Factors to Think About When Choosing a Kayak Paddle
There are a few different things to think about when choosing a new kayak paddle. The kayak you are using is important to consider, as is the paddling style you prefer, what sort of stroke you want, whether you prefer a two-piece paddle and more. This might sound complicated but we’ll break it down so you know exactly which paddle meets your needs.
Type of Kayaking You Do
You need to think about what sort of kayak you will be using when considering the paddle to purchase. There are many kayak types like slalom, whitewater, sea, marathon, surf, and touring. Each is better using a specific sort of paddle. There are design differences that can be better for one type than the other. For example, touring kayakers want a longer paddle than a whitewater paddle. Those in gentle waters will do well with a touring kayak paddle. Those who want to go fishing may want special features like hooked blades or measurement marks on the paddle.
Length of the Kayak Paddle
When choosing the right length of paddle, you want to take into consideration your height and how wide your kayak is. There are many charts available that can give you an idea of which will best fit your needs. As a rule of thumb, those paddling kayaks under nine foot should choose a shorter paddle while those with kayaks more than 12 feet long should choose a longer paddle.
Material Used for Blade
One of the most important parts of your paddle is the blade. The materials used in its construction have an effect on the price and the weight. There are three major types of paddle materials: fiberglass, carbon fiber, and plastic. The top end paddles are made from carbon fiber which is light and has less flex. Fiberglass blades are a little heavier than carbon but lighter than plastic. Plastic blend blades are most often found in beginner’s paddles due to their inexpensiveness and the fact that they are quite durable. However, they have a lot of flex and may be hard to use over long distances.
One Piece vs. Two Piece Paddles
Most paddles on the market will come in one single piece or two pieces, so you need to decide which is the right option for yourself. The two-piece option is easier to store since it breaks down into a smaller configuration for transport. However, the extra joint makes it more likely to break or for you to feel a shake while using it. A one-piece paddle doesn’t have this issue, but it can be difficult to store in a car.
Shaft Material Choice
The materials used to create the shaft will have an effect on how that paddle performs and what its weight is going to be. Aluminum tends to be the least expensive option, but it is heavier and can transfer the temperature of the hot sun or cold water. Fiberglass shafts are more expensive, but the paddle offers a higher level of performance and tends to be lighter. Carbon fiber shafts are the lightest paddle option but the most expensive. This material is rigid and offers a highly responsive stroke.
Choosing Your Perfect Kayak Paddle
As you can see, there are hundreds of paddles on the market to choose from. This article should guide you toward finding the one that fits your needs and your budget at the same time. Those who are just starting out with kayaking may want to begin with a budget-friendly model and move up later, while those who are more experienced may want to consider the special features of various paddles. These 11 paddles are likely to offer something for everyone.