HYDRO Pro - SUP Race Paddle
Product ID : HydroPaddle
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09/20/2017 - 08:24:37 PM
My "Go To" Paddle... Hydro 88
I had made some poor choices in the past with paddle lengths and blade sizes which caused some joint pain for me so I was looking for a new paddle that would correct all that but not sacrifice speed. Chris was really great to work with in helping me pick the right paddle for my needs. I have a quiver of about four paddles (all the major brands) and when I'm standing in front of the collection considering which one to use for my race or training day I reach for my Hydro 88 every time! It is my "go to" paddle for when I want to be at my best. I noticed right away that it felt lighter than the paddles I had been using and the Hydro made me feel like I could go all day!
Reviewed by tnelson
06/29/2017 - 05:18:42 AM
Hydro Pro 83
I was looking for a second race paddle for a long time when the Hydro Pro caught my eye. Being unsure about blade size, I got all the help I could possibly expect from Chris at BP, as well a European retailer. At 75 kg the 83 with the medium flex shaft is spot on. I was skeptical at first since my other race paddle, which I've been using for a couple of years, is a 91 but already after my first proper training run on a 13.4 km course, I was able to improve my average speed by 0.2 km/h! I somehow also felt an instant improvement in my paddling technique with the Hydro. Oh, and did I mention that the Hydro Pro is a beautiful paddle!
Can't wait to get back on the water!
Reviewed by Coldwater
05/26/2017 - 03:39:28 PM
Hydro "Power" Paddle!
Hydro 88 review: Initial Paddle
I was really excited to get a good paddle in after trying Juerg's Hydro 88 for just a few strokes about a month ago. I'm really impressed by the power through the middle with this blade. I got exactly what I was looking for! I wanted to focus less on my reach and just really dial in the 3-4' of power through the middle of my stroke. As I sat into my stance, the paddle engages and the power is immediate, not stopping until the paddle jumps out of the water at the exit. As I rose up through my stroke the paddle jumps right back into position to do it again! My cadence immediately increased and I'm now able to to be more efficient with less energy. Weighing in at only 15.2oz at a overall length of 76"! Well done Chris and BP Team...A big MAHALO for being such great people and sharing the stoke with us all! You've engineered a weapon!!!
Reviewed by CoreyHamilton
03/17/2017 - 02:21:40 PM
I have just completed my Black Project SUP race collection with a Blackproject Tiger V2 fin, Maliko V2 fin and Hydro 88 paddle. Thanks for the support along the way, Chris.
After getting my two Black Project SUP fins, I came to Chris for advice on switching from a very stiff race paddle (from a different OEM) to something more forgiving. Chris was the catalyst to my understanding of the benefits of using a medium flex shaft for long distance competition to improve my endurance and performance.
Using the Hydro, I can feel more grip on the shaft, more comfort in the palm of my hand and a much softer catch than what I had been accustomed to. My body is thanking me for the change.
Furthermore, thanks to Chris' innovative idea to use hot glue on the Hydro, I'm already looking forward to dropping 2 inches off the shaft to take my stroke to the next level.
Looking forward to seeing what's next from Black Project.
Reviewed by aurelienschwartz
03/05/2017 - 07:53:10 PM
Simply the best
We had ice out this week so I was able to take my new Hydro 83 out for a first-time paddle. 36 degrees air and water temps with 10-15 mph cross winds. Perfect conditions for a test.
I really don't have good GPS data at this point. Primarily because my file has multiple data points where I would literally stop paddling, pull the paddle out of the water and stare at it in disbelief while uttering WOW or Holy ****. It took only 4 minutes into the paddle for that to happen the first time.
After worrying all week that I bought a paddle that I have never tried, let alone seen, it delivered in spades. Chris' fins are tops so I figured he was making a statement by introducing a paddle into a crowded market. He did.
I have previously paddled a QB V and Tri, each for a year. The Hydro is so much better and both of those are clearly exceptional paddles. The catch with the Hydro is effortless, deep and solid without being jarring (V drive), the pull is smooth and fluid the entire stroke with no hot spots (Tri). It almost feels effortless to do your stroke yet speeds were high without trying to go fast. There was just flow and relaxation. That was an amazing sensation.
It was also the first paddle that I have used that I felt I could paddle how I wanted and needed, to be fast and efficient, rather than having to adjust my stroke, stance, grip, or cadence to the paddle. The latter seemed like an endless chore with the other two paddles. Maybe more skilled paddlers can figure it out but I could not find a comfort zone with either of them.
Everything on the BP web site written about this paddle is true and not marketing hype. I really look forward to speed tests later this year!!!!
