possibly the dumbest question ever

i am planning to get my first kayak and an aluminum and fiberglass paddle. my question is: if the paddle for some reason left my hands and hit the water would it float or sink? i would hope it floats because it would realy suck if you drop your paddle and it goes 30 ft to the bottom of the lake and your out 100$. i know it is probably a dumb question to most of you, but i have never even used a kayak paddle, i have only canoed with wooden paddles. i have not even been in a kayak yet as i cannot afford on until i get a summer job so please be patient with me.

I had…
paddles I bought in the 1970’s that would sink, but slowly. I put a styrofoam plug in each half for floatation.

I hope all modern paddles are designed better, but when one goes for the least expensive, one must watch for where they cut corners to keep prices low.

Some modifications may be needed.


paddle leash
buy or make a paddle leash, so if you do drop it, and it doesn’t float, it will still be attached to the boat.

and/or carry a spare.

The Carlisle Day Tripper floats
I’ve also a heavy Harmony paddle someone threw in with a used kayak. Thing feels like it weighs 5 lbs and it floats. The Day Tripper is a loaner paddle You have to be careful with the female ferrules on aluminum paddles, some are easily crushed. I much prefer my Aquabound paddles.

"cheap paddle"
the paddle i am getting costs 105$ on ists own, is that considered cheap?


for cheap stuff in the Minn/St Paul area
check out craigslist–boats, paddles, etc.:



Yes it’s a Dumb Question
Everyone knows aluminim and fiberglass don;t float

problem with link
the link was for the rei package with the kayak, but it only goes to the kayak. the paddle it comes with is an aquabound 4 piece stingray.

and i will not buy a used kayak because i want a quality inflatable one, and i do not trust used inflatables, and because i do not have a car yet as i cannot afford one, i am going to bike with a trailer to reach the lake. i probably wont be able to afford a good car until the fall, and i do not want to shell out the extra cash to fit my first car with a roof rack. maybe in the future i will go for a hard shell, but not yet.

It very likely floats
I have yet to see a modern paddle that costs $100 that does not. But you can always call up REI and ask. My experience with them is that they will accommodate you if they can. I have probably a dozen paddles or more, some WW, some sea kayak, some purchased over 10 years ago, some recent. They all float. If you get the REI package and test the paddle and find it sinks, go the paddle leash route.

thanks for the good answer
thank you for a clear and straight answer. my question is now answered.

They make PFDs for paddles

You aready got your answer. This subject is for humor.

Paddlin’ on


Dumbest question ever?
If you think that you win the prize for the dumbest question ever, you have to be pretty new to this site.

As for the dumbest answer ever, don’t even try - you wouldn’t have a chance.

Not a Dumb Question…
I asked the same question the first time I went on a guided tour. I think it was in response to the instruction not to let go of the paddle if we turned over in the boat…

Actually a great question…

If you think that was the dumbest
question ever, yet you still had the kajonies to ask it because you felt the answer would be useful to you, then you my friend, will make a good paddler some day.

No it is not a dumb question
It’s a question that a multitude of us have asked at one time or another.

Did it ever occur to you that the tube is hollow which would allow flotation?

I strongly suggest to anyone that comes on this forum that has a question; No matter how dumb you think it might be, go ahead and ask.

There will always be a smart a-- that will come back with an answer like the above, but you can read between the lines as to who will never learn.

I am guessing that the paddle will float.- Just a guess though.



I like the dork that said Fiberglass and Aluminum don’t float. Coulda swore I’ve seen watercraft made from these materials…but I better check the bottom of the lake this evening, maybe he’ IS right,.

it will most likely float. One of my paddles (bending branches) is aluminum and glass/plastic. It floats fine.

The problem of losing your paddle in the lake is not the $105 you’ll lose. It’s that you’ll not have control of the boat anymore and that could cost a lot more than a paddle. Make or buy a paddle leash. (big controversy about paddle leashes…but I use one when fishing…a piece-of-string)

Seen a few sink
Luckily just to the bottom of a pool so it was quite retrievable. Happened when a lot of water got into the shaft.

But short of being a really wet situation like rolling that may encourage this, paddles float. And it’s rare when someone loses their paddle learning to roll - the problem is usually a rigid grip on the thing.

paddle leash $15
comfort of knowing your paddle will never sink regardless of the watertightness or presence of any internal floation or seals… priceless…

Don’t take anyone’s word for it. Go to the pond and test it. Even if the Mfgr says it will, they have been known to short cut or mistake during fabrication. Just test it. Not in 80 feet of water. That would be the stupidest right there.

No one has talked about
having a back-up paddle. I have an inexpensive single blade, short, aluminum and plastic beavertail style paddle under the front deck lashing “just in case.” It comes in handy for maneuvering while fishing and keeping the double blade stowed out of the way.

The dumbest question is the one you wouldn’t/didn’t ask. Keep asking.