Carbon fiber is the lightest material for paddles and the stiffest. The material's unique molecular structure translates your muscle power into strokes and water thrust with greater efficiency. A carbon fiber paddle is also very light and durable, reducing the amount of strain on the wrists and neck. Carbon paddles also reduce fatigue and allow for faster, longer paddles. However, carbon paddles are also the most expensive.
The weight of carbon SUP paddles is lower compared to other constructions, which means less fatigue for the paddler. A stiff shaft also translates a positive stroke into forward motion. Carbon paddle blades also tend to be more technical, with dihedral and high aspect paddle blades. Carbon paddles are better suited to racing than other types, as they offer better control and increased power.
Carbon fiber is an incredibly lightweight material and many even thick paddles are made from it. Some paddles weigh twenty-five or twenty-two ounces, while others can weigh thirty or more ounces. These differences in weight distribution can make all the difference when comparing SUP paddles of the same size. Listed below are some examples of the lighter paddles available on the market today. To find the lightest paddle for your needs, consider the price range.
Carbon fiber paddle shafts are the lightest and stiffest material available. The costliest paddles are made of carbon fiber, but they also provide excellent power transfer. Carbon fiber paddles are available with or without fiberglass or carbon-fiber blend shafts. Carbon fiber paddles are generally the lightest and most expensive option. Also, remember that carbon fiber SUP paddles will cost more than fiberglass or aluminum paddles.
Carbon fiber SUP paddles are the most expensive and rigid options. They are lightweight, but stiffer than traditional wood paddles. Because carbon fiber is stiffer, it allows paddlers to use greater power with fewer strains. Carbon fiber paddles also tend to be more expensive than other materials. A composite carbon/fiberglass SUP paddle is a good mid-range choice. If you're on a budget, consider a wood paddle instead. Wood paddle blades are often handcrafted and feel great in your hands.
Carbon paddle shafts come in different weaves. The first clue you'll have that a carbon paddle is stiffer is the woven fabric on the shaft. Carbon paddle shafts will either be entirely carbon or alternating between fiberglass and carbon. Fiberglass paddles are stronger, but weigh more, so blending the two materials is acceptable. A good carbon paddle will be stiffer and lighter than a fiberglass paddle, so it's a good idea to choose a paddle with carbon fiber.
Although carbon fiber is the lightest material available, the costliest SUP paddles are also the stiffest. Carbon fiber paddles use both the shaft and the blade of carbon fiber, which are both extremely durable and effective in transferring power. Carbon fiber paddles are perfect for advanced paddlers who will be paddling for several hours or even days. They also cost significantly more than paddles made from other materials.
Although carbon fiber is expensive, you don't necessarily need to purchase one in order to get into the sport. Even though carbon paddles are more expensive, they are still worth the price. Even if you're just starting out, you'll enjoy using one of these paddles, regardless of its price. However, you should watch out for misleading advertising and marketing speak. You'll see woven fabric on a carbon paddle shaft, which is a sure sign of carbon fiber.