starboard 2024 inflatable sup paddle boards

Demystifying Paddle Blade Sizes: Finding Your Perfect Fit with Starboard

In this comprehensive guide, we will focus on understanding paddle blade sizes and how to find the perfect fit for your paddling needs, with a particular emphasis on the Starboard Lima and Enduro paddle ranges.

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s briefly introduce Starboard for those new to paddleboarding. Starboard is a renowned and respected brand in the paddleboarding and windsurfing world, with a dedicated team focused solely on paddle development. Their commitment to excellence is evident in their numerous podium victories. What excites paddlers is the affordability of Starboard paddles, especially their carbon range, offering exceptional performance at competitive price points.

Now, let’s explore the Lima and Enduro paddles and the crucial considerations beyond just weight recommendations. The Starboard Lima is designed for racers and those seeking speed and distance in their paddling. In contrast, the Enduro is a versatile, all-round paddle with a teardrop outline that has been a staple in the Starboard range for years. It suits various paddling styles, including touring and even SUP surfing. Watch an in depth video guide to Lima vs Enduro paddles.

When choosing the right blade size, several factors come into play. First, consider your upper body size and strength, particularly your shoulder width. Larger individuals with bigger shoulders can handle and benefit from larger blades, while those with a lighter frame may prefer smaller blades to reduce strain.

Next, take your natural cadence into account. Cadence refers to the speed of your paddle strokes. A smaller blade might be more suitable if you have a faster cadence, as it allows for quicker paddle entries and exits. Conversely, a slower cadence might pair well with a larger blade, sustaining more power through the water.

Moving on to less common considerations, the type of board you’re using plays a significant role in blade selection. A small, surf-oriented SUP benefits from a smaller blade, as it reduces turning sensitivity when executing powerful strokes. Longer race or touring boards can handle larger blades, as they track straighter and accommodate the extra power generated.

Now, let’s explore different paddling styles. For all-round or touring paddling, a moderate-sized blade strikes the right balance between ease of paddling and sufficient power for longer distances. For surf-oriented paddling, a smaller blade allows for quick and nimble strokes in varying conditions.

In racing, blade size can vary based on the type of race. In long-distance racing, where endurance is vital, a blade size similar to your touring paddle may be suitable. For sprint racing, where power output in a limited time is crucial, many racers opt for larger blades to maximize performance.

Demoing a paddle before purchase is highly recommended. It allows you to experience how different blade sizes perform and how they suit your paddling style. Pay attention to how the paddle feels in the water and whether it allows for efficient strokes without overloading your shoulders.

When selecting the right paddle blade size, consider yourself as a complete package. Your upper body size, natural cadence, board type, and paddling style all play a crucial role. Starboard’s range of paddles caters to various preferences and paddling styles, offering great options for racing, touring, and surfing.

In conclusion, finding the perfect paddle blade size may require some experimentation and fine-tuning, but the results will significantly enhance your paddleboarding experience. So, take the time to explore different sizes and enjoy the benefits of a paddle that perfectly complements your paddling style.

Remember, regardless of whether you’re an experienced paddler or new to the sport, choosing the right paddle blade size is essential for optimizing your paddling experience. So, go ahead and try different blade sizes to find the one that feels just right for you. Happy paddling, and we’ll see you on the water!

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.