Yesterday Rose and I went to Praia Grande, Ubatuba. It was another sunny day with small waves so I decided to pop out for a few hours on my SUP for some paddling.
I caught a few waves and was having fun until my paddle broke. Pretty rubbish to be honest if you considered that these things are specifically made for paddling. I paddled back in (with my arms) and scoured the beach for the other part of the paddle (the blade) but it was nowhere to be found. Steaming up the beach, frustrated that I didn’t have a spare, end of session.
Last night I emailed Tiki, who manufacture the paddle and got this prompt reply:
“Paddles do regularly get damaged and this can be caused in a multitude of ways from general use. The aluminium shaft, plastic blade paddles are a very basic paddle designed really for light school/recreational use. I would recommend that serious paddlers invest in a stiffer high end paddle that are constructed with additional reinforcement for increased paddle stroke power.”
The product page on the Tiki website says the paddle has a:
“wide gauge aluminium shaft offering less weight but a great stiffness for power delivery to the paddle. The paddle itself has 2 stiffening spars on either edge ensuring a firm blade for it’s weight.”
The problem I have with this is three-fold:
- There are no usage suggestions on the website i.e. this paddle will break if you use it in the sea and not a calm river
- The product description is actually misleading as it suggests the paddle is strong, delivers power and has a firm blade
- The statement from Tiki completely contradicts what the product description says
- Tiki are basically saying, it is a cheap paddle (£50) you need to spend more to get something that won’t break
I would have assumed that the paddle would be strong enough to use to actually paddle and catch a few waves. The blade didn’t actually just fall off the end of the paddle, it was actually the aluminium shaft that broke. I’m in reasonably shape, but I am not Laird Hamilton. If I had known the product would have broken after 6 weeks of “normal” use, I wouldn’t have bought it.
I understand it is hard to offer a guarantee on a product where you can’t predict how people will use it, but at the same time Tiki should provide a more accurate and true description of each product they sell and possibly some usage suggestions and/or product limitations.
The long and short of the story is Tiki aren’t going to offer a replacement. So I am going to have to buy another, more expensive paddle. Will I go and buy it from Tiki, NO!
Update: Check out the video here.