How To Choose A Kayak Paddle
If you're an avid paddler in need of a new kayak paddle, you may be wondering how to choose a kayak paddle. There are a number of factors you will need to consider when shopping for a kayak paddle. Your style of paddling, the type of paddling you intend to do, and your body type are just some of the many aspects you will need to consider.
Determine what type of paddling you will be doing when you choose a kayak paddle. Different types of paddling require a different type of kayak paddle. Touring paddles are long, skinny and light; whitewater paddles are shorter, more heavily built and surfing paddles are similar to whitewater paddles but are lighter. Or you could get a general, multi-purpose paddle.
Choose a kayak paddle by considering your paddling style. An aggressive paddler will want a larger, symmetrical paddle. If you paddle long distances look for a long, skinny paddle which is more efficient. If you don't have a lot of upper body strength, consider a paddle made from lighter materials like carbon fiber or fiberglass.
Choose the right length paddle for you is important when you choose a kayak paddle. Hold the paddle up above your head so that the center of the shaft lines up with your head. Your elbows should be bent at a 90 degree angle. Take a look in the mirror. A paddle that fits your body should have no more than two hand grips of space between your hand and the beginning of the paddle blade. It should also be no less than one hand grip width to the beginning of the blade.
- Consider blade type. Blades come in different styles. If the blades are positioned at a slight angle, they are feathered, which is is more efficient for kayaking. Large blades will help you power through the water and are great for handling surf. Asymmetrical blades are more efficient, great for paddling for long periods.
Tip: If possible, see if you can try the blade out before you buy. Some kayak stores let you rent blades or use them on demo boats.