Light cheap paddle?

I’m trying to get my wife into kayaking. She’s tried it a little, but she’s slight of build with very little upper-body strength. She’s complained about the weight of my paddle (Seaquel). At this point, she doesn’t have much interest in paddling with me, but I think if she got out on some more interesting paddling trips, she might get into it. So maybe if I could get her a lighter paddle, it might be easier for her.

I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a paddle if she’s ultimately not going to be interested regardless. So… Are there any paddles out there that are light but cheap? I understand that it typically goes the other way, but I have to figure that there are other characteristics that might bring the cost up, such as stiffness, efficient design. She’s certainly not going to be pushing off rocks in whitewater or attempting any eskimo rolls. So light and flimsy would be acceptable.

Werner fiberglass
paddles were great for me and my wife this year. Don’t know your budget but ours cost approx. $170-$180 per paddle. It was a great investment because the paddles are very light, easy to grip, and (I think) my wife would have been less enthusiastic about paddling if we had purchased less expensive, heavier paddles.

I used heavier paddles while renting yaks on vacation and there is (IMHO) a huge difference.

There are some on Ebay

No experince with them. As a suggestion, get a light paddle for your wife, if she does not like it, use it yourself.

go for small
it’s the easiest way to get cheep. Aquabound is still a deal with the glass or carbon shafts,get it for you and share? or go straight to the $50 wood kids paddles. Otherwise do some real shopping for deals,but don’t get a large blade.

Look for deals/blems
I got my Werner Rec tour 33oz for $99 as a blem. 6oz lighter than yours for the same money. If it doesn’t pan out you have a lighter paddle. I think kids paddle may work if you can get one long enough. Werner has one for $75. It is 30oz but is only 200cm. Not sure that will work in a Keowee.

Seven2 ISO Tour
a little over $100. It’s got a thin graphite shaft and foam grips. Blade is a very flexible glass/thermal material. It’s a very easy, light blade for a beginner. I got a white water version when I first started running rivers. As I got more into it, I moved up to a bigger and stiffer paddle. The ISO is a good beginner paddle that’s easy on someone’s muscle and the wallet, when that person may not stick in the sport.


Ski Market sells those locally.
I was wondering about those but couldn’t come up with the name.

Check out Sports Authority
… There is a “Sports Authority” store in my area. To get her started, I bought for my wife a pair of simple cheap kayak paddles that were about $49 - $59. The shafts are aluminum, and the blades are plastic, and the end is almost square, with the corners rounded off. You may have a similar store in your area.

… These are CHEAP paddles, but light enough for her to work with. Now that she has her own Kayak, she always wants the paddles I am using.

… Ahhhhhhh, I now see a chance to buy myself a new set of paddles this spring! :slight_smile:

Sounds like you may have a tough sell. Something we tend to overlook on this site: Paddling’s not for everyone.

Buy yourself a better paddle. Let her try it. If she likes it you can get another. If not - you’ve got a better paddle. Either way you’re ahead.

Side note: Best way to get them interested is to keep going without her, and let her see how much joy it brings you. Depending on her personality she’ll either want to get in on some of that too - or at least see what your up to out there!

While we all have a budget - price is a terrible way to pick a paddle IMHSO (In My Highly Spoiled Opinion - as owner of some very light but pricey blades). There are many reasonably priced paddles - that doesn’t mean you or your wife will like them. Same goes for top of the line. Trouble is it’s hard to get to try them first, unless you know a lot of other paddlers.

The paddle is at least as important as the boat - probably more for most paddlers. For each time we lift the boat once, we may lift the paddle thousands of times.

That bring me to the obvious questions. What boats do you paddle? Where? What sort of conditions? What distances? What body sizes and fitness levels? Hard to get any useful input without that - unless like some here - you think a paddle’s a paddle.

re: Interest
I think that the “bottom line” answer to my question is “No, there are no cheap light paddles”, and I’m fine with this. Paying serious dough for a paddle that she might try once and never again is simply NOT an option. I’m not unhappy with my Seaquel paddle. I have far too many other things that I’d rather spend my paddling budget on - new boat, camping gear, GPS, roof racks. If someone could guarantee that a $175 paddle would absolutely make my wife love kayaking, I’d probably do it. But I’ll see if I can find another way. I know where Chipheb lives, where he keeps his good paddle, and what time he goes to bed.

That bring me to the obvious questions. [ … ]

I’m fairly new to the game. I bought my first boat last year - a Dagger Element 11’. Now that I’m really getting into it, I realize that I truly need a touring yak, so my plan is to buy a WS Tsunami 140 this spring. And you can imagine how my wife feels about me spending twice as much on a kayak as I did less than a year ago.

