alright i just got my kayaks and a couple of inexpensive paddles. at the kayak store the man recomended some paddles that were about $250 each and i saw some that were more. what is a good paddle and at what price range should it be?
Pick any two:
Might also need a 4th variable: appropriate design for your intended use.
$250 sounds about right for a good, light enough (but not really light) kayak paddle with fiberglass blades. Don't bother with the really cheap metal-shaft-plastic-blade paddles unless you can afford only those.
You can go higher price for lighter materials, but there isn't really any need to if you're just starting to paddle.
My daily-driver paddle is a Werner Shuna, which retailed for $255 when I bought it in 2007. I also have their lighter Cyprus paddle, which I only use on multiday trips camping from the kayak (in which case the Shuna becomes my spare paddle). These are just two examples of commonly-available good paddles.
I like my Werner Skagit CF. I got it used for $75, or it goes for $175 new. Its reasonably light for a cheap paddle.
If you can afford it, a carbon paddle is a huge step up. Its not ‘necessary’ by any means, but if you’re in your boat a lot, you’ll more than get your money’s worth out of it.
$250 is reasonable to get an entry level carbon paddle. However, I personally would spend $250 on a used $450 paddle. Most people baby their $400+ paddles, and I’ve had great luck with used paddles.
Please consider ONNO paddles.
" Lighter is better. "
Well it might sound like hype, but its not … If the paddle is lighter and easier to hang onto ( smooth paddling ) then you typically can go further and faster with it while still being relaxed. Heavy, not so well designed paddles can turn people off to the sport.
The Bargain Bin paddles are still true customs. I tailor the layup to ones intended use and expectations. These paddles are super light.
I mold the shaft onto the very ferule that will be used so the fit is as precise as it can be ( no wobble ).
There are several color options as well + I also just added the option of a carbon shaft for 225 instead of 200. The Carbon shaft is lighter and a nice upgrade.
Thank you Brent.
Onno best value ….
I have a few paddles and my Onnos are my favorites. A low end Onno paddle will last many years and outperform other paddles of the same price.