Kayaking is a fun yet challenging activity that demands your skill to navigate and the availability of accessories. One of the essential accessories you should have if you plan to kayak are paddles. Nowadays, the kayaks you buy come with paddles already. While you might think that this is an advantage, you must consider if you need to settle with the add-on paddles. Some of these paddles do not work well or are not appropriate to your needs.
It is still vital that you pick kayak paddles to enhance your kayaking activity. But what is the best kayak paddle? This review and comparison of the five kayak paddles would help you choose. These are all the best kayak paddles under $100. You will be guided on choosing a kayak paddle, the essential factors you need to consider, and, more importantly, the affordability of this accessory.
Top 10 Kayak Paddle Under $100 Table
|1. Airhead Deluxe Kayak Paddle||3 lbs||84"|
|2. Carlisle Day Tripper Aluminum Kayak Paddle||2 lbs||86" , 90" , 94"|
|3. Shoreline Marine 72-Inch Kayak Paddle||1 lb||72", 96"|
|4. BKC KP224 Kayak Paddle||2.15 lbs||86"|
|5. SeaSense X-Treme II Kayak Paddle||3.8 lbs||86", 96"|
|6. SeaSense X-Treme I Kayak Paddle||2.8 lbs||86", 96"|
|7. Bending Branches Whisper Kayak Paddle||2.31 lbs||86", 90", 96"|
|8. Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle||2.4 lbs||86", 90", 96"|
|9. Shoreline Marine 96-Inch Kayak Paddle||2 lbs||72", 96"|
|10.Cannon Paddles Escape E Kayak Paddle||2.43 lbs||86", 90", 96"|
How to Choose the Best Kayak Paddle Under $100
In buying the correct kayak paddle, you need to consider several factors. You don’t want to end up purchasing an inappropriate accessory just because you don’t know what to look for in a kayak paddle. Answering the following questions will guide you in choosing the best kayak paddle that suits your needs:
Why are you kayaking?
The purpose of your kayaking activity defines the right paddle you have to get. You might be kayaking for recreational purposes. Perhaps it’s your first time, and you just want to try kayaking without a rigid goal in mind. For these cases, you can just acquire a touring paddle appropriate for recreation, especially for beginners.
However, if it is not your first time and you’re kayaking for fishing, it’s best if you choose high-performing paddles. As long as you know why you are kayaking, then you can select the appropriate paddle that fits this purpose.
How tall are you?
Yes. It may sound counterintuitive, but your height matters when you’re choosing the most appropriate paddle. A paddle that works for one person may not work for another. You want to be comfortable in paddling, so you need to make sure that the length of the paddle you are choosing does not make the activity awkward. Generally, when you stand a paddle upright beside you and your fingers can cover the top edge of the kayak as you reach for it, then you’re picking the correct length.
Another way of knowing the right kayak is by bending your elbows to right angles as you grasp the paddle horizontally above you. Your hands must be two-thirds away from the center of the shaft and one-third away from the blade.
Another thing you want to consider when you’re choosing the correct kayak paddle length is the design of your kayak. Using wider kayaks necessitates longer paddles. Tandem kayaks also need longer paddles than those that are being used in solo kayaks.
Also, paddles used when you’re in a stand-in kayak also differ from those you use when you sit down while paddling.
What shaft design is more appropriate?
Shafts are the rods that connect your paddle blades and play an essential role in your kayaking activity. They dictate the comfort you feel and the effectiveness of your kayaking.
Usually, shafts are straight. But not all the time. There may be shafts that are a bit bent. These are shafts that are more appropriate for those with shoulder conditions. More comfortable and less tiring to use, they are great paddles for beginners.
As for the storage, you might want to decide between choosing a one-piece shaft, a two-piece shaft, or a four-piece shaft. A one-piece shaft occupies more space, as you cannot disassemble them, unlike two-piece shafts. If you’re concerned about storage, a four-space shaft would be more appropriate for you as they consume so little space.
The diameter of the shaft is also one factor you might want to consider. If you have smaller hands, you would like to have rods with a smaller diameter. Not all rods are rounded; some are oval to provide more comfort. You might also want to consider this.
What design and material of blade suit you?
Blades help navigate your kayak. The shape, the size, and the material used for the blades are among the things you need to consider. Most blades nowadays are no longer symmetrical. An asymmetrical dihedral has been proven to be the most effective. Flat blades are discouraged as they do not do well in paddling.
Determine feathered paddles as well. This means that while one blade is submerged in water, the other is slicing through the air. This could give you less work in paddling.
Aluminum, plastic, or nylons are usually the materials preferred by beginners and even for frequent kayakers. These are durable materials that you do not really need to maintain constantly. While they are more affordable, they may be heavier and might make you tired after paddling for a long time.
If you want to avoid this, one perfect alternative is blades made of fiberglass. It maintains its durability and is lighter than other materials but would be suitable only for shorter trips. Longer trips may require you to use carbon fiber.
Every type of blade has its special purpose and is more suitable for a particular situation. An asymmetrical blade is narrower and shorter on one side. Through this, the blade’s surface area becomes more even when the blade is pushed through the water.
