Kayak Paddle Materials

Kayak Paddle Materials

While your kayak is the key piece of gear for aquatic adventures, a paddle of the correct length and high-quality materials will make your outings more comfortable, safe, and fun. The “best” paddle will differ for everyone, but there are some materials that stand up to heavy use over time, making your money go further.  

When looking for the perfect paddle, comparing the following materials while considering length, weight, and fit is essential. Use this guide to help you choose the best paddle material, and feel free to refer back when it comes time to purchase your next one!

Plastic

Plastic paddles are very inexpensive and are often sold as part of a beginner’s kayaking package with the boat. For people just starting out, on a tight budget, or those planning to kayak infrequently for short distances, they are adequate.

However, they easily degrade in the sun compared to other materials, so proper storage is key. Also, they aren’t designed with optimum comfort and heavy use in mind, which can lead to poor paddling form and injuries through prolonged use or longer sessions.

Aluminum

Aluminum paddles are more durable than plastic ones. They can withstand dings and light damage better as well. Like plastic paddles, they are another relatively inexpensive choice.  

The main negative to aluminum paddles, though, is that they’re quite heavy. Paddling is already demanding on your joints and muscles, so why make it more difficult with a heavy paddle? If you plan on kayaking regularly or in whitewater, you want a lighter choice.

Wood

Wood paddles can be an somewhat inexpensive, lightweight, and durable choice. Keep in mind that some types of wood are heavier than others. Their aesthetic is highly sought-after and they withstand lots of abuse.

They are not the most lightweight option out there, however, so opt for a fiberglass or carbon fiber paddle if you know you’ll be subjecting your paddle to heavy use in whitewater, touring or kayak camping, or frequent outings.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is one of the most popular materials for good reason. These paddles are extremely lightweight and still affordable. They are very durable when it comes to damage from rocks, travel, or UV rays (although you should still store your gear away from the sun as often as possible).

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber paddles are increasingly in demand because of their agility, ergonomics, and ease of use. This material is currently the most lightweight option available. If you plan on putting your paddle to the test with frequent use, whitewater, or multi-day trips, those paddle strokes really add up; just a few ounces of weight can make a difference for your strength and stamina.

The beauty of this material is that while it can be quite expensive to buy a 100% carbon fiber paddle, it can be combined with another substance, like fiberglass, to create a hybrid paddle that is just as durable, very lightweight, and more affordable. Our BEST Marine & Outdoors Kayak Paddle has a carbon fiber shaft with fiberglass blades, weighs only 34oz, and costs less than $100. If  you're looking for a high quality, lightweight paddle at an affordable price, this is the perfect paddle for you!

Now that you’re more familiar with kayak paddle materials, you’re one step closer to a more enjoyable kayaking experience! 





Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Blog

What To Do If Your Kayak Capsizes
What To Do If Your Kayak Capsizes

If there’s one part of kayaking that’s not fun, it’s when your kayak flips over.

There's many ways your kayak can flip, but the most common ones are big waves, strong currents and excessive weight.

Although kayaks are designed for maximum stability no matter the conditions, accidents happen and knowing what to do can help you avoid an unpleasant experience

View full article →

Top Kayak Storage Solutions of 2020
Top Kayak Storage Solutions of 2020

After a long day on the water, it’s best to have a safe place to store your kayak. When shopping for a kayak storage solution, you’ll want to look for something that’s stable, secure, durable and easily accessible. Depending on your needs, budget and available space, there are four main types of storage options to choose from

View full article →

6 Reasons You Don’t Own A Carbon Fiber Kayak Paddle
6 Reasons You Don’t Own A Carbon Fiber Kayak Paddle

There's lots of talk about kayak paddles nowadays. There's a bunch of different styles and everyone has an opinion. Some say it doesn't matter and others say it does. Many times it often depends on the type of kayaking you'll be doing. For the sake of argument, we're going to say that carbon fiber kayak paddles are the way to go. They're lightweight, easy on your arms and shoulders and typically make the entire kayaking experience that much better.

View full article →