Best Kayak Paddles of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons – Fishin Money – Fishing Tips – Trout,Striped Bass,Crappie and More

Best Kayak Paddles of 2021: Complete Reviews With Comparisons

So much focus goes on the kayak that many times kayakers forget to pay attention to the paddle.

The best kayak paddle can make your kayak experience even better.

Buying an expensive Kayak is not enough, as the paddle’s quality should also match the quality of the kayak.

This is all the more important for those new to kayaking since they’ll need a reliable paddle to control and maneuver the kayak, especially in open water.

We’ll help you understand what to look for when buying a paddle for your fishing kayak and also discuss our top five picks.

Best Kayak Paddle Reviews

1. OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle

OCEANBROAD is a relatively newer brand in the kayak world and offers a limited range of products compared to some other larger brands.

However, their paddle managed to stand out and grab the top spot on our list, thanks to its unparalleled construction and value for money. 

Product Highlights

The OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle comprises an aluminum shaft and fiberglass reinforced blades. 

The shaft has a 29 mm diameter and a shell thickness of 1.1 mm.

This material combo results in a featherlight paddle that’s easier to carry and use.

The shaft has a shrinking PE tube cover that acts as a grip enhancer and protects the aluminum shaft.

It also protects your hands when paddling in cold water.

As for the length, this oar measures 230 cm or 90.5 inches, which is just adequate and good for most kayak sizes and types.

It’s particularly easy to transport, as it has a detachable design. You can detach it into two sections.

You also have a three-angle locking system, which allows you to set the oar’s angle to paddle the kayak comfortably.

The drip rings before the blades prevent the water from splashing up to the shaft.

Lastly, it comes with a leash that you can use to tie the paddles when you want to stop paddling.

What We Like

The overall design of the OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle is a winner.

It’s just so convenient to use and makes kayaking effortless, as far as paddling is concerned.

The grip cover, paired with the detachable shaft, makes it incredibly user-friendly.

Also, it comes in a variety of colors, so you can find something that matches your kayak.

What We Don’t Like

The bungee clip isn’t that sturdy, so it can break if a lot of pressure is applied.

Pros:

  • Quality construction
  • Lightweight
  • Plastic grip cover
  • Collapsible shaft
  • Three-blade angles

Con:

  • Bungee clip is free but not very sturdy

2. Pelican Poseidon Paddle

Pelican hardly needs an introduction for its recreational gear and equipment.

It has been producing a wide range of products for recreational activities since 1976.

The Pelican Poseidon Paddle is their oar offering for kayakers between five feet and six feet, which basically encompasses most adults.

It can support kayaks with a width ranging from 28 to 32 inches.

Product Highlights

The Pelican Poseidon Paddle has an aluminum shaft with two-piece construction.

It can break into two pieces when you want to carry it. It also uses a push-button ferrule system.

This paddle offers 0 to 60 degrees angle adjustment, which makes paddling extremely comfortable and reliable.

The total length of the paddle is 89 inches.

The blade material is fiberglass, which is obviously extremely lightweight.

It’s actually plastic reinforced with fiberglass.

Those who have trouble gripping the oar tightly or are new to this activity will find the ovalized, indexed shaft of this oar quite helpful.

As for the weight, that’s just a mere 2.41 pounds, which is a little over a kilogram.

You may not feel fatigued even after paddling for hours with this thing.

What We Like

The button ferrule system of the Pelican Poseidon Paddle makes it so easy to join and disjoin the two sections of the shaft.

Plus, the indexing allows for a firmer grip, which is what you want with a kayak paddle.

What We Don’t Like

The blades are narrow or low-angled, making them good for mild to high currents, but not still water. 

Pros:

  • Strong grip
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great for mild currents
  • Floats in water
  • Generous angle adjustment

Con:

  • Non-versatile low-angle blades

3. Intex Boat and Kayak Oar

If you’re looking for something cheap yet reliable for a small kayak paddle, Intex has the right choice for you.

It is yet another reliable brand producing recreational stuff like airbeds, inflatable pools, and inflatable kayaks and accessories.

The California-based brand produces high-end pool, water sports, toys, and other similar products for more than 50 years now.

This is a more conventional-looking boat oar that you can easily use with a small kayak and best for kids or teenagers.

Product Highlights

The Intex Boat Oar is made of an aluminum shaft and ribbed rectangular blades. 

It has a three-part construction with the easy lock tech that makes it incredibly easy to put the paddles together.

