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Isle 2-Piece Carbon Review

This paddle straddles the line between low-end and top-tier but we aren’t overly enamored with it
Isle 2-Piece Carbon
Photo: Isle
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Price:  $165 List
Pros:  Good performance, comfortable to hold
Cons:  Showed signs of wear quickly, not our favorite locking mechanism
Manufacturer:   Isle
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 29, 2021
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Performance - 30% 6
  • Weight - 20% 4
  • Ease of Adjustment - 20% 6
  • Locking Mechanism - 20% 7
  • Aesthetics - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Overall, we don’t think the Isle 2-Piece Carbon is a bad paddle by any means. However, we definitely don’t think it comes anywhere close to being considered the best. It’s a little on the bulky side, weighing a bit more than the top-tier options. The locking mechanism is also one of our least favorite types but the paddle feels comfortable to hold and performs well on the water. If it happened to come with your SUP, we wouldn’t feel the need to recommend that you rush out and buy a different paddle immediately but it isn’t our first choice when shopping for a new one.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Isle 2-Piece Carbon
Awards   Best Buy Award Best Buy Award  
Price $165 List$199 List
Check Price at REI
$114.00 at Backcountry$30 List
Check Price at Amazon
$34.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
58
86
85
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59
Star Rating
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Pros Good performance, comfortable to holdEasy to adjust, sleek, great paddle performanceCuts cleanly through water, durable bladeInexpensive, large adjustment range, durable nylon bladeFunctional, low cost
Cons Showed signs of wear quickly, not our favorite locking mechanismHandle more prone to hotspotsHeavy, looks like a toyHeavy, locking mechanism can get in the way of hands when switching hands and/or paddlingHeavy
Bottom Line This paddle straddles the line between low-end and top-tier but we aren’t overly enamored with itThis top-tier SUP paddle is designed with female paddlers in mind, offering easy adjustability and excellent paddling performanceThe Vibe is a great all-around paddle that moves water well and is easy to manageThis sturdy product wins our Best Buy award for a multitude of reasonsA heavy paddle, the Own the Wave Adjustable has the lowest retail price in our review
Rating Categories Isle 2-Piece Carbon Tiare Fiberglass Ad... Werner Vibe Bullet Proof Surf A... Own the Wave Adjust...
Performance (30%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Weight (20%)
4.0
7.0
6.0
3.0
4.0
Ease Of Adjustment (20%)
6.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Locking Mechanism (20%)
7.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Aesthetics (10%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Specs Isle 2-Piece Carbon Tiare Fiberglass Ad... Werner Vibe Bullet Proof Surf A... Own the Wave Adjust...
Paddle Weight 2.0 lbs 1.5 lbs 1.7 lbs 2.2 lbs 2.0 lbs
Shaft Material 70% Fiberglas / 30% Carbon Fiberglass Fiberglass Aluminum Alloy
Blade Dimensions 92.85 sq in 80 sq in 100 sq in 95 sq in 95 sq in
Blade Material Nylon Fiberglass Fibrlite Injection molded fiberglass Nylon composite Nylon composite
Blade Design Dihedral Dihedral Dihedral Dihedral Concave
Blade Shape Teardrop Teardrop Rectangular Teardrop Teardrop
Offset 10 degrees 10 degrees 10 degrees 10.5 degrees Not listed
Adjustablility (inches) 16 in 16 in 16 in 18 in 18 in
Length Range (inches) 67 - 83 in 66 in - 82 in 68 in - 84 in 71 in - 83 in 71 in - 83 in
Number of Pieces 2-piece 2-piece 3-piece (available in 1, 2, or 3) 2-piece 2-piece (available in 2 or 3)
Compact Size 67 in 66 in 34.5 in 65 in 65 in
Includes Cover No No No Yes No
Locking Mechanism Mid-shaft cam lock Handle LeverLock Handle LeverLock "TwinPin" Collar Clamp "TwinPin" Collar Clamp

Our Analysis and Test Results

While this is far from our favorite paddle, it definitely gets the job one. It's bundled with many of the Isle boards and does well enough that we wouldn't immediately recommend upgrading.

