Best Kayak Paddle Reviewed For 2017
Besides knowing about the different types of kayaks, it is important to know of the varying kayak paddles before venturing out to the open sea, river or lakes. There are so many considerations before getting the best kayak paddle. The paddle must complement your own paddling style and your kayak as well. There are so many elements to know before buying the paddle. Picking a paddle might be easier said than done if you are not aware of the basics and the principal things about it. The features must match your skills and expertise otherwise the whole journey would be too much for you. Here are some of the details that you should know before buying and getting the kayak paddle of choice.
There are so many kayak manufacturers that provides different freebies and some even offer free paddles. Although it may seem like a bargain such as getting a free paddle, it is still a long way to go. Given the fact that most kayakers are adults, the paddles are designed to work well with adults as well, leaving the younger generation in a rough place, but some paddles are now adjustable and it promotes more flexibility in usage.
Kayak paddles are designed to support you in your adventure. It is a key element of your gear. Paddles are tools for propulsion. The choice that you make in buying a paddle can mark the difference between ease and discomfort. Paddles can take a lot of energy if the paddles are not crafted for your skills and expertise. Remember that a correctly chosen kayak paddle helps you gain extra speed and helps you in maintaining better control while you are kayaking. It is important to know the basics of paddle shapes, the sizes and the materials used in creating it. To get the best kayak paddle, here are some of the things that you should know.
Know the Purpose
Before you buy a kayak or a kayak paddle. You must know the purpose first. You must plan your kayaking travels and decide on the type of kayaking that you might do. You must determine if you need a paddle for beginners or a paddle for simple recreational use. Also, you can decide on whether you might need high performance paddles instead. Moreover, there are paddles designed for whitewater while the other paddles are suited as touring paddles for rides that could last for many hours. Depending on your need, knowing the different variants can transform your search and would narrow it down to the things that you truly need and would match your style, your level and your preference.
Know the Length
You must know the length of the kayak paddle before buying it. It must meet the criteria and it should be a support for you when you are in the open water. Some kayaks are 10cm to 260cm in length. However, the ideal size relies heavily on your paddling style. Remember that the length is vital because it is one of the elements that provides your kayak the speed that it needs and the control. Also, the length must be adequate and at the same time promotes comfort. Consider your height before buying the paddle. It is an essential factor because if the length of the paddle and your height do not complement each other, the ride will be a disappointing and tiring one for you. Also pay a lot of attention to the size of your boat because it is important as well. Also, knowing your torso. It is fundamental to remember that the length of your torso is an integral part in choosing the right product for you
Different Paddling Styles
Since there are so many kayak paddles, choosing is easier said than done. However, it is important to note that the paddling styles matters a lot in buying the ideal paddle for you. You must be aware of the various paddling styles before tracking out. Since there are two kinds of styles, you need to determine if you are the type of person that rows high or the kind of person that rows low.
The low-angle paddling uses a more relaxed tone and it has a slower cadence as well. For long trips, this type offers efficiency. If you position your upper-hand below the shoulder-height, you are angling the shaft at a more gradual angle. A low-angle style causes the blade to enter the water at a lower angle. Due to the paddle alignment with the water column, you need to use longer paddle lengths and narrower blade widths since it is recommended for low-angle paddlers.
A high-angle paddling style is more aggressive and has a faster cadence. This is the style that is ideal for moving water. It requires acceleration and the maneuverability skill is very important. This method needs ample force for each stroke which is why it is designed for those that wants to burn calories or wanting to be fit. It is similar to sprinting because your movement is much faster and in haste in comparison to mere gliding.
Consider the Height and the Boat width
There are so many things to ponder about before getting the best kayak paddle for you. Before that, you need to consider the height and the width of your kayak. If you are taller, the paddle must be longer. To make it simpler, if you are 6’3” and with a wide kayak ranging somewhere between 5”, a 230 cm long paddle is needed for a low-angle paddling. Remember that these three factors must work in harmony.
Know the materials being used
Knowing the materials being used on the kayak and on the paddle is important. If the kayak is lighter, then the paddling is less strenuous, but if the kayak is heavier, it is more difficult to track. Great paddles must provide balance. The gear must be lightweight, but it must have strength and brute force. The paddle materials affect your performance. A professional kayak paddles are made up of many materials and the common ones are the fiberglass, the plastic, and the carbon fiber. The fundamental thought behind utilizing the light-weight fiber in making the paddles is straightforward. The rationale is to lessen the oar's general weight without affecting performance and strength. Here are some of the materials being used today.
One of the cheapest in the market, but it is much heavier than other paddle types. It drains a lot of energy and if the distance is a bit long, too much force might be exerted.
It is also cheap, but heavy as well. Wear and tear is inevitable for this product. This material requires little upkeep. For those new to the sport, this type is the ideal one.
One of the pro feature of this material is its lightweight feature. It is also less expensive in comparison to aluminum and plastic. Also, it can withstand the harsher conditions in comparison to plastic and aluminum. It comes in wide range of colors and suited for recreational use.
It is less expensive and might probably last longer then fiberglass. One setback of this material is its weight.
One great thing about this material, it is extremely lightweight and with this feature, you can surely get most out of your paddle as you take long trips. Despite its strong features, buying this type is easier said than done because it is more expensive than the ones mentioned above. It is a high-performance gear that is suited to deliver comfort specially if your tracking is not only planned for one day.
