This is a Paddle Sport! It is so important therefore to make a high quality paddle the top of your list. SuffolkSUP have tried out many paddles over the last few years and have decided to stock the excellent paddles from Black Project this season. They are high quality, lightweight carbon paddles that are used by all of the top riders in the UK. Black Project are also the main sponsors of this years UK SUP Clubs race series. The paddles are tailor made to order with your own choice of shaft stiffness and handle type. We also supply the excellent Black Project Vario Carbon Paddle and the Glass 3 Piece paddle from RED. SuffolkSUP have demo models for you to 'try before you buy' at Alton Water. Please contact us for further details.
Please click on the link below to find out further information and order a paddle.
The video below gives a good overview of both of the Black Project Paddles available.
How long should my paddle be?
There is no one answer to this question. A large range of methods for choosing your paddle size have been floated over the past couple of years. In general paddles have become shorter during the past 18 months, this has been exaggerated by the reduction in length of boards being used in the waves. For any given paddler there are a number of variables to consider when cutting your paddle. Too long and your shoulders will suffer whereas if your paddle is too short your back will feel the pain, get it right and you will feel comfortable over long periods. The use of hot glue enables you to easily shorten your paddle, our recommendation is that you leave your paddle slightly longer and then cut down if required. If you are unsure about what length you need please get in contact us and we can discuss.
How do I choose my shaft?
The first choice you will face is whether you want an adjustable paddle or a fixed paddle. If you want an adjustable then you will want to go for the EPIC Vario 95 Adjustable Carbon paddle, if you are looking for the elite performance of a fixed paddle then you will have three more options to consider.
When choosing your EPIC Pro 95 Premium Carbon paddle you are offered a choice of shaft stiffness and it is important to choose the optimal bend characteristics which match your unique set of variables. Our Premium Carbon shafts are made to a premium quality using the finest materials by skilled professionals in our USA based factory. There are a few things to consider and this information aims to allow you to make an informed decision. If in doubt please get in contact and we can discuss in detail and/or arrange a demo. Things to consider when choosing your Premium Carbon shaft -
· Your height and weight: Being taller means that you exert more force through your paddle, and being longer your paddle is naturally more flexible. The taller you are and the longer your paddle the stiffer shaft you will need. The same rules apply to weight, the heavier you are the more force you can apply and hence the stiffer your shaft should be. Lighter and shorter riders will want a softer shaft. Our chart below seeks to take account of both factors based on a typical body type. If you are tall for your weight then choose a stiffer option and if you are shorter on average for your weight choose a more flexible option than suggested.
· The type of paddling you do: Advanced level racers will want ultimate stiffness for the most effective delivery of maximum power hence will need a stiffer shaft. Over longer distances and for recreational paddling riders want a softer more forgiving paddle, this is also true of downwinders. Wave riders may want a more flexible paddle compared to flat water paddling, this helps to increase the feel on the wave and is more forgiving when you fall, as wave riders are typically using shorter paddles this also means that the shaft needs to be softer.
· Your board length and volume: As your board gets shorter consider a more flexible shaft. For wave riding we have split the chart into over 8ft boards and under 8ft boards however use some degree of judgement. For lower volume and shorter boards you will sit deeper in the water and hence need a shorter paddle and hence a more flexible shaft. This also relates to the type of riding you are doing, aggressive riders on shorter boards will be leaning into their paddle more and need more bend. A softer shaft gives you more feel on the wave face but a little less power when catching the waves.
· Body type and previous injuries: We do not recommend the STIFF shaft for anyone who has had shoulder issues in the part, either SUP or non SUP related, if this is the case then you should consider choosing the MEDIUM of FLEX shafts. Our stiffest shaft is reserved for racing and larger more powerful riders who can handle the extra strain on their muscles and joints.
· Personal preference: As paddlers we are all different and have our own unique set of variables. If you are unsure of what you prefer then chat to us about the options and try to arrange a demo. We have smaller team riders who prefer stiffer paddles than larger team riders who choose softer paddles. The ability to customize your paddle to your unique set of desires is one of things which makes owning a Black Project paddle so rewarding.
Refer to the table below which gives a shaft suggestion based on your weight, remember that this is a guide based on the discussions above and feedback from paddlers. For most riders the MEDIUM shaft is likely to be the right option for a range of paddling with dedicated wave riders opting for the FLEX and advanced level racers choosing the STIFF.
Which handle is right for me?
When customizing your Black Project paddle you are offered a number of choices for your handle and while handle choice is a very personal thing there are a few things to consider which will help you choose the perfect fit for you and your paddling.
The T handle features a curved back and flat front, this handle is typically preferred by riders in waves or those with smaller hands.
The PALM handle as the name suggests fits the curve of your hand extremely comfortably. Slightly bigger than the T handle this is preferred by riders with bigger hands and / or those racing and touring on flat water. The shape allows maximum energy transfer and comfort during long periods of paddling.
Our premium carbon handles are made from 3k pre-preg carbon for the optimal weight to strength ratio. Being hollow and made from 100% carbon our Pro series handles are extremely light while remaining tough enough to take a beating over a long period. Our Vario handles are also hollow for reduced weight but made with glass and then painted, they are extremely strong, colourful while remaining light.