How To Choose The Right Size Kayak Paddles – Pro Tips from the Expert

How to Choose Kayak Paddles

Last Updated on April 17, 2020 by Michael J. Branco

Though selecting a kayak paddle might seem as simple as finding something with two cutting blades to boost you with the water, there’s an extra to it. In case you love kayaking it is important for you to know how to choose kayak paddles. In this article, I will show you how to choose Kayak paddles easily.

Kayakers consider a large number of strokes each hour. Getting the correct information to assist you to pick the best kayak paddle is key if your gear doesn’t suit you, it again shall very likely result in the place of the carport expanding dirty with disuse. From kayak paddle sizing to structure materials, this is what you should know to assist you to pick the best kayak paddle.

Your kayak paddle may be the most important device as ideal kayak size. It includes a serious effect on both your effectiveness and just how much you enjoy your time and effort on the water.

At the same time as you will find loads of possibilities, selecting a paddle does not have to be complicated. Knowing the essential facts to consider and the professionals and downsides of varied attributes, you can narrow down the ocean of alternatives to only a couple of paddles that very best fit your preferences and budget.

choose kayak paddles

Why you should choose the best size Kayak?

In addition, knowing what things to look for in a kayak, a learner can be challenged by figuring out what is the very best paddle length to select. Opinions vary just a bit in regards to what is the most effective length for a specific paddler even though the range of procedures is fairly small and commonplace through the entire paddling society. Identifying the correct size of a kayak paddle width to use is dependent on several aspects, from system height to sailboat proportions to paddle stroke choice. Earlier than engaging in those dynamics, several comments on what lengths are indicated.

The manufacturing standard is by using metric items to assess and identify paddle lengths. Tell a fellow kayaker you utilize a 72.22″ paddle and you will probably get yourself a blank stare. Claim you will need a 220cm, however, & most everyone will promptly understand – and photo – what size you’re conversing about.

If you’re just a little rusty on your own innate metric change expertise nevertheless, realize this: 2.54 centimeters (cm) = 1″. Retain this at heart once the distinction has been length between 220cm along with a 230cm paddle. We have been talking 3.9″; that’s just a little significantly less than a 2″ variation on each end – out to the cutting tooltip from the biggest market of the shaft.

Even though it is small, it could make a humble but accumulative variation considering the effects which could result from using a paddle of fewer (or even more) than a perfect length: compromised variety banged knuckles, inefficient paddle perspective or power face with others. Increase these by way of a thousand strokes and imagine the potential you’re losing every time you execute a stroke using a paddle that is the “wrong” length.

How to choose kayak paddles Methods

When you’re falling in on thin chutes you will want paddle it is possible to trust to help keep you stable and obtain you right facet up again. For that reason you should choose kayak paddles for your good. If you are paddling all night and days at the same time, you want a competent paddle that’s quick on your own wrists and hands and fingers.

  • The way like the blade can be shaped and measured influences the energy and efficiency of one’s stroke
  • Length from the shaft depends upon the sort of padding, your level plus the width of one’s boat
  • Equipment differ by expense, lightness, and toughness, along with the authentic approach they look in the hands

Blade shape

Each and every quality cutting blades produce an asymmetric outline. This amounts to the blade if it is in the water and avoids fluttering or twisting.

Spoon blade

These blades happen to be scooped and offer instant power.

Dihedral blade

These cutting blades happen to be slanting backward and present a smoother, more stable heart stroke. The shape really helps to lessen flutter and your time and effort needed to contain the paddle.

Blade size

Blade size has an effect on the quantity of power it is possible to apply:

  • Bigger blades are usually for maximum force if you are playboating.
  • Medium size cutting blades will be for creaking and common river running.
  • Blade size ought to be matched to your system size: bigger man or woman, bigger blade, an inferior person, smaller edge.

Bent Vs Upright Shafts

Bent shafts keep wrists at the neutral angle for your forearms through the entire stroke. This minimizes wrist tiredness and enables you to utilize electric power better and predictably. The greater normal position likewise enables all hands in which to stay complete connection with the shaft conveniently.

Straight shafts happen to be less costly and more powerful but don’t offer you as much effectiveness as bent shafts.

what happens when you choose kayak paddles?

One-piece Vs two-piece paddle

One-piece paddles will be the most suitable choice for whitewater paddlers. The stable design and style help make them a lot more tough and long-lasting, though their sizing can be difficult to journey with.

Two-piece paddles generally to be mainly useful for going or for if you want to match them below deck abroad. Also, they are great to be a backup paddle because they are an easy task to move. Sometimes it depends on kayak length what kind of paddle you will use. Also, the toughest paddle can split, so having an extra with you is really a smart idea.

