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SUP Paddle Shaft Options

From wide and stiff to thin and flexible, adjustable to fixed, there is a range of shaft options for you to consider when building your paddle. Here we break down the options with expert recommendations so you’re sure to get what’s right for you. 

Types of SUP Paddle Shaft

  • Fixed – lightest, highest performance
  • Adjustable – ideal for families or a range of paddling disciplines
  • 3-piece HEX Adjustable– designed for travel and easy storage
  • 3-piece HEX Fixed Length – one piece performance in a 3-piece solution convenient for travel

Shaft Diameters

  • SDS – Standard Diameter Shaft; regular fit with a diameter of 29mm
  • RDS – Reduced Diameter Shaft; slim fit with a diameter of 26.5mm

Shaft Construction Options

We use a range of shaft options across the paddle collection, from the lightest, most exotic TEXCARBON to the cheapest and heaviest FG (Fiberglass).

TEXCARBON – New for 2019, produced with a combination of exotic materials such as Texalium and carbon fibers, our proprietary TEXCARBON construction offers lightest and highest performance shafts available in today’s market. These shafts have a textured finish. Made in the USA. Available on Hydro and Surge paddles.

PRO CARBON – Made with 100% high-grade carbon, these shafts have been the mainstay of our professional grade paddles for years. The material is reliable, lightweight and available in a range of stiffness options. These shafts have a textured finish. Made in the USA. (Production of these shafts will gradually phase out during 2019 as they are being replaced by the TEXCARBON option.) Available on Hydro and Surge paddles.

REFLEX 100 – Made with 100% carbon to offer excellent flex characteristics and low weight. The high carbon content makes these shafts stiffer than the lower carbon content options and therefore most suited to heavier paddlers and racers. These shafts have a smooth finish. Available on Hydro 3-piece and Hydro REFLEX paddles.

REFLEX 90 – Made with 90% carbon to offer excellent flex characteristics and light weight. These shafts have a medium flex rating and are ideal for most paddlers. These shafts have a smooth finish. Available on the Lava paddle.

REFLEX 60 – Made with 60% carbon to offer a softer feel and increased strength thanks to the added fiberglass. These are best suited to lighter and smaller paddlers using shorter paddles, and are ideal for families and those looking for a lower-priced paddle. These shafts have a smooth finish. Available on the Ohana paddle.

FG 100 Made with 100% fiberglass to offer our softest feeling paddle. The fiberglass construction makes these exceptionally durable but this comes at the expense of increased weight and reduced responsiveness. We use these on our School paddle only which is ideal for families and newcomers to the sport. These shafts have a smooth matte painted finish.  Available on the Grom and School paddles.

Shaft Stiffness Options

Our stiffness table below breaks down our recommendations. For shorter distances and sprinting, racers tend to prefer a stiffer shaft, while those paddling longer distanced enjoy the comfort of increased flex. For surfing a softer shaft helps you feel the wave better and enhances your paddle use while surfing. It’s important to note that as paddles get shorter the relative stiffness of any shaft increases. Keep in mind that a softer shaft will protect your body and help you paddle faster for longer.

  • Stiff – recommended for heavier and taller paddlers under certain circumstances
  • Medium – recommend for most paddlers in most situations
  • Soft – great for families, newer paddlers and those smaller and lighter

How do you know if your paddle shaft if too stiff?

If your paddle shaft is too stiff you may notice some or all of these symptoms:

  • Sore shoulders
  • Back pain
  • Quickly fatiguing
  • Pain/soreness after paddling and/or next day

How do you know if your paddle shaft is too soft?

If your paddle shaft is too soft you may notice some or all of these symptoms:

  • Lack of speed
  • Excessive flex when paddling