My take on paddles is constantly evolving.
Our very first paddles were from C4. At the time, my board was the Laird 12'1. I could not catch a wave worth a crap with that beast. It was my lack of skill, not the boards problem. The fast fix was a new paddle. I switched to the Surftech paddle, with a huge blade compared to the C4. It seemed to help. I became a fan of monster blades.
As my boards became smaller, the monster blade Surftech wasn't feeling good anymore. I moved on to the Kialoa Shaka Pu'u. The smaller Shaka Pu'u was just what I needed as my boards continued to get smaller.
Next Kialoa released the even smaller Methane, so I cut my Shaka Pu'u blade down to match the Methane. Again this next step in my paddle progression seemed to suit my ever changing smaller boards.
This weekend Jacky demoed a C4 fiberglass paddle with colored blade. She raved about easy it pulled through the water. Easier than her 8" wide modified Kialoa. Yet the C4 she demoed was 8.5" wide. Paddle width doesn't tell the real story about pull. This C4 had the least pull of any paddle she had ever tried. She loved it.
Next up, I tried the C4 paddle. I was shocked at how light the pull was compared to the Kialoa blade.
With Jacky on the 9'0, and me on the 9'3, these light pulling, smooth, C4 blades are the perfect compliment to shortboard SUPs.
The photos show how I added padded grip to Jacky's paddle.
3 hours ago