Paddle length

Whitewater kayakers generally choose paddles 192-198cm longer. To measure an ideal fit, contain the paddle together with your elbows bent at 90. The hands ought to be about one hand’s width from where each cutting tool begins.

For creek boating or standard river running, you might like to move much longer and obtain a paddle at the very least 196cm. The excess period shall give additional leverage and bracing for moving. If you want to perform the playboating in quick strokes and rapid re-deployment, choose a shorter paddle for just a quicker response with all strokes.


Estimate the kayak’s size when you choose kayak paddles. Before starting paddle shopping, work with a tape estimate to measure your kayak laterally. The kayak’s width is really a key in just how long the paddle must turn out to be. The wider your sailboat can be, the longer your paddle must be to attain this.

  • Kayaks can be found in many different shapes and sizes, so understanding the top features of your kayak is vital.
  • Whitewater and efficiency racing kayaks will be slimmer than those useful for touring and entertainment.
choose best kayak paddle for the money


In the second step measure your torso dimension. Sit down in a chair and imagine you’re moving kayaking for an instant. Rest your back again contrary to the chair’s back again and plant the feet on to the floor. By using a tape measure, estimate from the end of one’s nostrils to the most notable of one’s lower limbs down. Knowing your torso height can provide you an over-all idea of just how long your paddle must be.

  • For instance, people fewer than 165 cm (65 in) large typically make use of paddles under 220 cm (87 in) long.
  • Individuals over 183 cm (72 in) large frequently apply paddles over 230 cm (91 in) much time.
  • People between 165 cm (65 in) and 220 cm (87 in) high often make use of paddles 230 cm (91 in) much time.
  • Look for “kayak paddle sizing graphs” on the internet for suggestions on which paddle size is usually right for you personally.
how to choose kayak paddles for child


Select a shorter paddle when the kayak’s seat can be higher upward. The seat measurement can affect along with paddle you will need. If the couch is high, you should have a less strenuous moment reaching the water. By contrast, fewer seats mean you will need to obtain a slightly longer paddle to be able to dip its blades into the water.

  • A high couch increases about 18 cm (7.1 in) from your kayak’s bottom.
  • For instance, you may want a shorter paddle than somebody the same level as you as the seat in the kayak is bigger up than theirs.
  • If it is possible to, sit in the kayak to check the seat. You can even measure the seat’s height together with your tape measure.
fishing kayak paddle


Test out the paddle by positioning your arm around it. Stand up the paddle up close to you. Lift up your arm up and spot your hand the most notable paddle blade. When the paddle may be the correct size, you’ll be able to increase your arm completely up and cover your hands on the cutting tool.

  • In case you cannot manage to survive to reach the edge, the paddle is definitely too long. When your hand explains it, the paddle is definitely too small.
  • If you go shopping online, make certain the business supplies a great go back insurance plan in the event you have to create a swap. Test the paddle when it arrives.
adjustable kayak paddle

Choosing the Shaft


Pick an aluminum shaft for sturdiness. Aluminum shafts will be the cheapest variety on the market. Also, they are solid and good, so they are to be ideal for new learners. The drawback of metal is usually that it’s serious and will get frosty in nice weather conditions. If the element doesn’t affect the hands, the frigid metal may.

  • A paddle’s shaft and rotor blades aren’t always manufactured from the same materials. Have both components into consideration whenever choosing a paddle.
  • Metal paddles variety between $40 and $100 USD.
werner kayak paddle


Select a carbon-fiber shaft to get a light paddle. Carbon-fiber may be the lightest variety accessible. This helps it be the best option for long-distance going and consistent paddling. You will not tire out just as fast by using this form of the shaft; however, they are more susceptible to breaking.

  • This shaft style is a good idea in the event that you lack durability or experience shared or shoulder complications.
  • Carbon-fiber paddles array between $100 and $300 USD.
whitewater kayak paddle length


Get yourself a fiberglass shaft for customization. Fiberglass shafts happen to be mid-priced and tumble between carbon-fiber and lightweight aluminum in power. They are an excellent option for some situations. A large advantage will be these shafts have a tendency to appear in a number of colorings and styles.

  • These shafts could be a suitable alternative for experienced kayakers who happen to be a number of environments.
  • Fiberglass paddles setting between $50 and $200 USD.
kids kayak paddle


Purchase a collapsible paddle for much easier storage. The shafts on some paddles can break right into as much as four items aside. These kinds of paddles can easily be stored in a backpack or kayak compartment.

