Author Topic: Paddle Thoughts  (Read 743 times)

cast.ms

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Paddle Thoughts
« on: June 27, 2020, 11:57:25 AM »
Hi all,
I'm looking for suggestions or insights that anyone might have for racing paddles...

I used a KeNalu Mana 90 (100 flex) for most of the last few years; I decided to try out a BP Hydro 83 (medium flex) to reduce some wear and tear, along with increasing cadence. The BP has been great, but I have run into an issue: I miss the grip of the KeNalu. Basically, I switched to the BP in time for cooler weather, so I wasn't dripping with sweat. I've tried grip tape, but don't really like the feel of it versus gripping the paddle directly.

So, questions:
Should I consider a franken paddle and combine a KeNalu shaft with a BP blade?
Which KeNalu shaft (90 or xTuf) be more like what I have with the BP?
Would switching to either a Mana 82 or Konihi 84 be a good choice?  And then, which blade between the Mana or Konihi?

I kind of feel like I'm already leaning towards picking up a new KeNalu, and just throwing up the Pono signal here to push me over, but KeNalu is not represented well in the southeast (everyone has BP or QB), so I can't try the options before buying. I'll take any thoughts you might have.

Thanks,

-Michael
14'x24" Flying Fish Freeglide
12’6” Red Paddle Elite
9’8” Red Paddle Ride
KeNalu Mana 90
Black Project Hydro 83

805StandUp

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2020, 12:40:54 PM »
Funny... I own both Ke Nalu paddles that you mention (with the Xtuf and Xtuf(S) shafts) and also recently picked up a Black Project Surge Paddle to try.  While the Black Project is a great paddle and is super light and strong, I found that I preferred the grip on the shaft of the Ke Nalu paddles and also the flex is easier on my shoulder---I would highly recommend the Xtuf or Xtuf (S) shaft if you want to ease wear and tear.  I also like the winglets on the Ke Nalu paddles and how it keeps your stroke straight.  It has been a while since I compared the Mana to Konihi but I suspect it is probably based on how you are going to use it.  I almost always use my Mana paddle but generally am surfing or foiling and like the surge of power the paddle gives me.   If you were mostly flatwater paddling, it is possible that is where the Konihi might shine but I haven't used it in quite a while. 

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justsomeguy

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2020, 12:55:01 PM »
I recently had my QB blade re-shafted w/ one of their Diamond Elite shafts which has a great texture that makes it really easy to grip. If you have a chance, put your hands on one of those in a shop. Gets me thru my super sweaty after work evening paddles here in FL without me feeling like I need to add tape or wax.
As a side note, I also recently tried TEGS grip tape on my surf paddle and the grip material starting separating from the adhesive before I even finished my first session with it. Got nothing good to say about that product.
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cast.ms

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2020, 01:06:46 PM »
Funny... I own both Ke Nalu paddles that you mention (with the Xtuf and Xtuf(S) shafts) and also recently picked up a Black Project Surge Paddle to try.  While the Black Project is a great paddle and is super light and strong, I found that I preferred the grip on the shaft of the Ke Nalu paddles and also the flex is easier on my shoulder---I would highly recommend the Xtuf or Xtuf (S) shaft if you want to ease wear and tear.  I also like the winglets on the Ke Nalu paddles and how it keeps your stroke straight.  It has been a while since I compared the Mana to Konihi but I suspect it is probably based on how you are going to use it.  I almost always use my Mana paddle but generally am surfing or foiling and like the surge of power the paddle gives me.   If you were mostly flatwater paddling, it is possible that is where the Konihi might shine but I haven't used it in quite a while.

Thanks for responding! This gives me some useful info; if your Surge came with the medium flex, that indicates the xTuf has more flex/is softer than that. So if I want similar flex as the BP, I would likely go with the KeNalu 90 flex.

Now to figure out Konihi 84 vs Mana 82...
14'x24" Flying Fish Freeglide
12’6” Red Paddle Elite
9’8” Red Paddle Ride
KeNalu Mana 90
Black Project Hydro 83

805StandUp

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2020, 01:35:40 PM »

Thanks for responding! This gives me some useful info; if your Surge came with the medium flex, that indicates the xTuf has more flex/is softer than that. So if I want similar flex as the BP, I would likely go with the KeNalu 90 flex.

Now to figure out Konihi 84 vs Mana 82...

Sure!  I checked and my Black Project is Medium 100 Flex and my Mana that I use regularly is on the XTuf so this definitely has more flex than the BP and the XTuf(s) and 90 being stiffer.  When considering flex, probably also worth noting that my paddles are cut to head high.

Area 10

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2020, 05:11:09 PM »
The best race paddle I've ever tried is the new Hypr Hawaii Crossflow. It just gives a clean catch no matter how you stick it the water  it also has a reduced diameter oval shift and a t-grip. That's a unique combination  and makes the paddie so precise to use that it's like a whip.

The Black Project Surge is ok, but nothing special IMO. If you are buying a BP then I'd get the other one, personally. The t handle on the Surge is curiously uncomfortable - sometimes I wonder if the designers of these products actually use their own products.

Skate

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 07:52:37 AM »
check out a black project hydro. or go buy a ZRE

Quickbeam

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 11:56:05 AM »
check out a black project hydro. or go buy a ZRE


+1 on ZRE.
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TallDude

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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 09:24:37 PM »
I just bought a Riviera CF paddle for $40 on CL. It's around a 90 blade and the shaft is 1.5" shorter than my regular surfing paddle. But it's super light. I put some electrical tape around the shaft, and a little along the blade edge then gave it a go. It's noticeably lighter. Blade catches fine. It's a winner!
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Re: Paddle Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2020, 04:28:12 AM »
Cool. But I worry a bit about paddles that are exceptionally light. Usually when you cut them you can see that there is simply less material there. This does not necessarily mean that they will be weaker of course. But it does make me wonder. The only singje piece carbon fibre paddle I've broken (two of the multi-piece CF paddles that came with the Red Paddle 9-6 Compact inflatables broke within a week of first use when paddling for waves) was a light Gong Pro paddle.... maybe coincidence, maybe not... I've owned over 30 SUP paddles.

 


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