Peter Piper Picked A Proper Paddle. How did he do this??? Here are few guidelines to follow to find the right paddle for you.
The 2 most important things to consider when choosing the right paddle for you are your height and the kayaks width. If your paddle is too short you may be smacking it on the side of the kayak or having to hunch over to reach the water. Scaring all the fish away or disrupting nature kind of defeats the purpose of kayaking. If it’s too long you will have less control of your kayak. The taller you are and the wider the hull, typically, means you need a longer paddle. Kayak Anglers will also want to take into consideration the height of your kayak seat. Higher seating position may require a longer paddle.
One other thing to consider is the paddling angle, high or low. High angle paddlers are usually whitewater paddlers and have a more aggressive style. Low angle paddling is more horizontal and meant for longer days on the water. Most recreational and fishing kayakers will fall in this group.
Paddles come in a lot materials: wooden, nylon, aluminum, fiberglass, or carbon fiber and combinations of those materials. Beginner paddles are typically aluminum shaft with nylon blades more experience paddlers may use a carbon fiber shaft and fiberglass blades. Weight and durability are main differences in the materials. Lighter weight paddles are usually more expensive. Regardless of materials, the most important “feature” is fit.
If you are unsure of what length paddle you need, go to your local kayak store and they can fit you with the exact size you need and give you some different material options as well.