To the ordinary eye, all kayak paddles look alike. However, in reality, the different paddles are designed for various purposes, and if you get the wrong tool for the job, then your paddling experience may end up being a nightmare.
Luckily for you, we have come up with this article that aims to help you make the right choice in your search for the best kayak paddles.
The first thing that you should know is that due to the many brands available in the market, you should aim to save time by narrowing down your search. You can do this by focusing on specific features that would boost your chances of ending up with the ideal kayak paddle.
Some of the factors that you need to put into consideration include:
- Your paddling style
- The paddle length
- The kayak width
- Materials used in the construction
Just to mention but a few.
We have also gone a step further in making things easier for you by analyzing ten brands of kayaking paddles, which we believe are some of the best in the market.
10 Best Brands of Kayak Paddles
Let’s start by reviewing these brands. We’ll provide you with our verdict toward the end of this article.
The Buying Guide
As we stated earlier, there are several factors that you need to put into consideration so that you can boost your chances of getting the best kayak paddle from the options available.
In the next section, we are going to guide you through these factors.
The Paddle Length
In general, kayak paddles are available in different lengths, starting from 210cm to 260cm. The ideal kayak length for you depends on several factors, including your kayak dimensions (width and height), your height, and your paddling style.
The Shaft and Blade Materials
The kayak paddles are made from different materials, all of them have their merits and demerits. Your choice of materials depends on your budget, personal preferences, as well as your mode of paddling.
Some of the popular blade materials include plastic, aluminum, nylon, carbon fiber, and fiberglass.
Plastic and nylon blades tend to be inexpensive plus also make the best spare parts. On the other hand, fiberglass blades are generally durable and lightweight and are ideal for recreational or touring kayaks.
Carbon fiber blades tend to be the priciest but also offer the best performance.
One of the popular shaft materials is wood, probably due to its sturdiness and longevity. Some wooden shafts are coated with an extra layer to boost their resistance.
Aluminum shafts are also popular, although they usually are bulky and would tire you out easily.
If you know you are going to subject your kayak paddle to frequent use, then you should go for fiberglass and carbon fiber shafts since they are sturdy and lightweight, though you would have to contend with their high pricing.
The Blade Shape
Most blades have a dihedral shape, which implies that they have two faces that direct the flow of water towards the end of the blades, and this helps in making the paddle more efficient.
You should also go for asymmetric blades since they tend to be balanced in terms of the surface area that is in the water. As a result, you would use less energy in paddling the stroke, plus there would also be minimal blade flutter in the water.
Different Types of Paddles
Kayak paddles are designed for different purposes, so it would be wise to know the different specifications that would suit your needs best. Let’s check out some of these paddles.
Touring Kayak Paddle
This type should generally be comfortable and are mostly ergonomic, durable, and lightweight. They are most suited for use in slow-moving rivers or calm lakes.
An advantage with the touring paddles is that they are available in different styles, so you should easily find one that would suit your preferences.
Recreational Kayak Paddle
As the name would tell you, this type is meant for recreational use, and they tend to be affordable but bulky. Therefore, they are ideal for short trips to minimize the chances of causing you fatigue.
Whitewater Kayak Paddle
This type of kayak paddles is designed for use in the unfriendly whitewater conditions. Therefore, they are designed to be durable and would withstand underwater debris and rocks.
On top of that, they possess wider blades and thicker shafts for efficient maneuvering in strong currents.
Performance Kayak Paddle
This type is built with performance in mind and tends to be ultra-light and durable. On top of that, most of them have advanced features to offer you more speed and power.
They are designed to be comfortable and very easy to use.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We have also compiled some queries and as well as their responses with the hope that they will boost your understanding of kayak paddles.
Q: Is it possible to extend my Kayak Paddle?
A: Yes, it is, although it depends on the type of paddle that you have. If you possess a single-piece design, then adding an extension may be a challenge.
However, if you have a two or four-piece design, then adding an extension would be easier as it would easily fit between the different shaft pieces.
Q: Which is the best way to hold my Kayak Paddle?
A: This should be quite straightforward. Start by sitting back in your kayak seat before holding the kayak paddle with your hands expanded to be wider than the shoulders.
Then, try and reach the most forward position with this paddle before pulling it back using your hands and shoulders.
Now repeat this action on both sides of the vessel.
Best Overall Choice
After that lengthy discussion, we have settled on the SeaSense Kayak Paddle as the best of them all. Not only is it well-priced, but it is also well-built and lightweight to ensure that you remain comfortable all through your use of this kayak paddle.
We understand that choosing the best kayak paddles from the many options available can be a confusing and challenging task. That is why we have come up with this simple guide that you can rely on to get the best tool for the job.
You should also make a point of reading the brief reviews that we have done on the ten brands, and in the end, nothing should stop you from landing the best kayak paddle.
Good luck in your search!