Kayak paddle upgrade? Suggestions?

I’m not suggesting a wing paddle but a Z&J kayaking paddle. Hence the link. Wings are made for fast boats.

Not implying you would want to use a Greenland with a fishing kayak but this demonstrates quite nicely that you don’t need a wide blade to kayak with speed, control and efficiency (full disclosure: I have the same model of Gearlab carbon paddle he uses in the video.)


That Greenland paddle looks fun! I’m gonna have to buy several different boats/paddles so I can try everything I want! LOL. If we only could, right? But I get everyone’s point… Doesn’t have to be wide… Thanks again!

Most of us here have done just that. I started with a rec kayak and a cheap, lousy paddle. Been through quite a few boats but not near as many paddles.

Actually, like having multiple gears on a bike or in a car, having different paddles means you can adapt to your paddling situation. I always carry a spare paddle anyway, so I usually have a different one on the back deck. On a longer day or if conditions change, I can switch off, and I use different muscles. A Greenland paddle (GP) is easier on your body for long straight distance paddling, also catches less wind on a breezy day. But if I hit some mild whitewater or a narrow passage in a stream where I want to make a lot of sharp turns I may reach for the “Euro” wide blade paddle.

I just spotted a video on FB of a guy using what looks like a Greenland “storm” paddle for class 2-3 whitewater. A storm paddle is usually only 72" (183 cm) long and is used to replace the normal 200 cm to 230 cm GP in really windy conditions, using a sliding stroke. A 72" GP fits easily on most stern decks, by the way.

Lots of people carve their first GP from a 2" x 4". Lots of free instructions on line.

I would highly recommend the paddles made by Eddyline Kayaks. https://www.goinggreentrading.com/paddles These may be the best American hand-made paddles at their price point. They range from narrow: https://www.goinggreentrading.com/product-page/eddyline-wind-swift-touring-paddle to wide: https://www.goinggreentrading.com/product-page/eddyline-sea-swift-touring-paddle

I have a Wind Swift but IMO , you can get a very good paddle for less. Aquabond comes to mind.

I had a Current Design carbon fiber touring paddle for many years and loved it. I also prefer an oval shaft over round.