The Kialoa Shaka Pu’u is a sweet paddle. I saw a bunch of them in the Makaha Makahiki and there was Mel Pu’u himself with a pink paddle and pink board. You may snicker until you see that Mel is 250 lbs and could crush your skull with one hand. The paddle looked small compared to his size.
I, on the other hand have been playing around and using smaller blade paddles. They are just easier for me to handle and less wear and tear on my joints. I tend to like it easier than harder so the smaller blades seem to be for me.
At the Makahiki I saw Blane’s version of a Shaka Pu’u, only it was had a much smaller blade. That got me thinking and out came the grinding wheel and sander when I got home.
It was time to put the Shaka Pu’u on a diet. I shaved it down from a wide point of 8.75″ to a wide point of 7.75″. I took off a half inch per side of the blade for the bottom 2/3. I didn’t want the structural integrity to go down so I left the top 1/3 alone.
Then just like I did with the C4 Diamond E paddle, I put 5 min epoxy on the edges to seal it.
I took the paddle out and instantly it was easier to pull through the water. Well, duh, it’s way smaller, but the feel just felt nicer to me. I took it out in crappy, windy conditions and it doesn’t pull through the water as easy as my Diamond E paddle but easier than the canoe shaped ones.
I’ll have to do more testing with this although I am of the thinking the small blade is the way to go for me. Let me also say that I have friends that love the larger blades and don’t like these smaller ones so it always comes down to personal preference.