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Sea Kayak Paddles

Sea Kayak Paddles

Materials

As with most things, it is a matter of cost vs performance when choosing a paddle. Cheaper paddles are normally robust but lack performance, while normally only the best and most expensive paddles are both lightweight and durable.

In terms of performance the best paddle will have a stiff blade and a shaft with a little flex. This ensures that you get maximum propulsion for the effort you put in. Aluminum shafts have a similar flex as a glass shaft but will bend under less pressure, aluminum shafts also feel cold to touch, especially during the winter! Glass shafts can cope with greater amounts of stress, are lighter but inevitably are more expensive. Blades come in a variety of materials, with plastic being the cheapest, but also the heaviest. Reinforced nylon blades are a good option for the price conscious, as they are stiff, but lighter than plastic. Composite materials offer the best performance for the least weight. Glass fibre blades are light and fairly stiff, while carbon blades are lighter still and even stiffer.

Paddle Length

Paddle length is determined by several factors, the width of your kayak, and your height. The wider your boat, the longer your paddle needs to be to reach over the sides. Equally if you are shorter or taller than average you will need a longer paddle to reach the water. For most fishing kayaks a paddle measuring between 215 and 220cm is ideal. If you are taller than average, or you kayak is very wide (78cm+) then you will probably need a longer paddle, 220 – 225cm. Alternatively if you paddle a narrower (70cm or less) kayak you might find a slightly shorter paddle better for you.

Paddle shape

Paddle blades come in a wide variety of shapes. Each shape has it own individual benefits. These can be broken down into a couple of groups, short and wide blades and long and thin blades.

sea kayak paddles   High angle blade.

A wide, short blade is designed to be used for a high angle paddling stroke, which provides greater power and acceleration. These come in a variety of sizes, small to mid size blades are a good option for all day paddling especially for smaller paddlers. For stronger paddlers or someone looking for more powerful strokes but not going so far, then the larger blade size would be worth a look, though with the larger blade you will tire quicker because you are using more energy on each stroke.
     
sea kayaks   Low angle blade.

Longer, thinner blades are designed to be used in a low angle style, great for more laid back and un-hurried paddling. The narrower blade shape grabs less water initially so it is easier to pull through the water. This makes them great for all day paddling. They often have similar surface areas to the shorter wide blades, so will move you just a quickly if you need to, but wont tire you out as quickly. These are also available in small to mid and large blade sizes.

Sea Kayak Paddles

 
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