Reviewed by elheilig
jmgarcialopez bought "HYDRO Pro - SUP Race Paddle"
on our website
03/03/2017 - 04:19:14 PM
HYDRO 88- ALL PADDLES ARE DEFINITELY NOT CREATED EQUAL
This is just as perfect of a race paddle as you will ever find! Not only is lightweight and flexible but also helps generate an incredible amount of power with actually less effort in every stroke. I could not recommend this paddle more to anyone who loves SUPing and in particular racing.
Also and just as important as the quality of the paddle is the quality of the folks behind it. Chris' customer service is way beyond my expectations. Not only he is super easy to communicate with, very knowledgeable and friendly, but with a real pride in the equipment he is selling and makes sure that your purchase is the correct one. Big thanks Chris!
Reviewed by jmgarcialopez
02/07/2017 - 07:20:50 PM
HYDRO RACE 88 --- HIDDEN POWER
Update: since last review late 2016.
Still STOKED- AND learning more new magic from my Hydro 88, as I tweak my paddle stroke.
I have since raced PPG last year - amazing hold and drive, Newport Beach NAC Oct 2016 - both same morning, 5 mile and 4 mile, after 45 mins rest...Dec 2016 3 mile sprint, and still today, after paddling 7 ft ocean swells, high winds, rain and cross chop and gusts, downwinding, glass-smooth waters... ---working on my ideal Reach & Catch and stroke-rate for me, and power breathing, hip-driving, and my HR optimum mid 170's ... The HYDRO 88 still teaches me something new today to be better and faster and less tired, more efficient -- I can still recover at a slower pace with a longer strokes, a fraction slower at 5 mph glides on my 12ft6x28 Manta Race SUP, without having to stop.... it powers me so well if you are mindful with your vertical paddle stroke and allow it to feel the water lock and move the board, and snap release out to reset.
I actually don't see a real benefit paddling with a very fast short cadence - just more tired, and a little slower - if' you're not mindful, you end up trying to pull the paddle through the water instead of the board, as fast as you can, and not allowing the Hydro to really grab the water...?
I have topped 8.91 MPH sprint for about 15 seconds over flat water...on my 12ft6 Lahui Kai Manta... it's really best in the ocean and waves, but also really good in the flats/chop if you watch your paddle stroke - it will make you better and faster.
35-40 SPM still pulls amazing fast smooth with my SpeedCoach GPS reading 5.1 mph - the key is paddling through the gears to get back up to planing speed.
Sprints and bursts ? Weight on toes, short powerful whip strokes and the board accelerates very quickly to a plane... 6 strokes to 4mph +, especially useful after a very powerful paddle-locked-in-the-water 180deg pivot turn, and releases so easily you need to be ready to go ! Shaft has just the right flex with medium, and the texture allows me to grip less and activate my back and hips more...
Still insist this is the best paddle for serious SUP racing or long distance. Apologies a little longer review than I planned, but I love planing my board with my HYDRO RACE 88. Invest in your paddle, then your fin.
Hats off the Chris = 6 STAR Service. Thank you mate.
Reviewed by vikingvelocity
02/01/2017 - 03:59:07 PM
HYDRO RACE: A MUST-MASTERPIECE
Along with the Maliko fin I got my new Hydro Race 83. I wanted to experience the BP combo together. Handle, shaft and blade look great and have the perfect finishing and high quality -and extremely good looking gear- provided by BP's products. Having the possibility of assembling and reassembling it. The hot glue option is really great as you can test and regulate the most adequate size for your height and paddling style. In the beginning it was a bit weird looking at a blade which is narrower and straight compare to more traditional designs. I was wondering how this "slim" paddle would perform in water. Standing on the board, first strokes and I realized how natural and fluid paddling was with this paddle. In the past when I tested other paddles, It took me definitely longer to have a good feeling with the paddle. Love at first sight (or at first strokes)! Great catch, amazing energy transfer and very easy paddle release. Very light but very solid. After warming up now time for rock-n-roll and sprints to see how the shaft flexes and the whole paddle reacts. First noticeable impression, the hands are glued to the shaft and I can paddle without fearing my hands would slip whatsoever. Energy release is fantastic and you feel you do take off, and all that with my incredulous eyes watching the "slim-small" blade working that well. Although I'm not an elite paddler whatsoever, hitting and keeping 10 km/h with an 12.6 (29) inflatable during some minutes was surprising to me :) Another important feature I would like to comment with regards to the blade's shape is that when you have to battle against strong head-wind, the slimmer and more narrowed shape is more "aerodynamic" and is less influenced by the wind! With other paddles I own, I always feel when I'm paddling against wind that the blade behaves like a sail and am going backwards or am being destabilized. I have noticed this effect is greatly minimized with this BPs design. I have also noticed that the more squared and slimmed blade tends to "scratch" much less the sides of the board and the paddling is more fluent and natural allowing a better cadence. The 8 degrees blade inclination is perfect and allows better control in the catching and pulling phases.
