10 Best Kayak Paddles – The Most Useful Kayak Accessories

Best Kayak Paddle

If you already own a kayak, then the kayak paddle is the most useful and important accessory that you can buy. The paddle is what propels the kayak forward or backward using the power of your muscles. They come in various shaft sizes, colors and their build construction vary with the price.

Depending on your purpose, not any type of kayak paddle will do as they are not all created equal. Some kayak paddles are indeed better than others. But which one to choose?

If you are looking for a decent paddle, we have handpicked a selection of some of the best kayak paddles on the market. Let's see how those paddles perform and which one you should get!

If you search for kayaks and accessories, here are some other product reviews that I recommend to read such as kayak life vest, cheap kayakkayak for dogkayak for beginner, touring kayak, inflatable kayak, recreational kayak, and many more. 

Product Name

Shaft Material

Weight

Length

Blade Material

Rating

Current Price

1. SeaSense X-Treme II Mix Kayak Paddle 

Aluminum

1 lb

 84 in and 96 in

Plastic

4.6

2. SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle 

Aluminum

2.3 lbs

84 in

Plastic

4.4

3. Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle 

Aluminum

2 lbs

96 in

Plastic

4.1

4. Aqua Bound Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Paddle

Carbon

1.8 lbs

82.7 - 98.4 in

Carbon reinforced

4.2

5. Carlisle Paddle Gear Magic Plus Kayak Paddle 

Fiberglass

1.6 lbs

86.6 - 94.5 in

Polypropylene

4.4

6. Airhead Kayak Paddle Deluxe 2 Section 

Aluminum

2. 75 lbs

84 in

Plastic

4.4

7. Leader Accessories Marine Aluminum Kayak Paddle 

Aluminum

N/A

87 - 96 in

Plastic

4.4

8. Naviskin Aluminum 2 Pieces Construction Kayak Paddle

Aluminum

2.91 lbs

87 in

Plastic

4.3

9. Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle 

Aluminum

2.7 lbs

91 in

Plastic

4.3

10. BKC UH-KP224 Kayak Paddle 

Aluminum

2.2 lbs

86 in

Plastic

3.8

1. SeaSense X-Treme II Mix Kayak Paddle 

SeaSense X-Treme II Mix Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Length: 84 inches and 96 inches

The SeaSense X-Treme II is a popular kayak paddle that is used by many kayakers around the world. It is a basic but cost-effective kayak paddle solution that has an aluminum shaft and a low-angle plastic blade for comfort and durability.

One striking feature of this kayak paddle is its low weight of 1 lbs and a low-angle blade that makes it comfortable on the hand. Therefore, it is an excellent recreational paddle that can be used by anyone of any age.

Moreover, this model comes in 2 sizes of 84-inch and 96-inch for more flexibility depending on your height and size of your kayak.

Pros:

  • Very lightweight kayak paddle. Highly portable
  • Aluminum shaft for durability
  • Low-angle blade for comfort while paddling
  • Comes in 2 different sizes for flexibility

Cons:

  • None

2. SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle 

SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs
  • Length: 84 inches

The SeaSense X-1 is similar to the SeaSense kayak paddle we just reviewed above with one major distinction. This model has an adjustable blade angle that makes it incredibly versatile.

A low-blade angle is mostly meant for recreational purposes as it is very easy to paddle with such a blade. A high-angle blade kayak paddle displaces more water and is meant for speed. However, it is more difficult to paddle with a high-angle blade.

Indeed, the level of flexibility that the SeaSense X-1 offers is excellent. Therefore, we elect this model as the best budget kayak paddle in this review as it is a cost-effective paddle as well as a high-performance one.

Pros:

  • Cost-effective. Value for money
  • Adjustable blade angle. Very versatile
  • Drip guards prevent water from entering your kayak

Cons:

  • Comes in only one size of 84 inches

3. Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle 

Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Length: 96 inches

The Shoreline is a 96-inch kayak paddle that is intended for tall people or those who navigate the waters in a wide kayak.

It is a 2-part kayak paddle that connects to each other using a pin system. The shaft is made from aluminum, which is durable and long-lasting. While the blades are made from a hard plastic that is equally durable.

The blade is designed in such a way that it is hydrodynamic and will displace a lot of water with minimal effort. Moreover, the handles on the shaft are covered with a soft foam that will further promote comfort.

But what differentiates this kayak paddle from others is its ease of use and flexibility.

