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Hands-on Gear Review
Bullet Proof Surf Alloy Review
Cons: Heavy, locking mechanism can get in the way of hands when switching hands and/or paddling
Bottom line: This sturdy product wins our Best Buy award for a multitude of reasons.
The Best Buy award-winning Bullet Proof Surf Alloy is a sturdy product with a nylon blade and aluminum shaft. It has a long length range and is among the most budget friendly SUP paddles we tested. On the heavier side, this paddle is excellent for those that don't demand quite as much performance and instead want a paddle that is affordable. The Alloy is heavier than most of the other contenders (the Super Paddle is the only paddle that is heavier)) but because it has one of the longest adjustment ranges of the paddles we tested, it's ideal for a broad range of paddler heights. It is family friendly because of this, and its nylon blade means it is very rugged and well, practically, bullet proof. If you're looking for something lighter, check out the Own the Wave model, which is a bit less expensive but not quite as durable. The Super Paddle product is a bit heavier, but it features a durable nylon blade and a longer adjustment range than some of the other paddles.
RELATED REVIEW: The 7 Best Adjustable SUP Paddles
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Alloy is a family and budget friendly two-piece paddle that is tough and durable. It has a very long adjustable length range of 18" that makes it usable for many different people of different heights. If you have a big family or you know that a lot of people are going to be using the paddle, this might be the product for you. The nylon blade is strong and won't get beat up if it is used to push off of rocks or other rough surfaces. The Alloy's wide, sturdy dihedral nylon blade resists scratches and dings and pushes through water easily. Its wide blade makes turning via back paddle a breeze.
Something to consider about this product is that if you are really tall and need your paddle to be adjusted to an extended length, the adjustment system might end up near your hand grip area.
Ease of Adjustment
The Alloy is easy to adjust, thanks to its TwinPin adjustment system. To change the length of the shaft you need to pull out the plastic adjustment locking mechanism that releases a peg from a hole. With the blade on the ground or the SUP, slide the handle up or down to the desired length, then push the plastic adjustment mechanism back in towards the shaft and the peg will snap firmly into the nearest peg of the new desired length. For a paddle that is easier to adjust, we recommend the Werner Trance.
The Alloy is a two-piece paddle with its shortest adjustment distance being 66". This is plenty of room for storage in a car or in your basement. However, the most compact models in this review are the Super Paddle and the IGK products. These models split into three pieces and come with their own carrying case. If you are planning on air travel time with your SUP setup, we recommend either one of these paddles.
The Alloy has a TwinPin locking mechanism/adjustment system. In order to adjust the length of the shaft, you must pull the plastic clip away from the paddle shaft, which disengages the stainless steel peg from an adjustment hole. Next you, pull the handle up or down to your desired length and then push the plastic clip back in, which snaps the peg back into one of the holes.
The nice thing about the collar clamp on this paddle is that when you pull it out you can also tilt it up a bit, which enables you to see inside and line up where the stainless steel peg is going to go. Most similar adjustment systems do not tilt out, which makes it harder to line up the peg with the hole and causes scratching the paint of the shaft as you move it around a bit to make it line up and snap back into place.
The Alloy has one of the widest blades tested and its large width pushes a lot of water, especially excelling on the back paddle. The wider blade makes turning via back paddle easier than some products, like the KIALOA Insanity. However, the Alloy is a heavy paddle. The second heaviest product in our test, the Super Paddle product is the only version that outweighs it (sitting at 2.5 pounds. Our lead tester is 5' 9" and when the Alloy is extended to a length of 74" (which is the recommended length for that height) the adjustment system ends up being approximately one quarter of the way down the shaft, which could impede your paddling when switching back and forth between hands. The Alloy has a large, comfortable handle. It is easy to grip and isn't too small.
At 2 lbs. 2 oz. the Alloy was one of the heaviest paddles tested. The Werner trance is the lighted model we tested at 1.2 pounds, thanks to its all-carbon construction (which also means it is quite a bit more expensive.
The Alloy would make a great paddle for a family or group with a wide range of heights and also for paddlers who might be a bit hard on their gear as its blade is one of the toughest tested.
From the Bullet Proof website: they guarantee, "If it doesn't deliver what it is supposed to at any time within twelve months it will be replaced or refunded." The Alloy is a good deal. It has an 18" adjustment length, which is among the longest ranges we tested, the blade is tough and can take a beating and the adjustment system/ locking mechanism has the nice little added feature of being able to tilt it out so that you can see into the peg area easier, which will decrease the frequency of the stainless steel peg scratching the paint off of the aluminum shaft. While not the cheapest paddle in our test (that title is owned by the Own the Wave product)), this paddle is a great option for users on a budget.
The Best Buy award-winning Alloy is a budget friendly option that might be great for those intending to have many people of different heights use it, as it has the widest range of adjustment of all of the contenders we tested. You can pick this paddle up on sale for about $60, which is a great deal. It is a heavy paddle, so keep that in mind. It has an aluminum shaft and a super durable nylon blade that is among the widest we tested and moves water easily. The Alloy comes with a one-year warranty.
— Shey Kiester & Valentine Cullen
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