So despite our earlier jibe about the value of expert opinion in this post truth era, many of us look to experts to help us to see past the marketing spiel, and to tell the good, from the indifferent, to the mediocre. And paddlesports instructors have particular expertise and their opinions are highly valued.
You might have heard us talk about #themalteseSUPproject. 4 outdoors / paddle instructors took off in November this year to paddle around Malta, a task that they (by and large) achieved despite a huge storm in the Med.
Georgina Maxwell, one of the riders, came to McConks to ask us to pimp her ride. So George set off with our 12’8 GoExplore board, designed as a touring/expedition SUP, and one of carbon SUP paddles. George was so blown away with our paddle, that she’s written us great little review, which we just had to share as a special blog post.
McConks Vario pro carbon fibre – 3 piece carbon bamboo paddle.
As part of my sponsorship arrangement with McConks they offered me the McConks Vario pro carbon fibre – this is a 3 piece carbon bamboo paddle. This paddle weighs in at <700g and when it arrived I was struck immediately with its weight and size of which it packed down to.
On our expedition The Maltese Sup Project a few things were highlighted.
The paddle came in a tidy padded bag which can fit x2 3 piece split paddles in if you wanted a spare or in our case are trying to combine luggage. The next important thing to note is it fitted inside the SUP bag meaning you have only one bag to check in.
On the water
The paddle is comfortable to use on long distance. The T grip has a shape which sits in your palm in a snug smooth way with no plastic rough finish like I have previously experienced with other paddles.
Its adjustable it can go from as tall as 220cm for adults to as short as 170cm for kids.
I discovered the adjustable feature is also beneficial from transferring from feet to knees in the wind and chop. It means you can shorten the paddle with the flick of a switch and still be able to use the T grip.
Because it was 3 piece it didn’t seam to effect the strength in my opinion, even in the toughest of winds and swell I was unaffected by any flex. Dear I say I didn’t notice any but this may because I was so use to using this by this stage.
The 3 piece has a clip lock system, which uses little screws to keep it working, on long Jouneys and particularly on expedition I took a spare clasp and after a few days out I checked the tightness of the screws, they were always tight, so prhaps I was over prepared in this field.
There you have it, I tried my hardest not to say how much I enjoyed paddling with the Vario but I truly did enjoy the paddle and I would highly recommend it particularly for overseas travel.