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Top 12 Best Kayak Paddles Of 2021 Review Compare and Buying Guide

Amie Tran
  Dec 9, 2022 1:28 AM

A kayak is useless without a companion, a paddle. There are many different design paddles on the market and choosing the right one will help you have a great sailing experience. In this article, we’re going to talk about buying guide kayak paddles as well as the top 12 best kayak paddles 2021 review.


Buying Guides

How to choose a kayak paddle – Buying Guides

To choose a suitable kayak paddle for yourself, the buying guide should be considered. Now, we will get information about how to choose a kayak paddle through 5 aspects: blade, shaft, length, and material.

Blade shape

All best kayak paddles have quality blades that have an unsymmetrical shape. This design helps the blade balance when it’s in the water and also prevents fluttering down or changing of direction. There are 2 popular blade shapes:

  • Spoon blades move the kayak by the scoop and provide power immediately.

  • Dihedral blades are sloping backward. They give a smoother and more stable movement. This shape helps kayakers save their energy to hold the paddle.

Before searching Google for “kayak paddles near me”, let look through some information about blade kayak oars

Blade size

Blade size is one of the factors that determine how much power you apply:

  • Bigger blades are equivalent to maximum power while you're boating.

  • Medium blades are equivalent to narrow areas and general river rowing.

Shafts shape

We have 2 shapes of paddle shafts:

Bent shafts keep wrists at a neutral position to your forearms during the stroke. This helps reduce hand fatigue and save energy. Also, it allows all four fingers to stay in full contact with the shaft.

Straight shafts are cheaper but stronger. However, they don’t offer as much high-performance as bent shafts.

Kayak paddle length

Whitewater paddle: Kayakers typically choose paddles length approximately 192 to 198cm. 

Creek boating or general river running: The journeys will be longer and you need to get a paddle at least 196cm. The extra length will support rolling skills.

If you are wondering “what size kayak paddle do I need”, read the following charts carefully.

Kayak paddle size chart

  • Low angle kayak paddle sizing (kayaker height x kayak width)

 

Under

59cm

59 to 71cm

71 to 81cm

Over 81cm

Over 1m52

210cm

220cm

230cm

240cm

1m52 to 1m68

215cm

220cm

230cm

240cm

1m68 to 1m83

220cm

220cm

230cm

250cm

Over 1m83

220cm

230cm

240cm

250cm

  • High angle kayak paddle sizing (kayaker height x kayak width)

 

Under 66cm

Over 66cm

Over 1m52

200cm

220cm

1m52 to 1m68

205cm

220cm

1m68 to 1m83

210cm

220cm

Over 1m83

220cm

230cm

Kayak paddle materials

The kayak paddle materials will affect performance as well as price. All best paddles are usually made of the following materials:

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is quite light and very durable. This material is at the mid-range price, popular for travel and recreational kayak paddles. Besides, this material gives you a wide choice of colors.

Carbon

This material is stiff and light, blending carbon and glass in the right proportions. Despite the higher price, it's worth it if you are preparing for a long trip. The lightweight of the paddles made from carbon fiber helps you to reduce hand fatigue.

Plastic, PP, PE, or nylon

These paddles are affordable, durable, and require low-maintenance. People choose them to carry as a spare. Plastic blades with aluminum shafts are inexpensive, suitable for beginners or recreational kayaks.


Compare Products

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    Z&J SPORT
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    AQUA BOUND
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Last update on 2022-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best Kayak Paddles

Top 12 best kayak paddles

Werner Camano Fiberglass Bent Shaft Kayak Paddle-GradientAbyss-220cm

This kayak paddle has the most popular blade design in the world. Werner Camano is the perfect choice for a low-angle stroke and a short trip to relax. In particular, it has an ergonomic neutral bent shaft that makes it easier to hold. 

  • Length: 230cm

  • Weight: 964g

  • Shaft shape: Carbon bent shaft

  • Blade material: Fiberglass, low angel, 2-piece take-apart

  • Strength: reduce fatigue, get the confidence of full hand contact

AQUA BOUND Aquabound Tango Kayak Paddle with Fiberglass Blade & 2 Piece Posi-Lok Carbon Shaft

The Tango Fiberglass blades are made from fiberglass and hand-crafted. They come in three color options: Agua, Sunwave, and Fuego. This model uses a 100% Carbon Posi-Lok® shaft which is rugged, non-corrosive, and a convenient dual-button.

  • Length: 210cm, 220cm, 225cm, 230cm, 235cm, 240cm, 250cm.