I’m primarily on flatwater - rivers and lakes. I don’t see myself getting into ocean kayaking in the foreseeable future. We typically paddle about 10-15 miles and are trying to do more one-night camping trips.

weird response for me
have you considered a canoe? i transitioned from canoe to yaks but in your case… if you got a smallish tandem canoe, 16’ and fine lines, you could do most of the work and have lots of room for camping stuff. she could develop her skills. you could paddle solo with a double paddle. so many options…

Not weird at all
Actually, a canoe could be a great solution. We also have two dogs, and the idea of taking the whole fam damily camping sounds like great fun. Unfortunately, canoes aren’t cheap either. Also, we’ve been assembling a nice little group of kayakers, and I’d love for her to be a part of that.

But entering a canoe into the equation isn’t out of the question by any stretch.

I can build a light cheap paddle
It’s easy to build a light cheap paddle. It’s just hard to build one that will last more than a summer. Still they are light and cheap and fun to use, but you nead to cary a back up. I cary a 48 inch canoe paddle for back up.

Another paddle that is easy to build is the greenland style paddle, you can make them light and cheap and durable but you need to learn new techniques to go fast. I’m planning more of these soon!

$50 paddle avail. in many lengths
Last year I bought a spare paddle for $50. It’s surprisingly light for something with aluminum shaft and plastic blades, and it comes in a large assortment of lengths, down to 180cm??? I think. (I sure wish the “good paddles” would come in the shorter lengths.) Two pieces with adjustable feathering.

I can’t remember the brand name so I’ll have to dig up the spare and look at it. Will post the info here tomorrow when I get it.

paddle…new boat…canoe…whew!
A lot going on here! They are right, no paddle will make her love paddling. However, Sing’s vote for the Seven2 ISO is a good one. If you want to try a paddle, see if you can borrow a friends or a demo from your local shop to see if she likes it. Try renting a canoe and/or a tandem kayak to see if she likes either. You may find that a tandem is the way to go, she may just want to go for the enjoyment, not the excercise. Ditto for a canoe. Get ready for my Dr. Phil moment…ready? You may want to sit down with her and have a serious talk about the sport. Let her know that you will be fine whether she is into it or not. I found out a long time ago that my wife would never be as interested in paddling as me. I’ve also learned, that when she does go, I should not try to instruct her or criticize her tecnique. She just goes for fun, not to get better. I had a tough time understanding it, but I finally did. If she dosen’t want to get into it, go buy that new Impex Outer Island you’ve been drooling over, that will teach her! Seriously, find out where she is coming from and go from there. Paddle well…

Extra weight with canoe
One problem with a canoe you can afford or borrow (from me) is the weight. I doubt she will be much help putting the canoe on the roof of your van. But you can certainly take her out in a canoe at the pond where the canoe is to gauge interest.

that Dr. Phil moment…
…might just blow it all together. You can’t talk someone into enjoying an activity. I am curious how many of us regularly enjoy the company of their spouse when paddling…in fact, I think I’ll start a thread to find out.

I’m sure she’ll like it
I honestly don’t think I’ll have any problem getting her to love kayaking. One of our first dates, some 18-odd years ago, was kayaking on the Charles River (Boston) per HER suggestion. She loves the general concept of it all.

The problem is that we spend our summers camping on this pond, and I have my yak down near the water’s edge. She’s taken it out a few times and paddled across and around the pond. Once she gets back, her arms are sore, and I think it’s an issue of “way too much work and pain for not much enjoyment”. But I think that part of the problem is that there’s nothing to see where she’s going that she doesn’t already see day after day. It’s like riding an exercise bike - kayaking for the sake of kayaking, and she simply doesn’t love it that much yet. But when we (my little paddling group) go on a trip, we’re not steadily paddling 100% of the time. You paddle a little, you coast and look at the scenery a little, you chat a little, lather, rinse, repeat.

So my plan this spring is to take her kayaking on some short, but interesting trips to see how she holds up.

I’m expecting to buy my second boat in two years from this local dealer, so maybe he’ll loan me a lightweight paddle for a day.

She can borrow my paddle
to see if it is enough of a difference as long as you invite me. Just kidding.

Was she using your Seaquel or your $20 older, heavier paddle?

Another suggestion
You said that you usually paddle about 10-15 miles. Maybe do some short slow trips with her. I have a friend that I took out kayaking for the first time. She did not have much upper body strength either so we went about 3 miles at an average 1.5 mph.