Now that you have decided that 2023 is your year of some outdoor adventure and have chosen kayaking as your ideal fun activity, the next step is to get the right equipment. If you are new to this sport, choosing the best kayak paddle can be very tough. This is because, at first glance, they may all look the same, but the minor difference has a huge impact on their performance.
Whether you are a beginner or not, having the best kayak paddles will help you enjoy kayaking and make paddling easier for you. To help you to choose the best kayak paddle, we have reviewed some of the best kayak paddles of 2023 so that you can know what to look for.
List of Best Kayak Paddles in 2023
10. Carlisle Expedition
Available in three lengths, 220 centimeters, 230 centimeters, and 240 centimeters, this is one of the best kayak paddles. There is so much that you will like about it, and do not be surprised if it becomes your favorite. The paddle is entirely made of fiberglass, and it also offers a light but strong straight shaft that is perfectly designed for long trips. It might not be as light as a full carbon fiber paddle, but it is easy to use. The paddle weighs 2.06 pounds and is a good choice for a more experienced kayaker.
This paddle is powerful and uses a simple push-button system in both right- and left-hand options. When you use this paddle, you will be giving your arms, chest, and torso some workout as well because it will demand a lot from them.
- Straight shaft only
9. Bending Kayak Paddle
Featuring a fiberglass straight shaft and also fiberglass blades, this paddle is both durable and lightweight. The paddle was designed with fishing in mind and that is why it has a hook retrieval system that has been built into one of the blades. The design will also allow you to see if your fishing line is caught so that you can free it.
The shaft has a measuring tool that you can use to measure what you catch in either standard and metric units or both. Since the blades are asymmetric, they will give you extra power every time you stroke. The Bending Branches’ Angler Classic is a paddle that a fisherman can count on. The paddles are available in two adjustable sizes and are long enough to accommodate the width of most fishing kayaks. The paddle weighs only 2.1 lbs., and the shaft is durable and strong
- Adjustable lengths
- Very strong
- Straight shaft only
8. Bending Snap-Button
Made by one of the leading manufacturers of paddles, Bending Branches, this paddle will not disappoint you. Available in different sizes like 210 cm, 220 cm, 230 cm, and 240 cm, you can be sure that you will find a size that fits you well. Best for recreational use, this paddle has a lot to offer and will make a good paddle for beginning kayakers.
It has a straight aluminum shaft, is dependable and sturdy. Because it is not lightweight, the paddle is not ideal for long trips. However, it is still suitable for beginners who do not need precise control over feathering. The paddle weighs 2.3 pounds and relies on a three-hole snap system that is common to several entry-level paddles. The plastic blades will give you enough strength and its shape that offers cooperation between high- and low-angle styles.
7. Overmont SUP Paddle
Perfectly designed for beginners, this paddle will float on water, both fresh and salty water, even when all parts have been put together. You will feel faster when paddling and free to handle it too. These paddles have a rugged look, are easy to use, and are also built to stand any wrong handling by beginners or renters.
The Overmont SUP paddle is lightweight, has a durable polypropylene, an aircraft-grade aluminum shaft, and a very comfortable ergonomically designed handle. The best thing about this kayak paddle is that it is adjustable and can suit all paddlers, and because it weighs only 2lbs, children can also handle it easily. You can also brake the paddle down into three pieces for easy storage. You can carry it with you on a plane.
- Easy to store
- Some users complain that the handle does not tighten
6. Werner Camano Kayak Paddle
This company is known to make very high-level paddles and, therefore, you can expect this paddle to deliver just that. This paddle has a length of 205 cm to 260 cm in 5 cm increments, weighs1.53 lbs is a straight one-piece and are made from carbon fiber, and this means that it is very strong. You can be sure to find a length that suits you should you choose to buy this paddle.
The paddles feature a bent or straight shaft, and because it is made from carbon fiber, it is one of the lightest paddles you can buy, and that is why it is also one of the best kayak paddles. If you are planning to cover a long distance in the water, then this is a paddle that you can consider buying.
- Very strong
- Very expensive
5. Airhead Kayak Paddle
If you are looking for a good kayak paddle that does not occupy a lot of storage space, this airhead kayak paddle can be an ideal choice for you. It is 7 feet long and had two sections with curved blades. This paddle breaks into 2 for easy storage and transport too. The airhead paddle also offers an adjustable blade angle that makes it ideal for standard and offset paddling.
Because it has curved blades, you will experience greater paddling efficiency. Should you accidentally drop it in the water, this kayak paddle is lightweight because it is made of aluminum, has foam handgrips, and drip rings, that will keep it afloat until you are able to retrieve it. The paddle section of this product measures 49.5 inches long, has an 8.5-inch-wide paddle, a 2-inch diameter, and weighs 3 pounds each.