Indeed, there is a 3-position lock in this kayak paddle that allows you to mount this unit in 3 different ways depending on what works best for you.

Pros:

  • Long length of 96-inch. Suitable for tall people or wide kayaks
  • 3 position system. The paddle can be customized for more flexibility
  • Foam grip handles for all-day comfort
  • Drip guards prevent water from reaching your hands

Cons:

  • Lock pin system for connecting the paddle parts can sometimes get stuck
  • Comes in only 1 length of 96-inch

4. Aqua Bound Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Paddle 

Aqua Bound Manta Ray Carbon Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft material: Carbon
  • Blade material: Carbon reinforced
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Length: 82.7 inches - 98.4 inches

There are many things that make this model one of the best kayak paddles on the market.

For one, it has an exceptional build construction with a carbon shaft and a carbon reinforced blade for maximum durability. This is a heavy-duty kayak paddle that will not break under any circumstances.

Moreover, at 1.8 lbs, this kayak paddle is one of the lightest models we have to offer in this kayak paddle review. There are few paddle models that can compete with this unit when it comes to a weight to performance ratio.

Additionally, it comes in a wide range of length ranging from 82.7 inches - 98.4 inches for user flexibility.

Pros:

  • One of the lightest kayak paddle in this review at 1.8 lbs.
  • Carbon reinforced blade and carbon shaft. Very durable and long-lasting
  • Wide range of sizes to choose
  • Ability to adjust the blade position

Cons:

  • The price. It is not a cost-effective kayak paddle

5. Carlisle Paddle Gear Magic Plus Kayak Paddle 

Carlisle Paddle Gear Magic Plus Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Fiberglass
  • Blade Material: Glass-filled Polypropylene
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
  • Length: 86.6 inches - 94.5 inches

The Carlisle is another kayak paddle that is built with durability and performance in mind. The shaft is made out of fiberglass which is very durable and feels excellent in the hand.

Moreover, the blades are made from a glass-filled polypropylene that is equally durable and offers almost no resistance to water. When compared to a plastic blade, this glass-filled polypropylene blade is leaps and bounds superior in terms of performance.

Of course, you have the choice between different sizes in their order of 86.6 inches - 94.5 inches so as to adapt to the size of your kayak and your body.

But one department where the Carlisle is unbeatable is weight. Indeed, at 1.6 lbs, this kayak paddle is the lightest in this review making it an excellent choice for those who paddle for an extended period.

Pros:

  • The lightest kayak paddle in this review at 1.6 lbs.
  • High-angle blade for maximum water displacement
  • Fiberglass shaft and glass filled polypropylene blade. Durable and performing.
  • Comes in a wide range of sizes for versatility

Cons:

  • The price. It is expensive
  • More difficult to operate than a low-angle blade

6. Airhead Kayak Paddle Deluxe 2 Section 

Airhead Kayak Paddle Deluxe 2 Section
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 2.75 lbs
  • Length: 84 inches

The Airhead is a cost-effective kayak paddle solution. It cannot compete with more premium kayak paddles, but for the price, it is very well-built and has good durability.

As expected, the shaft is made from aluminum and the blade from a hard plastic. But what makes this model a top-rated kayak paddle is the ability to adjust the blade depending on the way you paddle and your purpose.

Moreover, the curved blade is designed in such a way so that it displaces more water more easily. Not to mention that this kayak paddle comes with handy drip rings and foam grip for comfort during an extended kayak session.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • Blade curved in a way so as to promote paddling efficiency
  • Foam grips for comfort

Cons:

  • You need a good muscle build to operate this kayak paddle for an extended period since it weighs 2.75 lbs.

7. Leader Accessories Marine Aluminum Kayak Paddle 

Leader Accessories Marine Aluminum Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: N/A
  • Length: 87 inches - 96 inches

Over the Years, Leader Accessories has become an excellent manufacturer for affordable and yet high-quality fishing accessories.

This kayak paddle is no different. It comes in 2 different sizes of 87-inch and 96-inch for flexibility and has a solid and durable aluminum shaft.

Moreover, the blade has been engineered in such a way that it displaces water in an efficient manner minimizing user effort when paddling. Furthermore, the blade can be further adjusted to up to 60-degrees right or left for even more versatility.

In addition, one innovation that you will find in this good kayak paddle is a push-button connection system that allows you to quickly and easily connect the 2 parts of this kayak paddle together in 3 locking positions.

