Photos: James Jagger
We bang on about this all the time with SUPM’s paddle reviews but we’ll say it again: not all paddles are the same and as the one defining piece of equipment, and a product that really makes or breaks your experience and how your chosen board performs, it’s a ‘thing’ that really should command most of your time when perusing new kit to buy.
Robson is a brand that may be unfamiliar to many in the UK but their extensive range of stand up tools are worth a look. Their heritage within paddle sports is glaring – particularly kayak. We had chance to check out the brand’s white water leaning Son and Chlorophyll plus Glide and Race machines.
The first thing we should point out is there’s a lot of fibreglass on show. In some circles anything less than carbon with your SUP paddle is suggested to not be as good, which actually isn’t true. Fibreglass is generally softer feeling than carbon and can be easier going on bodies and joints. Yet there doesn’t have to be any loss of performance – Robson paddles being a case in point.
Falling under the Robson Flowtech umbrella both the Son and Chlorophyll options offer higher buoyancy which in turn serves as extra lift (or pop) during the release part of the stroke. This snap back feel can deliver a faster recovery and in turn higher cadence of stroke even though the two paddles in question have larger blades. It also means during brace strokes and such riders can return to actually paddling quick smart.
In terms of shaft flex all the Robson paddles reviewed here are quiet soft. This may be perceived as negative but we like a soft flexing paddle shaft. It generally means you paddle harder and not suffer any wearing effects of your session. You can also lean on the shaft more through stabilising strokes and enjoy an efficient level of comfort.
The Race model features an aggressively offset blade which increases flow during the catch and power phase of the stroke whilst the brand’s full carbon Glide is familiar feeling for anyone having used this style of sweeper before. All in Robson have a solid range of SUP paddles that’ll suit any taste and styles.
With superb performance across the whole range Robson SUP paddles are poised to take you wherever your stand up journey dictates. Whether racing, taking a stab at bona fide white water, surf, cruising or other you’ll be ready for action with one of these puppies. We appreciate the softer flexing fibreglass versions and love the graphical livery of the Chorophyll – which is actually our favourite of the bunch.
Price: Son – £150; Chlorophyll – £170; Race – £135; Glide – £210