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Kayaking is an excellent water sport to pick up.
It is as simple and easy to learn as cycling and is relatively more versatile then rafting.
The best part about it is that you’re not limited to just white water kayaking; there’s also flat water and sea kayaking as well.
If you are interested in picking up the sport, then our guide, “Best Kayak Paddle: Equip your Kayak with the Best Accessories,” will be just what you need.
While choosing the kayak is heavily dependent upon personal preference, a paddle is more about efficiency.
The right paddle can have you cruising effortlessly over the water. The wrong choice, however, can have you struggling and leave you stressed out instead of relaxed.
“Best Kayak Paddle: Equip Your Kayak with the best Accessories” not only provides you with five amazing options but also lists down the desirable qualities that make a paddle great.
Best Kayak Paddle Reviews For 2020
Best Kayak Paddle Winner: Pelican Poseidon Kayak Paddle
The Poseidon Kayak Paddle definitely deserves to be at the top of any list. It is an excellent low angle paddle that allows for easy maneuvering through the water.
It relieves undue stress on the shoulders and allows you to cover great distances with minimal effort.
The paddle features fiberglass reinforced polypropylene blades. The material is durable and stiff, which means that it lets the paddle hold its own against the water’s current.
The angle of the blades is adjustable between 0 to 65 degrees, which adds to its stiffness. Because of its strength, the paddle is able to provide a comfortable paddling experience.
The Poseidon Kayak Paddle is genuinely the best option available, especially for beginners.
However, it does have one drawback as it only comes in one standard length – 89 inches. The lack of adjustable height restricts its use.
The paddle also features drip rings to keep your hands dry throughout the experience, which can be a blessing.
Even though the shaft is made of lightweight aluminum, you don’t want your paddle slipping from your hand every time you attempt a forward stroke.
For extra comfort, the shaft has been ovalized to improve one’s grip. The shape is meant to serve as a guide for where the hand should be.
The Pelican Poseidon Kayak Paddle is our top pick for the best kayak paddle simply because it’s filled with features that add to its utility.
It has been crafted with great attention to detail – from its design to the materials used.
The drip handles and the ovalized shape ensure the user’s ease and comfort while the fiberglass reinforced polypropylene blades make for effortless movement through the water.
If you are looking for outclass performance over the water, this is the choice for you. It provides exceptional value for money, especially for beginners.
Runner-Up: Overmont Kayak Paddle SUP
The Overmont Kayak Paddle SUP may come in second place on our list, but it is definitely an amazing accessory for all kayakers. Its feather shaped blades feature a serrated edge that allows them to pierce through the water.
Made from polypropylene and fiberglass, with an aluminum shaft, the paddle is lightweight yet durable. The blade is adjustable at three different angles that add to the versatility of usage.
The serrated edge, its lightweight nature, and the adjustable angles all combine to make it suitable for both flat water and small wave kayaking.
Similar to the Pelican Poseidon, the Overmont paddle is also not height adjustable, which limits its users to a certain height.
In fact, because it is a double-sided paddle, the shaft may be shorter than normal, which makes it unsuitable for paddling when standing.
The Overmont paddle is available in multiple colors, which is ideal for those looking for specific colors. The blades also feature a duck palm arc, which makes it more convenient to use.
The arc, combined with the serrated edge, adds to the blade’s ability to pierce through the water.
The paddle is made of two pieces, which make it easy to store. You can detach it and put the pieces in the back of your car or a corner of the shed, saving up on a lot of space.
If you’re looking to venture into something a little more daring, then this is the paddle for you. With the Overmont Kayak paddle, you can not only enjoy flat water kayaking but can also take it up a notch and venture into small waves.
The thoughtfully placed water-resistant ring prevents water from dripping down the shaft and onto your lap. This makes the paddle super-comfortable to use.
Plus, you can have a little bit of fun with the various bright color options.
Alternatives: Aqua Bound Sting Ray Kayak Paddle
The Aqua Bound Sting Ray is an exceptional piece of equipment. It is handcrafted by experts to deliver the best quality product to the customers. It is a 2 piece kayak paddle made from Carbon abX resin with a carbon shaft.
The material is stronger and lighter than fiberglass, which makes it almost effortless to use. The ovalized shaft provides a better grip to the user.
Combined, the strong material and the personalized shaft deliver more power with each stroke. It is guaranteed to make your kayaking experience more comfortable and enjoyable.
The paddle is available in only two lengths, 82” and 98”. Both of these may be too tall for many people out there.
While the paddle is lightweight, it is still heavier than some other options available in the market.
