How much does your kayak paddle weigh?

I have no idea how much any of the paddles I own weigh, except a fiberglass one I bought online. It weighs 37 oz and that sounded light, but when it arrived it weighed more than any of my others. What is considered a “light” paddle? Can anyone recommend a light paddle that doesn’t cost $200+? Thanks!-Karen

Pacific Designs
I’ve got a Pacific Designs paddle. It was advertised at 29oz (I’ve never weighed it). It’s an OK paddle.

Buy a used paddle

not really
you get what you pay for…

About 20 - 21 oz for my…
full carbon Epic Relaxed Tour and Onno full carbon Full Tour.

Both are usually over $200.00 used and $350.00 to $450.00 new. I got mine used.

I’m not familiar with many good light paddles for under $200.00 new.

Sometimes you can find Werner fiberglass blade paddles (orange bladed Camano or Shuna) for less than $200.00. Even though they weigh about 28 oz, the swing weight is pretty good.

Sometimes you can find a Bending Brances Spirit full carbon paddle new for a little over $200.00 and IIRC, they weigh about 25 or 26 oz.

Good luck.

Werner Shuna
I use a Shuna as my standard paddle. Straight shaft is supposed to be about 32 ounces. Retails for $255, but I got it at a 20% off sale from REI (they seem to be having lots of them now), which brought it down to about $200.

Camano is a bit lighter, at 27 oz.

Are you racing?
Do you feel a desire to push harder and faster?

I’m just wondering, because otherwise why be concerned about shaving ounces on your paddle? It makes good sense if you’ve got some sort of physical disability or if you’re pushing hard to go fast and ounces make a big difference. Otherwise, if you’re just out having fun for the day, screw it. Get what is comfortable, does the job well, and is in your price range.

  • Big D

I have an Aquabound Sting Ray that is 31oz ($130 on sale) and an ONNO Full Tour in the 26oz range that was over $200.

The weight distribution makes a big difference. The Sting Ray has a CF shaft and nylon blades, so all the weight is at the ends whereas the ONNO has almost no weight in the blades which are actually larger (more power). So even though the weight difference is small, the ONNO requires significantly less effort to get up to speed and maintain that speed.

But there are places where I prefer the Sting Ray because the blades are all but indestructible. The ONNO isn’t meant for bashing rocks and heavy prying.

On short trips or whitewater, the Sting Ray is great, but doing 8+ mile flatwater trips, hand me the ONNO.


Campmor sells Aquabound carbon
fiber paddles at a good price.

I also wanted to try a lighter paddle, and after watching the Craigslist and other used listings for a while, I obtained an older Camano paddle (blue fiber shaft, white blades) for $125. Since then I have seen a couple similar deals -just keep looking.

I really do like the lighter paddle. I guess my disability is being old and wimpy :wink:

Straight 210 cm Shuna 26.25oz
32oz for bent shaft Shuna.

Straight Camano is 27.25oz.

get or make a GP
western red cedar is pretty hard to beat for weight and you can have one made for under 200.

In my opinion, a much better all round paddle too.


My experience has been different
than what I’ve typically heard. I don’t care that much about a few ounces. For me, getting the kayak up to speed has nothing to do with a few ounces in the paddle. A whole lot of force is going towards pulling myself and my kayak past the paddle, and the significance of those few ounces is unrealized. It’s more about the muscles I’m utilizing, and the way the shape and length of the paddle is interacting between me and the water.

I figure, like with most things involving strength, I become a small bit stronger somewhere because of those few onces, but because I can open my hands mid stroke and the paddle remains in place, which muscles support that weight and the significance of the weight to those muscles is not so straightforward. Then there is the effects of wood blades, or wood or foam core blades, and the effect of the submerged weightlessness (or floatation actually pushing them out of the water)and swing weight, all contributing to which muscles are supporting what weight in between strokes. The effect of the ounces while paddling is really not the same as standing with your arms holding the paddle in the air in front of you.

