Author Topic: Kayak Paddle...what to look for?  (Read 973 times)


  • Handlebar Stache
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Kayak Paddle...what to look for?
« on: April 25, 2017, 08:43:52 PM »
I bought a kayak for $50 from a friend who wanted it gone.  It has no paddle.  How do I go about choosing the correct one on Amazon...or elsewhere if you know of a better place?

I will be a recreational kayaker, 90% of our trips will likely be around the 20 acre lake in our neighborhood.  However, we live close to Lake Michigan, and it would be stupid to not buy a paddle that can handle that too. 

Any advice is appreciated!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Kayak Paddle...what to look for?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2017, 08:10:03 AM »
What type of kayak is it? Is it sit inside or sit on top? If you don't know what kind of kayak it is, if you can tell me how long it is and how wide it is at the widest point I can probably point you in the right direction for the paddle. I am new here, but I do own 3 kayaks.


  • Bristles
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Re: Kayak Paddle...what to look for?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2017, 02:11:57 PM »
How long do you plan to kayak for at a time? If it's going to be for longer periods of time, a lighter weight paddle may be worth a higher cost for some carbon (only if you're racing would I suggest all carbon though). If you're going to be tooling around the neighborhood lake for an hour or maybe Lake Michigan for an hour or so, you have a lot more flexibility in what to buy and an aluminum Bending Branches would be just fine. If there are lot of rocks or trees you may be hitting, you'll want a stronger rather than lighter paddle to withstand hits or to push off of things without breaking.

Preferably try out a paddle length before you buy-borrow on from a friend or many stores hold demo days during the summer where you can try out kayaks and paddles. You may be able to try out bent shaft paddles as well and see what you like more.

Also, get a PFD that is comfortable to wear and paddle at the same time. NOT one of the old orange ones.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Kayak Paddle...what to look for?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 06:17:02 PM »
You should have a spare paddle in your kayak so I would just buy the cheapest 2-piece paddle you find on CL that looks reasonable and try it. It will be okay as your emergency paddle, plus it will let you know what you like and don't like which will help you pick a better main paddle.

Under normal circumstances I'd say go to a paddle shop with your kayak and get them to recommend a paddle, but that will likely cost you more than you paid for the boat.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Kayak Paddle...what to look for?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 10:45:52 PM »
I have a $70 paddle and a $30 paddle.  Huge difference.

We only kayak up to 2 hrs at a time, for fun, on quiet lakes.   I love having an ergonomic shaped paddle blades that has a small length adjustment so my 10 year old and I use the same one.  It goes into 2 pieces so I can store it in the kayak for transport.

So - don't get  the el cheapo paddle, get something up a bit, but under $100 US.