How to Choose a Kayak Paddle
If kayaking is your sport and you own a kayak, then choose a paddle that is right for you. I don't think you can say there is a perfect paddle, as a paddle suited for each one is different. A kayak paddle can be said to be an extension of your arm, and you need the right one. The right one depends on your choice, your personal preferences, length, weight, material and blade.
A paddle length can range from 220 cm to 255 cm. You need to determine the correct size for you. For this, place the paddle center on top of your head, and position your hands on the shaft, with elbows at 90 degrees. The blades should be about 4" to 5" from your hands. A person's height and boat width should also be taken into consideration to decide the right paddle for you. A tall person with a short torso would need a shorter paddle. Based on the above assessments, we can say that taller people or those with wide boats need paddle length of 240 cm or more, while average sized people need paddles of 230-235 cms range. Recreational paddlers and shorter individuals need paddle lengths of 220 cms. You can try out different paddles of varying size lengths, according to your height and the width of the boat.
The best kayak paddle offers a combination of light weight and strength. For long trips and vigorous workouts, strength and weight of the kayak paddle is of great consideration. There are paddles made of wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber and aluminum plastic. Wood retains warmth, and keeps hands comfortable in cold conditions. You need to maintain, in order to keep its appearance. Fiberglass paddles are lightweight, durable and maintenance free. Complex blade shapes are possible in fiberglass paddles which make it a popular choice for whitewater kayaking. The lightest of all paddles is the carbon fiber paddles. The advanced technology in manufacturing carbon fiber paddles produces extremely light weight paddles. Even though they are costly, they offer you the best in terms of investment. Paddles made of aluminum and plastic blades are cheaper and durable, but they are heavier than the paddles made from other materials. This can be a good choice for beginners. Aluminum plastic blades are made from polyethylene, polypropylene, thermoplastic and ABS
It is said that the lighter the weight, the easier the paddling. The best kayak paddle is one that offers a balanced combination of light weight and strength. Select the perfect and right paddle that suits you and offers you the best, in terms of the investment you make.