Once assembled, the oar measures 4.5 feet or 54 inches, so these are not ideal for big kayaks.  

The shaft has retainer rings for locks, as well as molded strong grips that don’t let the paddle slip away from your hands.

Extremely lightweight, these oars make a great choice for young kids learning to paddle a kayak.

However, just because these are lightweight doesn’t mean they are not sturdy.

You can expect these to last a long time and give you your money’s worth.

What We Like

The Intex Boat Oar is very easy to store away, thanks to its three-part design. You can literally carry it in your bag.

Also, it’s great value for money, as it doesn’t cost a lot and isn’t cheaply made either.

What We Don’t Like

While it’s a great paddle in and of itself, adults can’t really use this size of an oar.

So consider this as a kid’s recreational paddle for boats and kayaks.

Pros:

  • Ribbed blades
  • Easy three-part locking system
  • Strong grip
  • Extremely lightweight

Con:

  • Not ideal for tall adults

4. Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Paddle

The Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Paddle is more on the high-end side with an expensive price tag and premium-quality construction.

The company specializes in kayak gear and accessories, so you can expect their products to fit the bill when it comes to reliability.

Product Highlights

What really sets apart the Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Paddle is that even its shaft is made of carbon fiber.

That, combined with the reinforced carbon fiber paddles, makes it one of the lightest kayak oars you can find in the market.

If we’re talking numbers, this paddle weighs a mere 33.5 ounces or 2.09 pounds.

This featherlight paddle will provide effortless gliding in the currents and waves.

The oar’s total length is 92 inches, which should be more than enough even for wider kayaks and those above six feet in height.

As with most paddles, this one also breaks into two for easy transportation.

It also has two drip rings, one on either end, that prevents water from dripping down or splashing up the shaft.

For convenience, the Best Marine and Outdoors company has also included a five-foot leash to attach it to the kayak or any thing when not in use.

What We Like

The all-fiberglass construction makes it an ideal choice for kayaking in both slow and fast currents.

With paddles, it’s all about keeping the weight down, and this company did a great job by using lighter materials for the shaft.

What We Don’t Like

The Best Marine and Outdoors Kayak Paddle costs as much as a whole kayak, so it’s really for serious kayakers who don’t have budget restrictions.

Pros:

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Fiberglass shaft
  • Adequate length
  • Two-piece construction
  • Leash included

Con:

  • Very expensive

5. Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle

The Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle is another low-angle blade paddle available in a wide range of colors.

As the name suggests, the company specializes in accessories for various sports and recreational activities, including water sports, hunting, and even automobiles.

Product Highlights

The Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle has a blade size of 18.5 x 7.5 inches and is made of reinforced fiberglass.

The paddle’s shaft has a diameter of 30 mm, while the tube’s walls are one-millimeter thick. 

This shaft is made of three materials: aluminum, carbon, and carbon fiber. So it goes without saying that this one is also lightweight.

With a two-part construction, you collapse and attach it using the button system.

Then there is a three-angle locking system, which allows you to adjust different angles for paddling. 

It comes in seven different colors and two different sizes, including 87 inches and 96 inches.

The feather blade design allows you to pull more water, and when you do, the water-resistant shaft rings won’t let it come down when the paddle goes up.

What We Like

Its construction is great and all, but what really sticks out is the look.

This one is a looker, and you’ll feel like going kayaking as soon as you get it.

They have managed to make something as simple as a paddle very aesthetically pleasing.

What We Don’t Like

It’s a little heavier than the other products we reviewed, coming in at 2.64 inches. However, it’s still pretty manageable.

Pros:

  • Three-angle adjustment
  • Quality shaft construction
  • Easy to carry around
  • Great value for money
  • Multiple sizes and color options

Con:

  • Non-flexible blades

Buyer’s Guide

You may think that there isn’t much to a paddle, but these vary in materials, size, and construction. 

Here’s what you need to consider when getting the best kayak paddle:

Size and Weight

The very first thing you should consider is the size or length of the kayak paddle.

This is important because the wrong size won’t work well in the water.

The total length of the paddle depends on your height and kayak’s width.

For adults, the sizes range from 84 inches to 96 inches.

Most people within five to six feet of height should go for something between 84 and 90 inches.

Similarly, you should pay attention to the weight of the kayak oar.

Most paddles these days, regardless of their construction, are lightweight.

Still, ensure that the paddle is under three pounds if you really want it to be lightweight.

A heavy pedal will make it difficult to move it and row.

