SUP’s grip (guffaw!) continues to be vice like with new products and accessories keeping on coming. One such new idea that caught our attention was ProHandle Grip’s quirky looking offering.
At first SUPers may scoff at what looks to be simply a handle for a handle, and in all honesty there was a slight nagging doubt in the back our minds.
Out of the box and the clamshell engineered grip is well put together. Supplied with bushings, rust proof screws and a small wrench ProHandle Grip aim to get you up and sweeping with their ‘gadget’ quick smart.
There’s a degree of tweaking needed before you get the position of the grip correct – what may feel comfortable on land may not be the case once up and riding. It’s a bit of a faff but getting this sorted before going afloat is time well spent.
The ergonomically designed handle fits fingers with ease and finding your correct holding position is easy enough. Taking to the water for the first time is an odd experience and some getting used to will be required.
So what’s it actually all about? Simply put ProHandle Grip’s product turns your standard straight shaft paddle into a crank shaft (or bent shaft type) to improve bio mechanical efficiency. Crank shafts have been a thing in kayaking for aeons, and there are a few knocking about the SUP world. The benefits of the Prohandle Grip might seem initially to be cost saving (i.e. you don’t need to buy two paddles – one with bent shaft and one without) but the reality is, you can fine tune the position to perfectly match your build and get far more ‘crank’ without compromising the shaft strength.
Not having to exert as much force to induce maximum forwards propulsion is good news for anyone trying to achieve peak efficiency or suffering from injury that inhibits movement. Correct set up forces the rider’s joints into the correct position so minimises the amount of stress on the body and, after an acclimatisation phase, ensures a pleasurable experience.
Having tried the ProHandle Grip on both flat water and in surf environments, we feel it best suits the flat water arena – although using it in waves is still fine. Rail to rail changes and carving paddle wrap around turns weren’t quite as efficient with the handle attached. Covering distance, where the body can really ‘feel it’, was much more efficient.
ProHandle Grip’s unusual looking product is a great tool for transforming straight shaft paddles into something that reduces stresses and strain put on the body when SUPing. Essentially turning your everyday stick into a bent shaft type it’s great for touring and covering distance. If you’re considering a crank shaft paddle, have any injuries hampering your paddling (or wish to avoid getting them), then it could be worth trying the ProHandle Grip for SUPerior performance.
Price: £39.95 UK/approx 49 Euro’s Ireland.
Info: Complete with fitting kits and instructions, fits virtually all paddles, from good Paddle retailers all over UK/Ireland, (retailer enquiries welcome to Kai Sports Ltd.) or from Kai Sports Ltd. www.prohandlegrip.com and http://www.kaisports.co.uk. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call Jon on 02380 840777.