Having a good paddle is really important to get the best out of SUP. There’s a lot of choice out there and some very good offers at the top end of the market. However, most novice paddlers are unable or unwilling to spend £250-350 on a paddle and tend to buy heavy and badly designed budget paddles. We have found it hard to find good, robust paddles at the mid-range.
We were given one of Aquaite’s paddles in Feb to try out in India on our project there. When David Swift from Aquaite delivered the paddle the first reaction was good. It’s very aesthetically pleasing with bamboo veneer and a pink / orange tip. Most people find it a very attractive paddle.
After a few trials on the Thames we took it off to the India Surf Festival to test properly. The paddle was used by many people at the festival while we were there to coach and run sessions. It was then used for a pilot SUP coaching course and on various river, sea and lake trips. We offered it up freely to be used by anyone including many complete beginners.
Months later after continued heavy, school use the paddle is still in good condition and showing few signs of wear. This is good as our last wood veneer paddle started looking rough after a few months of use by one coach. Several of our demo adjustables in this price range have been badly damaged and are barely usable after lighter use.
Performance is good and most of our coaches and regular paddlers like the Aquaite. The paddle releases water well and handles like a good mid-range paddle should. It has a nice positive feel and is light enough, although not in the league of good carbon paddles. The coloured edge makes it easy to locate if dropped in surf or rough sea. The adjustment is easy and robust.
The Aquaite is an ideal first paddle for anyone wanting a reasonably priced adjustable for heavy use. Its toughness and looks should help it to hold its value if you plan to sell and upgrade. It’s also a good progression paddle for a novice or intermediate paddler wanting to move up from a basic heavy paddle. It’s even tough enough for SUP school use with beginners or intermediate paddlers. Active360 will be stocking these soon and testing others in the Aquaite range.
Thanks to Paul Hyman at Active 360 for the review – www.active360.co.uk