kayak paddles

Hi,I would like to know what kind of kayak paddle to buy. I would like a light paddle because now I have an alluminum one which is too heavy for me. ( I am 110 lb )

Price is also important .How about a wooden paddle?

Is length important?

Thank you, MK

Price And Weight…

– Last Updated: Jul-22-05 6:16 PM EST –

inversely proportional. Lighter equals more. Wood is not the lightest, though it does have other qualities that some folks like depending on what kind of paddling they do.

It would help to know what kind of paddling you do, what boat you own and what your budget is for this "light" paddle.

I almost hate to plug ONNO Paddles (Pat) since it's almost "cult like." But for light custom paddles at more than competitive prices, ONNO is hard to beat. There are other light paddles and "favorite" status among the different paddlers here but they would be hard press to beat ONNO's prices though... However, you may have a bit of a wait since Pat seems to have a steady stream of new and repeat customers. Best bet is check with him.


Public disclosure: I have two ONNO's, a third on the way, 4 greenland paddles that I've made, a Cricket wood Euro paddle, 2 Werners and a Whetstone. Just don't want to be thought of as an Onno cultist...


Not the only paddle I use, but a really good value, especially if you value light weight

You have to give Patrick a little time since he makes each to order.

Beale paddles

You get what you pay for
including paddles. May I suggest you get the best one (carbon) you can afford in whatever brand you may buy. In the long run, getting a “cheap” paddle will only be money tossed away. AquaBound, Werner, Bending Branches (for wood paddles), Eddyline, Onno, just to name a few. There are dozens more. My favorite, Waterstick, went out of business… bummer

More Info Needed Before Buy
Unless you have a pretty good idea of what you want, I would not get an ONNO, Top of the Line Werner, or any other all carbon paddle yet. While they are excellent paddles, unless you get the right lenght, blade size, and shaft diameter, it will just be a waste of money.

You need to be able to answer these questions before selecting a paddle.

  1. Besides weight, what do you not like about your current paddle? Blade shape, length, not take-apart, grip, etc.
  2. What kind of paddling do you do. Are you a High Angle aggressive paddler (blade close to boat), or do you take more relaxed strokes (Low Angle)
  3. Where are you going to mostly paddle? River, stream, lake, ocean, combo? What is the typically shore, bottom like in your paddle waters, i. e. rocks, sand, mud?
  4. How long will you typically paddle (miles)?
  5. How often will you paddle?
  6. What size is your boat (lenght and width)?
  7. How tall are you?
  8. Is there a maximum that you would spend?

    If you are typically going to leisurely paddle for an hour or two on a calm lake or river, IMO there is no need to get a $400 ultralight paddle. Also, lightweight paddles typically are not as durable as their heavier counter parts. If you plan to do a lot of paddle assist rescues or use you paddle to push off in rock areas, the probability of paddle breakage is increased.

    If you are a strong paddler and want to be able to go out and paddle 4 to 8 hours in ocean swells and currents with wind, then a light paddle will be greatly appreciated.

    Once you address all these questions, another paddle family that I would look at would are the Ray Series of Aquabound. The Aquabound Ray series has the Eagle Ray (Full Size Low Angle), Sting Ray (Mid Size Low Angle), and Manta Ray (Mid Size High Angle). Each has a Carbon Fiber Shaft and ABX (Hard Impact Resistant Plastic) blades which are very duarable. They weigh in around 31 ounces for a 220 cm paddle and cost around $140 (list). For comparison, a similar Werner, All Carbon paddle will weigh 28 ounces, but cost $325.