Kayaking has gained popularity because it is the best way to strengthen your physical condition.your health and have a lot of fun. If you have not tried kayaking before, it is never too late to have a shot at it. As a matter of fact the key of paddling success depends not only from your initial power, but also from the right equipment.
Obviously, paddling involves the use of paddles in order to move the vessel through the water. Undoubtedly, it is a little tricky to select the right one, if you think that there is a large variety of paddles on the market. After researching and asking kayak experts, we gathered some useful information and features you have to look for in the best kayak paddle. Here is the complete kayak paddle review:
Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle
Plastic molded blades and aluminum shaft
Carlisle Day Tripper Aluminum Kayak Paddle
Polypropylene blades and aluminum shaft
SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle
84 and 96 inches
Plastic blades and aluminum shaft
SeaSense X-Treme II Kayak Paddle
84 and 96 inches
Plastic blades and aluminum shaft
SeaSense X- Treme II Mix Kayak Paddle - Budget Choice
84 and 96 inches
Plastic blades and aluminum shafts
Carlisle Expedition Fiberglass Touring Kayak Paddle - Runner Up
Fiberglass blades and shaft
Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle - Best Kayak Paddle
Polypropylene Blades and Fiberglass shaft
This factor is very important because the appropriate length definitely contributes to high speed, stability and control. The length scale starts from 190cm up to 250cm. Generally speaking, you should choose the right size of your kayak paddle according to your height and width of the kayak.
I would like to illustrate my point with an example. For instance right size of the shaft for a 180cm man or woman is: The distance between the arms at shoulder level and slightly more centimeters X 2 = 170cm.
Thus the right size is 170cm plus the length of the two blades. As far as the width of the kayak is concerned, the size of the paddle increases relative to the width of the vessel. Below you can see a table which analyses the exact size.
Distance between your arms at shoulder level and slightly wider
Best Kayak Paddle Size
If you draw an imaginary line about the shaft it will divide the blade into two parts. If both parts have the same shape, the blade is called symmetrical, whereas the reverse is called asymmetrical.
This blade type was first used by the Olympic Swedish Team almost 35 years ago. It has a rounded shape and the main characteristic is that it looks similar to a common table spoon. The shape facilitates the paddler to cover long distances, but it lacks in speed.
The outstanding feature of this blade shape is that it has two power faces. Imagine that it has the shape of a flattened upside down ‘’V’’ letter. Moreover, it is designed to give you a smooth paddling experience.
Equally important is the fact that it significantly decreases the vibration and allows better gliding.
The blades are long, flat and mounted on a short shaft. It is important to mention that you will not have to put much effort to paddle. Consequently the cadence decreases so you will have more strokes per minute.
Greenland blades are considered to be ideal especially for rolling due to the symmetrical shape.
The majority of kayak owners pay no attention to the feathering of their kayak paddle. First of all, we would like to explain the term ‘’feathering’’. Feathering serves the aerodynamic purposes and it is actually the action of adjusting the blades at an angle to each other.
Consequently, there are feathered and unfeathered paddles.
Advantages of a feathered paddle:
Unsurprisingly, many people have no idea that there are two paddling styles, high and low angle paddling. Many paddle manufacturers categorize blades into high-angle and low-angle blades which are both asymmetrical. Let’s take a closer look at the differences.
High angle paddling style is well suited for white ‘’moving’’ waters. While the one blade is deeper in the water, you are holding the other side with your hand more vertically. Generally speaking this paddling style maximizes the power of each stroke and concurrently increases your speed.
For this reason, many paddle companies designed high angle paddles with short blades which are made of high density materials. This paddling style might be more efficient as it gains in speed and maneuverability, but it is also much more demanding and exhausting.
The low-angle paddle is long and usually narrow and you have to hold the shaft more horizontal while paddling. The shaft is basically held at a 45-degree angle. This paddling style is ideal for long kayaking tours just because you do not have to put much effort.
