You want to buy a Stand up Paddle board and get the best complementary paddle? When buying a paddle there is a wide range of choices that can overwhelm you at first. There are too many differences that you can’t seem to wade through fast. In our opinion, the perfect paddle selection for a beginner is not that difficult.

There are 2 basic yet important points:

  • Paddle material
  • Length of paddle

Another important point is the blade size. For a race paddler the shape of the blade may have an influence on performance, for a beginner it lacks in importance. The most commonly sold paddles are also well suited for a beginner.

The right paddle length

We strongly recommend to buy an height adjustable paddle (Vario Paddle). The correct length is difficult to estimate. With an adjustable paddle you can adapt to different heights and paddlers:

  • The size of the paddler
  • A sporty or more relaxed paddling position
  • Whether you’re kneeling or standing upright

How to estimate the right paddle length: Hold up your paddle at the handle with the blade vertically to the ground. The arm should not be fully stretched out but slightly bent – then you have the ideal length of the paddle for your height.

buy sup paddle

You can also calculate the necessary length roughly using a rule of thumb paddle length = body height + 25cm.

Most adjustable Vario paddles are 2-part or 3-part. This makes the paddles a little heavier, but easy to transport in a backpack.
If you prefer a fixed paddle length fitting to your exact height, find the paddle with the right length.

Buy the right paddle: material

The material has the biggest impact on the price of the paddle. If
 you want a less costly paddle, you should buy paddles made of aluminium or plastic and partly glass fibre.
Carbon paddles or mixtures of glass fibre and carbon plastic are slightly more expensive, but offer advantages in terms of weight. Expensive carbon paddles are recommended for advanced and speed-oriented riders.

Aluminium-plastic paddles

The classic material is an aluminium paddle. The biggest advantage is above all the competitive price. Compared to the more expensive versions made of carbon, it is much heavier and not as durable when used salt water. These paddles are mostly characterized by a favorable price. The paddle blade is made of plastic, while the shaft consists of an aluminium tube. A good version for beginners – but unfortunately often much heavier than the carbon-fiberglass options.

Carbon paddle

Carbon (carbon fiber) is the highest quality material and most durable material – but therefore also the most expensive!

Carbon-glass fibre paddle

This adjusted carbon paddle is made of two different materials, not only carbon. The shaft is made of carbon, the paddle blade itself is made of glass fiber reinforced with plastic. This combination is a more affordable alternative to the high-tech carbon paddle. A clear recommendation for the ambitious beginner!

For us, the 2-component paddles are ideal, where most often the blade is made of plastic and the tube out of carbon. On the one hand these paddles are more affordable than pure carbon paddles, on the other hand they are more robust against hits and dents from stones or similar objects (which can happen quite often with beginners). So if you want to buy a paddle as a beginner – we recommend this version as well.

paddle board accessorie paddle

One small note: paddles, like any boat or equipment, should always float on its own so that they do not sink in case they accidentally end up in the water. There are number of cheaper paddles where this does not seem to be the case. This is negligent from our point of view – please make sure that your paddle floats before you spend a sizable chunk of money.

Our paddle favourite

Mistral Kanoa 3 - teilig SUP Paddel Vario Carbon Comp Red-Uni Blade 8'1 inkl. Bag
Mistral Kanoa 3 - teilig SUP Paddel Vario Carbon *
by Mistral
  • Modell 2019! - CARBON-COMPOSITE. Entwickelt für härteste Einsätze in hochwertiger Optik.
  • Die Mistral Carbon Composite Crossover Paddel vereinen im Shaft hohe Carbon Performance mit niedrigstem Gewicht und maximaler Steifigkeit (Härtegrad 7), sowie hochwertige Optik, mit einem nahezu unzerstörbaren unempfindlichen Polypropylen Paddelblatt. Absolut rutschfester Griff durch neuartige Anti-Rutsch-Zone, auch bei nassem Paddel. Die Paddel sind 100% schwimmfähig

Have you decided on a paddle, but still need the right board? Here you can find advice if you want to buy a paddle board.

Are you looking for other paddle board accessories? Have a look at our paddle board accessories review section.

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