Isle 2-Piece Carbon Review
Cons: Showed signs of wear quickly, not our favorite locking mechanism
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Isle 2-Piece Carbon
$165.00 at Amazon
Check Price at REI
|Check Price at REI|
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|Check Price at Amazon||$60 List|
|Pros||Good performance, comfortable to hold||Easy to adjust, sleek, great paddle performance||Cuts cleanly through water, durable blade||Inexpensive, large adjustment range, durable nylon blade||Functional, low cost|
|Cons||Showed signs of wear quickly, not our favorite locking mechanism||Handle more prone to hotspots||Heavy, looks like a toy||Heavy, locking mechanism can get in the way of hands when switching hands and/or paddling||Heavy|
|Bottom Line||This paddle straddles the line between low-end and top-tier but we aren’t overly enamored with it||This top-tier SUP paddle is designed with female paddlers in mind, offering easy adjustability and excellent paddling performance||The Vibe is a great all-around paddle that moves water well and is easy to manage||This sturdy paddle is affordable, tough, and durable||A heavy paddle, the Own the Wave Adjustable has the lowest retail price in our review|
|Rating Categories||Isle 2-Piece Carbon||Kialoa Tiare Fiberg...||Werner Vibe||Bullet Proof Surf A...||Own the Wave Adjust...|
|Ease of Adjustment (20%)|
|Locking Mechanism (20%)|
|Specs||Isle 2-Piece Carbon||Kialoa Tiare Fiberg...||Werner Vibe||Bullet Proof Surf A...||Own the Wave Adjust...|
|Paddle Weight||2.0 lbs||1.5 lbs||1.7 lbs||2.2 lbs||2.0 lbs|
|Shaft Material||70% Fiberglas / 30% Carbon||Fiberglass||Fiberglass||Aluminum||Alloy|
|Blade Dimensions||92.85 sq in||80 sq in||100 sq in||95 sq in||95 sq in|
|Blade Material||Nylon||Fiberglass Fibrlite||Injection molded fiberglass||Nylon composite||Nylon composite|
|Offset||10 degrees||10 degrees||10 degrees||10.5 degrees||Not listed|
|Adjustablility (inches)||16 in||16 in||16 in||18 in||18 in|
|Length Range (inches)||67 - 83 in||66 in - 82 in||68 in - 84 in||71 in - 83 in||71 in - 83 in|
|Number of Pieces||2-piece||2-piece||3-piece (available in 1, 2, or 3)||2-piece||2-piece (available in 2 or 3)|
|Compact Size||67 in||66 in||34.5 in||65 in||65 in|
|Locking Mechanism||Mid-shaft cam lock||Handle LeverLock||Handle LeverLock||"TwinPin" Collar Clamp||"TwinPin" Collar Clamp|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While this is far from our favorite paddle, it definitely gets the job one. It's bundled with many of the Isle boards and does well enough that we wouldn't immediately recommend upgrading.
First and foremost, we rated and scored how the Isle 2-Piece stacked up against the rest of the paddles when it comes to on-the-water paddling performance. We looked at how cleanly and efficiently this paddle entered and exited the water, the power we could get from this paddle, the length of each paddle stroke, and our overall thoughts from many SUP excursions when it came to determining scores.
This SUP paddle did alright, meriting a score just above average. The teardrop paddle has one of the larger surface areas, allowing for plenty of power per paddle stroke — though this can make it more fatiguing to use. The shaft doesn’t have much flex, and the grip is comfortable to hold, with a minimal chance for hotspots or blisters forming even for marathon paddling sessions.
The blade has a dihedral with an offset of about 10 degrees to maximize the effective length of your paddle. However, we did notice the extra heft of the 2-Piece Carbon on the recovery stroke compared to the premium paddles.
As mentioned above, the weight of a SUP paddle can be critical, and our evaluation of that comprises our second testing metric for each product. We compared the weight of each paddle side-by-side, as well as how they felt on the recovery portion of each paddle stroke. Unfortunately, the Isle 2-Piece didn’t fare all that well in this metric, earning a below-average score.
This paddle weighs in at just under 2 pounds — surprisingly heavy in our opinion for a carbon paddle. This weight practically puts it in direct competition with some aluminum paddles and is close to 50% heavier than the lightest paddles we have tested.
Ease of Adjustment
Next, we looked at how user-friendly and intuitive it is to adjust the length of each paddle, paying particular attention to how it felt on the water. The Isle 2-Piece’s performance rebounded in this metric, meriting it a score just above average.
This paddle uses a mid-shaft cam locking mechanism and offers a total of 16 inches of adjustment. This gives the paddle a length varying anywhere from 67”-83”; we like that this paddle has a continuous range of adjustment, rather than discrete points or pins, really letting you fine-tune the adjustment.
Following adjustment, we moved on to comparing the locking mechanism for each paddle. The Isle's camlock mechanism is far from our favorite, earning it a so-so score.
The main reason we dislike this mechanism compared to the twin pin or LeverLock system is that it is harder to actuate, and we have had some problems where the screw loosened and requires a tool to tighten — difficult when on the water. It does give you adjustability when it comes to clamping pressure, but we have generally found this to be more trouble than it’s worth.
Our last performance metric looks at the aesthetics of each paddle. The Isle 2-Piece did fairly well with its plan look. We like the carbon texture on the shaft of the paddle, which complements the blade nicely. However, we did notice some accelerated wear and tear on the paddle edge after only a few uses, just from contacting the bottom or other objects when launching or landing the board. This can cut into the aesthetics just a bit.
The Isle is a decent value option, pairing a fairly middle-of-the-road price tag with solid performance.
We feel the Isle 2-piece is fine rather than fantastic. We wouldn’t actively dissuade you from getting it, particularly if you found it on sale or in a packaged deal with your new stand up paddle board. However, it doesn’t have the best in our opinions when it comes to weight and locking mechanism.
— Marissa Fox
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