white water kayaks
Kayaks kayaks canoes Kayak paddles
Shopping Basket | Checkout
Kayak Shop Delivery details
Home Shop Tuition Hire   Water Levels | Blog | News | Contact
About | Boats | Paddles | Paddling Kit | SUPS | Accessories | Special Offers | Package Deals | Secondhand Boats Buyers Guides

White Water Kayak Paddles

Whitewater Paddle

Kayak paddles for white water use

 Kayak Paddle

How to Choose a Kayak Paddle
You would have thought that Finding the right kayak paddle wouldn't be to difficult. After all, its just a pole with a flat blade at each end. However finding the paddle that’s perfect for you does take some effort and thought.

There are three main points that you should consider, that may help determine which type of paddle could be right for you:

The type of paddling you be doing, whitewater is best tackled with a shorter paddle with broader blades. Cranked shafts are popular amongst white water enthusiasts as it suits the movements required in the rough stuff.

Your height and body strength. If you’re less than about 5 1/2 feet tall, you may require a shorter than average paddle. If you’re over 6 feet tall, you will probably need a longer than average paddle. Remember that with the extra movement a white water run requires a shorter shaft means less strain on your shoulders.

Finally the width and height of your kayak. A tall or wide kayak will more often than not need a longer paddle to reach the water effectively. As white water boats generally sit lower in the water a shorter paddle is sensible.

Once you have considered these three main points you can then consider the the three main differences in paddle characteristics. These are as follows:

  • Blade shape and length.
  • Shaft shape and length.
  • What the paddle is made of
kayak paddle
kayak paddles
Devon WhiteWater Guide
Advantages of Different 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 to have is a stiff blade with a flexible shaft. This ensures that you get maximum propulsion for the efforts you put in. Aluminium shafts have a similar flex as a glass shaft but will bend under less pressure. Glass shafts can cope with greater amounts of stress, are lighter but inevitably more expensive.

For more information on the best paddle for your budget please contact us at AS Watersports and we will be happy to help.

whitewater kayak paddle
whitewater kayak paddles
Paddle Length

There are only general guides to choosing the length of your paddles and much of this will be determined buy your own personal preference. Normally paddle length is a product of your height and the style of paddling that you normally do.

White Water Kayakers use shorter boats so shorter paddles seem to work best. Short paddles allow a greater stroke rate, enabling greater acceleration strokes, as it takes less time to complete a stroke which makes it ideal for white water kayaking.

Whitewater kayakers also prefer shorter paddles for their increased manoeuvrability,
speed and strength.

Paddle Shape

Paddle blades can be long, short, wide, narrow, feathered, unfeathered, symmetrical, asymmetrical, spooned or dihedral.

Each shape has it own individual benefits.

A wide blade with a larger surface area can provide greater acceleration but will also create more resistance in the water. This may be an important point to consider, particularly if you are an in a infrequent paddler, as it takes much more effort to use s large bladed paddle than a smaller one.

Paddle blades can be either symmetrical of asymmetrical. Normally, touring paddles are long, narrow and symmetrical. Many paddlers find an asymmetrical paddle can help reduce the twisting on the paddle shaft while stroking in the water, as it helps even the amount of water on each side of the submerged paddle.

While most paddle shafts are straight, there are several bent-shaft paddles that may help to increase the paddler’s comfort as well as providing a stronger, more effective stroke.

For expert information on choosing the right paddle for you please contact AS Watersports.

Devon Kayak Paddle


kayak retailer kayaks for sale kayaks kayaks
Questions? Speak to our friendly team on 01392 219600
About Us
Contact Us
Online Shop

Fishing Kayaks
Special Offers
Kayak Package Deal
Kayak Clothing
Kayak Guide
Sit On Kayaks
White Water Kayaks
Junior Kayaks
Kit Guides
Terms & Conditions
How to Order
Pay on Finance
Buying Guides

Gift Vouchers
Privacy Policy
My Account
Sign Up


Join our newsletter >

No spam, just great offers and news

1 Terracina Court
Haven Road
Tel: 01392 219600
Mon: 10.30 - 17.30
Tues - Fri: 9.30 - 17.30
Sat: 9.30 - 17.00
Sun: Closed
Secured by PayPal
kayak retailer kayak equipment on finance

Website Design and Marketing | Vector7


Kayak Shop Delivery details