Top Kayak Paddles Reviewed and Compared
Kayaking is a great outdoor activity you can enjoy alone or with your beloved friends and family members. It is the perfect way to relax after a hard day at work or simply to gather your thoughts and disconnect from the hectic world. However, apart from the kayak itself, you’re going to need a good pair of paddles to actually get from one part of the lake to the other. So, after going through numerous product reviews, we have concluded that the kayak paddle you should consider getting is the SeaSense X-Treme II Mix. This is because it is available in two different sizes depending on the size of your kayak, it is a two-piece construction that allows easy storing and carrying, and it comes with three different locking positions for comfortable paddling. If the SeaSense X-Treme II Mix is not available for purchase right away, you can also give the Carlisle Paddle Gear Magic a try.
Our top choices
Since there are so many great options available on the market, picking just one set of kayak paddles is almost impossible. However, to make things easier for you, we have come up with a list of the most popular paddles according to customers’ reviews. All these items are showcased below.
SeaSense X-Treme II Mix
This feathered blade design is extremely lightweight and will ensure steady and easy paddling for all people, no matter if they’re newbies or professionals. The product features a two-piece construction that allows easy storage and carrying. This means the paddle won’t occupy too much space and you can easily store it in your garage or in the back of your trunk.
The item also features three locking positions for comfortable and reliable paddling no matter your style. The construction of the paddle is durable and reliable too. The blade is made of rigid plastic while the bar or the handle is made of lightweight aluminum. Also, the paddle floats on water.
Most of the customers who purchased this paddle were pleased by its price-quality ratio. Due to its super lightweight design, it can be easily controlled by people of all heights and weights, regardless if they are newbies or professional paddlers.Buy from Amazon.com for ($35.23)
Carlisle Paddle Gear Magic
The paddle is available in three different sizes, from 220 cm to 240 cm, so you can pick the right size according to your own height and weight. At around 6 foot tall, we recommend purchasing the 240 cm paddle which is the equivalent of 96 inches.
The blade is made of a quality, durable, and extremely lightweight high-impact glass-filled polypropylene, which is one of the best materials you can opt for in a kayak paddle. The asymmetrical and spooned shape of the blade combined with the flexible and lightweight shaft allows you to create smooth but powerful strokes.
Also, the shaft is made of a lightweight fiberglass which allows easy paddling in all types of waters and it won’t add extra pressure on your wrists and joints when paddling for many hours.
Thanks to the ultra-lightweight design, the paddle is easy to carry around and handle even by newbies or smaller people. Also, the item is composed of three different pieces so you can easily disassemble it and gain storage space.Buy from Amazon.com for ($84.99)
The paddle features a two-piece aluminum construction which is lightweight, durable, yet flexible at the same time. Thanks to the two different pieces, you can easily disassemble the product for convenient storage and transport.
Also, the aluminum construction implies durability and flexibility at the same time so you can enjoy different types of paddling without adding extra pressure on your wrists and causing hand or wrist pains after prolonged hours of paddling.
The item features lightweight molded plastic blades as well as adjustable drip guards and foam rubber grips to allow you to paddle safely without worrying about dropping the paddle. Nevertheless, if you drop the paddle, you don’t have to worry as this item floats so it will be easy to get it back.
This is a popular choice amongst kayak beginners or those who don’t want to spend a fortune on an item they’ll use only once in a while.Buy from Amazon.com for ($28.57)
Shoreline Marine Rounded
The three position system is useful as it allows you to change the paddling style and reach the optimum position when you’re using the paddles. In other words, the paddling will be comfortable and easy, without requiring too much physical effort and having to deal with shoulder or arm pain later on.
The contour molded blades will help you paddle faster and more efficiently, unlike regular blades that are sometimes hard to control if you’re inexperienced.
