Thumb Runner: a revolutionary stand-up paddle made in New Zealand | Photo: Zecante

Meet the Thumb Runner, the stand-up paddle that promises safer and up to four times more powerful strokes.

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is set to become a lot easier and safer with the design of a new and different paddle that can be used more effectively when weather conditions change for the worse.

Created by New Zealand-based company Zecante and called the Thumb Runner, the new paddle allows the user to turn the traditional T grip handle into a paddle of its own when sitting or kneeling.

"We all know how tough and even dangerous stand-up paddling can be when this happens," says Bernie Cook, CEO of Zecante.

"One minute you can be cruising along happily, the next you can be struggling to return to shore against wind and tide."

Thumb Runner was launched on Kickstarter, and production is set to start soon.

"Getting to your knees to reduce wind resistance and improve balance is the traditional method a struggling paddler will use to get back to shore, but current paddles are not designed to be as effective as they could be in this mode," adds Cook.

The Thumb Runner paddle means users can operate their SUP like a kayak instead of switching the paddle from side to side giving them up to four times more power to get through the water.

"It's just a nice safety net to have the option there to change your paddling technique should conditions force you to," he says.

Made in New Zealand with a carbon fiber shaft, the Thumb Runner feels and performs just like a traditional stand-up paddle when being used in stand up mode.

"These days people use their boards in ways the manufacturers never intended, such as having two people on board, using it as a mobile diving platform for the kids, taking pets for a ride, sunbathing, fishing and so on," explains Bernie Cook.

"Having a paddle that can work effectively as a double-ended paddle without changing the enjoyment of a traditional stand-up experience is something completely new."

Learn how to paddle a SUP efficiently.