Elite racers max out their physical ability and look everywhere to get just a bit of extra help. Most don’t come close to this level of paddling fitness. The few extra ounces for me do no more than keep me in a wee little bit better shape than a few ounces less would, or vice versa. My favorite paddle has not proven to be my lightest, even on longer trips.

The light weight does hold a huge cool factor among avid kayakers. I don’t underestimate or belittle this value.

I can see where you’re giving it absolutely everything you’ve got over extended periods on a regular basis, you may appreciate the difference. I can also see where when you first switch, you might perceive a difference - but a body does what a body does, and you will become weaker all other things constant, and you will be back feeling the same as where you started in short order.

As an owner, I’ve just never been convinced of even close to the level of benefits retailers or even other kayakers suggest. For me its double, maybe triple the price for a less than noticeable difference in my comfort and performance. I figure I’ll be a huge minority in my thoughts on this matter though. I’ve met several people who knowingly or unknowingly recommend, for example, a tsunami 145 and 29 oz paddle over a tempest 170 and 36 oz paddle for a person looking to do longer, performance oriented paddles because they believe the paddle is just as, if not more, important than the kayak.

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For kayak paddles, I mostly agree
with you, especially for touring/sea kayaking. In whitewater, the paddle weight makes no difference when I am just cruising. The paddle is partly supported by the water and my arms are alternately rested.

The only place where light weight gets to be more of an issue is when mixing strokes and popping the paddle in and out of the water. There isn’t as much of that in whitewater kayaking as there is in ww canoeing.

In canoeing, including ww canoeing, a really low weight paddle is a big help, as long as it doesn’t break. But more important is the overall design of the paddle.

In kayaking, it does seem that for most uses, the lowest affordable weight is not as important as the best affordable design.

What kind of boat/paddling?
If you are female you likely don’t want the super-cheap 230 cm paddles you can get these days since everyone shortened up. But cheap and light WW paddles can be cheaper than light sea kayak/touring paddles, since the former are often of materials that have not ramped up in price as much as stuff like foam core carbon.

So - what boat, what kind of paddling?

Aquabound stingray

– Last Updated: Dec-12-08 7:44 AM EST –

If I recall correctly, you're in the process of building a fleet of rec kayaks to get your young family out on the water. Awesome endeavor! Rec boats call for paddles on the longer side simply due to their width. Seems that I just read that you like to paddle a Manitou Sport. I use an Aquabound Stingray with my Manitou Sport, the all black carbon model. Depending on your height(as I recall, you're a tad on the short side like myself), you might want to try a 230, especially if the other boats which you may be paddling are wider. (There are guidelines for figuring out the length of paddle needed with regards to height and boat width.) They're not the fanciest paddles around, but they're sturdy and certainly lighter than a lot marketed for rec kayaks - around 29 ounces. They're also available as a small shaft model for folks with small hands.

They can be found in the $180 range.


Yes… What Paul Said.

Mine weighs only 7 oz. I use a single bladed paddle. Comparing this to my old double blade which was about 23 oz…or 1 lb more than my single. Paddling a 50 stroke rate/per/min for 10 hours ends up being over 30,000 lbs more of weight i lifted with the heavier paddle…thats 15 tons! Never could figure out why some people worry about boat weight, when the fact they end up lifting 15 tons of unnecessary paddle weight with a heavier paddle. Go figure.

VK Paddles
Mine weighs in at 950 gms. (33.5 oz) Chris’ is 970 gms. (34.2 oz).

We both made our own, spruce shaft, ply blades, joined and coated with epoxy. Cost - about $20 Cdn. each, a good afternoon’s labour, and the ability to believe that average humans with minimal skills and tools can actually make themselves a perfectly serviceable paddle.

I have a Werner
Athena 24 oz. but it was way over 200.00. But at the time I was having shoulder problems so it was worth it.