You may even get fatigued pretty quickly because of all that extra effort.

Blade Type

The blades of kayak pedals are mainly made of plastic and reinforced with nylon or fiberglass.

The ones with fiberglass are sturdier and more lightweight, but they also tend to be more expensive.

As for the type or shape of blades, there are essentially two types: flat blades and long narrow blades.

The flat blades are used for high-angle paddling, so they’re also called high-angle blades.

On the other hand, narrow blades are used for low-angle paddling; hence, called low-angle blades.

Low-angle blades or paddles are suitable for calm bodies of water.

Shaft 

With shaft, there are essentially three things to consider:

  • Material

Aluminum is the most common material you’ll see in kayak paddles, but some may use plastic or carbon fiber as well. 

  • Number of Pieces

Since shafts are long, they typically come in pieces. You should consider whether the shaft is one-piece, two-piece, or three-piece.

Two-piece and three-piece shafts are easier to carry.

  • Grip

The shaft should have some arrangements for providing a firm grip.

It could have a grip cover or rings on top with grippy materials.

Other Things to Consider

Besides the paddle itself, you should also consider the kind of kayak you have and the type of water you’ll be in.

There are many different kinds of kayaks that serve different purposes.

If you’re mainly fishing in kayaks, you should consider getting paddles for calm water.

FAQs

1. What Size Kayak Paddle Should I Get?

The main factor that decides the size of your kayak paddle is your height.

However, you should also consider the width of your kayak.

Here’s a guide to help you pick the right size of kayak paddle:

Paddler Height Kayak Width (23 inches or less)Kayak Width (24 to 28 inches)Kayak Width(29 to 33 inches)Kayak Width (34 inches or above)
Under 5’5”82 inches86 inches90 inches96 inches
5’5” to 5’11”86 inches90 inches94 inches96 inches
6’ and Above86 inches90 inches96 inches96 inches

2. Should Kayak Paddles be Offset?

Offsetting paddles refers to feathering blades or using angled blades.

It’s not necessary to offset the kayak paddles, but it largely depends on your technique and whether you’re a newbie.

If you’re using a short paddle, a feathered blade will help immensely by giving maximum power.

On the contrary, if you’re using a long paddle and using low-angle blades, it doesn’t have to be feathered; in fact, unfeathered will help make it easier for your wrists.

In general, offsetting improves the paddles’ performance and makes it comfortable for your wrist.

More importantly, it reduces wind resistance when the blade is in the air.

3. Do Kayak Paddles Float?

Almost all kayak paddles float, thanks to their construction.

They typically have hollow shafts and plastic or rubber blades that help them float on water.

It’s not necessarily a good thing because while you may think it won’t sink, it can easily drift away.

That is why most kayakers use leashes to tie the paddles, so they don’t drift away from the kayak.

4. How Do You Hold a Kayak Paddle?

It’s important to hold the kayak paddle the correct way for you to paddle effortlessly and avoid strain or fatigue in your wrists and arms.

Here’s how you hold a kayak paddle:

  • Understand what kind of blades (feathered or unfeathered) your paddle has.
  • Ensure that the paddle blades are facing the right direction, as the power face (curved or ribbed) of the blade should be facing you. 
  • Set your grip on the shaft with the right blade upwards.
  • Adjust your grip based on whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. Your right hand is your control grip if you’re right-handed, while your left hand if you’re left-handed.
  • If you put the paddle on your head, the center should be on your head.

5. How Do You Hold a Bent Shaft Kayak Paddle?

Holding a bent shaft kayak is not that different from how you hold a straight shaft; in fact, finding the right grip is easier on a bent shaft because of its natural curves.

It also depends on whether the paddle has feathered blades or not.

Your hand placement on the shaft should be as such that when you loosen the grip, it relieves the tension in your arms and wrists.

Don’t hold the shaft too tight.

What Is the Best Paddle for Kayaking?

If we were to highly recommend one product from our best kayak paddle list, all accounts considered, that would be the OCEANBROAD Kayak Paddle.

It’s just the right size and made of quality materials.

You can use it for both still and moving bodies of water on big kayaks like Journey 10 SS Kayak.

If spending a lot on a paddle doesn’t make sense to you, this one should be your choice.

It offers good value for money, especially considering it will last a long time.

However, a lot depends on your personal choice, which is why we provided other great options.

Darren Enns

For me, fishing is an enjoyable release from the pressures of life. It gets me out into nature and I love it!

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