We reviewed SickStick’s Joystick offering last year (www.standuppaddlemag.co.uk/sickstickreview.html) and liked how it felt back then. Since 2014 Andy and Tim have put a lot more work into the brand and unveiled a completely overhauled set of sweepers for 2015. We got hold of their Firestick, Applestick and Joystick upgrades to play with.
There’s much confusion (still) in the world of SUP regarding paddles and paddling. The main thing to consider is how each feels relative to the job you’re trying to complete. And it’s always wise to spend as much as you can afford for as best you can get. SickStick’s paddles sit slap in the middle of affordable performance blades and will suit anyone in the market for a softer flexing carbon shaft. As to which blade type you plump for will depend on (again) your circumstances. For our money it’s the brand’s carbon Kevlar Firestick version we wielded the most.
Giving a good deal of feedback to the rider, the Kevlar Firestick blade delivers minimal paddle flutter – the half dihedral helping to stabilise each stroke and deflect water accordingly. Plus it’s pretty light to handle.
Grips come in two kinds – palm and T. It’s the T grip we prefer, but again this may differ for others and is an extremely personal thing.
SickStick paddles fit the ‘access all areas’ SUP mould and will happily nestle in a variety of areas within the sport. We tried the Firestick in surf and on flat water predominantly. During wave sessions the softer flexing shaft allowed us to lean heavily, especially during backside riding, and really dig in during strokes without worry of injury. While perhaps not being the most powerful SUP weapon available, it still gives admirable propulsion when needed and its lightweight is perfect for wrap arounds and flicking rail to rail.
SickStick paddles have greatly increased their quality since early offerings. Still delivering a similar shaft flex, each paddle now has a great eye catching layup – bamboo/carbon, wood/carbon and Kevlar – offering slightly different performance. Our pick is the Kevlar version that just pips its siblings in the performance stakes. All SickStick paddles, however, are lightweight and fun to use. Get in touch for a demo to see which one will suit you best.
Price: £139.99 for Applestick and Chopstick, £169.99 for Firestick