Middle age man catching a four foot wave at the sup surf academy in Nosara.

Paddleboard Surf – Sup Surf Paddles

Sup Surf the Paddle

The thing that makes Paddleboard Surfing and not surfing is ……wait for it…..the paddle! Paddles have come a long way since the Duke and the Beach Boys’ days back in the 30’s. If you are not a gear junkie or own your SUPboard shop, it can be a little overwhelming and hard to keep up. But the simple piece of advice we can give is that you get what you pay for almost always when shopping for paddles. 

Curious to know what are the other differences we suggest the Beginner Guide to Paddleboard Surfing which you can download here.

If you get consumed in a conversation with many spec and gear experts, it can make you feel like the sport is not for you. But don’t worry that being an expert on the chemistry of materials isn’t a prerequisite at any job and doesn’t have to be for SUPSurfing. Just let them have their conversation, and before you know it, you will start to recognize all the terms they use.

  • Materials –

      Paddles are made of wood, nylon, plastic, aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. You can have custom paddles made, and you will find paddles a mix of these different materials. Without getting into the specifics, it is safe to say that you can buy an aluminum if you are just trying out the sport and if you fall in love with it (which it is impossible not to), then you buy yourself a carbon fiber paddle. You will love the upgrade.

  • Size & Shape –

    This is where it can get tricky, and you really won’t understand a lot of this until you get some hours in the water and feel the difference between different types of paddles. This holds true for the material mentioned above also.

The size and shape will play a role in the type of paddling you are doing. Bigger blades will give you more power and smaller blades will help you conserve energy. The length of the paddle will depend on your height. Paddles can be adjustable, or custom made length for your size. 

A general rule of thumb for SUPSurfing is that your paddle should be the same length as your height.

  • Care 

When you are not using it, always keep a cover at least over the blade.

Do not store in direct sunlight.

When you finish a session, give your paddle a rinse with fresh water

When loading, don’t treat your paddle like you treat your board; don’t just toss it in the back because you think it fits anywhere.

Costa Rica Paddleboard Surf Camp

Looking to learn to paddleboard surf from the experts? Learn from the Pros in Nosara, Costa Rica at the Tropical SUPSurf Academy one of Costa Rica’s top SUPSurf Camps.

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