Performance Comparison


Unfortunately, this is one of the heaviest paddles we have tested.
Unfortunately, this is one of the heaviest paddles we have tested.
Photo: David Wise

Performance


First and foremost, we rated and scored how the Isle 2-Piece stacked up against the rest of the paddles when it comes to on-the-water paddling performance. We looked at how cleanly and efficiently this paddle entered and exited the water, the power we could get from this paddle, the length of each paddle stroke, and our overall thoughts from many SUP excursions when it came to determining scores.

This SUP paddle did alright, meriting a score just above average. The teardrop paddle has one of the larger surface areas, allowing for plenty of power per paddle stroke — though this can make it more fatiguing to use. The shaft doesn’t have much flex, and the grip is comfortable to hold, with a minimal chance for hotspots or blisters forming even for marathon paddling sessions.

The handle on the Isle is comfortable and ergonomic to hold.
The handle on the Isle is comfortable and ergonomic to hold.
Photo: David Wise

The blade has a dihedral with an offset of about 10 degrees to maximize the effective length of your paddle. However, we did notice the extra heft of the 2-Piece Carbon on the recovery stroke compared to the premium paddles.

Weight


As mentioned above, the weight of a SUP paddle can be critical, and our evaluation of that comprises our second testing metric for each product. We compared the weight of each paddle side-by-side, as well as how they felt on the recovery portion of each paddle stroke. Unfortunately, the Isle 2-Piece didn’t fare all that well in this metric, earning a below-average score.


This paddle weighs in at just under 2 pounds — surprisingly heavy in our opinion for a carbon paddle. This weight practically puts it in direct competition with some aluminum paddles and is close to 50% heavier than the lightest paddles we have tested.

Ease of Adjustment


Next, we looked at how user-friendly and intuitive it is to adjust the length of each paddle, paying particular attention to how it felt on the water. The Isle 2-Piece’s performance rebounded in this metric, meriting it a score just above average.

This paddle uses a mid-shaft cam locking mechanism and offers a total of 16 inches of adjustment. This gives the paddle a length varying anywhere from 67”-83”; we like that this paddle has a continuous range of adjustment, rather than discrete points or pins, really letting you fine-tune the adjustment.

We like that you have access to the entire range of adjustment with...
We like that you have access to the entire range of adjustment with the Isle.
Photo: David Wise

Locking Mechanism


Following adjustment, we moved on to comparing the locking mechanism for each paddle. The Isle's camlock mechanism is far from our favorite, earning it a so-so score.

The cam lock or handle lever lock is our least favorite locking...
The cam lock or handle lever lock is our least favorite locking mechanism.
Photo: David Wise

The main reason we dislike this mechanism compared to the twin pin or LeverLock system is that it is harder to actuate, and we have had some problems where the screw loosened and requires a tool to tighten — difficult when on the water. It does give you adjustability when it comes to clamping pressure, but we have generally found this to be more trouble than it’s worth.

Aesthetics


Our last performance metric looks at the aesthetics of each paddle. The Isle 2-Piece did fairly well with its plan look. We like the carbon texture on the shaft of the paddle, which complements the blade nicely. However, we did notice some accelerated wear and tear on the paddle edge after only a few uses, just from contacting the bottom or other objects when launching or landing the board. This can cut into the aesthetics just a bit.

Value


The Isle is a decent value option, pairing a fairly middle-of-the-road price tag with solid performance.

Conclusion


We feel the Isle 2-piece is fine rather than fantastic. We wouldn’t actively dissuade you from getting it, particularly if you found it on sale or in a packaged deal with your new stand up paddle board. However, it doesn’t have the best in our opinions when it comes to weight and locking mechanism.

Marissa Fox