Best Kayak Paddle Picks For Your Money in 2019
Most of the times, when people buy a kayak, they forget about the best kayak paddle options. It's a funny thing that the best kayak paddles, are the one item you need the most and the most often overlooked.
Investing in the best kayak paddle is a necessity, yet people don't seem to realize that it is not something that you can just pick up because the store clerk says so. What you need to understand is that paddles, like kayaks, requires a good thought and research because each paddle is made different. Some paddles are best used for calm waters, while there are others that provide strength for more extreme sports like kayak surfing and rapids.
You can either get into trouble while in the water or select one of these best kayak paddle picks for your money and weigh your options.
Best Kayak Paddle Picks (Our Personal Favorites from the Top 10)
Best Kayak Paddle
What Kind of Paddler Are You?
There are two main types of paddlers. There are those who want to be able to cruise through the water and relax, and there are those who want speed, durability and aggressiveness to cut through the water. So are you a low-angle paddler or a high-angled paddler?
A Low-angle paddle is mainly used for slower speed. These are perfect for anglers who want to cruise at a slower pace and don't require much effort to push their kayak in the water. The low-angle paddles are the basic choice for beginner paddlers.
A High-angle paddle, on the other hand, is used for faster-flowing currents where the paddler will need to be more aggressive with their speed and maneuverability.The high-angle kayak paddles are aerodynamic and are usually much lighter in weight than a low-angle paddle.
How to Choose the Best Kayak Paddle
Without a properly sized paddle, you will find it difficult to gain momentum and may find yourself busting your knuckles on the hull of the boat. Some of the best kayak paddle picks offer foam hand placements for comfort and provide stability while paddling.
Your paddle will be broken down into two main parts- the shaft and the blade and the more you know about kayaking, the better experience you will have in the water. There are few things you need to consider when opting to buy the best kayak paddle. Read on to find out.
What is the right kayak paddle length? Well, the best kayak paddle picks range from 188cm to 260cm in length. The paddle you need will be determined by your height, width of your kayak and your paddling style. Just as different kayaks are narrow for speed, you will find just as many paddles for various activities.
Next, you will need a paddle that will be comfortable for you to use every time you go out. Luckily these days there are paddles that come standard with foam grips that allow you to keep proper positioning and paddle stroke. You don't want a paddle that will easily slip out from your grasp when you are propelling your boat forward. Nor do you want a paddle that will become slippery when wet.
When it comes to comfort, you also need a paddle that will not seem like a sail to you. You shouldn't have to force your paddle into the water, and it should flow naturally and easily. You don't want a paddle that will hit the side of your kayak with every stroke, and that is why it is important to shop around, read reviews and find the right paddle for your size and kayak.
The best kayak paddle models are made with several different materials and it usually up to personal preference which type you will like. Some anglers like paddles that are made of wood and some like the one made with fiberglass.The choice is entirely up to you.But to give you a run down on the different materials here is what you can choose from when picking out the best kayak paddle.
Wooden paddles are traditional for canoes, but you will rarely see them used for kayaks. However, wooden paddles are stronger, reliable and will float on water. A wooden paddle is more of an oar, and you use it like you would in a canoe, one side for one stroke. These paddles are much heavier than other types of paddles.You can opt to have wooden blades on an aluminum shaft, but those are usually custom made paddles and can be a bit pricey.
Fiberglass is a popular and cheap material that is used for both the shaft and the blade. It is lightweight and can last a long time.They aren't flimsy and can be utilized for any recreational sport. These paddles are also buoyant should one slip from your hand while paddling.
Carbon fiber paddles are stiff and are deemed the best for aggressive kayaking that requires control and maneuverability.These paddles are more expensive than fiberglass, but you can rest assure knowing that you can push off from the beach without having to worry about the blade cracking or breaking.
Aluminum paddles are my best and ideal for beginners. They are on the heavy side but not nearly as heavy as wooden paddles.These paddles will sink quickly if dropped in the water and tend to get cold or hot depending on the temperature.
The shaft is the area that your hands wrap around. It can be straight or bent slightly to help propel you more efficiently in the water. Many paddles these days come straight because they are lightweight and cheaper. A bent shaft, however, doesn't cause joint issues.