On the other hand, the dihedral blade may be easily distinguishable because of its rib in the center. Because of this, the flow of water over both of the halves of the blade is more even and smooth. Blades lacking this feature might make it difficult for you to track straight, and they may flutter more.
If you plan on paddling for a longer time, narrower blades are more appropriate. Even when you’re touring the whole day, you would not feel so tired using a paddle with this blade.
Finally, you can use wider blades if you want some quick, powerful strokes and if you desire to have quick accelerations.
Here are the Best Kayak Paddle Under 100 Dollars
1. Airhead Deluxe Kayak Paddle
This paddle is shorter compared to others. Its shaft is made of lightweight aluminum material and can be carried even by kids. This paddle works best for beginners who might accidentally drop their paddles on the water as this paddle floats.
Being a two-piece paddle and considering its shorter length, this is easy to carry around and store. Depending on your paddling style, you can easily set the blades at a strangle or feathered angle.
- Very portable and easy to store
- Can accommodate children
- Very lightweight
- Can float
- It may be too short for tall kayakers
- The foamed shaft may be uncomfortable for those with smaller hands
2. Carlisle Day Tripper Aluminum Kayak Paddle
You can choose from among three sizes of this paddle: from around 86.6 inches to 94.5 inches. Because of the tempered aluminum material of the paddle, this product is very lightweight and easy to carry. This means that you don’t need to get so tired while paddling, even after longer use.
The shaft is straight with a round shape but is also oval-shaped on the handgrip section so that you can hold it with ease. This paddle is great because even if the blades are set at a straight line, there is a button you can easily use to make the blade feathered by 60 degrees. The durability of the blades will allow you to use them if you want to push your kayak off from the riverbank.
Because this is a two-piece paddle, you can easily adjust and store it. The firm connection on the handle also makes sure that it won’t snap. Because of the blade splash guards, the amount of water that would drop on your head is minimized.
- Durable shaft and blades
- Adjustable blades
- Efficient splash guards
- This paddle floats
- The handle is not foamed, so that it might get uncomfortable after extended use
3. Shoreline Marine 72-Inch Kayak Paddle
This kayak is a longer one, suited generally for adults. If you are a beginning kayaker who seeks affordability and comfort simultaneously, then Shoreline Kayak Paddle is best for you. As an entry-level paddle, its length is extended to keep you relaxed as you paddle at lower angles.
An excellent paddle for recreational kayaking, Shoreline Kayak Paddle is also easy to store, as it is a two-piece paddle. Very lightweight, its shaft is made out of aluminum that’s corrosion-resistant. The blades are made of hard plastics.
As this allows you to paddle at low angles, you would expect that your arms won’t get tired quickly even after trips of longer durations, which is also because of its lightweight. Yet despite this lightweight, you can be assured that it is sturdy. For more comfort, foam covers the shaft. Drip guards are also on the blades so that water won’t get into the kayak when you’re traveling.
- Longer length for relaxed kayaking
- Very lightweight
- Easy to carry and store
- You can have three various positions to accommodate your paddling style
- Foam-covered shaft
- Blade can’t be used for pushing off, for it might snap
- Not made for rigorous use
- This paddle doesn’t float
4. BKC KP224 Kayak Paddle
These kayak paddles feature feathered and contour molded blades, explicitly designed for remarkably great speed and control. Using this paddle, you can easily cut into the water and track easily.
The anti-slip grip that this kayak feature offers not only comfort but the security that you will never lose grip of your kayak, and you can hold its rod easily. The rod is adjustable depending on your built, shape, and size of your kayak. This can lock into three different positions, having up to 86-inch kayak paddle length!
Its durability is ensured by its shaft made of aluminum and plastic blades. This paddle also features drip guards that could prevent water from flowing on the shaft and into your kayak, protecting you and the inside of your kayak from getting wet.
- Anti-slip grip
- Can lock into three positions
- Very adjustable
- Drip guards
- Feathered blades
- The shaft is a bit flimsy
- Paddle might break after more prolonged use
5. SeaSense X-Treme II Kayak Paddle
The shaft of this paddle is made of aluminum, while its blades are made of hard plastic. If you want your kids to use this, you can purchase the shorter one, which is 84 inches in length. Adults may choose to buy the one that’s 96 inches in length.
What’s great about this kayak is that it is lightweight, and its shaft is protected with foam to give you comfort as you paddle. The drip guards are also adjustable, and they could prevent you from getting wet. Offering three positions, this kayak paddle gives you the option to choose between having straight or feathered blades.
The support ridge of this kayak gives this product durability and enhanced strength. Unlike some paddles, you do not need to purchase straps or a leash for this product as this kayak paddle floats. They may also come in different bright colors so that you can easily find them. Plus, this is among the best kayak paddles under 100 dollars which you can afford.
- You can choose between two sides
- You can adjust the paddle to suit your paddling style
- This kayak floats
- Easy to store
- A more extended version of the paddle may interfere with your fishing line
- Not easy to adjust drip guards
Because paddles are essential accessories in your kayaking activity, you want to make sure that you’re choosing the appropriate one. Take into consideration all factors you need to remember in picking a kayak paddle. Choose not only the one that fits your needs but also the one that fits your budget.