Puakea Paddles, A first look at the Catch 22 8″ blade

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Puakea Catch 22 Stand Up Paddle

After 4 weeks of paddling in all types of conditions, flatwater, surf, wind and chop. I can say that I’ve put this paddle through the ringer and I’m impressed.

Background:

When I picked up the paddle at Surf Expo, Johnny Puakea explained the theories behind the paddle design and construction. Johnny Puakea is hypnotic. Maybe it’s knowing he was a Olympic paddle coach or that he coached Danny Ching and other top paddlers. Maybe it’s his method. Johnny explains things in a way that help you understand them no matter what level you’re at. I’m not sure. All I know is when he told me about it the paddle, I nodded like a bobblehead. I soaked it up like a sponge. It wasn’t until I got on the water that it all started to make sense.

What I like:

  • It’s clean: Squeaky clean. Entry and exit. If it was fabreeze, I would call it “fresh” scent
  • It’s light.
  • My shoulders don’t hurt.
  • My elbows don’t hurt.
  • It’s made me obsessed with my catch.
  • The shaft and handle are super comfortable, a mixture of a palm and a T, more palm than T, but with some T characteristics.

Thoughts:

I liked paddling with it, but would probably keep this for racing and training. I would really nail my desired length based on my skill level and my specific race board thickness and go with it as a race paddle. For surf, I would want a shorter shaft. In that case, I probably wouldn’t buy two because of the cost. The other issue is the price. I don’t know if this is the most expensive paddle on the market, but at $600 it’s up there. Paddles are so personal. I’d try one. It’s something I’d buy if I was serious about racing. There is a top tier of race paddles that are between $400 and $600 that are all worth the $. This one joins that “worth the money” group.

What you DO NOT want to do with this paddle:

  • Whitewater. I don’t think I’d suggest it. Carbon fiber and rocks don’t mix.
  • Get in a fight with a kung fu master. A 1-inch punch will end you, sucka
  • Defend yourself against a pit bull. There are better defenses, like carrying a steak and throwing it at them.

Specifications:

Manufacturer PUAKEA Designs
Item All Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle
Color Black Carbon w/ Yellow Graphics on Blade
Length Uncut Length = 87″
Blade Width Blade Width = 8.00″
Paddle Weight 16 oz
Materials 100% carbon fiber construction

MSRP:

$600.

Here is a video of Johnny Puakea explaining the paddle:

Where to buy it:

TBD. So far, you have to call to inquire about the paddles. The best bet is to try one at the Carolina Cup.