Kayak Paddle Basics

Overview of Kayak Paddles

While buying kayaking equipment, a lot of attention is needed to select the right kayaks. On the other hand, a kayak paddle merely is lifted off the shelf without giving it a single thought.



A paddle can be split into two major components - the Shaft and the Blade.

Paddle shafts change in diameter. Usually, it's thought that the bigger diameter will be right for paddlers with big palms and also vice versa. Nonetheless, in fact, it's about using a comfy grip on the shaft which will assist in simple paddling. To provide a little hint, the clasp diameter ought to be such that if a paddler grabs the rod, then he ought to have the ability to meet with his index finger and the thumb. The weight, length, blade thickness and traction diameter of a paddle are a few of the variables to be considered before purchasing. Discovering the proper kayak paddle is as crucial as locating a perfect kayak.
Bent kayak blades ease the strain on the wrist and are extremely easy and comfortable to paddle with. But, Straight blades are more commonly utilised, light-weight and affordable.

Paddle Blades: The flat parts located at either end of a paddle shaft are called blades. Kayaks are propelled with the help of these blades. These blades are around 4 to 8 inches wide. The width of a blade plays a significant role in controlling and navigating a kayak.


Kayak paddle blades can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Asymmetrical paddle blade can be easily used by either hand. An asymmetrically shaped blade smoothly enters the waters and ensures natural water displacement.

Paddling blades should be carefully scrutinised as they should give the best performance as well as ease to the paddler while cutting through the water.

The length of paddle differs by the type of kayaking, kayak width, the angle and speed at which the paddler wishes to paddle etc. Kayak paddles are available from 180 cm up to 220 cm. Ideally, short paddles are preferred by short paddlers. Similarly, shorter length paddles are recommended for aggressive paddling combined with different stroke techniques.

Kayak paddles are made of different materials like plastic, fibreglass, wood, aluminium, reinforced nylon and carbon. The weight, durability, rigidity, performance and the cost of paddles depend on the materials used.