  • Weight: 737g

  • Shaft shape: Carbon straight shaft

  • Blade material: Fiberglass, low angel, multi-laminate 

  • Strength: strong, saved energy, and inexpensive

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Pro Plus Fiberglass Telescoping Kayak Paddle

Angler Pro Plus Fiberglass Telescoping Kayak Paddle was released in 2017 and became one of the best paddles in 2021. Bending Bra Branch equips the product with the latest paddle models. Now, we have 3 color options to choose from: Glowtek, Radiant, and Raptor. 

  • Length: 240-255 and 230-245cm

  • Weight: 850g

  • Shaft shape: Carbon straight shaft

  • Blade material: Fiberglass, ferrule angel

  • Strength: The shaft can be broken down into 2 pieces, large blades for a more powerful stroke, light and durable.

Perception Universal Recreation/Touring Kayak Paddle

Perception Universal is designed to suit many kinds of kayaks, especially for touring and recreation. The dual-sided blade design allows the paddle to glide smoothly on the water and provides a great experience for kayakers. Many people wonder if the product can be used for whitewater. Of course, it is designed to be useful on rough and windy terrain.

  • Length: 230cm

  • Weight: 935g

  • Shaft shape: Aluminum straight shaft

  • Blade material: Fiberglass

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, 3-position feathering, suit for both sit-in and sit-on kayak, 2 colors (lime and blue)

BENDING BRANCHES Sunrise Glass 2-Piece Snap-Button Kayak Paddle for Recreational Day Trips

On this list, Sunrise Glass is the 2nd best paddle from Bending Branches. Sunrise Glass has 2 blade colors: Green and Yellow, all of which can be reflected underwater for high visibility. The blades made from PP are so smooth and very light. Moreover, the oval handle made of fiberglass is warm and sturdy.

  • Length: 210cm to 240cm

  • Weight: 992g

  • Shaft shape: Fiberglass straight shaft

  • Blade material: PP

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, 3-position feathering, snap-button

Best Marine Kayak Paddle & Leash 220cm, 234cm, 250cm

One of the reasons why you absolutely must buy this version is it has 5 designs to choose from Vibrant black, Black prism, Blue cloud, Blue prism, and Orange cloud. The construction of carbon and fiberglass makes the paddle easy to move on the water and minimizes fatigue or overuse. This product will be the lightest candidate for the amateur kayaker who needs a high-quality paddle at an affordable price.

  • Length: 220cm

  • Weight: 935g

  • Shaft shape: Carbon straight shaft

  • Blade material: Fiberglass reinforced PP

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, adjustable kayak oar, equipped with 2 small rings to prevent water from dripping down the shaft, floatable, 5ft leash included

Hornet Watersports Graphic Fiberglass Kayak Paddle-Ideal for Touring, Fishing and Boating

Are you struggling to find a high performance paddle that is lightweight, durable, and has a nice design? All the elements you want are in Hornet Watersports Graphic Fiberglass Kayak Paddle. Beyond that, you can control the kayak on any terrain with this paddle for fishing, touring, boating... The most impressive point of the product is the design of fish scales on the blade. Hornet Watersports. Hornet Watersports is designed for all levels.

  • Length: 230cm and 240cm

  • Weight: 737g

  • Shaft shape: Mix of light carbon fiber and fiberglass

  • Blade material: Fiberglass

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, adjustable kayak oar, equipped with 2 small rings to prevent water from dripping down the shaft, floatable, 2 styles (green scales and blue scales)

Z&J SPORT Carbon Kayak Paddle, Adjustable Paddle for Ocean, River, Lake, Sea, Detachable 2-Piece Paddle for Recreational Touring Kayak, with 1 Free Paddle Bag

Detachable Z&J SPORT Carbon Kayak Paddle is impressed by the blade like a large black spoon gliding gently in the water. This design helps kayakers not get tired, especially for professional athletes, who often have to row for a long time. Thanks to the perfect combination of materials, the paddle is extremely durable.

  • Length: 200-210cm, 205-215cm, 210-220cm, 215-225cm, 220-230cm.

  • Weight: 670g

  • Shaft shape: Multi-layer carbon fiber

  • Blade material: Carbon fiber and PMI foam

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, 1 Free Paddle Bag included, anti-corrosion aluminum alloy adjuster

The Catch Kayak Paddle|Adjustable Fiberglass Shaft with Nylon Blades|Lightweight, Adjustable| Perfect for Kayak Fishing, 98.5 inches (250cm) - Arctic Blue - PS1973-00

For kayakers who are passionate about fishing, the Catch Kayak Paddle is considered a treasure. The nylon blade is designed to support and save energy for the anglers. The shaft made of fiberglass provides a warm feeling when fishing during autumn and winter. The most convenient point of this paddle is the blade integrated fishing rod recovery system.

