Aqua-Bound Freedom Paddle
Photos by Jessie Keller

When I’m stand-up paddle boarding and focusing on my balance, I usually find myself wishing my load could be just a little lighter. Mostly my gut. But sometimes my paddle. A lighter paddle isn’t just about the ease of carrying it to and from the shore. A lighter paddle means less distraction from your balance and less fatigue throughout ride.

The Aqua-Bound Freedom Paddle is a 29-ounce, 100% carbon shaft that is noticeably lighter than most SUP paddles. Working from side to side across the water, it was far easier to pick up and never threw me off balance.

The Freedom’s blade is a good width (8.5 inches), and it is sturdy without any give, adding more thrust to every stroke. The blade only comes in blue, but that’s the color I would have chosen anyway.

I tested the 76”-86” 2-piece paddle, which detaches the handle at the end of the shaft. The Freedom also comes in a smaller 70”-80” length. (If you’re new to SUPing, a fair rule of thumb is to add 10” to your own height). Both paddles come in 2-piece and 4-piece take-apart models.

The Freedom is Aqua-Bound’s paddle for intermediate SUPers. The slightly heaver (31.5 oz) Spark is designed with beginners in mind, and for experienced paddlers, the Challenge has 27 oz adjustable and 24 oz fixed length options.

Aqua-Bound Freedom Paddle

Aqua-Bound claims to be the world’s largest manufacturer of canoe, kayak and SUP paddles. (Someone’s got to be.) The design and weight of the Freedom paddle are great arguments for how Aqua-Bound has attained that title – and why they’re set on hanging on to it.

 

Tech Specs:

Manufacturer: Aqua-Bound
MSRP: $139.95 (2pc) – $164.94 (4pc)
Product Site: http://aquabound.com/sup/freedom
Materials: Carbon, Standard
Blade Width: 8.5in
Blade Length: 17in
Weight: 29 ounces

Aqua-Bound Freedom Paddle

$139.95-164.94
8.5

Weight

9.0/10

Usability

9.0/10

Packability

8.0/10

Price

8.0/10

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight (29 oz.)
  • Wide and sturdy blade
  • Good contoured handle grip

Cons

  • Only available in blue
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