Whichever style of the shaft you get is personal, and while some beginners may think that a straight paddle is best, they should consider that they are learning and should get a bent shaft for proper stroke alignment.
The blade is the part of the paddle that enters the water and allows you to move by pushing the waterway from the boat or kayak. Your stroke angle will determine the kind of blade you will need. If you tend to be a low-angle paddler, you will need a long and narrow blade. A paddle that has a large blade allows you to have more leverage on the water.
The larger blades are best for experienced paddlers that require absolute control. The smaller blades will be less powerful but will help you to gain confidence and a more efficient stroke.But you should also know that the blade comes in different varieties as well.
You can have a blade that is feathered, asymmetric, or square-ended. Depending on your preference and paddling style you will be able to determine which paddle will be best suited for your needs.
An asymmetrical allows your paddle to enter into the water smoother and with less fuss. This is perfect for people who fish out of their kayaks and need stealth. A symmetrically shaped blade can be paddled with either hand since the blades are the same on both sides.
The feather of a paddle refers to the angle that each blade is offset from each other. The feather of one blade to another is usually measured in 15-degree increments with the most common being a 45-degree feather. There are also three basic feathering options.
You can get a paddle that has a left, right or neutral feather. Many feathered paddles are predetermined. However, there are higher end paddles that allow you to adjust the feathering to suit your needs.Square-ended paddles are blunt at the end and look square.
These are best used for sight-seeing trips that don't require stealth or speed. Most paddles that are used for recreation can be separate into two or more pieces for easy storage and transportation. However, there are also single-piece paddles that are stronger and more durable than a two-piece.
The 10 Best Kayak Paddle Picks
Once you know what to consider for your kayaking adventure, you should be able to evaluate your needs for the best kayak paddle.To make it easy, we've tested, analyzed and reviewed the ten best kayak paddle picks, perfect for fishing or kayaking recreation.
1. Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle Rounded 96"
There is a reason why this model topped our best kayak paddle list. The Shoreline Marine paddle is one of the best kayak paddle models chosen by most anglers.
Made of corrosion resistant Aluminum, it is probably the best kayak paddle for both beginners and professionals.
This allows the paddle to be used for years and is strong enough to push off from rocky shorelines or beaches.
The length of the paddle is 96 inches and comes will drip guards that help to keep you dry while rotating the paddle during your strokes.
Each blade is contoured and molded for optimal efficiency allowing you to use fewer strokes to get further. The shaft comes standard with foam grips that will keep your hands in place and won't slip when they get wet.
Due to the material used for this paddle, it won't allow the paddle to float should you drop it in the water, which is a downside you might not like.
While it will be buoyant briefly, you should test the time it takes in shallow waters before heading out. The best solution should you choose this paddle is to get a leash for your paddle so that you won't lose it should it get knocked out of your hands.
The Shoreline is ultra-lightweight coming in at only 2.2 pounds. It has three positions that allow you to customize the paddle to fit your style, making this a truly universal paddle for fishing, cruising, and white water.
Features I like
- Ultra-light weight and buoyant.
- Drip guards to keep you dry.
- Corrosion resistant construction.
- Standard foam grips for good handling.
- Strong and durable.
2. SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle
Here is another great pick for the best kayak paddle.The SeaSense X-1 is made of aluminum and is balanced well allowing you to have even strokes through the water and glide with ease.
The X-1 also comes standard with adjustable drip rings that will help keep you dry as you are paddling.
A paddle only weighs 2.3 pounds and has foam handle grips with molded plastic blades. The SeaSense X-1 kayak paddle can be taken apart and separates into two pieces for easy storage and transportation.
Plastic blades allow the paddle to float should you lose it in the water. They are best used for beginner paddlers who don’t need to be quiet and just want to paddle down a river or lake. Because the paddles are made of plastic, some paddlers may not think they are strong enough to push off from rocky shores.
The blades are also squared which won’t cut through the water in stealth mode which may turn off some kayak fishermen who need noise reduction paddles. But, there is no need to worry. It's strong enough to help you move in the water without a problem.
Features I like
- Aluminum construction.
- Well balanced to stroke and glide.
- Can be separated into two pieces for easy storage.