The Aqua Bound Sting Ray is more than just a paddle. It is an experience with all of its features.
The infinite feathering angles make it so much more versatile than others available in the market. You can adjust it as per your preference without any restrictions.
Even though it is a two-piece paddle, the Popsi Lock feature ensures that it is waterproof and keeps it corrosion free for longer. The drip rings also make sure that the shaft does not accumulate excessive water.
If you are looking for a tranquil experience on flat water, this is the paddle for you. The strength and durability of the material make it an excellent choice for people of all ages.
You could be 50 and enjoy a nice peaceful day out on the lake with this paddle as it eliminates the need for a lot of arm strength.
It is a swift paddle that can help you win any race you may be engaged in with your friends and family. If you are looking for the best kayak paddle for speed, then the Aqua Bound Sting Ray is the one for you.
It is worth the investment and will last you years, outperforming almost any other paddle in the market.
Bending Branches Whisper 2-Piece
The Bending Branch Whisper 2 piece is the best recreational paddle for beginners. The blade is made of polypropylene, which adds to its durability and stiffness.
Combined with the lightweight aluminum shaft, the paddle provides effortless flutter free strokes for all users.
The paddle features three adjustable angles – ranging from 0 to 60 degrees – that add to its ability to perform well even in rippled water. The shaft is ovalized, which improves the paddler’s grip.
All this combines to make the whole experience stress-free for any beginner kayaker. It is a detachable two-piece paddle, which, like some of the other paddles on this list, makes it easy to store.
The aluminum shaft features a tight-fitting snap button that ensures water resistance, keeping the paddle corrosion-free for extended periods.
If you are looking to venture into the sport as a professional, then this is not the paddle for you.
The paddle is created, designed, and marketed to entry-level kayakers. The black grips on the shaft tend to leave a residue; however, this residue is easily washable.
The Bending Branch Whisper is not a one-size-fits-all paddle. In fact, it is customizable even in terms of height. The paddle is available in heights ranging from 210 cm to 240 cm with 10 cm increments.
The shaft also features 3M Versafit grips that make maneuvering the paddle through water so much easier. These water guards are placed on each end and are adjustable.
You no longer have to worry about blisters on your hands after a long trip over water.
This is the best recreational paddle and provides the customers with a more comfortable experience. The rounded blade offers a cleaner and more powerful first bite in the water.
It makes for smoother movements that reduce the effort required from the user. It is an excellent investment for entry-level kayakers as it can help ease them into the sport.
MSC Kayak Paddle 2-Piece
The MSC Kayak Paddle is for both entry-level and intermediate level kayakers. It is perfect for those who aim to pursue the sport as a passion but are only just starting out in their kayaking endeavors.
It delivers performance like no other while being comfortable enough for beginners to use.
It features asymmetrical dihedral blades that make for efficient paddle strokes. The blade, being shorter on one end and thicker on the other, is better able to cut through the water.
The shape combined with the sturdy, High Tension Plastic adds to its durability, which makes it even more appealing to users.
This is probably the most versatile kayak paddle on this list and performs well on flat and whitewater. It is ideal for both touring and recreational use, which further adds to its appeal.
The paddle is not as lightweight as the Aqua Bound Sting Ray.
While it is a good entry-level paddle, it is not the best one on the market for recreational use.
Because it is meant to perform well on almost all water channels, it may not be a good choice for the elderly looking to enjoy a tranquil day out on flat water.
The MSC Kayak paddle is available in seven colors, which makes it a great option for those looking for something a little more personalized. It is a detachable two-piece paddle that is easy to store and travel with.
It features a three-button snap ferrule design that allows you to adjust the feathering angles between 0 to 60 degrees.
The shaft has additional drip guards to keep you dry. It also features grips that make for a comfortable kayaking experience, eliminating the possibility of blisters.
The MSC Kayak Paddle is for those who are passionate about the sport. It is an excellent investment for those looking to turn their hobby into something more.
If you want to be able to take your kayak out on rapid waters, then this is the paddle for you as it provides you with the versatility you need.
It delivers affordable performance and durability, which is what makes it such a great option. While it may not be our top pick, it is definitely an excellent accessory for your kayak.
Kayak Paddles FAQ
What Is a Good Kayak Paddle?
Choosing a Kayak Paddle is like selecting the right pair of shoes. It is as essential for a good trip on the water as comfortable shoes are for a hiking trip.
There are many factors to consider before selecting a paddle that suits your needs.
|Paddler Height||Boat Width|
|Less than 23 inches||23 inch – 28 inches||28 inch – 32 inches||Greater than 32 inches|
|Less than 5 ft||210 cm||220 cm||230 cm||240 cm|
|5 ft to 5 ft 6”||215 cm||220 cm||230 cm||240 cm|
|5 ft 6” to 6 ft||220 cm||220 cm||230 cm||250 cm|
|Taller than 6 ft||220 cm||230 cm||240 cm||250 cm|
The height and the width of your boat determine the length of the shaft you should opt for. A shaft that’s too long makes for very awkward movements and can tire you out.
While a shaft that’s too small requires more strength to be put in each stroke, which can also tire you out very quickly. Here is a table to help you make the right choice.
As a word of advice, if you fall at the cusp of two different sizes, then you should always opt for the shorter length as opposed to going for the longer one.
When selecting a paddle, the lighter the material, the better. Carbon shafts are slightly lighter than aluminum shafts but are also pricier.
Recreational paddlers often opt for plastic. While it is a flexible option, it does deteriorate in the sun. The flexibility also doesn’t hold well against water and provides inefficient strokes.
Carbon fiber blades offer the best performance but are priced quite high. If you want a good balance of efficiency, affordability, and durability, then fiberglass blades are the choice for you.
They are sturdier than plastic, considerably lightweight, and prove to be quite efficient in the water.
When it comes to the shaft, you have two choices. You can either choose a bent one or a straight one.
While straight shafts are popular, bent ones make for a better choice if you’re looking for power strokes.
They have a section that outlines where the hands need to be when you want to travel at high speeds.
There are many different blade shapes that are available in the market. They include symmetrical, asymmetrical, spooned, curved, flat, dihedral, etc. Your choice of blade depends upon your intended use.
However, almost all newer paddles feature an asymmetrical design. They are relatively shorter on one side and wider on the other.
The shape is known to increase the efficiency of the stroke by reducing excessive weight.
What’s the Difference in Kayak Paddles?
Kayak paddles vary not only in colors and heights but also in design and functionality.
Each paddle is made with a different material, a different blade shape, and angle. All these affect the performance of the kayaker.
A paddle that is short and wide is used for more powerful strokes. It allows you to cover longer distances but requires greater strength.
A narrower blade is better suited for people who want to travel at a more leisurely pace. It is not for competitive trips and is a better option for recreational kayakers.
What Happens When You Use Too Long of a Paddle for Kayaking?
A paddle that’s too long is harder to control. The length adds weight that you will feel with each stroke. You will find yourself constantly trying to gain control over the kayak and failing.
Pretty soon, you will find yourself tired, and a leisurely trip can soon become tiresome. Kayaking with a paddle too long is a workout you didn’t sign up for.
Plus, it also results in a loss of control over the kayak, which is not safe, especially when in the river.
As a rule of thumb, your paddle selection will be guided by your height. However, before you come to a final decision, factor in the width of your boat.
A wider kayak calls for the use of a longer the paddle. The taller you are, the longer the paddle.
What Size Paddle Do I need for a 10-foot Kayak?
For any kayak wider than 32 inches, you will require a paddle that’s 240 – 250 cm long.
The length of the vessel, however, does not make much of a difference on your paddle choice.
The Pelican Poseidon Kayak Paddle is the best recreational paddle for all those who love a day out on flat water.
It is ideal for those seeking a leisurely experience without having to put in much effort.
If you seek something a little more thrilling, then the Aqua Bound Sting Ray is the choice for you. It is an outclass accessory for your kayak.
Made from Carbon Reinforced injection molded Nylon, it is the most durable option on the list.
The carbon shaft is incredibly lightweight, making maneuvering and guiding the vessel effortless even in river rapids.
Another particularly great option is the MSC Kayak Paddle. Available in seven colors, it can brighten and liven up your recreational and professional experience.
If you are still unsure as to whether you want something professional or recreational, then the Bending Whisper two-piece kayak paddle is the one for you.
It delivers an amazing performance that can have you fall in love with kayaking. It is lightweight but well built.
With it, you can test your hand and challenge yourself by taking it out on small waves.
If you want something more diverse, then you can use the Overmont Kayak Paddle.
With its rounded and serrated edge, it makes piercing through the water as effortless as slicing butter with a hot knife.
Whether you are looking for a paddle for beginners, sports enthusiasts, occasional participants in competitive events, we have an option for everyone.
There’s even an option for the elderly. We hope our guide, “Best Kayak Paddle: Equip Yourself with the Best Accessories,” helps you find the best paddle for your kayak.