How to Buy a Kayak Paddle

How to Buy a Kayak Paddle
Your kayak paddle is arguably your most important piece of kayaking gear. Your paddle will control how comfortable you feel in your boat and how effectively you are able to use your boat. Its length will determine your balance and your speed, and its shape will determine your grace and maneuverability. Use the information below to help choose a paddle that is suited to your needs.


Difficulty: Easy

The Steps

Things You’ll Need:
  • Kayak
  • Kayak
Step 1
Think about what kind of paddling you do and what kind of boat you have. Longer paddles provide speed over distance, while shorter paddles provide better maneuverability.
Step 2
Go to an outdoor supply store instead of trying to buy online. You will want to hold prospective paddles in order to help you make your decision.
Step 3
Measure your height. An outdoor sales clerk can use your height to help size your kayak paddle.
Step 4
Consider the overall design of your paddle. Feathered blades are good for windy conditions but require constantly shifting your grip. Kinked handgrips may improve posture and effective grasp but may be uncomfortable for some paddlers.
Step 5
Examine blade design in prospective paddles. Asymmetrical blade design allows the paddle to enter the water with the tip of the blade square to the surface. It is suggested over symmetrical blade design at almost all levels of sport kayaking.

Tips & Warnings

Always wear a helmet when kayaking.

Article Written By Caroline Schley

Based in New York City, Caroline Schley has been writing articles on fitness, social interaction and politics since 2008. Her articles have appeared in "The Tahoe Weekly," "Second Line News" and websites, including Schley graduated from CU Boulder in 2005 with a degree in environmental science.

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