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Home > Gear Guides > What are the advantages of different kayak paddles?

What are the advantages of different kayak paddles?

Kayak paddles have many features that affect speed and stroke efficiency. Some additional features of kayak paddle anatomy to keep in mind when choosing kayaks and paddles include:

Feathering: The advantage of feathered kayak blades (rotated to form an angle to each other) is to cut down on wind resistance while you are paddling. Most feathered kayak blades are set at 45- to 65-degree angles. The larger the angle of the feathered blade, the greater your paddling efficiency. Some kayak paddles allow you to take the paddle apart and change which hand controls the paddle.

Symmetry: You can find kayak paddles with symmetrical blades, but asymmetrical blades require less energy per stroke, and they are the preferred choice of paddlers for extended kayak trips.

Shaft shape: The shafts of kayak paddles are either round or oval. An oval shape can be more comfortable for extended periods of paddling.

Remember that kayaks and paddles don’t have to be of the same brand to work well together. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports shop for expert advice on choosing the perfect paddle.

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