Barrel Point Surf Alloy Review
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Barrel Point Surf Alloy
$71.99 at Amazon
|$199 List||$178.00 at REI|
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$79.99 at Amazon
$26.95 at Amazon
|Pros||Inexpensive, large adjustment range, durable nylon blade||Easy to adjust, sleek, great paddle performance||Cuts cleanly through water, durable blade||Compact, lightweight, highly adjustable, floats||Inexpensive, easy to transport|
|Cons||Heavy, top grip feels cheap, shaft bends during power stroke||Handle more prone to hotspots||Heavy, looks like a toy, flutters under water||Uncomfortable grip, handle flex, cam clamp locking mechanism||So-so performance, looks cheap|
|Bottom Line||An affordable and highly adjustable paddle that will stand up to multiple users and rough usage||This top-tier SUP paddle is designed with female paddlers in mind, offering easy adjustability and excellent paddling performance||The Vibe has a unique shape that functions as a solid all-around paddle that moves water well||The most compact paddle we've tested with a wide range of adjustability and light weight, but lacking when it comes to comfort, durability, and performance||This paddle is one of the least expensive options but performed commensurate to its price tag|
|Rating Categories||Barrel Point Surf A...||Kialoa Tiare Fiberg...||Werner Vibe||Abahub Carbon 3-Piece||SUPply Co 3-Piece P...|
|Ease of Adjustment (20%)|
|Locking Mechanism (20%)|
|Specs||Barrel Point Surf A...||Kialoa Tiare Fiberg...||Werner Vibe||Abahub Carbon 3-Piece||SUPply Co 3-Piece P...|
|Paddle Weight||2.2 lbs||1.5 lbs||1.9 lbs||1.9 lbs||2.1 lbs|
|Number of Pieces||2-piece||2-piece||2-Piece||3-piece||3-piece|
|Shaft Material||Aluminum||Fiberglass||Fiberglass||Carbon fiber||Aluminum|
|Length Range||65 in - 83 in||66 in - 82 in||68 in - 84 in||67 - 86 in||67 - 85 in|
|Shaft Adjustablility||18 in||16 in||16 in||19 in||18 in|
|Blade Material||Nylon composite||Fiberglass Fibrlite||Fiberglass reinforced injected molded nylon||Fiberglass, polypropylene||Nylon|
|Blade Dimensions||95 sq in||80 sq in||100 sq in||102 sq in||Not listed|
|Offset||10.5 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||Not listed||Not listed|
|Compact Size||65 in||66 in||34.5 in||34.5 in||N/A|
|Locking Mechanism||"TwinPin" Collar Clamp||Handle LeverLock||Handle LeverLock||Clamp and Locking Pin||Dual-Pin Collar Clamp|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The BPS Alloy is a family and budget-friendly two-piece paddle that is tough and durable. It has a significant adjustable length range of 18 inches which makes it usable for many different people of different heights. It is perfect for sharing with your family or visitors. The nylon blade is strong and won't get beat up if it is used to push off rocks or other rough surfaces. Its wide, sturdy, dihedral nylon blade resists scratches and dings and pushes through the water quickly. Its broad blade makes turning via back paddle a breeze.
Something to consider about this product is that if you are tall and need your paddle to be adjusted to an extended length, the adjustment system might end up near your hand grip area.
In terms of paddling performance, the BPS Alloy simply can't match the top-tier composite paddles. While we like the shape of the blade, which aids in very clean entry and exit, flaws became very noticeable during the power stroke. However, it does a great job propelling you around on a paddleboard without a significant amount of effort, but there are better options out there if you are willing to spend the money.
The BPS Alloy has one of the widest blades out of the entire test group. This pushes plenty of water and makes it particularly effective when it comes to back-paddling. This paddle makes it much easier to turn and maneuver your board in confined areas but takes quite a bit of force to pull through the water, which can be fatiguing for paddlers with less upper-body strength. The dihedral angle and scoop shape make for a solid catch and we never really noticed any issues with paddle flutter — surprising, given its wider blade.
We found that the shaft on this paddle isn't the most rigid that we have seen. We felt that energy was wasted due to the bending of the shaft when your power was put into your stroke. There was also concern regarding the grip which felt like it was cheaply produced and may snap under pressure.
Our lead tester is 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and when the Alloy is extended to a length of 74 inches (which is the recommended length for that height), the adjustment system ends up being approximately one-quarter of the way down the shaft, which could result in the locking mechanism being at your gripping point.
At 2 pounds, 2 ounces, the BPS Alloy is one of the heaviest paddles we tested. It isn't overly noticeable with short paddles but the additional weight can prove to be fatiguing over long distances compared to lighter carbon or fiberglass SUP paddles.
This paddle also lacks the perfect balance that some of the other heftier paddles have, which makes them feel much lighter. Those paddles concentrate weight in the blade, which helps build momentum and leads to an even paddling cadence; the weight in the blade draws it down into the water similar to how a hammer's weight draws it downward. The BPS Alloy lacks this and simply just feels heftier than most people probably would want.
Ease of Adjustment
The TwinPin adjustment limits you to locking in at the specific pin points but also makes the Alloy easy to adjust.
To change the length of the shaft, you need to pull out the plastic adjustment locking mechanism that releases a peg from a hole. With the blade on the ground or the SUP, slide the handle up or down to the desired length, then push the plastic adjustment mechanism back in towards the shaft and the peg will snap firmly into the nearest hole.
The Alloy has a TwinPin locking mechanism/adjustment system. To adjust the length of the shaft, you must press or pull the plastic clip away from the paddle shaft, which disengages the stainless steel peg from an adjustment hole. Next, you pull the handle up or down to your desired length and then push the plastic clip back in, which snaps the peg back into one of the holes.
The BPS Alloy uses an aluminum alloy shaft, which is the most scratch and abrasion-resistant type. Even after multiple adjustments, the shaft did not have any significant scratching or damage.
When it comes to SUP paddles, the Barrel Point Surf Alloy is fairly generic-looking.
The design on the blade is unique, but that's where the creative design ends. This matte black paddle is very plain. You can choose from a variety of colors but it has a long way to go before it gets any compliments on its looks.
The BPS Alloy is a great value and our top recommendation for anyone who is shopping for a new SUP paddle on a skinnier budget. This bare-bones paddle is sturdy and durable with a locking mechanism and adjustment system that works alright. It might not be the absolute least-expensive paddle of the group but we think you will be disappointed if you spend any less.
The Best Buy award-winning BPS Alloy is a budget-friendly option that's great for sharing as it has the widest range of adjustment of all of the contenders we tested. It is a heavier paddle, but this adds to its durability. The aluminum shaft and super durable nylon blade, which is among the widest we tested, moves water easily. If you are looking for a SUP paddle that can get tossed around a bit, the BPS Alloy can take a beating that would irreparably damage higher-end composite models.
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