Der Linde uses Hydro FlowX paddle to set 24-hour SUP distance record in SUP 11-City Tour

Niek Van Der Linde Uses Hydro FlowX to Set 24-Hour Distance Record in SUP 11-City Race

One of the most grueling races in the sport, the SUP 11-City Tour tests paddlers to their physical and mental limits. The event takes place in Friesland, a northern province in Holland, where competitors must paddle along a 220 kilometer (136 mile) route that passes through 11 historical cities. The competition began in 2009 and normally takes place over the course of five days, but there’s an even tougher version of this race for the ultra-hardcore paddling crowd––The SUP 11-City Non-Stop Race. No breaks, no stages, no mercy. This year, seven individuals and two teams crossed the finish line of the SUP 11-City Non-Stop race, but only one paddler made history––Niek Van Der Linde. The endurance paddler not only set the course record with a time of 23:32:16, but also broke Bart de Zwart’s 24-hour SUP distance record (193.8 kilometers) by paddling 204.27 kilometers in 23 hours, 45 minutes and 27 seconds.  As for the