Let’s face it, some of the greatest innovations in paddleboarding were added to be more comfortable while on the water. I bet that most people would not be able to distinguish between a board with rubber fins and one that have a board that floats. The design for a good paddle is determined by the number of paddles that can be accommodated on a single board. Today, you have boards that float on top of water but others that sink in the middle.
The idea of a paddle in the water seems like a simple one, but in reality, there are many different considerations to be made when you consider a paddle that floats in the water. The best paddleboard paddles are those that float in the water without creating drag. These are called floating paddles because the paddle does not need to be attached to the board to stay afloat. A floating paddle must use the motion of the water to keep itself in place.
Many different design techniques will be used in designing paddles that float in the water. Some of these include:
- Torsion Springs: These are generally employed in boards that float on water because they generally increase the pitch of the board to keep it from rolling under the water. They tend to move the bottom of the board as well as the board itself out of the water over time.
- Floating Carbon Fiber: These designs have only become popular in recent years. This style has a rigid bottom that is molded with plastic or fiberglass.
- Surface Tension: This is a design where the top surface of the board is hinged so that it can twist and turn over time. This technique causes a lot of drag in the water but provides a smooth transition from the water.
- Curved Sides: The curved sides are designed to change the direction of the resistance in the water. The curved surfaces also have some other benefits such as less noise when on the water and are generally quieter than hinged boards.
- High Efficiency: The design for a paddle that floats in the water is one where the water flowing over the surface causes a substantial amount of friction. It is this friction that creates the resistance in the water which forces the board to slide through the water.
- Continuous Rotating Paddle: The continuous rotation makes it possible for the board to move easily through the water and is an attractive design that has been adopted widely. Because there is a constant rotation, this technique generates very little drag in the water.
- Laminar (Breathable) Paddle: The nature of the materials used to make paddles that float in the water is such that it requires the board to be less buoyant. This technique allows the board to float better, but it does not permit water to enter under the board.
- Pump: This design is based on the principle that the bottom of the board should be rotated instead of floating. Because of this, it does not allow water to get underneath the board.
When you consider the wide variety of paddleboard paddles that are available today, you will want to explore all of the various possibilities that are available to you. As a result, you can determine which of the above techniques works best for you.