Stand Up Paddles at Wet Feet Hawaii – Video Part 1

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Stand Up Paddles at Wet Feet Hawaii

Jeff of Wet Feet takes us through their inventory of paddles from a variety manufacturers namely C4, Surftech, and Quick Blade. He also talks about the materials of each paddles and what they’re good for.

Wet Feet offers a wide choice of paddles so there should be something that fits your paddle preferences from them.

Watch Jeff explain the different designs and shapes from the T-grip, to the shaft, to the blade.


(click thumbnail to launch video)

Jeff: Hello, how is it Evan? Welcome to Wet Feet. We’re I guess the world’s only stand up store, specializing in stand up, that we know of. So we got a big selection of paddles here, probably the biggest you’ll find anywhere. I’ll start from my left.

Evan Leong: Ok.

Jeff: Ok, this is a steering paddle, C4. Steering paddle for surfing, canoe; big paddler will get a shot of it.

Evan Leong: How about the wooden one?

Jeff: This is an ornamental paddle. This is hang on the wall for looks. This is a quick blade, will start with this one. This is one of our more popular paddles. Full carbon.

Evan Leong: Has some kind of a, what is this camouflage thing over here?

Jeff: Yeah, you got a choice of grips with this one. Either you get that T top with an EVA wrap on it, so it’s really grippy. Or you can get the regular molded one…

Evan Leong: So the EVA wrap one, can you buy that after or you have to buy the T in advance, like that?

Jeff: They can choose what ever one you want. And then we cut them and we size them to fit…

Evan Leong: So the EVA wrap one on that is not from Quickblade or…?

Jeff: It is, it is an option from them.

Evan Leong: Kind of cool.

Jeff: Yes, you can choose whatever one you want. So when you get to the good paddles, you notice that all the shapes are all similar. They all have this shapes – this one and the C4 and the Kilo, they’re all very similar. So they got them pretty dialed in. And they all have this dihedral here. It’s kind of a spine coming down the middle here and what that does is that it helps stabilize the paddle in the pool so it doesn’t wobble so much when you pull back. One thing about the C4 paddle is it has got this…

Evan Leong: This one is Quickblade, yeah?

Jeff: I’m sorry, Quickblade, yeah. It has got this inlayed rubber edge so that when you bang your board it doesn’t ding your board up. So this is unique to the Quickblade. It’s got a round shaft – this one has a round shaft. It’s kind of got a…

Evan Leong: Kind of flexible though…

Jeff: Yeah, pretty flexi shaft. But they have two shafts. They have a stiffer one, so this is the flexier shaft. It kind of has an inter-leaf carbon. A carbon that kind of goes like this.

Evan Leong: So what’s the difference between the stiff shaft and then the regular shaft that’s a little bit more flexible?

Jeff: I guess the idea – I’m not an expert in, I haven’t been paddling for a zillion years like a lot of these guys. But what you feel when you paddle is that the catch is kind of slow and then if you finish it, it kind of accelerates through the stroke like a swimmer that starts slow and finishes fast. That’s kind of the idea with the flexier shaft, you have a little whip at the end so that it accelerates you. Some guys like that, it’s all personal preference. But he does have a stiffer shaft so depending on what you want and you can see the difference in.

Evan Leong: Oh yeah, like the weave looks different and stuff, huh?

Jeff: Yeah, you can see the difference. So this one on the right, it is stiffer and this one on the left is flexier. Let’s try this one… interesting.

Evan Leong: And both of these have the…

Jeff: You can choose whatever one you want. It comes with either that or… whatever you want – that or the molded T-top. So that’s the Quickblade. It’s also the lightest paddle we have. If you pick it up this is the lightest one. So the distance paddlers like this a lot because less fatigue during the…

Evan Leong: The blade is 9-inch blade though, right?

Jeff: Yeah, this are all 9”s. The Quickblades are all 9s.

Evan Leong: So are you riding a 9-inch blade?

Jeff: I am. A lot of people like 8 ½ but I like the 9.

Evan Leong: Are they coming out with an 8 ½ or 8?

Jeff: I don’t think so.

