How to Choose a Kayak Paddle

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How to Choose a Kayak Paddle
Choosing a kayak paddle can seem like a straightforward task, but you actually have a lot of options to consider. When it comes to kayak paddles, you have a variety of lengths to consider. Blade shape and paddle material further complicates matters. However, there are a few key factors to keep in mind when selecting a paddle to make your life easier.

How to Choose a Kayak Paddle

Sizing is always a good place to start when selecting a suitable paddle for your kayak. To ensure you are picking the right length of paddle, you need to focus on a few key factors. You should first think about your torso height, as this will determine how long or short your paddle should be. The width of your kayak may also require you to go for a slightly longer paddle. You also need to think about the type of kayaking you will be undertaking. The average kayaker in a standard width vessel will usually be fine with a kayak paddle with a length of around 240 centimetres.

Blade material is also important. If you want a paddle that can cope with extreme performance, go for one with a polypropylene blade. This high-impact material can withstand substantial stresses and cope with regular exposure to choppy waters and hard obstacles. Paddles with blades made from this material are also relatively affordable. If you plan to spend longer periods of time on the water, you may want a blade made from a material like fibreglass. These reinforced paddles are stiffer than standard alternatives, making them a good option for those seeking enhanced stroke efficiency. Finally, you have carbon blades. These paddle blades are durable and lightweight, making them ideal for those keen to spend longer on the water, without worrying about paddling fatigue.

You also want to consider shaft material when purchasing a paddle. An aluminium shaft is a good option for those looking for something lightweight and affordable. Paddles made from aluminium are also fairly durable. If you want a more lightweight option, fibreglass is something to consider. Fibreglass shafts are very robust and easy to handle, but still provide a good amount of flex. Premium paddle shafts made from carbon are another option. These are incredibly lightweight and fairly durable, making them a good fit with the more experienced kayaker with a good technique who likes to spend long stretches of time on the water.

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