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Stand Up Paddle => Gear Talk => Topic started by: SupSimcoe on November 10, 2020, 02:53:15 PM

Title: Black Project Hydro Flow X paddle Med Standard
Post by: SupSimcoe on November 10, 2020, 02:53:15 PM
I am definitely a gear junkie when it comes to Paddles as I feel that the paddle is the most important part of your connection to the water.

Recently the local Black Project rep has had one of the new Hydro Flow X paddles and I was able to pry it away from him for a few hours. Fortunately it was a great day for testing as I had areas with flat, headwinds and downwinds on my 15km route.

As I first started the paddle I found that there was a difference and as I continued to paddle I found that the paddle is more stable so the difference I found was not having to do anything but push down and pull back. This is not just hype and as I continued I hit headwinds and chop which created more troubled water. I usually will hit the side of my board at least once in these conditions but never had a single hit the entire session.

As I rounded the next corner I hit the headwind strait on. There were quite a few strong gusts at 30kph so I decided it was a good time to try choking down the paddle and see what happens. I was very pleasantly surprised with the grip I had and again the stability of the blade gave me great confidence in powering into the wind and staying as low as possible, even with lots of waves. Usually I do not like to choke as I end up hitting the side of my board, especially on my left side, but again I had no issues with this due to the stability of the paddle. One nice feature of the handle is it has a little concave area just at the top of the shaft/handle interface that I could hook my forefinger on to lock in my downward pressure.

When I finally got to the shelter of the far end of the bay I was ready to try sprints. The power of this blade is substantial. I was able to get to some of my top speeds both into the wind and with it. I sprint at around 90-100 SPM but and had no issue with reaching that with this paddle.

When I left the shelter and started my downwind I had no issues with catching bumps with quick high power strokes and had zero slip from the blade.

The concave is about an inch longer than my UV82 concave and has a different shape that most likely adds about 1-2 square inches to the area of this concave. It is also about twice the depth at the top so it most likely adds to the locked in power from this blade. I did find that I did not have as much cavitation on this blade compared to others but I would need more time in calm conditions to finalize this rating.

The shaft seems to have better grip than the last time I tried a Black Project but I was not able to do the sweat test as it was not hot enough. I did try getting the shaft wet and that did provide a little slip so I am guessing I would have to add some wax or a grip tape to assist with this area.

The shaft is fairly stiff but not over the top. It has about the same flex as a Kenalu Flex90 shaft and less flex than my QB UV82 Carbon shaft.

Now for the important rating of would I buy one. The answer to this is yes I would but I will not sell my QB82 for a few reasons. One is this blade is very powerful so I am not sure if I would use it for over 15-20km paddles. The shaft does not have as much grip as my QB UV so I would most likely still use that in hot weather. The other issue I have is the handle is not as comfortable as the QB as I found the top was a little to flat compared to my favorite QB shape.
Title: Re: Black Project Hydro Flow X paddle Med Standard
Post by: cast.ms on May 02, 2021, 06:45:19 PM
Found this post through the other thread asking about the HydroX. I like the comparison you did here, especially since the UV 82 is something I am considering.
What are your thoughts between the UV82 and Mana 82?
Title: Re: Black Project Hydro Flow X paddle Med Standard
Post by: SupSimcoe on May 02, 2021, 07:18:50 PM
I have a mana82 and had a mana90 as well so I can help. The UV has a stronger hold and does not slip as much. I find the entry is about equal for both. The shaft on the UV is nicer as it has some friction/ grip material for most of the shaft and it is slightly oval. The handle is nicer fit to my hand on the UV as well.

The only issue you may have is if you cannot handle a mana90 then you may want a UV78 or a hex flex UV82. I purchased the UV82 to replace my mana90 and they are about the same hold with the UV82 being a little stronger. It is not so much harder that I cannot do a 30-40km paddle but it is harder on my body that I can feel more the next day.

I am not sure how much softer the hex flex UV82 is so you may be best to try. The feedback above is on my full carbon UV82.
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