The low angle paddling style involves dipping in the water the one side of the blade quite far from the boat. Consequently, that gives you more stability and this is especially important for beginner paddlers.
Many people tend to ignore the importance of a good kayak paddle. However, manufacturers took to heart all modern kayaking need and placed them into their products. Below, we will present some of the best top brands in the paddle constructing branch.
After researching thoroughly the market and testing some of them we brought to you the seven Best Kayak Paddles. Each kayak paddle review will not only present and analyze the highlight features but also inform you about the advantages and disadvantages. Accordingly, we will declare the big winner.
Unsurprisingly, the 96 inches Shoreline Marine paddle is definitely on the list of the best kayak paddle. It is really durable as it is made of high quality materials.
Durability: The highlight of the kayak paddle is its durability. The aluminum shaft and molded plastic blades are really sturdy and will provide an excellent paddling experience
Overall, many people would recommend this paddle. The only drawback and the most important thing is that it sinks. There is nothing worse to lose your paddle in the middle of nowhere. However, utilizes some features that some expensive paddles would be jealous of.
With a quick look, we can figure out that the Carlisle Day Tripper paddle is suitable and ideal for beginners and basically for high angle paddles. Moreover, it is suitable for right or left hand use. If you are just taking up with kayaking it would be a good choice.
Blade: Both the shape and material are excellent. The polypropylene asymmetric blades will surely provide an efficient kayaking experience.
To sum up, it is equally important to mention that they are quite cheap. If you do not want to spend a fortune for a paddle you can choose it. Generally speaking, it is a good selection for newbies as it has only one angle position.
With a shaft made of aluminum and a weight of 2.2 pounds it is definitely a good choice. What is not to love? Furthermore, the symmetrical plastic molded blades are hydrodynamic and are perfect for long touring and fishing.
Balanced Blade Construction: The most outstanding feature of this kayak paddle is the blade design. Manufacturers used hard plastic to make it durable and gave to it a symmetrical shape. It is scientifically proven that symmetrical blades offer great stability and will not get easily tired while kayaking.
Finally, if you want an ‘’easy for the wallet’’ paddle, this is the perfect one. From our point of view we would highly recommended for beginners and children.
On the first place, this paddle is especially designed for the high angle paddling style as it utilizes a feathered asymmetric blade. It comes in two sizes, 84 and 96 inch so you can choose it according to your height and kayak width. There is no doubt that the combination of price and well-constructed design makes it one of the top choices between many other paddles.
Easy Storage: If you are considering of getting this paddle, you should not exclude portability from your vocabulary. You can break it down into two parts and store it in your car or backpack. Every inflatable kayak owner would agree that this is the best solution for inflatable kayak paddle.
Finally, this recreational kayak paddle has a good design and will help you paddling like a pro. It is especially designed for extra maneuverability and finesse movements. Emphasis should be laid that the main characteristic is that it is portable so you do not have to worry about lack of space.
Undoubtedly, you will not overlook the beautiful design of this paddle as it comes in 2 different colored blades attached on a black shaft. It comes in two sizes. 84 and 96 inches and utilizes some extraordinary blade features. Whether you have a hard-shell or inflatable kayak, you will definitely be satisfied with its functionality.
Lightweight and Portable: It can be broken down into two parts and it is extremely lightweight if you imagine that the 84’’ paddle weighs only 2.25lbs. These two factors serve the portability purposes.
Summarizing, the most important factor before choosing a paddle are the blades. Consequently, this paddle has a good design and you can use it whether for rough or still waters.
True to its name, it is a great paddle for touring and other activities. The beautiful gold color makes it extraordinary and if you take a closer look at it during daylight you can see the fiberglass fibers. Additionally, it is important to mention the fact that this is a professional paddle.
From our point of view, we would like to figure out that it would be a good selection especially for anglers. It offers maneuverability and flexibility.
