SUP Knowledge


Choosing a Stand Up Paddle

1. ACTIVITY: Are you racer, surfer, whitewater or a versatile all water paddler? Start by choosing an activity to narrow your choices.

RACE:  If competition is your thing, then you need a light paddle with the right amount of power. Choose one of our paddles designed specifically for racing. Each of our Race paddles is optimized for straight ahead paddling.

SURF:  If you need a paddle that will be strong enough for the dynamic ocean environment, then you should choose a paddle in our Surf Series. Our Surf paddles feature a symmetrical blade for easy skimming and rounded blade edges that protect your board.

WHITEWATER: If you find your fun in running rapids and surfing standing waves, then your paddle needs to be bombproof and durable enough for the demands of the river.

ALL WATER: If you want a paddle that performs well in a variety fo environments, or will be used by family and friends, then an All Water paddle if for you. All Water paddles are designed to be versatile in their use but not excel at any one specific activity within stand up paddling.


2. BLADE SIZE: Choose a blade size to meet your specific power needs.

SMALL BLADES (80 sq. in. – 87 sq. in.) are best suited for smaller paddlers, those who prefer a quick cadence, or if you suffer from joint pain of overuse injuries.

LARGE BLADES (91 sq. in. – 100 sq. in) are best suited to larger, stronger paddlers or beginner paddlers looking for stability.

WOMEN & KIDS BLADES KIALOA offers paddles specifically for Women and Kids with smaller blades and Slim Shafts.


3. FIXED or ADJUSTABLE LENGTH: There is a lot to consider when choosing the correct paddle length.  The reason we give a range fo paddle lengths for each stand up activity is because of the differences in paddling postures, paddling techniques, board styles and water conditions.


RACE: Add 4″ – 10 ” to your height

SURF: Add 4″ – 8″ to your height

WHITEWATER: Add 4″ – 8″ to your height

ALL WATER:  Add 6″ – 10″ to your height

Take into the consideration the following:

  1. The majority of paddlers will fit in the middle of the range.
  2. If you have broader than average shoulders or longer arms, go to the high end of the range.
  3. If you paddle with a more upright style of paddling, go to the high end of the range.
  4. If you paddle with a more bent over style of paddling, go to the low end of the range.
  5. If you have shoulder or elbow problems, go to the low end of the range.
  6. These are general guidelines so please take into account your personal preferences and proper biomechanics for paddling.


ADJUSTABLE LENGTH: If you plan on sharing your paddle with family and friends you would choose one of our paddles that adjust in length with 16″ of adjustablility. You will find this optionon our value oriented paddles featuring the 16″ Utili-T™ or the 16″ Utility Palm™. If you are looking for a personal paddle that will allow you to make length changes on the fly, choose a paddle with our 6″ Pro-T™ or 6″ Utili-T™ which can be found on our performance oriented paddles.

16″ of ADJUSTMENT: I will share my paddle with family and friends.

6″ of ADJUSTMENT: I want a personal paddle that offers 6″ of adjustment.

TRAVEL: I will be traveling with my paddle and need it to break down.


4. BLADE TECHNOLOGY: Choose blade technology to meet your performance and durability needs.

CARBON FOAM CORE blades allow us to make complex shapes in a stiff, lightweight and strong blade. The PowerARC™  and PowerHook™ profiles facilitate a good catchand the smooth back face allows for an esy release. Internal Carbon edgebanding provides excellent durability to the edge of the blades. Each of the Carbon Foam Core blades is handmade in the USA.

FIBRLITE™ technology has ceated a paddle balde with the industries best strength to weight ratio. The durablility and impact resitance of these blades is unmatched while offering a light weight, stiff and high performance feel. Utalizing post manufacturing industrial waste these are the first high performance blades using recycled material. Fibrlite™ is a material made of continuous long-strand carbon fiber or fiberglass. Through a propietory manufacturing process, the carbon of fiberglass is impregnated with a polypropylene resin, bonding the fibers together.

NYLON REINFORCED FIBERGLASS injection molded blades provide value pricing in a durable and rigid blade.