Suggestion for kayak paddles for kids

Since this may be the time of year when people might be planning to buy a kayak and paddle for a child for a holiday gift, I thought I would pass along a discovery I made that could useful.

Because I sometimes fly on vacation trips with my folding kayaks packed down in duffel bags as checked baggage, I have to have 3 or 4 piece paddles to get the length short enough to fit in that luggage. I have a 3-piece Greenland paddle which not only breaks down to the short length needed, but it came with a connector that allows me to leave out the middle shaft section to create a short 72" “storm paddle” for very windy conditions and sliding stroke.

I got a Cannon Wave carbon shaft 4-piece last winter to also have a Euro style paddle for travel. The two blade ends have “female” connectors (hollow tube with feathering holes) plus there is a long shaft section with “male” spring-loaded buttons at both ends and a second shaft section that is “male” at one end and “female” at the other.

All four pieces make a 230 cm paddle. But, just as with my GP, II discovered that leaving out the “male-female” shaft section completely makes a 185 cm paddle which is a decent size for most kids under 5’ tall. Cannon makes this paddle in an aluminum shaft for $79, in fiberglass for $119 and in carbon for $159. Once the child outgrows the 185 cm length, the 4th section can be inserted to extend the paddle to 230 cm. Or the paddle could be used at 230 by many adults if other family members also kayak.

I think this is a much wider size range (45 cm total) than any of the “adustable” length paddles that I am aware of. And if 230 cm is too long for the growing child, it looks to me as if the “female” end of the “male-female” section could be easily cut anywhere from 1" to 18" shorter, to create any length between 185 and 230 cm.

A bike shop might be able to help with cutting and drilling composite carbon tubing if that was the version you had. Cutting and drilling fiberglass or aluminum would be something most people could do with basic tools.

I defer to

Ah, yes…
Our new technical guru from the Buckeye State.

Blade size matters for kids, not just

Thanks for the short paddle suggestions.

Cannon Nokomis
The blade on the Cannon is 18" by 7". The blade on a Bending Branches Splash Kid’s paddle is 18" x 6.75". Not much difference.



ONNO will make a kids paddle. I got one from him with a carbon shaft, plastic blades (small), 2 piece and adjustable length and feather. Here is my 7 year old granddaughter using it.