The Aquaglide aluminum adjustable stand up paddle is a great for friends, family, and lessons. We’ve had occasion to use them and they definitely have some strong points. In this review we’ll look at the construction materials, adjusting mechanism, and overall impression.
The paddle features an aluminum shaft with a molded plastic handle and blade. The handle is contoured and comfortable for any size hand and is textured for a non-slip grip. The molded blade is surprisingly durable and functional. Like most stand up paddles, it is set at an angle to maximize the efficiency of your stroke. Although it lacks the refined shape of a carbon or fiberglass blade, it holds its shape and doesn’t seem to bend or give even with aggressive strokes. The aluminum shaft is extremely durable and ready for abuse.
The locking mechanism is a one pin design with what seems like approximately 20 different adjustable heights. To adjust the paddle height you pull out a pin that lines up with both the outer shaft and the inner adjustable shaft. Sometimes it takes a minute to get it all lined up but once it’s locked it, the paddle is strong and secure with little or no play or movement between the moving parts. The design allow for adjustments that work for the shortest and tallest of paddlers.
The utility and strength comes at a price, and the price is weight. Although we wouldn’t consider the paddle to be heavy, those who are used to a carbon fiber paddle will notice the weightiness of the Aquaglide aluminum paddle. Additional weight may come from water accumulating in the shaft. Although the moving parts easily disassemble to pour water out, it seems that there are also some foam plugs further down the shaft that occasionally trap water in the shaft. Of the 3 Aquaglide paddles we’ve tested, only one has water trapped inside. To remove the water, we’re guessing we’ll have to fish out the plugs and pour it out. There also seems to be some water entering through the blade-shaft connection though it can be shaken out with ease.
The Aquaglide is a great paddle for those who want maximum adjustability and are not overly concerned about paddle weight. It could probably blow out of your truck and get run over by a few cars without damaging the paddle. The paddles retail for only about $100-$150 and sometimes cheaper if you do your homework. For the price and functionality, we think it’s a great product.