Single-bladed spare kayak paddle

Yesterday’s paddle had me maneuvering my QCC500 through mazes of still-standing trees in a recently flooded lake. “Thunk!” “Whap!” “Bump!” It was sounding like an old Batman episode. and my GP was getting dinged.

Got to thinking about using a single-bladed paddle as a spare/close-quarters paddle. Anybody do this in a kayak? If so, would a “shoulder to water” measurment be a good starting place for the grip-to-throat dimension? And what size & style blade does one use?

Any input would be appreciated.


if you’re already using a GP…
a storm paddle be a good spare to have and it would be shorter. i personally keep a cheapo canoe paddle as a spare until i can get around to carving a storm.

Some paddlers carry a T-Grip/handle that is used to tap into a kayak paddle for use like a canoe paddle. You break down your conventional kayak paddle and snap in this T-handle. Definately a nice accessory for paddling the mangrove tunnels in South Florida or anyother tight waters. If you know your heading for these areas maybe try a childs canoe paddle.


Yeah, but my 1-piece GP is quickly becoming my “standard” paddle. I was thinking along the lines of an otter tail with a pear grip.


Nice for lakes
hard to brace with it untill you get used to it.

Lakes are the norm
here in WV. Surf is scarce. QCC500’s are stable.


i think thats a great idea
i was a canoer for many years before i tried a kayak. sometimes while paddling mostly on one side because of a side wind i wonder if a ‘spare’ single blade might be cool since i’m mostly paddling on one side anyway. i use a gp too so storing my main paddle wont be a prob. also seems that it might be handy while fishing, less cumbersome than holding a rod and a double paddle. i’m gonna try it , thanks!

Probably be perfect if relatively short.


you can order a cheap-O mohawk paddle cut to any length for about $20.

Paddler Mag
Talk about a coinkadink. I picked up a copy of Paddler, and there is a short by Mark Molina about singles. But no advice on length. He is using an ottertail in the pics.


Huh? What about the Surf West Virginia
stickers? Those of us who are good at C-1 and OC-1 can use a short single blade as an emergency spare in a WW kayak.

Canoe paddle in a kayak
Yeah, I use one in tight quarters or just for quick manuvering while fishing. I use a 3.5 ft. beavertail. It works pretty well, just don’t try going any distance with it.