Help me pick a paddle

I am planning a trip down the Mississippi from source to Venice, LA., to start around the middle of May. The boat is a Eddyline Nighthawk 16. I am a very inexperienced paddler but an experience adventurer. I have A Werner paddle that came with the boat (36 ounce, 230 cm, two piece touring style paddle). I plan to have it shortened this winter by Werner to 215 or so and carry it as a back up.

Price is a consideration. I can’t see a 500 buck carbon fiber paddle in my future.

I really want a one piece but I am faced with the daunting task of selecting a feather angle. A two piece would give me the option of adjusting feather angle as well as length on some brands.

If kayak stuff is anything like motorcyle stuff there are good deals to be had in the winter. Any ideas?

Aquabound 230 Manta Ray

…is what I used on an 851 mile journey and I was 58 preferring the aluminum shaft paddle and weight with th larger blades. Recently I changed to a 220cm which I like better because I paddle with a high stroke.

The decision is really up to you. Good luck with your choice and have a great trip.

Paddlin’ on


If you really want a paddle with adjustable feather you will probably have to pay more than you want to. A kind of de facto standard for touring paddles is 60 degree feather. That works pretty well for almost everyone and is not going to be a disaster. My touring paddles are all zero feather, which is what I prefer, but I can paddle anything if necessary. For a trip like you are considering I would think weight would be the first consideration. Second would probably be a blade area that is consistent with your most comfortable paddle rate (fast = smaller, slow = greater).

I currently . . .
. . . am using a zero feather angle. The paddle I have is adjustable 0 or 75.

Good paddle;good price.

Zaveral single blade
For LOOOOONG tours you’ll want a single blade for windy days if the water is still pretty calm. The neat thing is you can paddle 20 miles with the double blade and then switch to the single blade and paddle for the next 20 miles…or the rest of the trip. Just don’t let any purists see you do it.

The Aquabound are great for the price.
I have the Sting Ray with carbon shaft and plastic blades - very light and durable.


Get Yourself a Greenland Paddle
You can get one custom made for under $200.

Look at other Werner Paddles
If you are looking for a one piece because the two piece feels loose, the new Werners aren’t like that. Their two piece paddles are very sturdy, and adjustable from 0-90°, in 15° increments.


The Werner . . .
. . . I have is still very tight, it hasn’t been used much. I am looking at Werners.

Get lighter!
36 oz is on the heavy side these days for touring (and is on the light side for WW). Under 30 and closer to 26 is where you want to be ideally. It makes a big difference on long trips. Unless you paddle only a few miles at a time, the weight savings makes a significant difference.

Look for used - don’t have to be pretty as long as it is sturdy. About $250 or less should buy you a top of the line Werner carbon paddle in good shape if Werner is what you like, a smidgen more may be if it is bent shaft.

Epic’s touring paddles are also very nice, light weight and are also length adjustable - but pricey even used (not too many on sale as folks seem to like them and keep them). On a budget, the lighter-weight Aquabounds look like a decent alternative I suppose but I have not used them except on demos.

If you wait a week or so, I will let you know how a $25 Seasense paddle feels for me - just ordered one to have a spare and for practicing control strokes as I only have an Epic wing now. This paddle is supposed to be lighter than your current 36oz and might as well do the same job for you, but aluminum tends to get loose over time at the ferulle… Unfortunately only comes in long length so I will need to cut a little off before it becomes useful, but that would only make it lighter and stronger -:wink:

I held . . .
. . . a one piece Epic . . . Gawd!

And do check …

– Last Updated: Oct-16-08 8:49 AM EST –

backcountry *but* start from the ad on this site. I clicked on it last night to check it out and it works - you can save 50% off normal prices and this brings the cost of most items I checked to well below regular retail. The site already has stuff on sale, but if you click thru the ad here it will give you uo to the full 50% off regular when you put the item in the cart. $1200 kayak is yours for $600 (not that I would buy it, but 50% off is a serious discount!).

The link is visible when you go to the classifieds/kayaks for sale section and I think is this one:

(got to copy & paste the entire link I suppose in your browser)

Low stroke and GP
The lower hand/arm position that is often used with a GP might be very comfortable for a long trip. Consider a Greenland paddle. The feather is then not an issue.

You might enjoy it but try one for a while before the trip.


I always vote for a GP
Long days with a GP will leave your shoulders and forearms thanking you.


Ditto GP

Ditto GP

O.K. . . .
. . . I’m game. Don’t know anything about the GP except what it looks like. I need something that is durable. Are they all wood?

Most are.I’ve seen CF.

Superior CF