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Graciella asked in SportsWater Sports · 9 years ago

What kayaking paddle should I get?

How big/what type of paddle should I buy for kayaking? I'm 5'2",I have an 8' sit-in recreational kayak with a beam of 28". I really only paddle on open water (lake) and I also have very small hands. I'm not looking for anything super-expensive. Thanks in advance :-)

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    For a boat that wide and you being so short, be cautious about getting too short a paddle. I started out in a sit in kayak 25" wide and I though I am 5' 5" I have long legs so my upper body is closer to what a 5' 2" or 5' 3" torso would be (I wear a petite in jackets for that reason). I started with a 220 and found it to be too short. Because of the angle I had to reach to get to the water I was hitting the gunwales (sides) of the kayak with my knuckles. Once I moved up to a 230 cm I was more comfortable.

    There is a guy who makes very lightweight paddles with a slender shaft that is good for smaller hands -- the prices are reasonable and the paddles are nice (I bought one a few months ago). I think I paid around $115 and it has fiberglass blades and breaks down to 3 pieces for storage and travel and can also be feathered. I don't normally like aluminum shaft paddles but this one is light and has just enough flex. I mainly got it for when I travel by plane with my breakdown folding kayak but it is nice enough that I expect to use it for normal paddling near home too. It's hard to find a new and decent paddle much cheaper than $100 . HIs T-1 model has a compact blade that makes it easier to use with a wide boat -- I get good speed with it. Standard length is 230 cm so you could buy one right off the shelf. He will drill out the feather angles custom for you to whatever position you want. I chose a straight position plus a 15 degree right hand feather one. I rarely feather my paddle unless it is super windy -- with this small blade aerodynamic paddle I don't expect I will need to do that often. Notice that the guy who makes these paddles also recommends around a 230 cm for your width of boat.

    You can sometimes find Aquabound or Bending Branches paddles for reasonable prices (under $100) on sale. Werner makes great paddles, but sales on them are rare and they tend to be $150 and up. Whatever you look for, pick as slender and tapered of a blade style as you can find. You may even want to try the skiny wooden Greenland paddles -- there are lots of guys on Ebay who make them for around $150. They look odd to most people, like they would not work, but they actually do let you paddle as efficiently as the big spoon blade paddles and you get less tired with them over distance. I own 6 kayak paddles at the moment and my cedarwood Greenland paddle is my favorite of all to use.

    Source(s): avid kayaker with many boats
  • 9 years ago

    Stand at a wall reach as high as you can. Mark the spot. Measure the height. This a good paddle length for you. Visit Mohawk Paddles on line.

    Source(s): Bought many of them.
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