- Plastic blades that are corrosion resistant.
3. Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle
The Intex dual paddle is one of the best-rated kayak paddles; thanks to the paddle design allowing the paddle to be used as a single paddle or split into two paddles for boat oars.
Each blade is ribbed and is made of Aluminum that comes with drip rings.
When the paddle is connected it reaches 96-inches giving you the ultimate distance needed for long strokes that allow you to cut through the water without added effort.
Due to the construction of this paddle, it is nearly impossible to break.
You can rest at ease knowing your paddle won’t break or crack when pushing off from any shoreline or beach.
Ribbed blades allow for optimal movement each time the blade goes into the water.
This paddle is a bit heavy coming in at 3.5 pounds and is best used for male paddlers.
Some kayakers may not like the fact that the blades are square and will cause more friction with each stroke. But, the paddle can be separated allowing you to use it according to your necessity.
Features I like
- Can be used as single and double paddle.
- Strong construction, does not break even in extreme conditions.
- Ribbed blades for great movement.
- A bit heavy, suited for male paddlers.
4. Oceansouth Kayak Paddle
The OceanSouth is another great contender for the title of best kayak paddle. OceanSouth is reinforced with polypropylene that allows the paddle to be stiff and strong for launching off any area.
The blades are slightly spooned allowing for an optimal thrust through the water.
You can adjust the shaft to suit your needs, so those who suffer from joint discomfort can manipulate the shaft position to help paddle easier.
Unlike other paddles, this one can float and is super easy to use. If you are a beginner paddler, you should surely get this paddle first.
A paddle comes with drip rings to keep you dry, and the blades are sealed to the shaft so that you won’t accidently lose the blade in the water.
The craftsmanship of this paddle is top notch and 86.8 inches for optimal clearance for your kayak.
Should you drop your paddle without a leash, it will float until you can retrieve it again.
Features I like
- Polypropylene reinforcement.
- Slightly spooned blades for optimal thrust.
- Shaft positioning can be manipulated.
- Drip rings to keep you dry.
- Floats when dropped in water.
5. Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle
The Carlisle Magic Plus kayak paddle is great for beginners and is suitable especially for smaller kayaks.
Made of polypro blades and a fiberglass shaft, this kayak paddle is probably best rated by experts.
This paddle is super lightweight and strong. The Carlisle allows you to feather the blade in any direction and offers three adjustments with the center being neutral.
Strong material that makes this kayak paddle, helps propel your kayak through the water with ease and launching off various ports is no problem.
The angles of the paddle are adjustable making it a great way to cope up paddling in any style.
On top of that, the paddle also makes you go far spending less energy. You can get into motion with only a couple strokes and what not? It's super fun to hold, be it in hot sunny days or chilling cold.
The fiberglass shaft is extremely comfortable while the grip is of the right diameter. The blade rigidity can be improved a bit but it still is strong and durable.
Features I like
- Great for beginners with smaller kayaks.
- Polypro blades and fiberglass shaft.
- Light-weight and strong.
- Effective paddling, saves energy.
- Great grip.
6. SeaSense X-Treme II Kayak Paddle
The SeaSense X-Treme II paddle comes with feathered blade design to cut through the water with little effort.
Your paddle easily separates into two pieces for easy storage and transportation which is why this paddle has been rated really well.
The X-Treme II comes with adjustable drip guards and a support ridge for that extra strength you will need for white water.
It also allows for three locking positions so that you are comfortable during your excursions and paddle smoothly with fewer bumps against the hull.
This paddle makes a great spare paddle store in your kayak.
The blades are a bit flimsy and may bend when pushing off from rocky areas. The shaft is smaller than most paddles and may not be suitable for larger paddlers.
You'll appreciate that the catch on the blade is silent, but the power and release may produce a lot of unwanted noise which might require you to slow down a little bit.
Features I like
- Feathered blade design.
- Adjustable drip guards.
- Smaller shaft, perfect for beginners.
- Great strength with little effort.
7. Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddle
The Day Tripper blade is made of polypropylene, and the shaft is tempered lightweight aluminum.
This kayak paddle comes in at 37oz which is why it is rated really well by professionals.
The paddle is offered in three sizes 220, 230, and 240 cm which makes it easy for paddlers to choose according to their size.