The item is made of a top-quality and corrosion-resistant aluminum shaft and features comfort grip handles. This means it will be easy for you to grab and use the paddles without having to worry about sweaty hands. Also, thanks to the unique shape of the paddles, you’ll be able to enjoy both short and long kayak trips and paddle as easy as possible.Buy from Amazon.com for ($39.99)
Leader Accessories Marine
The item is also available in five different colors to match your kayak, safety equipment, and your personality. This paddle will become your number one choice if you’re a newbie or don’t want to spend all of your saving on professional kayak equipment.
The lightweight, molded plastic blades are perfect for exercising your moves if you’re kayaking for the first time. The paddles are strong enough to support your arm moves but also lightweight enough to be easily handled even by inexperienced people. In addition, the three locking positions offered will provide you with full support no matter the paddling style you choose.
The product is made of top-quality non-rusting aluminum and features a two-piece design, meaning you can easily disassemble the item for perfect storage in narrow spaces or effortlessly carry the paddle with you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($79.99)
Searching for the best kayak paddle in 2018 could be a tad confusing, especially with so many great items available for sale. However, if you want to make sure you made the right choice, keep in mind the following features.
One of the most important kayak accessories to consider is a good pair of paddles. So, the first thing you need to take into account when looking for a good kayak paddle is the right size. Most of the paddles come in various sizes, so how do you make sure you picked the right one?
First of all, consider the width and length of the boat. Longer and wider kayaks or canoes will obviously require a longer paddle. You also need to consider your own height and strength and pick a paddle accordingly. There are plenty of online guides you can check to make sure you choose the right paddle size.
As a general rule, if you have a boat under 23 inches wide and you’re under 5 feet tall, you’ll require an 82-inch paddle. The size should increase gradually according to the width of the boat and your height. Obviously, if you’re over 6 foot tall you’ll also require a larger kayak and more comfortable kayak seats and, therefore, the paddles you should opt for need to be between 86 inches and 98 inches long.
If you happen to fall between sizes, it is always better to go for the shorter version because it will be easier to handle, especially if you’re a newbie. Keep in mind that learning all the tricks of kayaking not only takes time but also a lot of patience and, probably, plenty of paddle sets.
Blade materials and price
A cheap kayak paddle may be your first choice if you just picked up kayaking. And there is nothing wrong with going for a more affordable price if you’re only trying kayaking for the first time. However, bear in mind that as with almost all other sports equipment, a higher quality implies a higher price.
A reasonable paddle for beginners will cost you anywhere around 30 and 60 dollars, depending on its length and choice of materials. However, if you’re already a pro or simply decided to invest more in kayaking, choosing a professional paddle will end up costing you around 100 dollars or even more.
Always remember that a paddle is made of at least two different parts, each being made of a different material. However, the most important part of a paddle is the blade, and that’s where you need to learn more in order to pick the perfect material according to your needs and budget.
When it comes to blade materials, there are also plenty of choices to choose from. From the generic term of “plastic” to plastic blends featuring nylon or fiberglass and carbon-fiber, you need to know which type of material is best for kayaking.
Plastic is the most common and affordable choice for recreational paddlers and, even though it has its benefits, it may not be the best option in the long term. Plastic will easily deteriorate if left in the sun and, even though it’s rigid, you’ll have to compensate with your own strength for its lack of flexibility.
Fiberglass is a better option in the same price range and it offers an improved durability and performance. Fiberglass is more lightweight than plastic, meaning it will be easier for you to hold the paddle and work with it. It may chip on the edges but it won’t crack like plastic. In addition, most specialists confirm that fiberglass blades are extremely efficient in water.
In addition, they are suitable for lightweight inflatable kayaks as they’re lightweight and easy to mount.
If you’re looking for a more professional approach, you should invest in a carbon-fiber blade. You may have to pay more, but these products are perfect for all paddling styles and are really easy to work with. They are extremely lightweight and also ultra stiff so you’ll get the best with each stroke.
If you still haven’t made up your mind, you can go through some online kayak paddle reviews and see what other customers have to say about certain products.
You’ll need to pay attention to the shaft as well if you’re willing to get the best for your money. While plastic shafts are rare, aluminum is a great and affordable alternative. It is very lightweight meaning you won’t need to put in extra effort handling the paddle in the water.