Paddle blade width.

I have a rec. yak and wondered what is the best paddle of this type of yak a wide blade or narrow blade paddle? What are the advantages and disadvantages of these different paddles?


Boat Doesn’t Matter, More Whether
you like and/or strong enough to handle what is equivilent to big gear or little gear on a bike. Big blade will act like a big gear on a bike. Takes more power to maintain a certain cadence than with a larger blade than with a smaller blade. You can slow down the cadence but with some folks there seems to be an ideal range where once outside, the person either gets gassed on the upper end or feels disjointed on the lower end. On the other hand, if you’re stronger, a smaller blade will feel like paddling with a stick, you end up stroking fast to feel like you’re getting anywhere.

Anyway, blade sizing is one of those things where if you can try different sizes for extended periods, you end up with a better idea of what your body prefers.


The older you get the narrower you want
I’ve seen some really in shape folks who have been paddling a long time and they seem to prefer the narrower blades. Also most paddlers I see who paddle long multiday trips like narrower blades.

Most surfers and almost all whitewater paddlers I see like wider blades.

I like wider blades for the rocky shallow river where I usually paddle, for deep lakes and sneaking up on birds I like narrower deeper blades.