SUP, or Stand Up Paddleboarding, is the fastest growing water sport in the world. I’ve seen the sport around for a couple of years but blew it off as a passing trend. Well, I tried it the first time this year with Chester and Gretel and now I’m hooked!
We’re lucky to have a rental place (and a lake) minutes from our house that allows dogs to accompany their owners on the equipment. Renting paddlebaords can get expensive though and to makes the list of places you can go very limited. My Hubby and I are trying to figure out how we can come up with the money to buy our own.
I already have a nice life jacket leftover from my kayaking days. I figured the next step would be to get a paddle. Lucky for me, Aquabound offered to send me their Freedom 2-piece SUP Paddle for review.
Based on previous experience with kayak paddles, I knew I want a good all-around paddle for beginners to intermediate SUPers. I wanted something that was the most comfortable, strongest, and lightest it could be without spending a ton of money. I was going to need something that was easy to walk across the road to the lake with and easy to squeeze into an all ready full car during adventure road trips.
The Aqua-Bound Freedom 4-piece SUP paddle fit the bill perfectly. The paddle has a contoured palm grip for comfort. Carbon fiber is the lightest and strongest material used in paddles and the entire shaft of the Freedom paddle is made of it (the whole paddle weights only 29 oz.). The blade of the paddle is made of epX engineered polymer, creating an incredibly light, stiff paddle with a powerful stroke (less flex means more efficiency when you paddle). The length of the paddle is adjustable to fit people of different heights and the paddle breaks down into 4 pieces for easy transport. At $164.94, the price falls in the middle of SUP paddle price spectrum.
I used the paddle the other day on the lake and it was very comfortable. We were out paddling on a breezy day with choppy water for 2 hours and my shoulders and arms never got tired.
I had concerns about the paddle filling with water if dropped because of the adjustment holes in the side of the hollow-shafted paddle. I tested the paddle out several times buy submerging it in the water and then lifting it out again. Even when I filled it up with a lot of water, it magically drained out as soon as I tipped the paddle upright.
Don’t ask me how they did it because it seemed a little “against physics” to me since the holes are at the top of the paddle shaft but I was very pleased.
I do have one complaint about the paddle. During the whole paddle across the lake I kept hearing this subtle, but really annoying, whistling sound. At first I thought it was the sound of the breeze blowing across the front of the paddleboard. Nope. It turns out it was the air blowing across the holes in the paddle shaft.
This is not something I am going to be able to tolerate. Ask any of my friends – one of my hugest pet peeves is rattling noises in the car when I drive and this was equally annoying. I am thinking I am going to wrap that part of the paddle shaft in electrical or duct tape. It won’t affect the operation of the paddle except for when I have to take the tape off to adjust the paddle for someone taller or shorter than me. I wish they had some kind of “paddle hole” plugs I could use instead.
Overall, I am very pleased with this paddle and think it will match my paddling skills and ability for a long time…if not forever. The next step to full SUP freedom is forking out a bit was of cash for my own board.
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Aqua-Bound. I received the Aqua-Bound Freedom 4-piece SUP Paddle in exchange for my honest review. Here at YouDidWhatWithYourWeiner, free does not equal good so everything we say is really how we feel about the product. Aqua-Bound is not responsible for the content of this article.