Maneuverability: The 17' x 7" blades are constructed of fiberglass and they are also feathered. Feathered blades are designed for rough waters and offer maneuverability. Some activities like fishing require many movements.
Finally, if you want to paddle like a pro this is the best choice. Undoubtedly, the Carlisle Expedition is a paddle that will definitely not disappoint you at all. However, the only drawback is the price.
First of all, the Carlisle kayak paddle definitely deserves a place in our best kayak paddle list. There is no doubt that it is a value for money paddle. It is able to withstand any harsh abuse and is capable to cope with every water circumstances.
Great Blade! : The blades are made of high density fiberglass polypropylene and have an asymmetrical shape. If you take a closer look at them they look slightly like a spoon. The blades are able to withstand multiple conditions and they you can use this paddle for many paddling styles.
However, we recommend it for low angle paddling as it works great for horizontal strokes.
Overall, if you want to invest in a good kayak paddle this would be a good choice. Most of you will find it expensive but it is a value for money product. The materials are of high quality and that is the main factor that increases the price.
Since there are a large variety of paddles on the market it would be a little tricky to choose the right one. However, we tested some of them and managed to figure out the most important features you should look for in the best kayak paddle. Hopefully, the following points will play a significant role in your decision.
Just to make things murkier, each material serves a different purpose. However, it depends on you and your paddling style. Here are the most common materials used for the shaft and blade.
Allegedly, kayak paddles must be lightweight. However, not all lightweight materials are sturdy enough. There are many benefits if you have a light paddle as it provides better control, maximizes the performance and makes it automatically portable.
If you are an inflatable kayak owner, it would be a better idea to choose a paddle that has a multiple piece shaft. You can break the shaft down and transport it in your suitcase, backpack or car.
Moreover, we recommend a small diameter shaft for beginners and children. Some shafts have also grid guards which block the water. There is nothing worse getting wet while kayaking especially during the winter.
A: Many people have the wrong perception that feathered paddles are better. However, we would like to disagree because that depends only from you and your kayaking style. I would like to illustrate my point with an example.
If you are white water kayaking it is a good choice to use feathered blades in order to have a better control of the kayak. However, a little child that makes his first kayaking ‘’steps’’ should use an unfeathered paddle blade. The child will not face rough waters in the beginning.
A: Of course not. However you can choose feathered blade paddles with a short shaft. Fishing implies much maneuverability so you will need a paddle that offers you that feature.
Tip: If you are kayak fishing, it would be a good idea to use light color paddles. If you get lost, with a light color paddle you can be easier recognizable from the shoreline.
A: From our point of view, this is one of the first features you should look for in the best kayak paddle. There is nothing worse to lose your paddle especially during the winter period. Certainly, if you are a high experienced kayaker you will not face such problems.
Nevertheless, this is important for your safety.
If you have a paddle that does not float, it would be brilliant to adjust a lanyard on your hand and the paddle.
Finally, kayaking is the best way to relax and to improve your physical conditions. Moreover, it is an opportunity to spend some time with your family or friends reconnecting to Mother Nature.
However, before you start kayaking you must get a kayak and a paddle. The paddle is the ‘’human’’ motor of your vessel so you must get one with high ‘’horsepower’’. The key of success is in the blade shape and material.
This article analyzed thoroughly seven kayak paddles in order to make some suggestions and finally declare the winner of the great roundup. After testing the paddles, we made our decision. The clear winner is the Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle.
We characterize this paddle as the best kayak paddle out of seven because it combines well-constructed blades and sturdy shaft. All other paddles do not have this ‘’spooned’’ shape blades. The shape is very hydro and aerodynamic and the Carlisle Company promises a smooth kayaking experience.
In addition, we realized that some of them do not have the ability to float if you drop them in the water accidentally. That was a major factor for the low star rating as it could be a really serious problem especially for young kayakers.
Hopefully, this buddy will last a life time.
Thank you for reading and if you have any questions or further ideas do not hesitate to leave a comment below in the comment box.