Help With Paddle Select

Just bought a boat, so now I need a paddle(s).

Some specifics:

Me: 6’ 6"/36" inseam, typically take long/x-long shirts (36" sleeve).

Boat: 17’ 10", 22.5" beam

Water: Probably mostly calm rivers, lakes. I will go into the ocean on a fairly frequent basis. Not looking to race or do long distance (>30 mile/day).

I can do both a high/low paddle stroke, but will probably do mostly low stroke.

I am looking for two (2) paddles, one that I can use as the all-around primary paddle, and a second back-up paddle that I will use for the long mileage paddles. Since I plan to bring both sets of paddles on the ocean excursions, I need both to be 2-piece.

What size/brands does everyone recommend?

Thanks for your help.

The BigYaker

I’m of similar height. I tried a 240 cm
Werner Camano, and found it too long. (Anyone want to buy it?) I just picked up a 220 Prijon which feels OK. I prefer a high angle paddling style, after some years of whitewater paddling with paddles ranging from 202 to 206. I think that a really light paddle might allow you to forge ahead or take it easy without having to switch at all.

Get a really short one

– Last Updated: Mar-26-05 12:03 AM EST –

I use a 48 inch one piece paddle for most of my kayak paddling. It fit right on the front deck under the bungees so it is really handy if I break a paddle or loose mine and have to have a paddle quick to roll up or brace. (My roll is practically non existant but I'm working on it) I also find that using the single blade is a nice break for the double paddle muscles, while allowing you to maintain a pretty good pace.

For day trips I only carry a single and a double. If the condition are bad enough to break the double then I don't have time to reach behind and put together another double.

If you want a good paddle
At a reasonable price. try an ONNO. As light as an epic but less expensive.

Talk to Patrick and you will be a happy paddler.

Lendal, Epic
I’m 6’4", 230#, and always looking for paddles with the biggest blades to pull my weight. Current favorites: Lendal 230cm Paddlock system with powermaster blades, Epic large wing length-lock set at 222cm. The powermaster is better in rough conditions that require some bracing and turning, the wing is better for speed on smooth water. Once I zero in on a length and feather angle with the wing, I might get an ONNO with the biggest blades Pat can make. Also want to try the Lendal Kinetic Wing blades but haven’t found them yet, should be the best of both worlds. Don’t let the big blades scare you, they will feel difficult to pull at first, but you’ll grow into them and appreciate them later. At your size, smaller blades will just move through the water without moving the boat, kind of like spinning car tires on ice.

Check out the product reviews on this
site. Onno touring paddle had 31 reviews (far more than most others) and got a 10 rating from 27 people. They sound like some happy paddlers.

First paddle is never the last

I do not believe a newbie serves themself well by using an inexpensive paddle if they are serious about kayaking.

I really like Werner paddles but don’t care for the newer versions with the adjustable feather feature.

One of the great unsung values out there is Patrick Onno’s ‘hybrid’ model. Excellent price, excellent construction, and a weight that will make you smile.

His Signature paddles are probably the most popular but the Hybrid is, in my opinion, the way to go for a first time purchase. You just can’t beat the fact that you’re getting a semi-custom paddle for a sweet price. Three blades to choose from or ask for a size in-between, no extra charge.

If you call Pat (and I recommend you do so), be sure to mention Onno paddles when you converse with his answering machine - its kind of a secret code! He’ll chat you up about feather angle, blade characteristics, and shaft length/diamtre.

Onno paddles are also easy to re-sell later if you decide to go a different route after you acquire informed experience.

Welcome to the world of the kayak and pleasant waters to ya.