Evan Leong: Oh.

Jeff: Ok. I guess we’ll move to the C4. Let’s move to the C4. These are probably the other really popular one. C4 has a variety of paddle. They got a full carbon one. They got a fiberglass one. They have a hybrid one that is wood shaft and carbon blade. And the prices go from 325 for the full carbon to 240 for the all fiberglass.

Evan Leong: Oh so the fiberglass is way cheaper then?

Jeff: Yeah, material is cheaper. So for the economy-minded person, they can get a less expensive one. But this shaft is very stiff and a lot of people like that.

Evan Leong: Especially when you got to get moving.

Jeff: Yeah, in the surf. So this our really popular paddle, has the molded T-top. What we do is when the customer comes in we size it to them. We usually go by eight inches above their head and then we cut it and we glue the top. It varies. Some guys go down as low as six inches above their heads, some guys go as long as 12 inches above their head.

Evan Leong: Probably depends when you’re surfing or not, right?

Jeff: Yep.

Evan Leong: It goes shorter if you surf then longer if you’re not?

Jeff: And then you notice this one also has the same type of dihedral although the shape is different. Everyone has got the wrong idea on the shape.

Evan Leong: Seems to have a little more of a dihedral than that one. And it goes a little bit farther down. That’s the paddle I use. I like that paddle.

Jeff: So this is 325. That Quickblade is actually the more expensive one. It’s 340. The C4 comes in, as you said, 9 and 8 ½. So depending on the width…

Evan Leong: Are you guys selling a lot of the 9s or more 8-and-a-halfs?

Jeff: More 8-and-a-halfs I think.

Evan Leong: Uh huh. How about these hybrid, wooden – the wooden and fiberglass, huh? Is that what that is? Is that carbon or is that fiberglass?

Jeff: I think it’s carbon. This one, fiberglass. You can see the shaft is more flexi – for those guys who like the feel of wood, the traditional feel.

Evan Leong: For girls right?

Jeff: Well, a lot of guys like the feel of wood so it’s all, again, preference.

Evan Leong: Plus it’s less expensive that one.

Jeff: Yep. Less expensive. And then we have the all-fiberglass one. It’s at 240 and as you can see it looks identical to the carbon but its flexi is pretty flexier.

Evan Leong: Oh, is it? I thought it was just a little bit heavier was the only thing on this one?

Jeff: The shaft is flexier.

Evan Leong: Oh yeah?

Jeff: Yep. And the C4 you can also get in a two-piece. So this is an all-carbon two-piece.

Evan Leong: Is that only when you’re going to travel a lot of something or what?

Jeff: When you want to stash it in your car and you don’t want it to get stolen. C4 did a really good job on the two-piece. The tolerance is really tight. As you can see it’s pretty hard to get them apart. It’s pretty closed-tolerance. And another good idea, what we found, is for the little kids what we can do is we can use this for them to grow into. So we just cut it really short for when they are starting out and maybe up to here and then we save this part for the owner and then when they get bigger, we just place – we get a new T-top; get a longer piece for the top half.

Evan Leong: That’s what I did for my son.

Jeff: Yeah? Looks good. Actually this is the most expensive because it is a two-piece, it’s 350.

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8 Responses to “Stand Up Paddles at Wet Feet Hawaii – Video Part 1”


  1. srfnff 1srfnff

    Evan
    Nice interview with good info. Have you had a chance to try more than one paddle? I wonder if the differences in flex, blade size, shaft length and material are more personal preference than anything else. Also interesting comment re shaft length for surfing vs. distance paddling. I have the Kialoa Kole which has no real dihedral that I can see. Does Jeff carry that brand and did he say anything about that type of blade compared to the others? Thanks Evan, a great interview.

  2. Evan Leong 2evan

    srfnff – I’ve tried a number of different paddles. I’ve used the C4 paddles the most but have also tried Quickblade, Leleo Kinimaka wood paddles and Infinity Surf otter paddles. I haven’t had a chance to try the Kialoa for more than a few minutes.

