BY: Suzanne McHeffey
Ever heard of “Land Paddling?” Imagine that you’ve acquired a longboard, and someone hands you what looks and acts like an oar, but for the street. This is a pole that helps with balance, propulsion, and stopping. You push this land-oar against the ground much like a paddle, and it allows for increased mobility, balance, control, and speed in your ride. Before stepping out to long board on the long, hilly roads of Harrisonburg, consider optimizing the speed and balance of your ride with the best land paddles on the market.
To allow you to gain the best land paddling experience in the Shenandoah Valley terrain, I have compiled a brand comparison of the five main land paddles that you can locate online for purchase, as well as a closer evaluation of the Kahuna Big Stick paddles, which offers the widest array of land paddle models. Some of the criteria for evaluation of these brands and product types involved affordability, speed, weight, durability, weather-resistance, flexibility, comfort, adjustability, and grip. Explore the following detailed reviews of the top selling land paddles, and select the name of any of the brands below to search the websites where the products are sold.
|Product name|| Adjustable
|| Carbon Fiber
|User reviews||★★★★★||(Most reviews)
|(Fewest reviews) ★★★★☆||★★★★★|
|Pros||Most affordable, can adjust from 4’6″ to 6’6″, good for families with different sized users||Flexible, best as a training tool, smoother ride then metal shafts, “Panda-friendly” bamboo, comes in various sizes, gives the feel of stand up paddling on water||Weatherproof material, durable (two year guarantee)||Lightweight, most flexible, powerful, speedy, most comfortable grip|
|Cons||Heavy, stiff, hard to slow down on big hills||Bamboo material is most prone to breaking and damage from weather, not as speedy as others||Stiff, limited to rider heights of 5″11 and under||Most expensive|
|Details||Adjustable black aluminum shaft, soft-grip handle, Kahuna Road Blade II (Thermoplastic elastomer and carbon multiplex rubber compound)||◦ Wooden handle, bamboo shaft, Kahuna Road Blade II (Thermoplastic elastomer and carbon multiplex rubber compound)||Natural Douglas Fir, Tapered-Shaft, Blue Hawaiian Fabric Wrap, Heavy Duty Fiber Glass overwrap||Carbon fiber performance shaft, hand-made grip|
Hamboard land paddles choose carbon fiber and fiberglass over wood and bamboos, creating a very durable product. They also manage to keep their product $115-$139, depending on if you purchase the standard 6’5” Street Sweeper or the Adjustable Street Sweeper.
Street Sweepers come with replaceable paddle ends. These allow for a powerful push off. However, some users report that the light, rubbery ends are prone to tearing and breaking. Replacing these pusher tips costs $20.
This $159 Land Paddle brand comes in three different “series” or types, including the Red, Yellow and Green Flex Series. All three possess different levels of flexibility that appeal to various riders. The especially unique Green Flex is designed to allow comfortable usage for riders that suffer from joint pain, due to its high level of flexibility. The Yellow and Red Flex series, while less flexible, are recommended for adult beginners because they require less muscle usage and allow for more control and balance.
West Street appeals to many long boarders because it allows for length, design, flex, diameter, and grip customization, perfect for the rider looking for a unique experience that they may not have found in other land paddle brands.
The West Street ball shaped ends allow users to plant the pole correctly and push of the ground from any angle. However, many users prefer other types of push tips that have stronger propulsion designs.
The Sk8Pole, the most basic land paddle that you can find out there, has a 76” aluminum shaft, and possesses the same replaceable pusher tip that comes with Hamboard Street Sweepers. The most affordable land paddle on the market, at only $59, the aluminum model is less popular because of its low flexibility and quality of material. However, if your main criteria for evaluation are durability and affordability, the Sk8Pole is for you.
Selecting the Right Product for You
Kahuna Creations offers a highly rated and wide selection of land paddles. The Carbon Fiber pole would be the best selection in terms of speed, weight, durability, weather-resistance, flexibility, and grip. The Kahuna Carbon Fiber pole is purely Carbon Fiber (as opposed to the Hamboard Street Sweepers—a blend of fiberglass and carbon), making it the most durable choice. However, at $300, a beginning rider may choose something more affordable and basic such as the Kahuna Bamboo pole.
If you are looking for an adjustable land paddle that can be used by various riders, I would recommend the Hamboard Adjustable Street Sweeper instead of the Kahuna Adjustable Big Stick. The Hamboard Adjustable is more expensive ($139.99) than the Kahuna Adjustable ($89.99); however user reviews confirm that the Hamboard is less stiff and allows for a more flexible ride. In terms of affordability, Sk8Pole is outstandingly more affordable but far less flexible than other brands at the price of $59.
As mentioned earlier, West Street land paddles are the most customizable brand. Users agree that adult beginners, those with joint problems, or any rider who prioritizes comfort with their ride will want to choose a West Street brand land paddle.
|Brand||Kahuna Big Stick Carbon Fiber||Sk8 Pole||West Street||Hamboard Adjustable|
|Pros||Best selection in terms of speed, weight, durability, weather-resistance, flexibility, and comfortable grip||Most Affordable, comes with a replaceable and unique pusher tip||Most customizable brand, best choice for adult beginners, those with joint problems, or any rider who prioritizes comfort with their ride||Allows for a flexible ride, can be used by various riders, durable carbon fiber and fiberglass shaft|
|Cons||Most expensive||Lowest reviews in terms of speed, weight, durability, weather-resistance, comfortable grip, but especially in flexibility||Weak pusher tip design (ball-shaped); users prefer other types of push tips that have stronger propulsion||Most expensive adjustable land paddle|