Looking more like a kayak paddle, from a distance, with its double blades HoldUp’s adjustable twin ended sweeper pricked our initial interest at PaddleEXPO, Nuremberg, earlier in 2015. The HoldUp paddle, offers the ability of increasing propulsion in (sit down) kayak mode or use it in conventional SUP mode.
HoldUp promote their design as great for SUP schools – fatigued students can kneel down and get back to their put in more efficiently. We considered it good for offshore paddlers getting back to land in the event of adverse conditions halting play. Either way it’s another example of innovation in a rapidly maturing sport.
Out of the box the alloy version isn’t the lightest. The brand offers weight reducing versions manufactured from more exotic materials, however. These would be worth considering if it’s to be your main ‘engine’. HoldUp’s incremental adjustment system allows shaft length to be set accurately and then it’s off you go.
Out afloat the HoldUp paddle is surprisingly easy to use. You’d assume that extra material in the way of your grip hand would cause fumbles – especially during changes. This isn’t so, however, and the HoldUP paddle is comfortable for general sweeping shenanigans.
In kayak mode it’s a conventional feeling tool with added propulsion shifting riders through the brine efficiently. If you compare it to a full on double ended paddle there would be some loss of momentum as water doesn’t flow evenly across the secondary blade – mainly due to the cut out causing minimal cavitation. But beginners won’t notice this and those in dire straits, needing to get back to shore, wouldn’t really care. In fact anyone using a HoldUp is doing so for the added security/advantages of the double blade – 90% of the time it’s to be used in stand up mode anyway.
HoldUp’s unusual looking concoction of stand up/sit down paddle is a winner for its target users. Beginners will appreciate the added ‘vroom’ of being able to scooch down and propel themselves back to shore while open water SUP tourers will benefit from having the HoldUp as a back up option. Surfers can utilise the double blade for getting out back quickly – reverting back to single blade once at the take off and even those who cast a line fishing will find benefits. With its versatility HoldUp’s alloy paddle is a nifty design that works across multiple SUP disciplines.
Four models available – AL: (tested here) €119, Bob 2 €169, Black Magic €299, Carbonara €399