Are you planing on getting your kid into SUPing? And need a suitable paddle for your child? But have no idea where to start?
Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got some great tips to help you make the ideal choice for you.
To start, you can consider choosing a lightweight and adjustable paddle. It would be even better if you manage to find one that is easily portable!
In this article about paddles, we will go over a few tips & tricks for choosing an efficient kids paddle for use on a SUP.
A Little About Kids Paddles For SUPing
Kids have smaller muscles and an even shorter attention span. So, you want to get them an efficient and suitable SUP paddle that is also catchy and colorful!
Not all kid’s SUP paddles are equal. Therefore, to make your search a bit easier, we have developed a list of qualities to look for in a kid’s paddle.
In brief, our tips include,
#1 The Paddle Features
- Portability & Storability
#2 Paddle Material Types
#3 Paddle Designs
- Paddle Shaft Design
- Paddle Blade Design
#1 Tip, Features To Look For In A Kids Paddle
The Size Of The Paddle
The ideal kid’s SUP paddle will have an adjustable length of 51-67 inches (130-170cm). If the child is taller, you can also look at the 75-83 inch (190-210cm) length range.
How Much Does The Paddle Weigh?
In general, kids paddle for SUPping should be lightweight and have an efficient swing weight. It is a good idea to choose one within the 1.1-1.6 lb (500-700g) range.
However, even if you want a high-performance alloy paddle, it’s best to stay below the 2.1lb(950g) weight level.
The Portability & The Ease of Storage
A three-piece lightweight paddle offers excellent portability in the hand of a kid. Plus, it needs little space and is easy to store.
Nevertheless, some adjustable paddles still have heavy materials and a complex setup. The construction material and difficulty of putting the paddle together need to be considered before deciding to roll with it.
#2 Tip, The Pros & Cons Of Paddle Material Types
Carbon fiber is perhaps the lightest of the paddle materials. A paddle made with this material is well suited for long SUP expeditions.
The carbon fiber paddle is stiff enough to prevent loss of power to a great degree. With one of these paddles, your child won’t have to work extra hard for each stroke.
However, the incredible power of carbon fiber comes at a cost. The material is quite expensive, so the paddle will naturally be costly.
The best material for kid’s paddle.
With average weight and rigidity, fiberglass is a suitable choice for mid-range performance, and it costs less than carbon.
The material is still lightweight compared to aluminum and plastic. A fiberglass paddle won’t flex too much during paddle strokes.
Even so, fiberglass is pricier than the other materials except for carbon. So, it is still on the big-budget menu.
- Decent rigidity
The average choice material for a kid’s SUP paddle.
Aluminum is a bit on the heavy side. It is a common material for SUP paddle shafts. Usually, it combines with a plastic paddle blade.
The material is cheap. Most budget SUP comes with an aluminum paddle, so it’s reasonably common among adult paddleboarders.
Due to its weight, aluminum is probably not suitable for kids as it will cause them to tire sooner and lose interest.
It would be best if you steered clear off aluminum when looking for a kids’ paddle.
Plastic is another cheap material for SUP paddles. The plastic paddles are pretty flexible.
Plastic is affordable, but its performance is poor. The plastic paddle is on the heavier side of the paddles.
Furthermore, it can break easily.
- Breaks easily
If you have other options, we would not recommend plastic for a kid’s SUP paddle.
#3 Tip, Paddle Design Feature Considerations
Paddle Shaft Design
Adjustable shafts are known for their outstanding versatility. It is easy to adjust the length of the paddle according to the paddleboarder’s height and preference.
- Not as durable as a fixed shaft
An adjustable paddle shaft is ideal for a kid SUPer.
Fixed shafts are lighter and more rigid than adjustable shafts. However, they lack a length adjustment mechanism which makes them less versatile.
- Lacks Versatility
Some fixed paddle shafts can be suitable for the junior paddleboarder, but it is hard to find the correct length.
Paddle Blade Shape Design
Rounded Oval Shape
The rounded oval shape paddle has a wide bottom. This design results in the blade catching more water and delivering better power. Nonetheless, it can quickly tire out a kid because of its power requirements.
- Wider bottom
- Powerful paddle strokes
- Requires more energy for each stroke
Not suitable for kids unless they enjoy short bursts of power paddling.
The rectangular blade is much narrower than the oval shape. This design catches less water and enables more effortless paddle strokes. Plus, it’s fantastic for rhythmic paddling.
- Easy to do paddle strokes
- Enables rhythmic paddling
- Not suitable for power paddling
This design is excellent for kids, as it requires less effort from their small muscles.
Paddle Blade Size Considerations
Small Sized Blade
A small size blade is about 80-90 square inches. It has a smaller surface area. As such, this size goes well with a rectangular paddle blade.
- Requires less strength to paddle
- Delivers less power per paddle
Small size blades are well suited for kids.
Large Sized Blade
A large size blade is about 100-120 square inches. This larger body catches more water and delivers better momentum. However, it also requires considerable strength to pull the blade through the water.
- Better power delivery
- Requires quite a bit of strength to paddle
It’s best not to go with large size blades for a kid’s SUP paddle.
Our Overall Verdict On The Best Combination For A Kids Paddle
So, to choose the best Kids Paddles For Use On A SUP, you want a paddle featuring a small length, lighter weight, high portability, and storability.
As for the material, carbon is the best. If not, fiberglass comes in a close second. However, for an affordable paddle, you can go with plastic.
Furthermore, you can get even better performance if you can find a paddle with an adjustable shaft, rectangular blade, and small blade surface.
The weekends and holidays are great for going SUPing with your family.
So, take your time, choose carefully. And once you have selected the paddle you want, get in the water and start SUPing!
But most importantly, any time spent having fun with your kids is time spent well, so even if you can’t get the perfect paddle right now, get on the water and have some fun. Happy memories are what matter most.