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Land paddle: Braap braap! – Braap Stik performance land paddle review

braap-stikLooking more like a Paralympic sprinter’s prosthetic limb Zenxten Inc’s Braap Stik‘s land paddle weapon is a very distinct and completely ‘out of the box’ product. For most of land paddling’s short life paddlers have utilised wooden sweepers. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, such as Sk8pole’s adjustable, Kahuna Creations’ aluminium offerings and various bespoke and homemade types. Mostly though, for purchased land paddles, it’s wood that’s been favourable.

As with watery SUP land paddling is as much about the ‘engine’ you choose to power your sled as the sled itself. There are lots of unknowns surrounding land paddle paddles but with the Braap Stik you’re definitely going to be experiencing something a little different to the norm.

Braap Stik #2

First looks

Utilising a double push pin extension system Zenxten Inc’s Braap Stik is an adjustable land paddle making it applicable to a wide range of rider sizes and styles. With an ergonomic ball grip handle getting the correct length is super easy. A degree of maintenance will be needed to keep the push pins grime free, however. The last thing riders need is the mechanism jamming.

Braap Stik adjustment system

The ‘blade’ section of the Braap Stik is the most interesting area. As we said in the intro it looks more like a performance sprinting prosthetic. A curved fibreglass arm, pre-loaded with spring, tips out with a flat rubberised head. Double bolted for security the tip’s shape boosts a rounded trailing edge that should roll freely through each paddle stroke.

Braap Stik spring

Braap Stik themselves call the blade a spring – it’s not hard to see why when actually paddling. The brand offer three different types – heavy, medium and light. We were using the medium for this test (although we did have the light as an alternative). Fitting to rider size and style should be easy enough but if in doubt it’s best to speak with UK Braap Stik importer Gary Evans of Land Paddle UK fame.

On the tarmac

With stand up paddle boarding the amount of shaft flex dictates the type of feel and performance you’ll be getting on the water. It’s important to get this right – so saving your muscles/joints from unnecessary wear and tear and also achieving higher performance levels.

For land paddling it’s exactly the same although historically flex, and pinning down what each brand and model offers (and what you need), is notoriously hard. So much so that most riders probably won’t even give it a second though – possibly not even a first. Yet land paddling arguably delivers more impact stress to the rider – after all it’s hard surfaces you’ll be clattering. Using something that’s suited to your riding, ability and style is therefore super important.

Braap Stik’s differing paddle flex properties are welcome. The paddle being used in this review is super powerful. When planting the Braap to ‘catch’ you can feel the spring load up. Through the ‘pull’ part of the stroke its power begins to unwind and momentum is generated. As you ‘recover’ the paddle riders are sent hurtling forwards at a rate of knots, with a little extra kick being delivered to further aid propulsion once released from contact with Terra Firma.

Requiring less effort than conventional land paddle paddles we were able to cover much more ground compared to normal. The efficiency of the Braap Stik is tangible. You can feel its stored up energy as you cruise along – so much so it almost feels like cheating.

And here’s the rub. For general recreational land paddle touring and covering distance the Braap Stik is the least tiring land paddle we’ve ever used. It really delivers the goods in terms of chewing up the miles. There’s less fatigue at the end of sessions (unless you’ve really gone to town) and overall acceleration and speed is much greater than with other tarmac sweepers we’ve used. Not that there are loads of events but if you were racing then the Braap Stik definitely gives users an advantage – so much that skaters utilising this product may be getting an unfair advantage. With more land paddle racing comps possibly cropping up (if rumours are to be believed) the question remains: should this style of paddle and rider be given a handicap?

For general land sweeping, however, you can’t knock the Braap Stik. It’s a beast – literally. With so much power on tap it’s easy to get into a steady rhythm and flow. Those wanting to ‘dance’ a little can wind up sleds generating plenty of forward thrust to perform moves – way more than your standard land paddle.

Sliders and ramp addicts may struggle slightly with the Braap Stik. It’s not really a machine for this type of skating. We tried a few tail releases and everything just feels out of kilter – there’s nothing to actually lean on when getting lose. Park rats will find the Braap Stik tends to snag on coping and not really plant correctly during vert moves. We’re sure a bit of practice will see these hurdles overcome though.

Conclusion

All in the Braap Stik is a complete revelation when it comes to sheer land paddling power. Having set the correct shaft length (important!) riders can generate serious amounts of oomph without too much effort. Zenxten Inc’s Braap Stik revs up as soon as you plant its rubberised end on the tarmac. Drawing through strokes the spring is primed to set you peeling off at a rate of knots. It’s a great piece of kit for going zoom and manufactured to a high spec. Light weight and super nice to wield Braap Stik’s land paddle is an eye catching, potentially revolutionary and awesome for any skater looking to cover distance and get involved in the performance side of the sport.

Price: £139.99

Info: http://landpaddleuk.co.uk/land-paddles/179-braapstik-complete-collapsible-handle.html

 

 

 

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Stand Up Paddle Boarding Mag UK is the home of UK SUP. Paddle surfing, downwind SUP, all round SUP, SUP racing and more - it's all here!

