Novice Paddle

Hi Guys searched past posts and couldn’t anything that answered my question - which is suggestions for a novice paddle, even recommendations. I don’t have access to a great variety but some guidelines, what to look for, how heavy, best construction etc. Very curious on how plastic blades stack up against glass.

Thanks for your guidance.

For stats i am 6’2/6’3, paddling a 22 1/2 in boat for long distance touring/sea kayaking. Not a great need for speed compared to comfort and endurance!

Lightweight and the best bang for your buck.

Talk to Pat he’ll treat you right.

Bill Will Make One For You
Might take a while but I think you’ll like it.

I have been in touch with both, but the issue is postage - based in Australia. But some info on what to look for in a “cheaper” to mid level paddle would be great!

Go as light weight as you can afford. Personally I would scrimp & save in other areas but not on the paddle.

Aquabound makes great paddles.

– Last Updated: Jun-27-08 10:38 AM EST –

A carbon shaft with nylon blades is a great starter paddle.

Far better than I started with anyway.

No Such Thing as a Novice Paddle
There is no reason that a novice should use inferior equipment. To do so just makes learning harder. There are differences in cost and quality and, as others suggested, you should get the best quality you can afford, especially in a paddle.

Avatak Paddles
GP’s made in Italy.

Any of the paddles can be made in two pieces, which would make shipping easier I would assume.

I’m sold on Bending Branches

Budget? NM
See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Start here.

To get an idea of sizing.

Then as the others said, get the lightest paddle that would be strong enough for your usage. I can’t tell you how much more enjoyable my paddling has become since I moved away from “the wrong” paddle (way too heavy and too powerful for me most of the time).

You also need to make the fundamental choice b/w bent and straight shaft for yourself, and then to check the alternatives if you decide to go bent - they all deel somewhat different due to angle and spacing relative to the shaft lenght - and what wokrs for one person is not necessarily best for another.

Lastly, try to buy used if you can. As a begiiner, you will likely fine-tune your preferences as you go on and will figure out what works best for you yourself - and that may not be what you got. So buying used saves considerable amount of money on a top end paddle; usually one can get a good condition top shelf paddle for around half or a little more of a new one in the US on the average (bargains can be found for less as well but that’s pure luck and persistance in searching). not sure how AU folks sell their old junk -:wink:

HERE’S what to LOOK for
I think Jesse is asking what to LOOK for in a novice paddle, not suggestions for brands. That’s not going to help him if he doesn’t know the basics about materials, etc.

I agree on the comment that you should get the lightest weight paddle possible within your budget. That’s probably the most important factor. You’ll be less tired at the end of they day and it will be easier to learn a more efficient stroke technique.

If you’re looking to spend less than $100, it will probably be an aluminum shaft with a plastic blade. Great if you’re going out on the pond w/ the kids for a half hour.

If you can spend between $100 - $200, you should be able to get a composite shaft (fiberglass or carbon), with a plastic (poly) or nylon blade. (nylon is better, because it’s stiffer & stronger than poly). Bending Branches and Carlisle both offer very nice paddles in this price range for a composite shaft.

If you can go over $200, you can upgrade to a fully composite paddle. It will be lighter and stiffer. While BB & Carlisle also make these, I think Werner paddles are just the best. (some of the lightest in their class)

No matter what you get, drip rings are always a huge help. And I would highly recommend talking to someone in your local paddle shop to make sure you get the right size (which is dependent on a lot of factors, your height being the least important; common misconception), and they can also talk to you about how blade size/shape/materials will affect how the paddle performs in the water. Once they know what kind of a paddler you are, and what kind of paddling you’ll be doing, they’ll hook you up with the right paddle!

I also agree with people when they say invest your money in your PADDLE. (get a poly boat instead of a composite if you have to!) And if you take care of it, you’ll have it forever (unlike a boat, which you’ll inevitably upgrade).

Good luck finding your paddle - I’m sure the perfect one is out there waiting for you!

Windswift by Eddyline.
My all time favorite paddle. Been using on for 11 years. I have others but always come back to the Windswift.

paddle for newbie
Anything by werner or bending branches.

Low swing weight…

Just grab it and go…

Not too pricey…

That is what you want, right

Got one of these Werner Skagit paddles and am very happy with it. It has been abused and has withstood it all. I find it very comfortable.

You don’t want to really think about the paddle while using it, right? Just sort of feels natural…

Check it out: