How to choose a kayak paddle

How to choose a kayak paddle


choosing a kayak paddle title holder with red paddles on grass in background


To determine the correct size of kayak paddle, consider these factors:

  • Height: Stand the paddle upright, measure from the ground to your chin.
  • Kayak width: Measure the widest point of your kayak.
  • Paddling style: Choose a longer paddle for more relaxed or touring, shorter for more aggressive or whitewater paddling.

A general guideline is to have a paddle that is roughly 6-8 inches taller than the height of the kayaker and the width of the paddle should be close to the width of the kayak.

Then you want to have a think about additional materials and features:-

  • Shaft material: Choose between aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fibre. Each material offers different benefits such as weight, strength, and stiffness.
  • Blade shape: Consider the shape of the blade to match your paddling style and the type of water you will be in (i.e. flat water vs rapids).
  • Feathering: The ability to adjust the angle of the blades so they are parallel to the water.
  • Weight: Lightweight paddles are easier to handle but may be more expensive.
  • Comfort: Look for paddles with adjustable hand grips or look for paddles with a comfortable grip.
  • Price: Kayak paddles can range from budget-friendly to high-end. Choose one that fits within your budget and has the features you need.

It's recommended to try out different paddles  or borrow from a friend to get a feel for what works best for you.  Speak to Och Aye Canoe if you need more help or would like to buy a particular paddle.

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