Convince me to spend money on a new paddle

I keep hesitating before clicking the ‘purchase’ button, so hoping you all will convince me this a worthwhile investment. I currently have a paddle that I have generally been happy with. I am 4’11. Purchased it last year, when I was paddling a kayak that was 32" wide. The paddle is 230cm long, 34oz. (Cannon Wave FX). I am now in my second year of regular paddling, on my second boat - a fair bit narrower at 24". So, thinking about getting something shorter and lighter. Am almost decided on an Aqua Bound Sting Ray Carbon, at 210cm, and 28.75 oz. This model also comes in a small shaft version, which might be good given my hands are relatively small. It will cost about $230 with shipping.

I can keep my old paddle as a spare, and I think this one will fit me and my current boat better enough that I will notice the difference? This paddle seems like a good balance between weight and price - going much lighter seems like it will cost at least $100 more.

Worthwhile expense, yes?

Quit fighting it. You are currently using a butter knife to cut a steak…buy the steak knife.

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I would suggest yes, very worthwhile. We use Werner Kalliste paddles, 22.5 ounces, $415, though we got them on sale. Even trying a paddle that weighs 24 ounces, we can feel the difference. Don’t forget you are raising and lowering the paddle a lot, many times per minute, and all that weight adds up over time. I would predict you will notice the difference immediately and be very happy you bought it on your first trip with it.

You also will be able to use the paddle you now have as a spare, back up, paddle, so it will still be of use, and a potentially important use if you lose, or break a paddle someday.

And, you want to try a shorter paddle with a narrower boat. All good reasons, in my mind.

If it were me, I would also think a bit about going further, and getting the even more expensive and even lighter paddle for another hundred or so more, if it is in your budget. You could wait a bit in hopes it is discounted toward the end of the season…

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You will never regret having lighter equipment, especially something that is in your hands the whole time.

Buy it if you can afford it.

The cost of a good tool is quickly forgotten

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It’s a good paddle and you NEED it. Further rationale is pointless.

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Ditto what everyone has said.

If you’re going to go for an Aquabound upgrade cut to the chase and get the carbon fiber version and not the carbon reinforced nylon bladed Stingray. Get the Tango Carbon Fiber at 23oz. From a different mfg., the Werner Kalliste would be excellent, as Greg already described.

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Marshall Seddon
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A 230 cm at 5’11"? WOW ! Yes a paddle that fits and is also lighter is ALWAYS a good investment. {might want to try an even shorter paddle, maybe a 205}

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Don’t be scared off by the suggestions to go even lighter (and more expensive). Lighter is always better. But the Sting Ray Carbon that you’re looking at would already be a big step up. It’s considerably lighter and you can buy a more appropriate length. Plus the smaller blades on the Sting Ray are great for less powerful paddlers. I’d say it’s a great upgrade without costing you too much.

I’ll echo the previous advice and opt to add the C-note and buy the lighter version. I spent 300+ on a carbon fiber paddle in 2007 and still love it every time I use it. It is a fantastic loaner paddle (e.g. for my wife) or when I’m using a GP, which is about half the time.

I’m far from anyone that should give advice on this topic as I’m learning myself what I want.

One school of thought is if you want it and this is a hobby and you can afford it and it will make you happy go for it.

I have a dozen bikes and I love to ride and I have friends that try and get an ounce of weight off their bike and money is no object. They kind of laugh at my heavy steel touring bike I like to ride and tell me that its holding me back from being fast. I tell them first off my 65 year old engine is not fast and if I want to make my bike lighter I will start with getting rid of 40 pounds on the seat post.

I kind of feel the same with my $35 kayak paddle I use to paddle my 80 pound canoe. It works fine and maybe I’m getting a little more exercise going once around the lake and going slower than they are.

Now the length is a different question. I’m not going to take up jogging and use shoes 3 sizes to big to save money.

I think you know what you want and are like me never thinking you deserve a gift for yourself. Just do it.

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Do you paddle high angle or low angle? Sorry if I missed that.

You’ll pick up a real CF paddle from someone else one day to try it and say I should have waited. JMHO

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As people have recommended, a lighter paddle is better (maybe always). The length is an issue; certainly 230 cm sounds too long to me. Length has to do with

  • width of boat
  • whether you prefer a high angle stroke or low angle (high => shorter)
    but has much less to do with your actual height.

Another important issue is blade area. Something like the Werner Corryvrecken has a blade area of 721 square cm, where as the Werner Kalliste has a more modest 643 square cm. You move a lot of water with the Corryvrecken and it may anger your shoulders, whereas the Kalliste is easier on your shoulders. If you are relatively puny like me, you might want a blade size even smaller.

Another option (and typically cheaper) is to get a Greenland paddle. From a competent seller, it should be sized to your own physical dimensions.

Finally, make the best choice you can … but expect that your evolving experience may suggest yet another paddle. But a good spare paddle is a splendid idea.

About 1000 strokes per mile.

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If you’re shorter in the kayak and paddling high angle length does make a huge difference. Some one 5’ will have hands closer to the water than someone 12” higher. It’s not a foot but it is significant. I use a 205 Ikelos and my go to a 200 -215 or 220 adjustable Ikelos when they make them again. If your 5’ high with a 210 or 215 you’ll either hav to reach higher or bury the blade to deep.

I’m using a 230cm now on my canoe that is 38” wide with a center seat location and it is way to short for my low angle. As an experiment I lengthened my 230 to 260 and have not been out to try it yet. I can also change it to 250 if that is too long.

The point you made about area is a good one as I have been wondering if I get the length right will it be like trying to ride my bike up hill in the tallest gear. Work = Force x Distance so the correction will be the blade area.

Maybe I will have to drill some holes in my blade. LOL. or trim the outside down, or buy what I need. At least I will have some idea what I need.

Sorry to the OP not trying to hijack. :slightly_smiling_face:

I got my Werner Kalliste almost 20 years ago…
And no you can’t have it… :sunglasses:

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If you’re experiencing sticker shock, keep in mind that there’s always the possibility of purchasing a used paddle. But I’m also on the buy-a-lighter-paddle-it’s-worth-it bandwagon.

I have the Tango and love it. One of these days I would love to try the Kalliste just for fun and hope I don’t like it enough to have to have one. I also want to try a Gearlab Greenland, so many toys so little time!

Thanks everyone - knew I could count on all you to encourage my purchase! But now you have me considering upping the ante even more for something even lighter. I have been trying to keep an eye out for something used, but haven’t had much luck so far.