Best Budget Paddle?

I would appreciate any input on the choice of a budget paddle. Use would be smooth lakes or slow river for a caual “kayaker”.

Two that I am considering are

Aquabound Seaclude and a Carlisle RS Magic

By budget I was thinking up to $100

Any help or comments would be appreciated.



Mt first was the RS Magic…
… My first Kayak paddle was the RS Magic by Carlisle. I still have it and use it for a back up paddle. The main reason I bought the paddle I am now using, is because I like wood paddles.

… The Carlisle RS Magic does a nice job. No flutter, just a solid connection with the water. It is a great recreational paddle for touring…

… There are better paddles for a lot more money, but I was never sorry I bought the RS magic.

Happy Paddling!

Budget Paddle
Well, your $ amount of your budget is not too bad. However, there is more information needed before anyone can give you a good opinion. Do you feather? What weight range are you considering? Are you a Greenland style of paddler? Do you have any wrist problems like carpal tunnel? The actual bottom line is how the paddle feels in your hands. Try a demo of one sitting in a kayak at a store (make sure it is just like your own kayak - widths of kayaks will effect how your paddle strokes in the water)if you have no other options. Go for the best you can afford right now. You will always need a backup paddle down the road if you end up kayaking a lot. Hope this helps.

You won’t go wrong with the Carlisle Magic. I bought one a year ago and it has become the paddle I use most for sea kayaking—I actually like the “feel” of it better than my $220 Werner, athough it is slightly heavier. The only problem I’ve had with it is that a little water has leaked into the shaft. Eventually that could become a serious problem, but I still think the paddle was a great buy at that price.

I love my Seaclude(s) I actually have 3 of them now. I do a ton of flatwater and quickwater…whether it’s paddling upstream or paddling against the wind on one of the salt bays.

Great paddle and I also apprediate the bright color is visible to other boats. Especially the big boats in the bay.

My boat is dark green and the yellow blades show up well. Not that I don’t stay the heck out of the main travel passages!


My first paddle was an Auquabound Soquel. It is one rugged paddle. I can’t beleive I never broke it. I still use it when I can’t afford a broken paddle…

Aquabound Seaclude

– Last Updated: Jan-10-05 1:26 PM EST –

I have used and abused my Aquabound Seaclude for two years, and it shows very little wear. The Seaclude differs from the Seaquel in that the paddle is narrower, which is better for longer trips, less fatigue.

The shaft still fits together tightly with no play in it.

I also like that the shaft is fiberglass and slightly oblong.

Comparable values
Those two paddles are comparable values. I’ve borrowed a Seaquel for an impromptu paddle and have an RS Magic. They both are suited just fine for recreational use.

Get whichever one feels better in your hand. Get an appropriate length. I’m finding that I like shorter paddles than I used to. My RS is a 230 cm, but I borrowed a 210cm Bending Branches Infusion and really liked the shorter length. I have a 205cm custom paddle and like it for rough water for it’s speed, but I do a lot of sweeps for course corrections (I tend to let my mind wander going downstream) so think I’ll go with 210cm as a compromise length for future paddles.

  • Big D

Buy used
you should be able to pick up a Werner, Swift, Onno etc… Check here, ebay, local sites. A used lightweight paddle is better than a new barbell.

Seaclude and SeaQuel
You would probably want the Seaculde for flatwater paddling. The Seaquel is a really big blade for whitewater or surf.

Or a Gift!
My favorite paddle is still the Wind Swift TsunamiChuck gave me!

Still haven’t really used that Silver Creek, yet…

Did you ever cut that Lendal I gave you?

I have been using the Lendal a whole lot. It is now a 208 2 piece. I have been using it more than the WindSwift. Ya gotta try that Silver Creek!

Better than all…
…Sierra Trading Post has a bunch of Prijon touring paddles closeouts on sale. Some great


Bending Branches
We have 3 BB “Infusion Dreams,” all less than a c note. Also have the Carlisle RS Magic, and it is very similar, but the BB feels a bit lighter. No “Play” in any of the BB paddles. small ammount in the Carlisle. WW

I’ve paddled a lot with both the Werner Camano and the Carlisle Magic. The Carlisle is a little heavier, but it aint no barbell.

Compared to my Windswift, Yes
even the Camano is a barbell after 20-30 miles.

Second Chucks Advice
Biggest mistake I made starting out was paddling with long clunky paddles … if you can get a better light paddle for the same money used do it.

I purchased a Magic last year and it gets more use than my $200 Werner. It has a solid feel in the water and just seems to move my boat better. For recreational paddling the Magic is hard to beat.

grey owl dragonfly
a sweet wood paddle for $70 through

My first paddle was a 240 cm Seaclude -thing’s tough as nails, useful for fishing and for softening groundings and prying off oyster bars and coral rock down here.

BTW -how’s the snow & digging out going on up your way? I dunno -I look at that, and think of clothing & heating bills, and driving, and wonder about the tradeoff we have down here in summer -not too many like this past one here in Florida, thank goodness! -and I think I still prefer it here because I basically don’t like it cold -you know, when it gets down to 49 or so…???

But back to paddles…

Turns out I really like the heft of that (relative) monster Aquabound Seaclude, even on double-digit length paddles, compared to some lighter weight one’s I’ve used. The swing weight somehow feels right to me and good to the hand when I use it.

Contrary to my purchase of the Seaclude, last summer we got Sally a Bending Braches Infusion padded crankshaft and picked it up for $85. Though it’s not particulalry light, it’s not the weight my Aquabound at all, either. The crank relieves stress on Sally’s lifelong tender wrists (she doesn’t feather), and the padding is great, very comfortable. But we got it at 220 cm in length, not 230 or 240, and I must admit, I’m appreciating shorter paddles more these days as well.

OTOH, if you CAN pick up a better blade used, that’s a good route to go as you


-Frank in Miami