choose kayak paddle

How to choose your kayak paddle?

Discover the different kayak paddles to select the good one.

Choosing a kayak paddle is not as easy as it seems because they are in fact 2 different boats that require different paddles. Discover below the differences in practice, size, storage space and materials that greatly influence practice.

How to choose your canoe-kayak or kayak paddle?

single-bladed paddle for canoeing

#1 Single-bladed paddle for canoeing

For canoeing, you use a single-bladed paddle because the boat is hollow in order to be able to carry large loads. The user sits in a high position with their legs bent under them or kneeling. The movement is therefore more vertical with the upper body leaning forwards and a shorter paddle. In addition, a single-bladed paddle is less cumbersome when landing and mooring, which are frequent in canoeing because it is originally a boat used to move large loads along a river (trappers, Inuits)

How to choose the right size of canoe paddle? Simply put the paddle on the ground right in front of you; the top of the handle should touch your chin.

double-bladed paddle

#2 Double-bladed paddle for kayaking

For kayaking, you will instead use a double-bladed paddle as the boat can sometimes be wider and the passengers are sitting inside with their legs bent in front of them.

The length of the paddle will depend on your height and the intended practice. To choose the right length, simply place the paddle right in front of you and stretch up your arm, bending it at the wrist. The paddle should touch your fingers.

The blades are sometimes asymmetrical because this allows the blade out of the water to cut through the air and so not slow down the movement due to air resistance. This is all the more noticeable when the wind is against you. In order for the blade going into the water to be properly oriented, the right wrist slightly rotates the shaft while the left hand opens slightly to let the shaft rotate. 

The size of the blade also differs, depending on the use. River blades are short and wide to give you more power. Whereas touring blades are longer and narrower, so you can paddle for longer (endurance).

And to reduce storage space, you can choose a 2-part or even 4-part paddle. This is very convenient as it can fit into your inflatable kayak bag or in the back of your kayak as a spare paddle.