Which paddle?

Hi, newbie here (both to this board and to kayaking)

I just got a Dagger Specter 15’ and I pick it up tomorrow, I’m psyched!:


I’m 5’7" 185#'s (mostly muscle, I swear) and I’ll be paddling mostly in South Florida gradually progressing from calm/flat small water up to bays/close to shore.

So I’m getting the boat tomorrow, but don’t have a paddle yet. My budget is kinda tight, so I’m looking for something ~$100 +/-$20

The two that I’ve been able to narrow it down to are:

$89 Carlisle Magic Plus (available locally)


$110 Bending Branches Infusion Glass+ (online, shipping included)


If there are any better paddles in the same range, I’m open to that. It seems that the BB paddle is better since it telescopes from 215-230mm and I have no idea what length is best for me/my boat. But maybe that telescoping feature is prone to failure or something?

Also, the downside to the BB paddle is that I won’t be seeing/feeling it before buying it, and I’d have to wait for shipping before I can take the boat on the maiden voyage.

TIA for any suggestions!

Enjoy the new boat! I have to say that I don’t know either of these paddles but I’d go with the Carlisle since you can get it locally. You may be able to try one out before you buy it to see what length works best for you. I’d probably start with the 220 which is apparently the shortest for this paddle - but should be a pretty good fit. You won’t be able to try this ordering online, and returning a paddle will get expensive.

welcome to the sport
Paddling is great. You’re going to love it. Have a good time!

Check out AT Paddles
they have a paddle for $99. Totally worth it.

I wouldn’t worry too much

– Last Updated: Apr-25-08 9:42 AM EST –

They are both good brands. Pick one up and start using. Then over the next months/year work on getting some money and also try out other paddles, and buy a lighter one that will become your daily driver (and turn the one you buy now into a spare that you carry with you - always a good idea to have a spare).

Thanks for all the input

– Last Updated: Apr-25-08 9:07 AM EST –

I've got the new kayak sitting in my living room. So now I'm all kayak, and no paddle...

But seriously, I reconsidered the immediate options and I was thinking I might go with an even cheaper paddle than I was previously thinking. Maybe something like this:

But just for now, to get on the water cheap and a get a baseline so I can figure out what else I want/need out of a paddle. That way, the money I save now I can spend on a much better paddle later on, once I have a better idea what that might be. Then as suggested, I can use the el-cheapo for a spare later. I don't need a spare now, since I'm going to be starting out on totally flat/calm/slow water close to shore in heavily populated areas.

I closely looked over the Carlisle Magic Plus I was considering previously, and I wasn't really impressed in the build quality for the price. I'd rather spend that money towards a better Bending Branches or an AT Paddle (thanks for that rec).

So, are there any reasons I shouldn't go with the el-cheapo aluminum shaft paddle? The weight seems reasonable, are they more prone to failure than fiberglass, or is it about the lack of flex? If there are good reasons I should just totally stay away from aluminum, I will heed your collective advice.


Since you’re mostly muscle,
I’d recommend the aluminum shaft. Aluminum is stiffer than fiberglass, and will flex less, with the net result being more actual power transmission.

The paddles you’re considering are all in the same

weight range, so that’s not a factor.

After you develop your skills, you’ll be ready for

a pro paddle next year, and that’s something to look forward to. Enjoy your paddling!

Just personal , but I don’t like
aluminaum. FG,carfon fiber, and wood all feel better to me.

I did a ton of reading and searching on this and settled on Pacific Paddle…much lighter and stronger than many more expensive brands. Go to www.pacificpaddle.com

I plan to try my new paddle out this weekend.