Hello! I finally decided I am purchasing a Mainstream Patriot Kayak. I’ve been searching and researching for awhile. Now I need to get a paddle and I don’t know what to get or how to choose a length. I would like buy a reasonably priced paddle. Can you give me any advice?
Boat from a big box?
Are you buying that Patriot from a "big box" sporting goods place like Academy or the Sports Authority? If so, they usually carry Carlisle paddles. Decent enough but a bit on the heavy side and will wear you out more quickly.
Paddle choice depends on the width of the boat, your height/reach, your general paddling style/angle, etc.. Aquabound makes some good all around kayak paddles. Check out their site for more info and suggestions:
I have one of their Manta Ray paddles in 230cm...it has some carbon components to cut down on weight. I paddle different boats with it anywhere from 24-28" wide. I'm around 5-8" or so and have what might be called a paddling style more on the high side. My Manta Ray usually retails for aorund $179. Check online for deals or utilize the Paddling Perks (here at Pnet.com) discounts to save 10-15%.
not the cheapest
Avoid the extreme low-end paddles with the flat blades that you sometimes see at rental places. Those will suck the fun out of paddling in short order.
I prefer a fiberglass paddle shaft to aluminum one.