  • It’s beneficial to have an extra collapsible paddle if you move whitewater kayaking, as your paddles will ultimately bust.
  • These paddles can price between $100 to $300 USD.
kids kayak paddle


Make use of an oval-shaped shaft for less difficult paddling. Lots of people discover this shaft type easier to hold. Oval-shaped shafts might help you orient the paddle rotor blades at the right angle inside the water. These results in a more effective stroke, therefore you won’t wheel out as quick.

  • You can easily see the shape in the shaft by considering its ends.
  • Typical shafts are round rather than oval, hence check the form to be sure you receive the sort or sort you need.
  • These paddles can expense from $45 to $300 USD.
Carlisle kids saber touring kayak paddle


Select a bent shaft for convenient paddling. Bent paddles could be much easier to use than typical paddles. The bends in you get granted with the shaft to put the hands far better. Along with putting less stress on your own joints, it is possible to paddle with an increase in energy.

  • Bent shafts are usually tough to manufacture, so they typically price between $275 and $400 USD.
werner kids kayak paddle

Choosing Paddle Blades


Use clear plastic or nylon rotor blades for durability. Vinyl and nylon rotor blades will be compact. Their durability means they are able to allow you to get through shallow, rocky areas without breaking. They are usually the least expensive choice obtainable likewise.

  • The elasticity indicates these blades happen to be less effective. Your strokes won’t proceed with the kayak so far as with other cutting blades.
  • Pick this if your blade could make contact with stones or solid yard.
pelican kids kayak paddle


Pick carbon-fiber rotor blades for effective paddling. These rotor blades will be the lightest variety. Couple them with carbon-fiber shafts for speedy, efficient paddling. You should have a less strenuous moment creating strength and touring longer ranges with one of these rotor blades.

  • Carbon paddles will be for all time probably the most fragile, so be cautious in rough places. Your cutting blades can separate on stones or solid surfaces.
8 foot kayak paddle


Always choose these kayak paddles which obtain fiberglass rotor blades for adaptability. Being an all-around option, fiberglass lets you handle just about all kayaking situations. Though it is certainly not as much resilient than nylon and clear plastic, it costs significantly less than carbon. As with fiberglass shafts, these rotor blades can be found in an array of models and shades.

  • Both fiberglass and carbon are a good idea for those who have arm and neck problems. If you need even more durability than performance little, choose fiberglass.
what happens when you use too long of a paddle for kayaking


Make use of wider paddle rotor blades to generate additional power. These cutting blades propel your kayak quicker and more effectively so long as you have the ability to keep up a frequent pace. You’ll get an exercise when using this edge sizing. If you’re concerned about tiring out, you might desire to use thinner blades instead.

  • Heavier and taller kayakers should consider longer wide cutting blades. The extra size can help you retain your balance.
  • This blade dimension is often useful for rushing and whitewater kayaking.
choose kayak paddles


Get leaner rotor blades to paddle lengthy distances. Leaner cutting blades certainly are an excellent selection for some touring and recreational kayaks. With them, it is possible to move your kayak at a reliable, gentle pace. Employ smaller blades unless you need a large amount of speed.

  • For the reason that of the form, these blades crank out less electricity but require less energy to go.
what happens when you use too long of a paddle for kayaking


Apply asymmetrical rotor blades for better paddling. Primary paddles happen to be symmetrical, but as you kayak more, you might like to move to asymmetrical cutting blades. These blades are uneven laterally. Asymmetrical blades are of help for successful paddling over very long distances.

  • These cutting blades can have on you down quicker than regular cutting blades, so be skeptical.
  • Asymmetrical blades job best should you choose low-angle paddling.
choose kayak paddles


  • Kayaks and paddles are poles apart, so be sure you adjust your equipment to the situation.
  • Paddles are selected according to several factors. Your paddle may seem not the same as those possessed by men and women you understand.
  • A paddle’s shaft and rotor blades aren’t always manufactured from the same stuff thus make sure to check out each aspect before you decide to bother making a choice.
  • You don’t need to invest over $100 to obtain a quality paddle.

Word of Warning

  • Stay away from entering rough or quick waters and soon you are prepared and also have the right tools.
  • When you decide to go whitewater kayaking, your paddle will break. Bring a spare always.

Final Words

In this article, I have shown you with images and videos that how to choose kayak paddles step by step. So choose kayak paddles are a very important part because without a kayak paddle you cannot ride a kayak and might face a lot of difficulties on water. So be careful while choosing a kayak paddle.

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