Bullet Proof Surf Alloy Review
Cons: Heavy, locking mechanism can get in the way of hands when switching hands and/or paddling
Manufacturer: Bullet Proof
Compare to Similar Products
Bullet Proof Surf Alloy
|Price||$49.99 at Amazon||$364.00 at Backcountry||$170.00 at REI||$189.95 at Amazon||$144 List|
|Pros||Inexpensive, large adjustment range, durable nylon blade||Lightweight, easy to adjust, high performance||Cuts cleanly through water, durable blade||Easy and sturdy adjustment, lightweight, high performance||High performance, relatively inexpensive|
|Cons||Heavy, locking mechanism can get in the way of hands when switching hands and/or paddling||Pricey, blade can flutter||Heavy, looks like a toy||Smaller adjustment range||Heavy, not adjustable|
|Bottom Line||Scoring well across the board, this Best Buy award winner is budget-friendly, tough, and durable||A high scorer, this model is a lightweight high performer||The vibe provides excellent value for a high performing paddle||High-performance with an easy locking mechanism, this paddle is for serious users||The Makai packs a performance punch, but it is a bit on the hefty side|
|Rating Categories||Bullet Proof Surf Alloy||Werner Trance 95 Performance||Werner Vibe||Aqua-Bound Challenge 85||KIALOA Makai|
|Ease Of Adjustment (20%)|
|Locking Mechanism (20%)|
|Specs||Bullet Proof Surf...||Werner Trance 95...||Werner Vibe||Aqua-Bound...||KIALOA Makai|
|Paddle Weight||2.2 lbs||1.2 lbs||1.7 lbs||1.3 lbs||2 lbs|
|Offset||10.5 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||8 degrees|
|Blade Material||Nylon composite||Carbon||Injection molded fiberglass||epX engineered polymer reinforced with carbon||Nylon reinforced fiberglass|
|Blade Dimensions||95 sq in||95 sq in||100 sq in||85 sq in||85 sq in|
|Shaft Material||Lightweight aluminium||Carbon||Fiberglass||Carbon||Textured fiberglass|
|Length Range (inches)||71"- 83"||70" - 78" | 74" - 82" | 80" - 88"||68" - 84"||70" - 80"||70" - 86"|
|Number of Pieces||2-piece||1-piece (available in 1, 2, or 3)||3-piece (available in 1, 2, or 3)||2-piece||1-piece|
|Warranty||1 year||1 year||1 year||2 years||1 year|
|Comes with cover||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Locking Mechanism||"TwinPin" Collar Clamp||Handle LeverLock||Handle LeverLock||"Performance" Snap Button||Handle LeverLock|
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 very long adjustable length range of 18" that makes it usable for many different people of different heights. If you have a big family or you know that a lot of people are going to be using the paddle, this might be the product for you. The nylon blade is strong and won't get beat up if it is used to push off of rocks or other rough surfaces. The BPS Alloy's 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 did like the shape of the blade, which aids in very clean entry and exit, flaws became very noticeable during the power stroke with the BPS Alloy. This earned it a relatively low score in this metric, which is responsible for 30% of the BPS Alloy's overall score. However, this paddle is still fairly solid and we don't overly dislike it. The BPS Alloy can very much propel you around on a paddleboard without major cause for concern but there are just much better options out there if you are willing to spend the money.
The Alloy has one of the widest blades out of the entire group. This pushes plenty of water around and makes the BPS Alloy particularly effective when it comes to back-paddling. This makes it much easier to turn and maneuver your board in confined areas but does take 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 do make for a solid catch and we never really noticed any issues with paddle flutter — surprising, given its wider blade.
However, the shaft on this paddle isn't the most rigid that we have seen, so you end up wasting tons of energy bending the paddle when you really put a ton of power into it.
Our lead tester is 5' 9" and when the Alloy is extended to a length of 74" (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 impede your paddling when switching back and forth between hands. The Alloy has a large, comfortable handle. It is easy to grip and isn't too small.
At 2 lbs. 2 oz. the Alloy was one of the heaviest paddles 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 — think swinging a hammer. The BPS Alloy lacks this and simply just feels heftier than most people probably would want.
Ease of Adjustment
The Alloy is easy to adjust, thanks to its TwinPin adjustment system.
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 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 nice thing about the collar clamp on this paddle is that when you pull it out, you can also tilt it up a bit, which enables you to see inside and line up where the stainless steel peg is going to go. Most similar adjustment systems do not tilt out, which makes it harder to line up the peg with the hole and scratches the paint from the shaft as you move it around to snap back into place. However, the BPS Alloy does use an aluminum alloy shaft, which is the most scratch and abrasion-resistant type, so we aren't sure how much of a benefit this even is.
When it comes to SUP paddles, it's hard to envision a more generic-looking paddle than the Bullet Proof Surf Alloy. This matte black paddle is very plain, with the only concession made for style is the logo printed on the blade. You can get this paddle with the logo printed in different contrasting colors but it has a long way to go before its getting complimented 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 cheapest paddle of the group but we think you will be disappointed if you spend any less.
The Best Buy award-winning Alloy is a budget-friendly option that's great for groups, as it has the widest range of adjustment of all of the contenders we tested. It is a heavy paddle, so keep that in mind. It has an aluminum shaft and a super durable nylon blade that is among the widest we tested and moves water easily. The Alloy comes with a one-year warranty. 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.
— Shey Kiester and Valentine Cullen