Since we added the Accent Paddle range to our site a few weeks ago, they have proven to be very popular with their range of available models and price point. But, I’ve received many inquiries about which paddle would suit best, what the differences are between each model and which paddle is the best value.
Note: As of Feb 21, 2015, the updated models are available. Please compare the info below with the individual products.
So, running with our recent theme of comparison charts, here are the vital stats on the 5 Accent Paddles we carry.
|Paddle||Price||Shaft||Blade||Weight||Blade Size||Blade Style|
|Max FX||$155||Fibreglass||Nylon||35oz||8.5×18″||All round|
|Max Carbon||$199||Carbon||Nylon||33oz||8.5×18″||All round|
All the paddles feature:
- QuikClip push-pin/clamp assembly (except FX which features spring pin)
- Overall paddle length – 74 to 82 inches, adjustable in two inch increments
- Ergonomic grip aligns paddle blade and fits most hand sizes
- Longest section length – 34 inches
- Floats if dropped in the water
- Made in Minnesota, USA
The main differentiator between these stand up paddles is the materials used in the shaft and blade. This directly effects the weight of the paddle, the performance, and feel of the paddle and blade.
Shaft: Note that none of the Accent Paddles feature an aluminium shaft to keep weight at an absolute minimum. Fibreglass is a strong and flexible material so you feel the shaft flexing at times but the power of your stroke is transferred through to the blade because of this flex and rebound. This flex makes the paddle stroke more comfortable on your arms and shoulders. There is some give in the paddle catch (blade entry) and release (blade exit). But, fibreglass is still a bit heavy so this is where carbon fibre comes in. Carbon has the same comfort, flex and power transfer characteristics as fibreglass but it is much lighter. In paddle boarding, this is key. You are lifting the paddle up in front of you out at arms length at the beginning of the stroke each time so having a lighter paddle is less fatiguing and more forgiving on your joints. The only catch carbon fibre is more expensive than fibreglass.
Blade: The nylon option offers the most durable and also a quite light blade, but offers no flex or responsiveness. Fibreglass on the other hand is flexible making for a more comfortable, lively and responsive paddle yet is heavier and not as durable. Carbon has the same flex, liveliness and responsiveness and is extremely light, is tougher than fibreglass but not as tough or durable as the nylon blades.
In summary: I normally recommend customers buy the best and lightest paddle they can afford. However, if they often paddle rivers and lakes with rocks and logs, or are not super careful with their gear, a nylon blade might be your best option rather than fibreglass or carbon. Shaft-wise they are all carbon except the base Max FX model so this just becomes a matter of price or if you only need a paddle for friends and family to use.
- For general use by friends and family, or first timers I suggest the Max FX.
- For all round use and value for money I suggest the Max Carbon. Or the Octane Carbon for longer touring/racing due to the higher cadence performance style blade.
- For out and out performance and lightness I suggest the Pro Bolt.