    I think the differences in all the specs are totally preference btw different people and even for the same person. e.g. I like to use a 2-3″ longer paddle for downwinders than surfing. I let an 85 year old woman try my Infinity 6.5″ otter paddle today in Waikiki and she really liked it because it took less strength to pull it through the water and had decent flex in the shaft. It was easier on her shoulders.

    Jeff has the Kialoa paddles and I believe they are popular. I have a number of friends that really like them and Blane Chambers and Mel Pu’u are really positive on them as well. I’ll ask Jeff to comment on this thread but it may be a while as I think he’s on a trip.

  3. srfnff 3srfnff

    Thanks Evan
    I watched the part 2 paddle video and Jeff talked a little about the Kialoa. Your comments here are right on. Great video series, thanks so much.

  4. Meg and Dave Chun 4Meg and Dave Chun

    Aloha srfnff,
    Evan shot an email in regards to this thread and asked us to comment on it so I’ll do my best. We started building stand-up paddles in 2003 after receiving a call from Laird Hamilton. Basically he was looking for a stand up paddle that wouldn’t break. At this point in time nobody was talking about stand up paddling and there weren’t any companies who were building production stand up paddles. We went through a series of prototypes using different blades and different shafts, with Laird and his friends giving us feedback along the way.
    The first paddle that went in to production was a large blade with an aluminum shaft. We used the aluminum shaft after having many other types of shafts break. We knew aluminum could stand the stress and we also knew that we could do this with carbon, but that it would take some time to really dial in the design of a bomber carbon shaft that was not only strong, but also light and ergonmic (oval tapered shaft).
    It is now almost 4 years later and naturally the paddles have evolved just as the boards have evolved. The first thing that started to change was blade size. As people became more proficient in their paddling technique, they began asking for smaller blades. You stated that you have the Kole which is one of our full carbon stand up paddles. It is the third generation blade, smaller than the first and second generation, and has our propietary carbon shaft. You are correct, it does not have a dihedral but has a slight scoop in the blade. Because most surfers are new to using a paddle, they are looking at a dihedral as “is it a good thing or a bad thing?” As paddle designers we see that as neither good nor bad, it depends on the particular design. The Kole, because it is so narrow at the top, does not need a dihedral to stabilize the blade.
    Our goal is to build durable comfortable paddles that fit you so well that it becomes an extension of your hands – so that you can feel the water through your paddle. It’s almost as if you forget about the paddle, well that would be our greatest compliment. Because if you’re not having to “think” about your paddle, then you’re going to be performing at your peak.
    In 2008 we are launching another new full carbon called the Shaka Pu’u. We’ve been product testing this for a full year and feel really good about the final product. This blade will have a surface area just about the same size as the Kole, but the shape is different so it will feel different – basically it “feels” smaller. It allows you to bring up the rpms when you want to get up and going to catch the swell, the blade does not disrupt your ride when you are using it to maneuver, and when you sink the whole blade in you can get to the deeper water and get more traction when you want it. And naturally, it will come with our bomber carbon shaft and our one year manufacturer warranty.
    We’ve been building performance paddles for 17 years and in a nutshell, that’s the last 4 years of KIALOA’s Stand Up history. We’re really liking all of the product development, testing, etc. that is going along with this quickly evolving sport. Mahalo for making us a part of it.

  5. Evan Leong 5evan

    Thanks Meg and Dave! It’s always great to get info straight from the source. Looking forward to the Shaka Pu’u.

  6. Wet Feet 6Wet Feet

    srfnff,

    The Kole does not have a dihedral like you said but Kialoa’s other full carbon blade the Nalu does. The amount of dihedral is similar to the QB and both blades look very similar in shape. This shows how dialed the designs are. The Kialoa shaft is ovalized which makes it stiffer than the QB. The Kole is an interesting design with the lollipop shape and supposedly in the hands of an efficient paddler can propel you as fast with the smaller surface area. It comes down to personal preference on which will work best for you. They are all excellent paddles.

    Jeff

  7. soulsuhvivah4 7soulsuhvivah4

    [..YouTube..] nice vid alex’s dad? jeff?

  8. Jwoo2 8Jwoo2

    [..YouTube..] yee uncle jeff

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