Best Kayak Paddles in 2020 & How To Choose

Best Kayak Paddles

Best Kayak Paddles in 2020 & How To Choose

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.

1. SeaSense Kayak Paddle

Best Kayak Paddle

Getting good kayak paddles under $100 may prove to be challenging as most of the high-quality paddles tend to be pricier.

However, there is always an exception to the rule, an excellent example being the SeaSense kayak paddle.

It has a two-piece aluminum shaft that is both sturdy and lightweight.

Are you worried about the grip? Well, you can relax knowing that they are made of comfortable foam that would prevent your hands from getting fatigued even after an entire day of paddling.

The paddle also features drip guards that aim to keep your hands dry throughout the day.

Lastly, the blades are adjustable to three different positions so you can easily get the one that suits your style best.

Pros

Well-priced
Lightweight and sturdily constructed
Comfortable grip

Cons

Only for still water bodies

2. Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle

Paddle

If you are looking for an ideal paddle for recreational purposes, the Carlisle Magic Plus is here for you. It is suited for both beginners and experts and is available in three different lengths, 220cm, 230cm, and 240cm.

This paddle has a sturdy construction comprising of a fiberglass shaft and glass-reinforced polypropylene blades. As a result, the blades are quite sturdy and would withstand constant bumping against rocks as you attempt to move away from a tricky situation.

The shaft is slightly flexible, and this makes the tool gentle on your wrists as you paddle your way through the water.

Then, at only 2.5lbs, this paddle is lightweight and portable. Further, it has a 2-piece design, and this adds to its ease of transportation.

Lastly, this tool is available in bright blue and orange colors, making it highly visible, and we could consider this to be a safety feature.

Pros

Sturdy construction
Lightweight and portable
Available in vibrant colors for visibility

Cons

The shaft is too thick

3. Bending Branches Angler Classic Kayak Paddle

Kayaking Paddles

For the beginners who are just getting into kayak fishing, the Bending Branches Angler Classic would be a reasonable pick.

To start with, it has a fiberglass shaft, and this leaves you with a lightweight yet durable tool for paddling.

The nylon blades, on their part, have fiberglass reinforcement to make them sturdy and capable of withstanding the challenges that come with everyday fishing.

An outstanding feature of this paddle is the 3-button snap ferrule that enables you to adjust the feathering angle from between 0-60-degrees.

On top of that, you could also upgrade to a ferrule that offers you unlimited adjustment angles. You also have the option of adjusting the paddle length.

You should also appreciate the built-in hook retriever that aims to help you unsnag the lures and hooks to give you more time to focus on the fishing.

Lastly, it has a two-piece design that enhances its portability.

Pros

Well-built
Has a hook-retrieval notch
Lightweight and portable

Cons

Reports of paddles arriving broken

4. Aqua-Bound Manta Ray 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

Aqua Bond Kayak Paddle

Made in the USA, this is an extremely lightweight paddle that would not pose any fatigue or inconvenience; however long you hold it.

It features a carbon fiber shaft that not only makes it lightweight but sturdy and durable as well.

The paddle has a two-piece design with carbon fiber blades that would offer the extra power that you need as you paddle through the water.

The shaft is oval, and this adds to its comfort plus gives it a superior grip.

You should also appreciate the Posi-Lok ferrule system that enables you to adjust the feathering angle plus also to lock it in place whenever you find it necessary to do so.

It is available in different sizes, ranging from 210cm to 250cm.

Pros

Lightweight
Sturdy construction
Comes in different sizes

Cons

Too stiff

5. Werner Camano Premium Fiberglass Kayak Paddle

Cute Paddle

Are you looking for an ideal touring kayak paddle? If you are, then your search should stop at the Werner Camano fiberglass paddle.

This is a high-end brand that is available in different lengths ranging between 205cm and 260cm. Therefore, it is easy for you to find the length that would suit your preferences best.

Let’s talk about the carbon fiber construction that makes the paddle sturdy and lightweight at the same time. In fact, at 1.53lbs, this is one of the lightest paddles that you may ever come across and would be suitable for long-distance paddling.

Then, the ferrule is vividly marked to offer you a wide range of feathering options.

You should also appreciate the shape that makes this paddle well-suited for low-angle paddling.

Lastly, the paddle is available in one, two, and four-piece options.

