Best paddle for rec boat and long trips?

i paddle an old town dirigo kayak that is 14’… I paddle mostly flatwater ozark streams and I like to make a day trip of 20ish miles. my boat isnt the fastest, but I like to cover alot of ground especially paddling solo.

Im currently using a regular rectangular shaped kayak paddle that ive had for years. it isnt fancy, and probably came from the local bass proshops for $50ish years back. I feel like I can grab more water with it and have more control/power.

I have other paddles that are more teardropped shape. they require less effort but I dont feel like I have as much power/control/speed. im not sure if it is indeed any slower but thats just the seat of the pants meter.

a more efficient paddle would be great because i wouldnt have to do as much work. i dont want to sacrifice speed or control… ideally i want to go faster.

so Pnet, school me on touring paddles. I want to get the most performance out of myself and my boat… without switching to a fast boat I can only go so far with technique and people power.

hopefully I can do this without spending $200+ on a paddle, if not ill keep on keepin on lol

Two good options are the
Aquabound Sting Ray (Carcon shaft, nylon blades) and an ONNO Full Tour.

The Sting Ray is pretty durable and relatively light, but the blade is a smaller touring blade, so it is for maintaining speed. Cost is in the $120 to $160 range.

The ONNO is carbon fiber, very lightweight, but would be easier to damage or break a blade if you are hitting rocks or prying more than you should. Great on trips out on open water or anywhere away from the shallows. The blades are bigger than the Sting Ray, but very lightweight, so swinging it all day is a pleasure. The cost is $275 or so.


Best paddle …
is very subjective so I won’t go there. It is unlikely you will gain any significant speed by switching paddles. Speed is more a funtion of the engine and boat design. You may already be moving the boat at, or close to, its maximum speed. What you would likely gain by switching to an asymetrical blade and a lighter weight paddle or a Greenland paddle is increased efficiency. This would translate into more endurance so you could potentially paddle farther or be less tired when paddling the distances you now paddle. A paddle with less swing weight should be more efficient. That’s what you’re carrying/lifting all day. There are a number of very good paddles on the market that retail for under $200. As mentioned already, those made by Aquabound/Bending Branches Co. are very good paddles for the price. There are several other very good paddles/brands as well. Try to find a shop that will let you demo/rent a paddle (or paddles) before you buy. The paddle length and your paddling style are also important considerations.



This is a good paddle for the money.
My brother has one and I’ve used it on rec boats.

His cost $175. This is a deal.

Yep - then apply the savings to…
… a touring kayak!

I’m no expert…
but I’ve been using the aquabound sting ray carbon shaft/nylon blade touring paddle for a year in all types of water. Mine is a two piece adjustable for feather. It’s light weight, comfortable in the hands, and priced reasonably for the quality. I picked mine up on sale at EMS for around $140. Sticker was around $160 it I’m remembering correctly.

That is a really good price on a fine paddle. I think I paid around $220 for it when the new design first came out a couple of years ago…