There’s nothing quite like the feeling of owning your own bespoke toy to get those juices flowing. Whether it be board, paddle or other bit of SUP kit, if you know it’s a custom shape then it’ll feel that extra bit special. Ke Nalu achieve this with their unique fitting and fixtures system.
Coming in three separate pieces – blade, shaft and handle – it’s possible to chop and change thereby finding your perfect set up. Paddles are such a personal thing and this way of doing things is a great way of tailoring your ‘stick’.
All Ke Nalu’s components are pre-dipped in glue which makes assembling a doddle. All you need is a hair dryer, a hacksaw, black electrical tape and sand paper. This system means you can own multiple Ke Nalu components and swap bits out, tailoring your equipment for each paddle session and conditions on the day. The only slight downside is the time element, however, we can’t fault the total control paddlers will have over his/her engine.
We were sent two types: an xTuf 84 with xTuf shaft and Ergo T handle which is surf specific and a Konihi 84 with xTuf(S) shaft with Ergo handle – great for downwind/race SUP.
Ke Nalu offer some of the lightest (and toughest) paddles around and these two babies are no different. The wider blade (xTuf 84) was our personal favourite, although the Konihi 84 is still a winner – it just came down to personal style and preference.
Both paddles offer a stiff shaft and are super-efficient through the water. The lightweight and low swing ensure effective paddling across all disciplines and the more effort you exert the more reward you get. Blade design ensures no flutter as you pull through the brine and the two handles are equally pleasant to grip. Again, it just comes down to personal preference and which one you fancy.
Ke Nalu’s range of paddles and bespoke feeling system of mix and matching blades, shafts and handles make it possible to fine tune your paddling needs to conditions, style and experience across a whole range of SUP environments. Feeling more like custom sweepers they’re stiff, efficient, lightweight (some of the lightest on the market) and highly durable. The Konihi 84 is a cracking race/downwind weapon while the xTuf 84 is great in surf (although we also used this on the flat as well) – especially anywhere with reef or rocks where durability are also factors.
Price: xTuf: £230, xTuf 84: £230, Elite Konihi: £330