Today we invited Naish Hong Kong Paddler Tyler Tai, to review the latest and most innovative paddle from Black Project – the Hydro FlowX.
What’s so special about this paddle?
This paddle is one of the most unique paddles I’ve ever used and I’m amazed by not just how light it is but also the technologies involve in building this paddle, and the performance improvements the paddle brings.
After 1 month of use, what are your thoughts on the Hydro FlowX?
This is by far the lightest paddle I’ve ever used. Weight only approx. 360 grams (note: varies depend on blade size, paddle length, etc) I was able to save a lot of energy when paddling especifically for long-distance touring and training.
Perhaps the most striking features of this paddle are its unique designs as a result of the Advanced Flow Technology (AFT) and Deep Power Scoop (DPS). You can spot them immediately when you look at the front and back of the blade. I’m astounded by how smooth my strokes were and the amount of power I can deliver.
Attention to detail
A small detail of this paddle I really like that people often overlook is the texture on the shaft. It really helps to improve the grip of the paddle without the need to apply any 3rd party tape or wax. This is particularly useful for me as I’m a sweaty person.
What blade size, length have you chosen and why?
Since my main purpose for this paddle would be long-distance touring and racing, I’ve chosen small blade size which allows me to conserve more energy and significantly improve my endurance. For most Asians, I’d suggest either a Small or Medium blade size depending on your physicality and the conditions you’ll be paddling in.
My paddle length is shorter than it normally would since I’m looking for performance improvement more than anything. My paddle is 69″ long and my height is approx. 163cm. Paddle length is unique to each person and if you are not sure what length to choose, Black Project’s website actually got a pretty good chart that you can refer to. Alternatively, you can also find a local SUP shop like Whatzsup in Hong Kong and ask for their advice.
What water conditions have you tried using the Hydro Flow X?
I’ve used this paddle in various conditions including in flat water, open ocean, and down winding. In all of the conditions my performance has gained significant improvements and I was particularly impressed by how easy it is for me to catch bumps when down winding.
Who would you recommend this paddle to?
Anyone who is looking to improve their paddling experience.
If you are an advanced paddler who is looking to improve your performance, this paddle can definitely deliver. And if you are a causal paddler who only paddles for leisure, this paddle would save you a lot of energy making your SUP trip a lot easier and enjoyable.
Where can I buy it?
In Hong Kong you can buy it from Whatzsup which usually holds group buy / pre-orders every few months. Sometimes they even have the paddle in stock and they will help you cut the paddle and provide advice on how to customize your paddle free of charge.