One of the ways to fast track your paddling speed, efficiency, enjoyment and time on the water, is to invest in a top level paddle. In the world of paddle sports, there’s one universal agreement amongst the world’s best paddlers; the paddle is the most critical element when it comes to propulsion of the craft you’re paddling. This may sound obvious, however the other universal truth remains, the majority of recreational paddlers, downplay the relevance of the paddle and focus only upon the craft. This is not helped by the fact, many retailers often also fail to pay attention to the paddle and focus on the board and your budget, without appropriate consideration of the significance of the paddle, which should certainly be a consideration of your overall budget. It’s also true amongst top level paddlers, most will own not just one paddle, but a quiver for differing water conditions, races and craft and once a trusty paddle is found, these paddlers will hang on to them for years, while on-selling and replacing the craft they paddle. This is a reflection of the close relationship formed with the paddle, which is a true extension of the paddlers body. The paddle is a tool like any other and it can either be a precision instrument or a clumsy, heavy inefficient water whacker.

The lesson here for aspiring paddlers, is to consider investing in a high quality, lightweight paddle and not to under-value the benefits of a top level paddle. Importantly, there is no such thing as a ‘beginners paddle’ as such, only an economical, budget orientated paddle which by definition, are often heavy and clumsy compared to their superior counter parts; efficiently designed and lightweight. Another important historical fact remains, despite all the gimmicks of fancy blade shapes, the basic blade shape remains the most popular, proven and trusted. Here at Mistral, we’ve always maintained a policy of avoiding the production of super cheap, heavy, entry level paddles which can lead to injury, early fatigue and certainly lessen your water time and enjoyment of paddle sports. Children in particular, must use an appropriate paddle, that has also a narrower shaft for easier gripping, for this check our Tamarii. For those on a budget, our Kanoa is an excellent choice, whilst if you want to go straight to the best, then choose from our Gold Tear Drop, Ulani, Makani or Keanu.