Flat Bladed Kayak Paddles

I’m looking for a flat bladed kayak paddle (230-240 in length), single or two piece. My wife prefers the flat blades to the curved or cupped ones. Any suggestions?

I’ve found Mohawk paddles and already have a double blade for my canoe by them that converts to a single with a handle.

Any and all help is appreciated thanks.


Not going to touch this one …
“My wife prefers the flat blades to the curved or cupped ones”

We can only guess why … where is Tsunamichuck when we need him.

Saltwood paddles
are flat on power face. They have 4 or 5 blades sizes/styles and lengths to suit.

If She Prefers Flat Blades…
…she’d probably love a Greenland paddle. Started using one as a short-tern loaner 3 years ago, haven’t used a Euro blade since. Very nice to use, seems almost effortless, easy to make - a 2x4 or 2x6 of decent cedar, a few simple sharp tools, a few hours work, and you’ve got a lovely light versatile paddle. What’s not to like???

What boat does she use?
Unless she has a really wide boat or is really tall a paddle that long is not a good idea. You can injure your shoulder if you are not careful or get unlucky.

an Aleut-style paddle
might fill the bill.

Old town vapor 10
She has an old town vapor 10xt, and she’s 5’4" all the info ive seen points to a 230.

there’s this new invention called the GP

– Last Updated: Jun-22-11 9:52 AM EST –


agree on length
Since she is fairly short and that’s a very wide boat (28.5"), she definitely does need a 230 cm in a standard paddle(as I do at the same height, in any kayak over 24" wide). Otherwise she would be banging her knuckles on the gunwale all day. She could use an 84" to 86" Greenland paddle though, and that would be my recommendation.

I have a perfect paddle for her but unfortunately they dissappeared from production 5 or 6 years ago so I don’t know where you would find one. Not even sure who made them: a Voyageur 2-piece glass shaft paddle with reinforced nylon plastic blades that are narrow (kind of like a Werner Kalliste but even thinner) and totally flat. Got it on clearance 5 years ago for $60 and it is the only conventional (non-GP) paddle that I like to use anymore. I think GP’s can be an excellent option for people with wider boats since the narrower blade can be placed closer to the hull and requires less reach, particularly for shorter folk. A higher cadence with a narrower paddle also seems to dampen the zigzagging the short fat boats can exhibit when using a broader paddle face at lower cadence.

I know purists might look askance at an oiled cedar trad stick being wielded atop a dayglo plastic sit-on-top, but what works, works. I’ve swapped off gear with people in a variety of craft and it is surprising how well some oddball combinations work.

sorry but
I’ve been letting this marinate for a day and still can’t think of a reason why a flat bladed paddle would be desirable. Not to mention flat blades are usually attached to a really heavy stick.

Ryan L.

flat blade…
Best thing I ever did was to purchase an asymmetric “cupped” paddle. Smoother through the water and less effort.

I am soon going to be upgrading to a carbon shaft dihedral paddle, and will be dropping 12oz off the paddle weight in the process!

(“what works, works”!)

She’d be much better off if you bought her some lessons from a qualified instructor.

thank you
your reply was very helpful, I’ll look into a GP and see what she thinks.

As this is her first Kayak (second technically but the first didn’t last long) I’m not worried about excellent technique or high tech gear. I’m concerned primarily with her comfort. I live on the water and I want her to as well. I think eventually a whitewater boat and lessons are in store for her and me too, but only in due time.

Pacific Designs
Pacific Designs Paddles…


Flat bladed paddles
I am not sure why your wife prefers flat bladed paddles. But a preference is a preference. If that is what she wants that is what she should have. But, also, you almost never see an experienced paddler using a flat blade. And there is a reason for that. Assuming good form (and I know nothing about your wife’s skills) the easiest Euro-style paddle to paddle is a wing paddle, which is also the most “cupped” paddle you can get. It is easiest on your muscles and is the most efficient. A GP, which is really a long, narrow wing paddle, is also easy on your muscles and very efficient. So maybe the suggestion of lessons is a good one. Given the boat your wife paddles I assume she is a relatively new paddler and her preference may be based on in part on that.

Just a suggestion.

lots of canoe paddles are flat
Even a ZRE is pretty flat. I think it could be good depending on your stroke. Mitchell paddles are pretty flat as I recall. At least they seem to have models without dihedral.

Flat blade kayak paddle
I too prefer less spoon and curvature. Its high end but the Branches Navigator is a true delight and cuts through water like a hot knife through butter.