  • Length: 250cm

  • Weight: 940g

  • Shaft shape: Fiberglass

  • Blade material: Nylon, low angel

  • Strength: Integrated hook retrieval system, 2-piece take-apart construction, the shaft has an index, 0 to 65˚ blade angle adjustment

AQUA BOUND Eagle Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

AQUA BOUND Eagle Ray is good for long trips. This kayak paddle has 3 versions: Black abX, Posi-Lok and Snap-Button. It has nylon blades for a light feeling and perfect water contact. All kayakers who have purchased AQUA BOUND Eagle Ray have commented that this is the best paddle in the cheap price range.

  • Length: 210 cm, 220 cm, 230 cm, 240 cm, 250 cm

  • Weight: 857g

  • Shaft shape: Carbon straight shaft

  • Blade material: Carbon-reinforced nylon, low angle and high angel

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, blade angle adjustment, flutter, suit for touring or sea kayaking

Z&J SPORT Kayak Paddle Fiberglass Blade,2-Piece Adjustable Carbon Shaft for Ocean, River, Lake, Paddle for Touring Kayak,with 1 Free Paddle Bag

It would be an omission if Z&J SPORT Carbon Kayak Paddle is not on the list of the best paddles on the planet. The shaft design has 2 types: bent and straight oval shapes. Both make rowing more comfortable and do not cause pain in the joints. The product has asymmetrical blades for smooth turning and flutter resistance. Also, they are made of high-quality materials to prevent damage from sunlight.

  • Length: 200-210cm, 205-215cm, 210-220cm, 215-225cm, 220-230cm.

  • Weight: 751g

  • Shaft shape: Multi-layer carbon fiber

  • Blade material: Carbon fiber and PMI foam

  • Strength: Ultralight and ultra-stiff, 2-piece take-apart construction, equipped with 2 small rings to prevent water from dripping down the shaft, 1 Free Paddle Bag included

OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle 230CM/90.5 Inches Premium Carbon Shaft Kayaking Boating Oar with Paddle Leash

OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle suit for touring and recreation purposes. Anyone can use this paddle as it is designed for multiple levels. The product also has luminous blades so it is easy to identify. The PP blades are durable and resistant to harmful UV rays. OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle has a universal length for a variety of activities and personal heights. 

  • Length: 230cm

  • Weight: 935g

  • Shaft shape: Carbon fiber composite straight shaft 

  • Blade material: PP

  • Strength: 2-piece take-apart construction, 3 locking positions angle, 1 Paddle Leash included


Notes

What you need to make attention when buying a Paddle for Kayaking

Buying a paddle that matches your kayak, level and budget can be very confusing. Let's pay attention to these three criteria to buy the best kayak paddles.

Shaft material

You should choose aluminum paddles because they are economical and enduring. Aluminum paddles usually have a two-piece design, so that they are easy to stow and convenient during transport. The target customers of this kind of paddle are beginners or flatwater paddling on small ponds. Notice that you should choose a version with the grip section coated so that your hands do not get dirty.

Besides that, if you are looking for a lighter kayak paddle, you can try a carbon fiber paddle. In spite of the high price range, the reduced weight is worth it when kayakers rack up on long trips.

Paddle length

The best kayak paddles length has to satisfy two things: 

  • Firstly, Kayak width and kayaker height. The boat has a spacious compartment like a fishing boat requiring a longer paddle. In other words, the narrow one which is used for touring or sea kayaking needs a shorter length. 

  • Secondly, the paddle length must correspond to the height and reach of kayakers. Beyond that, the seat height and an individual paddling style (flatter or more vertical strokes) influence paddle length.

Blade kayak angle

Blade size and your body size must be connected: bigger person, bigger blade, a smaller person, smaller blade.

Some kayakers prefer blades aligned on the same side, while others want the blade which has a bit of offset to support wrist rotation on every stroke. In confusing situations, you should select a multi-hole, push-pin attachment of the two shaft halves to suit any paddling style.

 

 


FAQs

 

Do better kayak paddles make a difference?


- Yes, they improve your performance and reduce fatigue. 

- The high-quality kayak paddles are much more durable.

What type of paddle do Olympic kayakers use?

- Single blade (most effective) 

- Double blade (stronger and faster) 

- Quadruple blade (easier to control but slower)
 

Do you think a carbon fiber kayak paddle is worth the investment?


Yes, they are very durable and efficient.


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