Todd Bradley – SUP Paddles and Downwind Tips Part 1


Todd talks about the importance of paddle design and the differences between SUP and other paddle sports. It’s all about efficiency in the water and doing it with the right paddles as Todd explains. He also shares paddling techniques and tips on choosing the right gear.

(click thumbnail to launch video)


Todd Bradley: The reason why this sport is different than other paddle sports that I recognize in the Outdoor Retailer was the fact that most kayakers and canoers and stuff, they’re used to using displacement hulls. All their board, all their equipment that they used is based on the displacement hull that they use. They’re sitting in it so they don’t have a high center of gravity and their hulls are round bottoms or displacement. We’re a totally different sport. Our hulls are planing hulls. They’re not displacement hulls, so therefore, paddles and design are super important that needs to be explicit to the sport that this is. It’s a planing hull sport.(0:00:49.5)

So let’s start with the boards.

The boards are obviously flat bottom and not round bottom because we need it for the stability. The center of gravity is much higher, so because of that, the force that you put on paddles needs to be efficient. Because if it’s not efficient, it will pull you off the board or make it more unstable for you. (0:01:16.6) And I’ll tell you what we’ve learned: is that there’s many different paddles that we’ve produced right now. These are just some of the few.(0:02:26.5)

These are our new, XP, this just a proto type right now, but, you can see, this is thinner, more efficient blade for racing. It has a very flex pattern in the tip, the tip flexes to give more efficiency through the water and I’ll explain that later. (0:01:50.2)

We have our new extendable paddle, which is good for families and schools and everything. It’s extendable on the fly, also can be a super soaker through its drain plug.

We have a whole range of fiber glass entry level paddles all in different colors and different designs. These are nice, they are very strong. Have a nice flex and very durable and very reasonably priced. (0:02:18.6)

We have all our new line of power grips. And what’s new is that I’ve been, we’ve been using, and the team has, for the last year and a half is this patent pending design of this paddle fin. (0:02:34.5) And this is years of research and trying and what we’ve done here is design a paddle for surfing that helps you be more efficient when you’re driving through the wave. Because turns on these large boards need to make on the rail, having a fin is very similar to your short board when you use your hand to drive a turn. This acts the same way. It’s a, it’s a pivot point, it’s a very exclusive pivot point you can get off of, to drive harder off of turns. It also helps you in steep waves. If this is the face, holding yourself into the face of the wave that way, it’s very efficient and this will be available in about 30 days at C4 (0:03:24.8) And they should fit on all paddles, there’s a template that it works for, different colors, everything.

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5 Responses to “Todd Bradley – SUP Paddles and Downwind Tips Part 1”

  1. DW 1DW

    Where is the rest of the video?

  2. Evan Leong 2evan


  3. DW 3DW

    I hope he tells me how long to cut the racing paddle when using a Vortice. I just took advantage of their offer of a free XPR paddle with any Vortice purchase.

  4. todd 4todd

    Most racing boards are higher then surfing boards , so I recommend 8″ over your height. Good luck and thank you.

  5. Evan Leong 5evan

    Thanks Todd.

    DW – maybe you can try another paddle at the 8″ or 12″ above your height to see what’s more comfortable for you. It seems to be a personal preference thing. My distance paddle is about 10 to 13″ above my height.

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