Author Topic: Travel paddle for smaller, intermediate paddler  (Read 313 times)


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Travel paddle for smaller, intermediate paddler
« on: March 11, 2017, 11:12:35 PM »
Hi, Folks--

I'm going into my 3rd season of paddle boarding, and am about to travel by plane for the first time with my custom ULI. (It incorporates aspects of both touring and race designs. It's 12-6 long, 27 inches wide, 4 inches thick. I'm 5'5", 115 lbs., fit but have chronic rotator cuff issue. So far, I've mostly been flat-water paddling on the alpine lakes.)

What paddle would you recommend? (To date, I've been using a heavy, 2 pc adjustable--a Boardworks Kraken. It weighs in at 28 oz. Would hope to go lighter than that--even for a 3 pc.  Being somewhat new to the sport, and having used only one paddle, I'm not clear on what blade size would be best--maybe something on the smaller side, given the type of paddling I do, and the ongoing shoulder problem? As far as budget, definitely under $300.  All things equal, less is better, of course.... Opinions/thoughts/input would be most welcome!)



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Re: Travel paddle for smaller, intermediate paddler
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 06:28:03 AM »
Otterishly, given your size and your on-going issue I would definitely recommend
going with a blade on the smaller size.

For example I'm 5'8 and 175 and I'm with an 75-80SQi size blade and pretty comfortable
with that without sacrificing performance. I'd say go on the safe side and get a 70SQI
blade size, and something with a flexible shaft to minimize strain effects even further.

Not too many choices out there for a good travel paddle this size, none that I know of
would be under $300.

That said, if you invest right, your travel paddle  could be the only paddle you'll need for
all your paddling.

Your best options in my opinion would be the ZRE Multiflex or the QuickBlade V-Drive 71.

I'm currently using the ZRE paddle and it working very well for me. Blade size could be made specifically for you and the shaft could be nice and flexible as you like it.

This a high quality product and can be used as your one and only paddle. Mine weighs about
15oz which is the weight of a usual high-end one piece paddles. ZRE customer service is
top notch and they give good advice as well. It's better to call them directly to customize your

You can read my full review here:,29916.0.html

The V-Drive 71 is also a great choice, it will not be as light as the ZRE but
it is a 3-piece rather than a 2-piece ZRE. Different adjustment system as well.
I think you'll also need to call them directly.

Starboard have there line of travel paddles with small blade sizes and flexible shafts.
Herder to get what you want and you'll have to contact your local dealer for that.

I would recommend investing in a good paddle. The reason I went with the ZRE is
that I wanted to have the same paddle I use at home while I'm on the go, to me
it's more important than what board I'm using.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2017, 07:02:16 AM by burchas »
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Re: Travel paddle for smaller, intermediate paddler
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 06:48:27 AM »
The three piece Quickblade V-Dive is crazy expensive but it's also crazy good. It could easily be used as your main paddle at home too. If you are a smaller person you'd probably love the small P40 handle - it's lovely and comfy. I have no experience of the ZRE, but I agree with Burchas's recommendations above as regards blade size.


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Re: Travel paddle for smaller, intermediate paddler
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 08:40:04 AM »
Hi Otterishly,

I would definitely agree with Burchas' recommendations. I will also be ordering another travel paddle this year. Not sure as yet what Im getting, but am leaning towards the ZRE that Burchas mentions. I already have a regular, adjustable ZRE (not the travel paddle) and it is a great paddle. Mine is a 75 sq. inch blade. Im 5 8 and 150 pounds, so a bit bigger than you but smaller than Burchas. Honestly, the paddle is a joy to use.

Only downside from what you are looking for though is the price. It will cost more than $300, but then any good, higher end paddle will cost more than that. And no matter which paddle you end up with, I would highly recommend getting a higher end paddle. Will make all the difference to your paddling experience. It really is worth the extra money.


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Re: Travel paddle for smaller, intermediate paddler
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 10:38:00 AM »
Call Quickblade and ask.  Yes, the top end Carbon paddles are expensive, but the Fiberglass (FG) blade with a carbon (CA) shaft versions are every bit as good and an absolute bargain.  They also have an FG shaft option that comes in at a even lower price point.

Ask them to build you a FG blade 66si MicroFly in a two or three piece.  A two piece will be close to your desired budget.

But...  I'd highly recommend a fixed length paddle for every day use.  Take down joints stiffen the shaft and add weight.  A one piece shaft will flex softer and have the least amount of negative impact on your shoulder.  The best feature of the Micro Fly (and all Fly's) is the narrower gauge shaft they use.  They are much easier to grip for many and have a slighty lower flex rating as well.

Then... For your trip, just buy a cheapo travel paddle.


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