As per longer distances the medium-flex shaft is great as I feel joins more relaxed and the handle's shape reduces hands potential fatigue. For longer distances, I feel the round shaft works better than other oval-tapered shafts I have and my extended fingers work more naturally pulling better and being less stressed that if they would be working on a narrower angle. Again being very light and working together with the Maliko fin, changing sides is more a question of breaking with the monotony more than a question of losing track or feeling your shoulders burn. A MASTERPIECE you have to try and get.
Reviewed by IvanUre
01/25/2017 - 01:48:22 PM
Hydro 88 - Best Paddle on the Market
I had tried several other paddles out there, but this one was, far and away, the best. It's super lightweight, but incredibly strong, while still giving me the flex I need. I have used the Hydro 88 in different conditions - downwind, lake, light chop - and every stroke just feels powerful. It also has a slick look. I can't wait for the 2017 race season to start and kick the competition's butt.
It's also worth mentioning that not only is the paddle amazing, but so is Chris. Top notch customer service, super friendly and knowledgeable, and committed to making sure I have the best product for my SUPing needs. Thanks Chris!
Reviewed by danielmencher
11/05/2016 - 06:06:22 AM
So good you need to buy two of them
As the title says, you'll need to order two of these paddles.. not because it will break, but your buddies will try and steal it from you. Yes it's that good.
I've used many paddles, from all the major players and nothing has come to this paddle.. It's easy to say you like a piece of gear, that it does the job, but when you find something amazing you always want to use it. That's how I felt within 10 strokes of the Hydro.
The catch is so smooth that you'll probably pull the blade out of the water and try to figure out what kind of voodoo black project has put on it.
After putting about 25 miles on the paddle within a couple days here's what I love:
Velvety smooth catch.
VERY forgiving. If you miss a stroke, whatever.. this paddle doesn't care. It helps you get back to the rhythm easily.
Much less fatigue, close to none. I've doubled my avg distance since I've been using it, and I'm not working any harder.
Nice and light. Yes I know, some people like heavier paddles. Try paddling 10+ miles with an 18+ ounce paddle. Guarantee you'll be recovering a couple days after that. The hydro sits around 14 ounces which is perfect.
Nice and flexible shaft, not too much. Just right.
Easy to maintain a very high cadence.
This is a great race paddle. Not only can you sprint with it, because of that soft catch I mentioned.. you can go crazy, digging all the water you want without passing out.
I'm 5'8, 156 pounds and the 83 sq in blade is perfect. Should you want that extra power I'd go with the 88 sq in blade.
Lastly I feel like I should mention. Black Project customer service is outstanding. It's rare to find company's that go above and beyond to help the sup community and the average joe paddler without asking anything in return, and Black Project does this 110%
Thanks for making great gear that makes me a better paddler!
Reviewed by palteri
10/31/2016 - 07:20:28 PM
Fantastic Race Paddle
I write this review after having been lucky enough to have used a Hydro 88 with Medium Flex shaft and Palm Handle for just over a month. The bottom line: this is an outstanding piece of equipment and anybody who uses it will be happy every time they pick it up.
I have used the paddle in flat water conditions, in chop, and in downwinders, on inland waters as well as the open ocean, with a displacement board as well as an ocean shape. It worked perfectly in all conditions.
I really like the paddle assembly process. It's simple and makes me feel somehow closer to the technology. It also makes me appreciate the tight tolerances of the Black Project products.
Once it's set up the most amazing thing is the light weight of the paddle. Crazy light -- so much so that I feel that it improves my forward reach simply because there is less paddle to counterbalance.
Get out on the water and the paddle's superb hydrodynamics become evident. It enters the water cleanly without any ventilation. It holds a line without any flutter or even any squirminess. This is especially noticed when using the paddle for steering -- enter the water with a slightly open face and the paddle still holds like glue.
When the paddle leaves the water it's totally clean as well. There's no splashing and minimal water comes up with the blade. The trail behind the board shows no paddle marks at all -- just the wake of the board across the water.
The nicest thing is that the paddle feels like it applies an even, solid pull all the way through the entire stroke, from entry to release. It doesn't feel as though there are any points of higher or lower resistance -- no hot spots or drag points. When it exits the water, it's done, and it pops up cleanly and easily.
The high-aspect, rectangular blade design is also appreciated. When maintaining a line, the narrow profile allows the paddle to exit the water closer to the rail which makes the directional stroke even more effective.
Fast. Light. Clean. This is a great paddle and worth every penny.
Reviewed by areyniak
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