How to Pick a Paddle Board Paddle (and Some of Our Favorites)

boardworks paddles

Finding great accessories will improve your SUP experience, no doubt. Paddles are a particularly important piece of the puzzle. The right paddle will feel comfortable in your hand and transfer power efficiently for a great workout.   

A few tips to help you find the perfect paddle: 


Choosing the right length for a paddle is the key to keeping you comfortable on the water. You don’t want to be reaching up in the air or bending over to dip your paddle in the water. The ideal paddle height can be figured out with a simple equation: your height in inches, plus 10.  

Many paddle board paddles are adjustable within a certain range, meaning you can modify it until it feels just right. Some paddle boarders prefer the non-adjustable paddles, finding them to be lighter and stiffer, but it’s really a personal preference.  

If you plan on surfing with your SUP, you may want to get a slightly shorter paddle. Navigating waves generally means bending your knees more than riding flat on water, so a shorter paddle may be more comfortable. If you want to ride in both waves and flat water, an adjustable length paddle may be the best choice.  


What material will work best for you? There are a few different options here.  


Paddles made with aluminum are the most affordable option and a great choice for beginners or weekenders who don’t need to maximize efficiency in competition. Aluminum shafts offer excellent value, but they are slightly heavier and less stiff than fiberglass and carbon.  

We recommend: 

Aluminum 2-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle 
aluminum paddle

This corrosion-resistant adjustable paddle has an impact-resistant polymer grip and a fiberglass ferrule that offers 20” of length adjustment to fit every paddler from 4’10” to 6’6.”

Shop Aluminum 2-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle


Midway between aluminum and carbon in terms of both stiffness and price, fiberglass paddles are a great choice for not-total-beginners who want an upgrade. Fiberglass is stiff and lightweight; these paddles make a great choice for paddlers interested in maximizing efficiency within a reasonable budget. 

We recommend: 

Fiberglass 2-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle 
fiberglass paddle

The lightweight fiberglass shaft and extremely durable fiberglass-reinforced nylon blade deliver a reliable and highly capable paddle at a value. The paddle's ergonomically designed T-shape grip offers maximum stability and control for greater efficiency.

Shop Fiberglass 2-Piece Adjustable SUP Paddle 


Carbon fiber SUP paddles are made of the lightest, stiffest material available, but you get what you pay for—these paddles tend to cost more than fiberglass. However, they offer excellent power transfer, so you’ll get a great upper-body workout, and they tend to be more durable over the long run.

We recommend: 

FGR Carbon 2-Piece Adjustable Blue and Black SUP Paddle 
carbon paddle

This lightweight paddle offers an unmatched blend of stiffness and durability. The patented LeverLock® grip and adjustable ferrule system offer an easy and elegant solution to adjusting the length and make it possible to change your paddle's length on the fly.

Shop FGR Carbon 2-Piece Adjustable Blue and Black SUP Paddle

Carbon Race SUP Paddle – 1-piece, 86" 
carbon race paddle

This paddle is perfect for those who want the stability of a non-adjustable paddle. The 100% carbon shaft and carbon foam core blade minimize weight and provide additional buoyancy in the water for a lighter feel with a crisp release.  

Shop Carbon Race SUP Paddle – 1-piece, 86"