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HOME arrow GEAR INSIGHTS arrow "Shaka Pu'u" Stand Up Paddle by Kialoa
"Shaka Pu'u" Stand Up Paddle by Kialoa PDF Print E-mail
By: Stand Up Paddle Surfing Magazine   
Friday, 01 February 2008
It's time for another gear review! After the devastating loss of Assc. Editor Bill Ward's paddle the other week, stand up paddles has been the topic of discussion ever since, and the other day provided the opportunity to test out the new Shaka Pu'u paddle by Kialoa. This all carbon fiber paddle weighs a mere 22 oz and, in our experience, delivers nothing short of superior performance.

The Handle: The Shaka Pu'u has a T-grip handle that we found extremely comfortable. The handle is smooth and actually has a slight forward curve to it that allows you to easily orient the blade while keeping your vision straight ahead. We didn't notice any hotspots that could potentially cause blisters. When powerstroking, the handle felt secure and comfortable. (Secure has always been on Nate's mind since his paddle slipped out of his hand, mid-powerstroke, and whacked him in the face last year See Editor's Blog. He felt good with this paddle.)


The Shaft: The narrow diameter and pronounced oval shape of the shaft was a big plus. Why might this be a positive thing? You might compare it to doing pull-ups on a pull up bar as compared with doing pull ups on a wide tree branch. Most people can do many more pull ups on a thin metal bar than a wide tree limb. When it's easy to get a firm grip on the bar or paddle shaft, there is less energy exerted to keep the paddle in your hand and more energy available for delivering power to the stroke. In short, a narrow shaft means less hand fatigue and more power. We didn't notice any abnormal flex or stiffness in the shaft.

The Blade: The Shaka Pu'u blade is flat as opposed to the dihedral blade of some other paddle makers. Those are the blades with that spike to prevent the blade from fluttering during the stroke. To our surprise, the blade did not flutter at all. We never felt the blade floating or wandering. This is Kiloa's smallest paddle, however we didn't notice any lack of power or performance in the stroke. The blade has excellent catch.

Are there any downsides to the paddle? In the surf, it was fantastic. We were split on whether or not it would be a good for long paddles in flat water. Kialoa says that the paddle is "ideal for catching waves and keeping yourself in the surf."

Overall, the Shaka Pu'u felt extremely natural. As we discussed the paddle, we realized that we never had to think about how to use the paddle. It felt more like an extension of ourselves rather than a tool in our hand. We were thoroughly impressed. More information about Kialoa and the Shaka Pu'u can be found at www.kialoa.com.
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