3 Comments on Land paddle: Braap braap! – Braap Stik performance land paddle review

  1. Time to test the Paddle Road then !
    Lighter, more ergonomic, more powerful.
    What else ?
    – Oh yes, style !

    Like

  2. Jose Castellanos // October 27, 2017 at 5:00 am // Reply

    Cool landpaddles, I various types of paddles this is one of the most unique ones I have could have been a little bit longer it’s not as tall I would like to be to get maximum push for a 6ft height person.

    Like

  3. Here’s a testimonial to the Braap Stick. I’ll try to be concise and to the point, however I tend to get wordy at times with descriptions, so, sorry in advance.

    I’m in my mid 50’s, an Office Worker chained to a desk working a high stress job….

    To relieve stress on the job, i eat, as a result, I’m a heavier than average old dude.

    As a teen, and in my early twenties I skateboarded for fun and for transportation when and where a car couldn’t go. Places like crowded Chicago streets to the Lakefront, and from remote parking areas to the Indiana Dune’s Beaches.
    As I got older, the skateboard just gathered dust; one gets busy with work, raising a kid, home maintenance, etc.
    Now as the kid is self sufficient, it leaves a bit of free time.
    Bike riding is OK, but let’s face it, it’s not the same as skateboarding, not every old guy can still balance on board, make it go fast, and continue to kick push it for long distances or long periods of time.

    Doing some internet surfing on skateboard set ups for older skaters, I stumbled upon one land paddle sites.

    In the midwest, and Chicago, you never see a skateboarder paddling, ever.

    I decided to give this land paddle thing a try. I’m cheap and always try to get the most bang for the buck. I wanted something that would easily fit in a car and was low priced.

    I bought the Sk8Pole. Wow.. This thing actually enabled me to keep both feet firmly planted on the board, and with some pushing, propel me along.
    I became more and more active on the board. I began land paddling on my lunch break, and every chance I could get. I took the skateboard and pole on vacations and spent hours cruising new spots, parking garages when it rained, and found my upper body setting stronger, with each and every session.

    The Sk8pole is light, has a small ball handle, and a pogo stick bottom. It telescopes into itself and is made of two sections,
    As I cranked up the intensity of sessions and distances raveled on the board, that pogo stick bottom just seemed like it could work better, and give me more feedback for each push.
    The telescoping twist on the Sk8Pole has a tendency to loosen up after a few minutes too, to your constantly retightening the pole, so back to the internet.

    The Kahuna Big Stick, was my next purchase. They seem to have a monopoly on the search engines, as they pop up most.
    Their curved boot bottom and “T” handle seemed like it might work better than the Sk8pole, which looks like a shower curtain rod, compared to the more paddle appearing Kahuna.
    So, again, not wanting to spend a bunch more money I got the Kahuna.

    What a major disappointment the Kahuna was. It was heavy, the pole itself – I swear is a Patio Umbrella Pole. The curved boot didn’t really make contact any better than the Sk8Pole’s pogo stick bottom, in fact it performed worse in that regard.
    The curved boot frayed quickly, and the sounds the Kahuna made are it’s most shocking feature.
    With every contact to the ground, it makes a Tap Tap Tap sound as loud a cap gun in your ear. This sound freaked out bystanders and nearby pedestrians on the streets, trails, and beach fronts.
    The wind howling through the Umbrella Pole was eerie sounding as well,
    and lastly, you feel the shock in your hands from each noisy Tap Tap Tap as you startle on lookers.
    I wanted to return it, but the Kahunas said, nope, I had to pay shipping for credit towards the longer wood pole. So back to the internet for some more research.

    I had seen the Braap Stik before on the net, and because it’s a little bit pricer than the Sk8Pole and Kahuna, I didn’t investigate it as fully as I should have.
    Also, I thought that the Fiberglass Spring looked like that Pistoris guy’s prosthetic jogging legs and that sort of freaked me out.
    So after a few more videos online, it became clear that this spring with it’ s large angled contact pad did appear to give back all the energy you put into and then some.
    I like that the spring varied based on the rider’s weight, that makes good sense, and I had the multiple color option on the graphics, that’s a great touch.
    The Brapp also collapsed doen in size the smallest for portability and ease when transporting the paddle.
    I spent the extra little bit of money and went for Land Paddle number 3.

    When it arrived, it looked really so much more professional, sturdy, and really looked like an actual paddle with the fiberglass spring at the bottom compared to the Shower Rod and Umbrella Pole of the Sk8Pole and Kahuna.
    The Ball handle was larger and fit in the hand perfectly.
    On the first push off with the Braap, WOW ! – there it was, that added propulsion that the the others lacked.
    I found myself hooked on land paddling. Thankfully we had a lower than average snow fall this winter in Chicago. If there was a clear patch of concrete or asphalt I was on it all winter long despite the freezing temperatures.

    Some old adages are true in my rediscovered passion for skateboarding.
    “ You get what you pay for “
    “ Third time is a charm “

    Sincerely,
    A Fan a the Braap Stik

    Like

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Road sweeping – tips for choosing your correct land paddle – SUP Mag UK
  2. Land paddle: Road sweeping – tips for choosing your correct land paddle – SUP Mag UK

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