2020 red paddle co racing paddle boards - 2020 range of inflatable race SUP paddle board

The fibreglass shaft and nylon blade 3 piece SUP travel paddle by Red Paddle Co comes to us as a new model for 2016. It is designed to fill the gap between the entry level alloy paddles and the premium all glass or carbon equipped paddles. The glass shaft and nylon blade combination offers a strong and light, yet durable paddle, at a great price. The fibreglass shaft is much lighter than the entry level alloy shaft as found on the 3 piece alloy here, and also offers some flex which aids in power transfer and comfort for the paddler. Paddles should never be an afterthought and are a crucial part of the SUP package. Lightness and a comfortable flex make paddling more enjoyable and longer paddles possible.

The package: The 2016 fibreglass and nylon 3 piece travel paddle breaks down into pieces no longer than 37″ which neatly fit into your inflatable SUP bag. If you leave the adjustable handle shaft section in the main shaft, you have fewer pieces to carry around but the overall length of these 2 combined sections goes out to about 41″. The extremely durable nylon blade measures 7 1/2″ across and 13″ to the shoulder, a good, comfortable medium sized blade for most paddlers.

The glass and nylon combination SUP paddle addresses two main sticking points of SUP paddle design. Entry level paddles often feature a heavy alloy shaft with zero flex while premium level paddles feature fragile blades. The fibreglass and nylon combination gives you a lightweight shaft with some flex for comfort, and a highly durable nylon blade in a true SUP shape ready to be beaten on rocks, sand or in the car. This paddle is great for someone looking to step up from an alloy paddle, seeking something a little nicer, a little lighter but a paddle that won’t break the bank.

The paddle features a push-pin system and secondary clamp to lock in the main shaft to the blade section. The secondary clamp ensures there is no wobble or flex in the joint. The adjustable handle slides into the main shaft and is locked into place by a 2 pin clamp system. It offers adjustments about every inch from 70-86″ in overall paddle length. This pin clamp adjustment system is a little more bulky than the clamp you find on other higher level paddles but the pins on this system help to orient the paddle handle with the blade so there is never any twist. It makes adjusting the paddle on the fly, or on the beach, that much easier. It also allows you to pick a length and know exactly where to adjust the shaft to for optimum use each time. See the video on adjusting your SUP paddle.

On the water: The glass and nylon paddle is a great shaft and blade combo. The fibreglass shaft introduces a nice amount of flex. There is no noticeable play in either shaft joins and the dual pin adjustment clamp makes adjusting the overall length of the blade very easy. The blade also features a small strip of rubber along the edge which makes it very soft against the rail of the board and protects the blade from damage against other obstacles. The blade size is medium and comfortable which makes paddling a breeze and does not strain the shoulders.

Features:

  • 3 piece paddle
  • Usage: All round/River
  • Blade: Nylon
  • Shaft: Glass
  • Adjustable range: 180 – 220 cm (70 – 86 inches)
  • Weight: 34.2 oz or 970 grams
  • Fits in Red Paddle Co travel bag

Likes:

  • Gentle flex and rebound (bending and returning to straight) for shoulder comfort and longer paddle sessions
  • Durable nylon blade
  • Lighter weight shaft than alloy
  • Secure dual shaft locking system
  • Pin adjust handle which orients handle to blade
  • Comfortable and grippy handle

Dislikes:

  • Still a bit heavy but miles better than a 3 piece alloy
  • Adjustment clamp is a bit clunky but does make adjusting the shaft super easy

The fibreglass shaft and nylon blade 3 piece paddle by Red Paddle Co is an excellent paddle for those ready to option up to something nicer than the entry level 3 piece alloy and nylon paddles. Absolutely worth the extra dollars just to have a lighter shaft that offers some flex. Your arms will thank you and the investment will pay off after about 20 mins of paddling! This paddle currently comes as standard with our mid level boards. It is also available as an upgrade on the all round boards like the 9’8” and 10’6” Rides.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from 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 hockey fan, football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.

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