Pros

Sturdy and durable
Lightweight
Offers different feathering options

Cons

Pricey

6. Cannon Paddles Escape E-Kayak Paddle

Cannon

This is another entry-level kayak paddle that you should make it to your list. First, it is lightweight and durable, and we can attribute this to the aircraft-grade aluminum shaft.

Still, on the shaft, it has a two-piece design plus has three offset angles to enable you to adjust it to your ideal angle.

If you intend to be paddling for the entire day, you can have peace of mind that your hands would be comfortable all through due to the ergonomic grips.

On top of that, your hands would always be dry due to the heavy-duty rings on the shafts that prevent water from running down through it.

The paddle is made in the USA under strict protocols, and so you can relax knowing that you have acquired a high-quality and durable product.

Lastly, it is decently priced such that you do not have to break the bank to acquire it.

Pros

Made in the USA
Well-priced
Comfortable and ergonomic grips

Cons

Too flexible

7. AquaBound Carbon Shred Whitewater Kayak Paddle

Aqua Bond whitewater paddle

This whitewater paddle is available in five different lengths, including 192cm, 194cm, 196cm, 198cm, and 200cm.

Therefore, it is easy for you to find your ideal fit.

It features a straight carbon fiber shaft as well as short blades that are reinforced with plastic. Then, at a weight of 2.15lbs, it is relatively lightweight plus is also stiff to give it the strength to sustain raging waters.

Are you worried about its storage? Then you can relax as the paddle is available in one-piece and four-piece configurations so that you can choose your most convenient design.

The one-piece model offers right-handed dominance while the four-piece design offers you push-button ferrule with feathering options starting from 60-degrees going up by fifteen-degree increments.

This is a budget-friendly option meaning that you do not have to break the bank to acquire it.

Pros

Well-priced
Available in different lengths
Durable construction

Cons

Features plastic blades that are fragile

8. Advanced Elements Compact Touring Paddle

Advanced Elements Paddle

This would be an ideal paddle to use with your Advanced Elements inflatable kayak for a day of fishing in the lake.

It is a lightweight paddle at 2.7lbs, and it comes in four sections. This is one of the reasons why this is a very portable paddle that would fit into your trunk quite effortlessly.

The paddle features aircraft-grade aluminum shaft and nylon blades that are reinforced with glass fibers. This gives you a durable product that can sustain a beating by the rocks and other debris in the water without falling apart easily.

The blades are asymmetrical in shape to offer more thrust even at lower paddle angles.

Pros

Lightweight and portable
Compact for easy transportation
Well-built

Cons

Only available in one size

9. Seattle Sports 060295 SeaWhisper Carbon Kayak Paddle

Seattle Sports

For those looking for a versatile kayak paddle, the Seattle Sports SeaWhisper would be a reasonable option. It is lightweight and well-suited for recreational, touring, or even fishing expeditions.

It features asymmetrical nylon blades with fiberglass reinforcement to give you sturdy and reliable blades that would rarely let you down.

On top of that, each blade has DorsalBlades built into it for holding the fishing line or any other gear at risk of falling overboard.

The shaft on its part has an adjustable length of between 230cm and 240cm. The feathering angle is adjustable, as well.

A bonus feature that you would get with the SeaWhisper lies with the reflectors that are built into the blades. These boost your visibility in poorly lit conditions.

Pros

Well-built
Versatile
Has reflectors for added visibility

Cons

Not very light

10. Attwood 11768-2 Heavy-Duty Kayak Paddle

Heavy duty

If you are looking for a durable kayak paddle that would serve you for a long time to come, this Asymmetrical kayak paddle would be a reasonable pick.

To kick us off, it has an aluminum and rugged plastic construction that would ensure you end up with a sturdy product that would remain in one piece in the harshest conditions.

Then, the blades have an asymmetrical design for stroking efficiency as well as minimal blade flutter in the water.

Let’s also mention the drip rings on the shaft that help in preventing water from sliding onto your hands. As a result, you would remain with a comfortable and firm grip for more efficient paddling.

Lastly, you can rest assured that you have a high-quality that has met all the necessary regulatory compliances.

Pros

Well-made and durable
Ergonomic and comfortable grip
Has met all the necessary regulatory requirements

Cons

Bulky

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.

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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.

Shaft

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.

In Conclusion

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!

Erick Thompson

Hi, I'm a fishing & kayaking enthusiast who enjoys sharing tips and tidbits with newbies, intermediates, and experienced anglers alike.

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