SUPply Co 3-Piece Paddle Review
Cons: So-so performance, looks cheap
Manufacturer: Surf & SUPply Co.
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SUPply Co 3-Piece Paddle
$29.95 at Amazon
Check Price at REI
|$166.28 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$178 List||$65 List|
$52.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Inexpensive, easy to transport||Easy to adjust, sleek, great paddle performance||Easy and sturdy adjustment, lightweight, high performance||Cuts cleanly through water, durable blade||Inexpensive, large adjustment range, durable nylon blade|
|Cons||So-so performance, looks cheap||Handle more prone to hotspots||Smaller adjustment range||Heavy, looks like a toy, flutters under water||Heavy, top grip feels cheap, shaft bends during power stroke|
|Bottom Line||This paddle is one of the least expensive options but performed commensurate to its price tag||This top-tier SUP paddle is designed with female paddlers in mind, offering easy adjustability and excellent paddling performance||The Aqua-Bound Challenge has a a high-performance paddle for serious paddlers||The Vibe has a unique shape that functions as a solid all-around paddle that moves water well||An affordable and highly adjustable paddle that will stand up to multiple users and rough usage|
|Rating Categories||SUPply Co 3-Piece P...||Kialoa Tiare Fiberg...||Aqua-Bound Challeng...||Werner Vibe||Barrel Point Surf A...|
|Ease of Adjustment (20%)|
|Locking Mechanism (20%)|
|Specs||SUPply Co 3-Piece P...||Kialoa Tiare Fiberg...||Aqua-Bound Challeng...||Werner Vibe||Barrel Point Surf A...|
|Paddle Weight||2.1 lbs||1.5 lbs||1.3 lbs||1.9 lbs||2.2 lbs|
|Number of Pieces||3-piece||2-piece||2-piece||2-Piece||2-piece|
|Length Range||67 - 85 in||66 in - 82 in||70 in - 80 in||68 in - 84 in||65 in - 83 in|
|Shaft Adjustablility||18 in||16 in||10.5 in||16 in||18 in|
|Blade Material||Nylon||Fiberglass Fibrlite||epX engineered polymer reinforced with carbon||Fiberglass reinforced injected molded nylon||Nylon composite|
|Blade Dimensions||Not listed||80 sq in||85 sq in||100 sq in||95 sq in|
|Offset||Not listed||10 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||10.5 degrees|
|Compact Size||N/A||66 in||66 in||34.5 in||65 in|
|Locking Mechanism||Dual-Pin Collar Clamp||Handle LeverLock||"Performance" Snap Button||Handle LeverLock||"TwinPin" Collar Clamp|
Our Analysis and Test Results
One feature that we aren't a fan of with this paddle and we feel is worth mentioning is how it floats. It will float when it is fully assembled but the lower portion has no foam inside and will sink — definitely something to think about if you are fully disassembling the paddle on the water or transporting it in a 3-piece state.
Our first set of tests focused on the on-the-water performance of each paddle. The SUPply 3-piece failed to impress on the myriad paddle trips we took with it, earning it a lackluster score.
Right off the bat, we noticed that this paddle has considerably more play than many of the others, especially with the spring-loaded pin connection for the lower part of the paddle.
Moving on to the handle, we do like how the grip feels. It doesn't seem likely to cause blisters or hot spots for the majority of people. The shaft of the paddle feels fairly comfortable to hold. The aluminum shaft is fairly rigid on its own but there is plenty of give to the paddle as a whole, thanks to the slop in the fit for the lower section.
This paddle also has essentially zero offset, with just an exaggerated scoop. This means you don't get quite the same power per paddle stroke as a paddle with a more noticeable offset, as this paddle will exit the water much sooner. This also tends to make it a much more turbulent paddle stroke.
Our next metric looked at how much each paddle weighs. While this might seem a trivial metric, especially given the very small differences between the lightest and heaviest paddles. However, these small differences can seem much more significant on longer paddles, making the heavier options much more fatiguing. The SUPply 3-piece fared very poorly in this metric, earning it one of the lowest scores of the group.
This paddle tips the scale at a little more than 2 pounds — almost a pound heavier than the lightest paddle we have tested. This probably wouldn't be a huge deal — bordering on unnoticeable — for shorter paddle trips but will start to become noticeable very quickly for any marathon paddles.
Ease of Adjustment
Next, we rated and ranked how easy it is to adjust the length of the paddle — handy to swap between different paddlers or to fine-tune for different conditions. The SUPply 3-piece did much better in this metric, earning an average score.
This adjustable paddle has a dual-pin locking system that gives you a series of discrete positions. It's easy enough to adjust on the water, with an almost identical mechanism prevalent on many of the other paddles.
Next, we compared the locking mechanism on each paddle. This 3-piece paddle did alright in this metric, earning a score just above average.
This paddle has a locking collar that slides the twin pins in and out. It moves fairly freely and we vastly prefer it to models that have a cam lock with a screw, as those require tools to adjust the clamping pressure and can cause problems on the water.
Our final testing metric evaluates the aesthetics of each paddle. This paddle finished out our review with a so-so score. All in all, we wouldn't really recommend this paddle if you are thinking about style. It looks fine but it sure isn't making any statements.
This paddle is a very inexpensive option but also received one of the lowest scores of all time — a clear case of you get what you pay for, rather than being a great bargain.
If you need the absolute bare-minimum sup paddle and are trying to spend as little as possible, the SUPply 3-piece fits the bill. Aside from that, we highly recommend spending a bit more for a better paddle if you care at all about on-the-water performance.
— Marissa Fox
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