Hand Paddles, buying advice.

I tried some home made hand paddles at the pool, as an aid to learning to hand roll. Did my first C-C hand paddle roll, with a little sculling assist at the end. It’s a start. I need to learn to really commit to the second C. I want to try more of a Greenland style lay back roll, too.

So now I want to buy some hand paddles. I want them to stay on well if I have to do a bit of a scull to get up, and come off easy if I need to go to a storm paddle on the deck, or pull my spray skirt.

Here’s what I’ve found so far:

Power Pawz: $46


Riverholic: $25 - holics look a lot like the pawz.


Anyone tried both? Differences? Preference? Do they stay secure yet come off easy when you want.

I’ve also seen some webbed glove types. I’m thinking I might need more area to start with though.

Haven’t tried Norsaqs yet. Will make some, or just buy them from Beale.

Suggestions on hand paddles appreciated.

Paul S.

hand paddles
You will find the kayak hand paddles are too big. Rolling with them is easier than with a regular paddle. If you want to use hand paddles I would look at swimming hand paddles. The simplest ones are a plastic rectangle with a stretch loop for one or two fingers. Or you can do what I really recommend and cut up a kick float for swimming. Start with the whole float. Then cut off 1/4 and use the 3/4 part. Then cut off 1/4 from the 3/4 so you have 1/2. Then use one of the 1/4. Then cut a 1/4 in half. Finally, only your hands.

riveraholic’s are good
I have used both at pool sessions. Both have the same type of adjustable webbing straps so that you can secure them as tight or as loose as you feel comfortable with.

For the money, I think the Riveraholic ones are every bit as good as the more expensive PowerPawz. In fact, thank you for this thread, because I finally just ordered mine so that I can stopping borrowing everyone else’s at the pool! (you can order directly from his website so that you don’t have to bid/wait for an auction to end on eBay).


I’ve used both…
and have a set of Riverholic paddlies. Both are good and the Riverholic versions are just as good as the Power Paws for a much better price. However, I definitely agree with Dr. Disco that they aren’t practical for learning to handroll as handpaddles give you WAY too much purchase on the water. It’s much easier than a normal paddle. A norsaq makes more sense and I’m a huge fan of Dan Beale’s work.

i like the power paws…seem to fit
better…feels more secure…i got the creeking size…

i got mine on ebay for 25$…paddling a tempest 165 is fun with them…


ping pong paddle

good idea… that would work well.

Can’t tell you what company makes 'em
but maybe someone else here can if I describe them. The first is basically a set of regular neoprene gloves, but with webbing between the fingers. I tried these about 10 years ago (a friend had them at the pool) and they worked real well for learning.

Also, just a couple days ago, I was using one of those rectangular swimming aids that are just about the size of a hand. I have no idea who makes them. Not much purchase on the water, and I thought it was pretty tough to roll (especially a wide WW boat). You’d need good technique to pull it off, or at least some occasional luck like I usually have.

Good luck. -rs

Thanks everyone
Was at a pool session with Don Beale last night. Got to try one of his norsaqs for a back finishing roll. I want one! Ordered one this morning. Will rough something out of 1x4 fir for now if the lead time is more than a couple weeks.

Will try a couple ping pong paddles for now to work on C-C. Might work ok in place of a norsaq for now too, for a back finishing roll. will have to try it. Along a different line, a couple norsaqs may work ok for working on C-C. Ping pong paddles are easy to find though.

May also order some web gloves. There’s lots of them out there. Here’s a couple.



I kind of like these ones from amazon.


Thanks again,

Paul S.