Kayaking is a fun yet challenging activity that demands not only your skill to navigate but also the availability of accessories. One of the most important accessories you should have if you plan to kayak are kayak paddles. Nowadays, the kayaks you buy come with paddles already. While you might think that this is an advantage, you have to think if you really need to settle with the kayak already provided. Some of these kayaks do not work well or are not appropriate to your needs.
It is still important that you pick kayak paddles to enhance your kayaking activity. But what is the best kayak paddle? This review and comparisons of the ten kayak paddles would help you choose. These are all the best kayak paddles under 200. You will be guided on how to choose a kayak paddle, the important factors you need to take into account, and, more importantly, the affordability of this accessory.
- 1 How to Find the Best Kayak Paddle
- 2 Best Kayak Paddle Comparison Table
- 3 Here are the Best Kayak Paddle Under 200
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 Related Tips & Reviews
How to Find the Best Kayak Paddle
In buying the correct kayak paddle, you need to consider several factors. You don’t want to end up buying an inappropriate accessory just because you don’t know what to look for in a kayak paddle. But worry no more, for the following are the factors you have to remember when you’re buying one:
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 paddles appropriate for kayaking 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 choose 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 correct kayak is by bending your elbows in 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.
Other things 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 that 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 important 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 want to have rods with 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 suits you?
Blades are helpful in navigating your kayak. The shape, the size, and the material used for the blades are among the things you need to take into account. 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 blade 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 constantly maintain. 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 are blades made of fiber glass. 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.
Dihedral blade, on the other hand, may be easily distinguishable because of its rib on 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 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.
Best Kayak Paddle Comparison Table
|Image||Product Name||Length||Primary Material||Check on Amazon|
|Shoreline Kayak Paddle||96”||Plastic/Aluminum||
|BKC UH-KP224 86" Kayak Paddles||86”||Aluminum||
|SeaSense X-Treme II Mix Kayak Paddle||84”||Aluminum||
|Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddle||86”-94”||Aluminum||
|AIRHEAD AHTK-P2 Deluxe Kayak Paddle||84”||Aluminum||
Here are the Best Kayak Paddle Under 200
Shoreline Kayak Paddle
This kayak is a longer one, suited generally for adults. If you are a beginning kayaker who seeks affordability and comfort at the same time, then Shoreline Kayak Paddle is best for you. Being an entry-level paddle, its length is long to keep you relaxed as you paddle in lower angles.
A great 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 in low angles, you would expect that your arms won’t get tired easily 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 light weight
- 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
BKC UH-KP224 86″ Kayak Paddles
This kayak paddles feature blades that are feathered and contour molded, designed specifically 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
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
- Shaft is a bit flimsy
- Paddle might break after longer use
SeaSense X-Treme II Mix 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, then you can purchased 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 it 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 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 200 which you can really afford.
- You can choose between two sides
- You can adjust the paddle to suit your paddling style
- This kayak floats
- Easy to store
- Longer version of the paddle may interfere your fishing line
- Not easy to adjust drip guards
Carlisle Day Tripper 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. What makes this paddle great is that 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 would allow you to use it if you want to push your kayak off from the river bank.
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 splash guards that the blades have, the amount of water that would drop on your head is minimized.
- Durable shaft and blades
- Adjustable blades
- Efficient splash guards
- This paddle floats
- Handle is not foamed so it might get uncomfortable after long use
AIRHEAD AHTK-P2 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
- May be too short for tall kayakers
- Foamed shaft may be uncomfortable for those with smaller hands
Because paddles are important 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 that which fits you, but also that which is very affordable.