How To Buy a Paddle

Here’s a question for you, the paddling experts: How do you buy a paddle? I mean, do you walk into a store and lift up a few and say, “Yeah, that’s the one!” or do you try a bunch, returning them to the store if you don’t like them and exchanging them for something you might like better, or worst of all, just keep buying them until you find the right one?

I have a Folbot Greenland II with the stock paddles, which feel pretty much like any other paddle I’ve used when renting a kayak. We’re just two recreational kayakers with mostly harbor paddling, but would like to get out in the open water too.

But getting back to the paddles, the less you know, the less fussy you are, and maybe that’s a good thing. How do I know if there might be something I’d like much more?

Sad to say
but usually the really expensive ones are the nicest. Tha goes for most anything I guess.

I did a lot of asking around on Pnet when I was looking. You are on the right track. Combine the advice you get with a grain of salt, and mix with lots of water time, and you will get a pretty good idea what you want.

There are some good paddles to

– Last Updated: Jun-12-10 11:05 PM EST –

be had at moderate prices.Aquabound has some nice ones with glass or carbon shafts and nylon blades.Like a lot of gear , weight reduction costs.The functionality(how it acts in the water) of a heavy and light paddle may be the same but the further and /or harder you paddle,the more weight becomes an issue.
You are moving a lot of weight and have a lot of wetted surface area in a Folbot, so paddles with narrower,longer blades will be easier on you.
This is a good paddle.Campmor has good prices on them.
Unless you have really long arms,in a Folbot, you may need a longer paddle,probably a 240, but length depends on several factors:Paddler height,reach,boat width.
I would stay away from the aluminum shafted fat bladed monsters a lot of shops and big box stores carry.I started with one in a rec boat and was fine, upgraded to a 17' sea kayak and thought my arms were coming out of joint.A lot of that problem was I didn't know how to paddle,but that is another subject.

So Far So Good
Opinions on this subject are bound to be interesting. I’m all ears (and eyes) to your input. I appreciate the “time will tell” attitude. At my age, I’ve seen that work time and time again.

My Experience
First off you trust the guy at the paddle shop and buy what he recommends. Then you chat some here and fill out your profile information so people have an idea where you paddle. Then some folks here on PNet introduce you to the Greenland paddle and after about two trips to the lake you’re hooked. You sell the Euro and start acquiring GPs.

Call up Pat at ONNO paddles
and he will walk you through the whole process wikthout trying to push you into buying.

He is as good a paddle designer/builder that is out there, and not only loves his work, but is a all around nice guy.

Jack L