The blade’s design is also vital. If you look at the different types of pedals, it has varying shapes. Some are feathered, non-feathered, winged type, touring type, asymmetric, and some have square-ended shapes. These shapes are created based on its purpose. Before choosing the paddle, getting help from the experts could lessen your inhibition in choosing the right paddle. One factor about feathering is that this feature promotes wind resistance and reduces wrist fatigue. In the past, symmetrical blades were noted to be the popular choice for kayakers, but as of now, kayakers are given different options to ponder about.
Paddle Shafts to Choose from
Besides the design of the blade, the paddle shafts are also critical components. It is essential to find the right shaft that makes you feel right. Since most shafts are equal in terms of quality, it basically depends on the preference of the kayaker.
The straight shaft is ideal for advanced or kayaker seeking heavy adventures. It promotes flexibility in regard to control and maneuver of the paddle in varying conditions.
The bent shaft on the other hand is not ideal for advanced kayakers but its retrofitted to work with novice or beginners. For the experienced paddlers, they reduce the inflammation by tweaking the strokes and it can only be gained through practice.
This type of paddle is considered as a higher-end paddle. It has a carbon fiber shaft that promotes strength and durability. Also, it is lightweight, thus the tension on the wrists are lessened. The product is also durable and can withstand harsh conditions. In terms of design, the blades are created with advanced features in mind. It is a 2-piece gear and it comes with a glass reinforced nylon blades.
- Adjustable cam-lock
- It boasts of an indexed shaft
- Sturdy for use
- It increases visibility because the color of the paddles is designed to catch attention
- Light paddle
- The blades are very efficient
- You can utilize different positions that would fit your paddling style
- Very comfortable to use
- Sometimes the blades are stiff
- Shafts has ridges from the carbon wraps and it must be removed
It is a 2-piece gear with an anodized aircraft grade aluminum shaft. It comes with a fiberglass-reinforced black nylon blades. If you are an entry level kayaker, using this paddle is the best thing to opt for. Its features include aircraft grade. The anodized aluminum shaft is extremely lightweight and at the same time durable. It has 3 offset angles and you can easily adjust in accordance with your designed angle.
- The grips are ergonomically intended for comfort when used
- The shafts feature heavy-duty drip rings that makes your hand dry as you track the river, lakes or ponds
- Ideal and a solid product
- Good value for money
- The paddles are a bit sticky
The product is user friendly. It was first built in the year 1982 and for many years it has grown to become one of the most dependable products of this time. It has a fiberglass shaft to promote strength and durability. It also has nylon blades fiberglass reinforcement. It comes in a variety of lengths ranging from 220cm to 260cm rendering different sizes to opt for. It is crafted to provide a good angle and it offers extra visibility for the kayakers as well since one of the color variant is orange.
- Easy to use for all kayakers
- Has a lot of features that makes the paddle more comfortable
- Has a 3 button snap ferrule that allows the rider to adjust the feathering angle between 0 to 60 degrees.
- The paddle length is adjustable
- A bit pricey
- Needs more modifications
- Needs more colors
This paddle has a two-piece aluminum construction. It is ideal for fishing. The shaft materials are made from aluminum and the blade materials from plastic. It has an adjustable drip guards and has foam rubber grips along with floats. It is considered as one of the most inexpensive product sold on the market today. Since it has a rubber foams, your hands are dry as you paddle providing more comfort for you. It is a product designed for beginners.
- Has a two piece and weather-tested aluminum shaft
- Able to withstand harsh conditions
- Capable to counter open ocean use and weathering
- Easy to control and carry
- It is a 2-piece paddle making it easy to bring along and store
- You can tweak the paddle so that it can fit your style
- The materials used on the blades are not of quality
- Ideal for beginners and not for experts
This kayak paddle is suited for touring. In terms of its strength, it is durable and has a lightweight fiberglass shaft. It also features polypropylene blades that are reinforced with glass fibers. These blades are designed to be very tough. It can take a beating from hitting rocks, other obstacles and can be used to push the kayak when you get stuck. It comes in different colors such as sunrise and cloud. It comes in different lengths such as 220, 230, 240 cm. The blades also provide high visibility with its orange and blue color variants.
- Durable, portable, comfortable for use
- Adjustable features that could make your journey more easy
- Very light and ideal for long trips
- The shafts are durable
- The blades are durable
- The handles offer a nicer grip
- Setting the blades at an ideal angle is easy
- Light materials are used
- The design of the shaft needs improvement
- For those that needs a 96-inch paddle, this is not the perfect match
- Needs a foam for a more comfortable grip
To acquire the best kayak paddle, you must know the different types and products. Besides knowing the ideal features that would match your preference, safety must be considered and preventive measures must be implemented. It is better to have a spare than be stranded without a paddle on board. For a kayaker, there are times that the conditions are beyond our control. Some paddles break or float away as you trek the mighty rivers or oceans. Some get lost when the rapids are too strong to control and to maneuver kayak resulted to losing the paddle in the process. Carrying a spare paddle is a necessity.
With the factors that need consideration, as a kayaker, it is your responsibility to weigh the pros and cons and the elements before getting the right kayak paddle for you. From its features, to its designs and even the materials being used, it is significant to distinguish these factors to enjoy your kayaking journey without worry and hassles. Lastly, never rush in buying the right product or the right kayak paddle. Sometimes, it takes time to weigh the details, but once you are done with the principal details, choosing the right gear would now be easier.