- Easy to store
- Adjustable blade
- Users complain that the size is wrong
4. Pelican Kayak Paddle
A kayak paddle is a very important part of your kayaking adventure. The best kayak paddle will significantly impact how well you perform and will also determine how much you enjoy your time in the water. Pelican kayak paddles offer a wide range of paddles with various features, and this paddle is one of them.
This paddle is made of aluminum, strong fiberglass, and it also has a polypropylene feathered blade design that makes it very durable. It also has drip rings that you can adjust and the rings help to keep your hands dry as you paddle, and this ensures a firm grip and an enforced push-button connection that can be adjusted at an angle of 0-65˚.
The paddle also offers a perfect fit. It is 89 inches (226cm) long, and this is the ideal length for your water adventure.
- Offers a perfect fit
- Some users complain of bent shafts
3. Overmont Kayak
Made from high-quality material, the Overmont kayak paddle SUP will give you its money’s worth. This paddle features three locking positions that you can use to attach the two pieces. It has a tough construction design, and you can still break it down into two pieces and this makes it easy to store. The paddle also has feather-shaped blades and a double saw tooth edge design that makes it very easy to move through the water.
This paddle is very lightweight and, therefore, you will not tire quickly using it, and because it has a hollow aluminum shaft tube, it will easily float on water. To ensure that your paddle does not float away, this product comes with a leash and hook. Whether you are looking for a spare paddle or you are a beginner, you can consider trying out this paddle.
- High quality
- Includes a leash
- Some users complain that it has no padding or rubber
2. SeaSense X-TREME 1
This is one of the very inexpensive paddles that you can find. It is an ideal choice if you just need an extra paddle or you are a beginner and will not do a lot of paddling. With an aluminum shaft and symmetrical dihedral blades that are made with molded plastic, this paddle is strong enough and a little heavy because of the aluminum. It has foam grips that will give hands extra comfort while you are kayaking.
The SeaSense paddle also comes with rubber drip guards. These guards help in keeping your hands dry. The blades can be adjusted to 3 different positions to fit your paddling style. If you are a beginner, we can recommend this paddle for you because it is a good entry-level paddle. It is 213 cm long and weighs 36.8 oz.
- Some user complains that it is not strong enough
1. SeaSense X-Treme II
Not to be mistaken for the SeaSense X-Treme I, this unified marine SeaSense X-Treme II kayak paddle is manufactured with fiberglass filled nylon blade, and this makes it very lightweight. The paddles are 96″ in length and have either a blue or white blade that is made of lightweight polypropylene, and it is also reinforced, and this makes it more efficient in the water. Not only is it lightweight, but the paddle is also durable. The shaft features an ergonomic foam grip that adds comfort and strength when you are using it.
This paddle has 3 Locking Positions and breaks down into two pieces for easy storage. It will offer you the proper balance and easy maintenance. Weighing only about 200lbs, even children can have some paddling experience. If you drop it in the water, the paddle will stay afloat until you are able to retrieve it.
- Easy to store
- Some users find it a little flimsy
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do kayak paddles float?
A: Yes, all kayak paddles float. However, they tend to drift away slowly. So if you drop your paddle, you should try to retrieve it as fast as you can.
Q: Do kayak paddles make a difference?
A: The best kayak paddles will determine how you perform while on the water. Each type of paddle has features that make it unique, and the features will determine the performance. This means the right paddle will make a difference.
Q: Why are kayak paddles feathered?
A: Feathering helps a lot when paddling into high winds. If the angle of your blade is good, you will face little resistance. The un-feathered paddle is ideal when the wind is to your back. The feathering can also function like a little sail every time you raise your paddle into the air.
Q: Which way do kayak paddles go?
A: Several paddles are right-handed. This indicates that the right-sided angle should be used as the upstroke. When paddling, let the paddle turn and rearrange in your left hand. This will ensure that each paddle regularly enters the water efficiently.
Q: What happens when I use a very long of a paddle for kayaking?
A: Paddling with the wrong size of paddle or a very long paddle will wear you down. There is a right size paddle for everybody irrespective of their height, and to enjoy kayaking, you should get the right size of paddle.
Q: What are the ideal paddle length and offset?
A: Paddlers in between 5’3″ and 5’8″ can consider a paddle that is 192-196 centimeters in size. Paddlers who are taller than 6’1″ can get a paddle that is between 200 – 204 centimeters. You should also consider the blades. The offset is the difference in angles between the two blades.
We hope that with this review, we have made it very easy for you to choose the best kayak paddle that will suit you well. With this information, you will have a better understanding of what you should look out for when buying your first or your next paddle. Because we know that there is always something new in the market, we will keep this page updated with the best kayak paddles in the market, just for you, so be sure to check us out again the next time you want to go paddle shopping.