How do I cut my SUP paddle?
The vast majority of SUP paddles are what you call "Cut-down" paddles. While there is a little variation, they typically come in a length that will accommodate a person that is 6'4" or so, and you simply cut the shaft down to accommodate your specific height and then epoxy (glue) the handle on. There are fixed length wood SUP paddles, which you have to buy at a specific length and there are adjustable SUP paddles. while the concept of adjustable length paddles sounds great, except at the very high-end of the market, adjustable paddles leave a lot to be desired. Low end adjustable paddles are a lot weaker and are known to snap on occasion. What's more, they frequently employ metallic adjustment mechanisms, which can rust. We recommend you stay away from most mid-range adjustable paddles. The high-end ones can be great, but also come at a price.
Once you've measure the height you want your paddle to be, how you cut it depends on the material type of the shaft. For any cut, you're going to want to WRAP THE SHAFT WITH MASKING TAPE A FEW TIMES. This prevents it from chipping when you make the cut.
For a basic aluminum paddle, you'll likely need to cut it with a hacksaw. It's tricky to free cut a strait cut with a hacksaw, so if you have a jig to ensure the blade cuts straight, that's ideal.
For a carbon fiber paddle, we recommend you use a chop saw. Ideally, you'd use a blade that can easily cut thru carbon fiber. At Tower, we use a carbide blade and it works fine. You can also use a hacksaw on your carbon fiber blade, but it's difficult to cut straight so we don't recommend it. You can probably also use a skill saw, but a chop saw works best.
Remember when cutting the shaft that you'll be attaching the handle to the top, so factor that into your final length measurements.