You can get this paddle “bent” which helps those with arthritis or straight for a stronger stroke.
The paddle floats for your convenience should you lose it during your adventures.
It is a super strong paddle that is designed for whitewater and comes with an oval indexed section for proper hand placement and allows you to grip the paddle firmer and easier.
The paddle comes in two pieces, and the latch connecting the two pieces of the paddle do not fit securely. You may experience a slight "wobble" when the two pieces are connected.
Make sure to check the paddle before you head into the water. But, no worries, the paddle floats and there is no way you are going to lose it so easy.
Features I like
- Polypropylene construction with reinforced aluminum.
- Comes in three sizes.
- Lightweight and bends without breaking.
- Floats on water, great for whitewater kayaking.
8. Solstice 4 piece Quick Release Paddle
The Solstice paddle is made with aluminum and has four pieces to fit completely.
This paddle allows you to adjust it in three different positions that will help you paddle more efficiently and faster than ever before.
Because this paddle can separate into four pieces, it can be easily stored anywhere.
The paddle is strong, and you can rest assured that every stroke will propel you through the water with ease.
Its blades are asymmetrical allowing for those of you who want stealth, to be able to get to closer to the wildlife without startling them.
Unfortunately, you can’t adjust the length of the paddle and can a bit tricky to slide the pieces together for a secure fit.
This paddle makes for a great spare so that you are up the creek without a paddle.
Features I like
- Four piece adjustment.
- Can be positioned in three different ways for more efficiency.
- Lightweight and can be stored anywhere.
- Asymmetrical blades for stealth movement.
9. Carlisle Value Kayak Paddle
The Carlisle Value blades are made with polyethylene that make these paddles super strong.
This ensures durability and gives you the comfort you need on those long days out on the water.
Its value shaft is made with aluminum for strength and offers foam hand placements so that you can paddle for a long as you want to without your hands cramping.
The Value paddle does float which is plus for beginner paddlers.It is a bit on the heavy side weighing two pounds. We do not recommend it for surfing or whitewater as the blades are too flimsy to help you control your kayak.
It's perfect for both left and right-handed anglers while also features ergonomic grip for better hold.
The blades are symmetrical making it a perfect paddle for beginners or a great spare for professionals.
Features I like
- Right and left handed control.
- Polyethylene material.
- Foam hand placement to hold for long.
- Durable and inexpensive.
10. Werner Tybee Hooked Fiberglass Paddle
There is no better paddle for you kayak than Werner Tybee Hooked Fiberglass paddle if you are looking for the best entry level kayak paddle for fishing.
The paddle is lightweight just under 1 pound and is stable, reliable, and strong.
You won't have any issues pushing off from beaches or hitting any unsuspecting rocks under the water.
The Werner paddle is rated full thanks to its fiberglass reinforced injection molded blades and carbon blend shaft that is lightweight and stiff. It comes in two pieces that are easy to separate and won’t give you the “wobble” that many other multiple sectional paddles have.
You can adjust this paddle for almost limitless angles so that you hit the water correctly with every stroke. The only downside to the paddle is the fact that it is made for beginner kayakers who need a little help on their performance and positioning.
Features I like
- Limitless angle adjustments.
- Best entry level paddle for kayak fishing.
- Extremely lightweight, reliable and strong.
- Comes in two pieces, easy to store.
Best Kayak Paddle: Final Review
We hope you enjoyed reading our article on the best kayak paddle picks Now that you have an idea of the kinds of paddles out there, you need to make sure your necessities align with the features of the paddle you are looking for.
Make sure to purchase a leash for your paddle so that your paddle will be attached to your vessel and won't float away. Leashes are especially important for those who kayak fish.
I basically started with the Shoreline brand and I now have the Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle which is super durable and perfect for someone experienced like me.
As an entry level kayaker, I started with the Werner Tybee Hooked Paddle, and I still have it. Durable, lightweight and sturdy, this should never let you down during kayak fishing. Do you have any opinions on what the best kayak paddle is? If you have a favorite model that is not mentioned on our list, feel free to let us know in the comment section below and check out some more fishing gear reviews. Now, grab your paddle and hit the water to enjoy your adventure to the fullest!