Kayak Paddle recommendation

Can anyone recommend an economical light weight paddle for kayaks? I usually use whatever I get from the rental guys, but now that I am purchasing my own kayak I could use a little advice as to the paddle. I am average height and weight.

I’m using this Carlisle Daytripper Paddle. It may not be the best, but it felt better to me than the other, more expensive paddles they had at the shop where I bought my Kayak. And its just as light as the “lightweight” ones available at the same shop.

I don’t know any different, I’m just a new boater.

Ignore the retailer, I cannot support them since I have no experience with them, its just the first link I found to the paddle like mine.

It is adjustable from straight to left or right control and breaks down for storage.


Economical + lightweight?
Depends on what you consider “lightweight”.

The current Canoe & Kayak has a test of a half-dozen or so paddles. I believe the cheapest is $199, but it is a good quality Aquabound.

Light weight usually comes at a premium price.


economical - how about Harmony
There are a few harmony paddles reviewed in the product review board. They seem to price under $100 and (andecdotally) appear to be lightweight. If anyone has tried one recently, please let me know your impression.

Splurge if you are able
You invest thousands of strokes each day with a paddle, so a little less weight and a better “feel” make a big difference. Anywhere you can try a stick or borrow one?


Onno paddles are probably the best bang for the buck.



– Last Updated: Aug-16-06 5:35 PM EST –

I'm a fan of Lendal paddles and their new fiberglass SF series blades are pretty inexpensive (in comparison). Looks like a four-piece paddle set starts under $200.

Blades only: http://www.rutabaga.com/product.asp?pid=1005249

I also agree about the paddle usually not being the best place to try to save money but it depends on what you do with it. If you're looking at long trips and lots of miles, lighter is better (it's not the first few miles, it's the last few miles that make the difference).

Buy used

Maybe Harmony makes some decent paddles,
but the guy I bought my Loon from threw in a brand new Harmony paddle. I already owned and Aquabound Sting Ray, carbon fiber shaft with plastic blades, that I like…it fits the kind of thrashing around I do when fishing from a kayak…works as a push pole and for banging into things. But, I forgot my Aquabound one day and just had the Harmony. If it weren’t for the floatiion n the thing, it would have made a good kayak anchor. It was heavy.

Aquabound’s paddles with carbon shaft and plastic blades are a great compromise for the funding challenged looking for a paddle. Mine cost about $125, but look around, you can find them cheaper. Besides, Canada could probably use the money.

I fully agree with an earlier post. The Carlisle Day Tripper sells for $39.95 and is as light as any other paddle. I have several more expensive Aqua Bound and Bending Branch paddles, but for every day recreation kayaking, the Day Tripper works great.

aqquabound or ONNO
For the price, Aquabound seems to carry the lightest, most efficient paddles under $180 (the carbon expedition amt is good; if you want to spend about $130, the fiberglass expedition amt is worth trying). For a bit more money, people who have them seem extremely happy with the ONNOs. Or get a nice greenland paddle.

Bending branches
the whispering dream is priced right(60$) and feels pretty good. the other ones are pretty good to. check ther website. the wight is not bad either.

they hold up well and fit togetther snugg but not tight. some paddles have a wobble to them, not the best thing at least to me.

Great paddles. Custom built just for you. Patrick is great to work with too…just be patient.


Re: economical - how about Harmony
A friend of mine has had a Harmony kayak paddle as his primary paddle for just under a year. It’s a decent paddle when you’re in the boat; I’ve felt worse for more money. He takes care of it fastidiously (takes it apart and rinses it after every use), but it has already reached the point where sometimes both of us have to torque it to get it apart. His assessment: “Cheap paddle.” No way of knowing whether it has reached a stable, tolerable point or whether it is going to get worse.

My Werner hasn’t reached that point after five years (the most it requires is one grunt from one person). But then, it cost more than twice as much.

Somebody once gave me this advice: You’re better off putting 50 dollars in your paddle than putting 500 dollars in your canoe. Experience (mine and others’) hasn’t contradicted it.

– Mark

Where are you?
I’m still new at this, so don’t know much, but my wife uses a Bending Branches and I use a Swift. We both like what we have (we just got lucky I guess, or don’t know any better…)

If you’re anywhere near NW PA, you’re welcome to try ours…

Thought from a cheap newbie
OK - - when I bought my used sea kayak, the fella threw in a paddle. It’s some off brand, and I’m sure it’s a cheap thing, but it works. Since I’ve never tried any other, I don’t know the difference.

I don’t know what kind of boat your getting, but if the dealer wants to make the deal, yank his chain until he throws in a cheap paddle.

Get in the water and have fun. You can check out other paddles etc later on when you get a feel for what does and doesn’t work

pick whatever they have that gets you on the water then start looking for “the deal” in light paddles. Not knowing what kind of boat or paddling you’re doing but most touring involves having a spare paddle and the aquabound can be it.

Margins are low enough without yanking
the dealer’s chain. Pay the price and get the paddle on your own.

I have two paddles, both are in the “war club” weight catagory. My 210cm Bending Branches Infusion Dream (fiberglass shaft) is a great low priced paddle but I decided I wanted something longer to try low angle paddling. I picked up an $85, 38 oz. 230cm Carlisle Magic Fiberglass (NRS has 'em for $99). Though the paddle will never be mistakenly called “lightweight”, it’s tough as nails and I’ve never found myself thinking, “Dang, my arms are tired from swinging this thing around” at the end of a day paddle.

Unless you already have a paddling style and know what you’re looking for in a blade, you might be better off trying quality, lower cost paddles first.