NALU Paddle Boarding


Paddle Board Construction Discussed By NALU



Paddle Board Construction


The construction and materials used in a paddle board are vital to its performance and durability. The basic components of a paddle board include a EPS foam core, covered in epoxy with the optional use of using metal or wood stringers. Technology in paddle board construction has advanced today so that the paddle board is made in layers to compartmentalize it from water logging as we will discuss further down.  The boards are generally longer than 9 feet (3 m), and can be longer than 12 feet (4 m), with features such as padded decks and concave hulls; they generally have one or three surfboard-style fins in the stern for tracking.




Epoxy is very important to a paddle board. You can think of a paddle board as a giant surfboard. Typically, surfboards are EPS wrap in a fiberglass shell. However, when a you get to size of paddle board, you need more strength. Epoxy is stronger and more durable. If you made a surfboard out of a strictly fiberglass shell, it would likely crack and break. Epoxy is vital to a paddle board.




The core of paddle boards is EPS foam, or Expanded Polystyrene. Very similar to styrofoam, this material tough and lightweight. Some companies use metal or wood stringer that run through the paddle board to add strength.




When you using a paddle board, you very likely to get dings in the epoxy. No worry, just fill the ding with epoxy, or Solarez, and you are good to go. However, some repairs require more of an overhaul. If you severely crack or break part of the board, you might have to get it professional repaired which can get quite expensive. When a paddle board get damaged, the paddle board can become water logged meaning water is able to seep into through the epoxy shell and into the foam of the paddle board. This is very bad. The foam on the inside can absorb the water like a sponge, adding weight and hindering performance. Make sure when your paddle board gets damaged, you not put it in the water. If not you can potentially ruin your paddle board.


Stand Up Paddle


A stand up paddle is used to move a paddle boarder across the water while standing on a surfboard. The components of a paddle are a blade, shaft and handle.


Paddles are constructed from carbon, fiberglass or wood with flat blade on one end connecting to a handle on the other end by a long smooth shaft. Blades are designed with several shapes and features. Normally the blade has a fan shape is angled forward about 10 degrees.


Paddles are fixed or adjustable and the rule of thumb is the paddle be about 7 inches taller than the individual.


Parts of a SUP Paddle or Paddle Board Paddle


Standup paddle boarding requires 2 main pieces of gear: a paddle board and a paddle. The SUP paddle is your second most important piece of gear, after your paddle board of course. Before choosing a paddle, it is essential to understand the parts of a SUP paddle. There are 3 main parts to every SUP paddle: the SUP paddle handle, the SUP paddle shaft, and the SUP paddle blade.


A SUP paddle is like a canoe paddle’s bigger brother. A SUP paddle (like a canoe paddle)  has a blade on one end and a handle on the other. The SUP paddle is to be paddled on one side of the paddle board and switched to the other as needed.


SUP paddle handle- The SUP handle is the part of the paddle at the very top that a paddler holds on to. The SUP handle could be also is referred to as a T-handle or T-grip. They often resemble a T shape, oval or ball. The SUP handle material is often a shaped plastic, carbon fiber, or fiberglass. The main consideration is choosing a SUP paddle handle is comfort.


SUP paddle shaft- The SUP paddle shaft is very self-explanatory, it is the long cylindrical part of the paddle that connects the adjuster or handle to the blade. The bottom hand holds on to the shaft during paddling. The SUP paddle shaft is often made of aluminum, wood, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. The main considerations for choosing a SUP paddle shaft are weight, durability, strength, and flex.


SUP paddle blade- The SUP paddle blade is the very end of the shaft that creates resistance in the water to propel the paddler and the board through the water. The SUP paddle blade is designed to be completely submersed in the water during the power phase of a stroke. The materials of a SUP paddle blade vary from plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and wood. The design features of a SUP paddle blade include the curvature of the face, the angle of the blade to the shaft, the shape of the blade from the tip to the throat. These design features are designed to create different levels of resistance at different phases of the stroke. One main consideration for choosing a blade is blade area. A blade with a bigger blade area has more resistance producing fewer strokes per minute and vise versa. Other things to consider are durability and the angle to blade.


SUP paddle throat- The SUP paddle throat is the part of the paddle that connects the blade to shaft. This area has an angle on it to point the blade straight down at the power point of a stroke. The main considerations for the throat are the shape and connection durability. If the blade and the shaft are of a different material then the SUP paddle throat could be a weak point in the paddle.


SUP paddle adjuster- Some SUP paddles come with a SUP paddle adjuster to accommodate users of a variety of height and different SUP applications. When SUP surfing a shorter paddle is better and when SUP touring a longer paddle is better. The adjuster is located near the SUP handle and is usually adjusted using a C clip design with various holes for different heights.


SUP paddle shoulders- The SUP paddle shoulders are the shape and angle of the sides of the blades. The Shoulders start off narrow and get wider toward the tip of the blade. The shoulders help the blade avoid contact with the paddle board. The shoulder shape is designed to provide the least amount of resistance when the blade is entering and exiting the water during the stroke while provide the right amount of resistance during the power phase.


SUP paddle face- The SUP paddle face is the side of the SUP paddle that faces toward the back and pulls through the water to propel the paddler forward. The SUP paddle face usually has to curved surface to hold the water through the power phrase of a stroke.


There you have it! The parts of a SUP paddle are not complicated but necessary to know when choosing the right paddle for you. The right paddle can make all the difference in your SUP speed, comfort, stability, and overall SUP experience.


Thanks for reading,






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