It is much easier when compared to other pin type connection systems for Moreover, it is equally easy to disassemble it for storage.

Pros:

  • Efficient blade displaces water easily. Smooth paddling experience
  • Ability to adjust the blade locking position
  • Comes in 5 different colors for user preference

Cons:

  • Comes in only 2 length sizes. We would have preferred more

8. Naviskin Aluminum 2 Pieces Construction Kayak Paddle

Naviskin Aluminum 2 Pieces Construction Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 2.91 lbs
  • Length: 87 inches

This Naviskin kayak paddle will not break any record. It is a pretty average kayak paddle that comes as a 2-piece system.

However, it is very easy-to-use even for absolute beginners making it an excellent solution for beginners. Moreover, the aluminum shaft and plastic blade are tough and durable even for the highly affordable price of this unit.

To make it user-friendly, the user has the choice between 5 different colors for preference and mounting this 2-piece paddle is very easy. In addition, there is a 3 locking position that allows you to adjust the blade position for even more versatility.

Pros:

  • Affordable. Value for money
  • 3 locking positions for blade adjustment
  • Comes in different colors
  • Two-piece kayak panel for ease of use

Cons:

  • Not flexible in terms of length. Comes in only 87 inches.

9. Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle 

Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs
  • Length: 91 inches

One unique feature of this Advanced Elements kayak paddle is that it comes in no less than 4 different parts. It is highly portable and can be easily stored.

Additionally, due to a very precise engineering, the 4 parts do not cause any instability when paddling. Since it is a 4-part system, when disassembled it will fit the booth of a small car very easily.

Moreover, this kayak paddle gives you the ability to adjust the blade angle depending on your preference. You can use this kayak paddle for both sports and recreational purposes.

Pros:

  • 4 parts system. Easy to assemble and can easily be stored when not in use
  • Blade angle adjustment for flexibility
  • Versatile. Can be used for both sports and recreational purposes

Cons:

  • The price. It is an expensive kayak paddle

10. BKC UH-KP224 Kayak Paddle 

BKC UH-KP224 Kayak Paddle
  • Shaft Material: Aluminum
  • Blade Material: Plastic
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Length: 86 inches

The BKC UH-KP224 is a pretty generic looking kayak paddle but still delivers excellent performance.

Firstly, the anti-slip handle of this kayak paddle is coated with a very soft foam so as to promote comfort over an extended period. Moreover, the blades are very efficient and provide you with a lot of control when paddling.

For a smooth and dry paddling experience, there are 2 drip guards at the end of the shaft. The only caveat we have with this kayak paddle is that it comes in only one size of 86 inches. Not the most flexible especially for tall kayakers.

Pros:

  • Aluminum shaft for durability
  • Foam handles for a more comfortable grip
  • Presence of drip guards that prevents water from reaching your hands

Cons:

  • Comes in only one size of 86 inches.

How to Buy the Best Kayak Paddle

How to Buy a Kayak Paddle

Before finding the best kayak paddle for the money, there are some important factors to take into account. Here is an overview of the most important ones:

1. Purpose

First and foremost, your choice for a kayak paddle will depend on your purpose. Not all kayak paddles are built equally.

Some are made for competitive sports and have a more inclined angular blade while others are meant for recreational purposes and are less difficult to operate.

Moreover, a more general purpose kayak paddle will cost you significantly less than a professional one. You do not have to buy an expensive kayak paddle if you have no purpose or need for it.

2. Types of paddle

There are several types of kayak paddles. Here are the most popular ones:

  • Recreational Kayak Paddle: Recreational kayak paddles are some of the least expensive kayak paddle solutions. As their name suggests, they are made for recreational purposes and generally do not have the best build construction.
  • Touring Kayak Paddle: The touring kayak paddle is a sports model that is built for ease of use and ergonomics. It is one of the most comfortable paddles that you can buy and are suited for both freshwater and saltwater.
  • Performance Kayak Paddle: Obviously, this type of kayak paddle is built for performance paddling. It is very lightweight and built from the highest quality material that makes it very durable and particularly suited for heavy-duty kayaking.
  • Whitewater Kayak Paddle: Just like the whitewater kayak is meant for rapid waters, the whitewater kayak paddle is extremely durable such that it can withstand strong currents and rocks.

3. Length

The length is one of the most deciding factors of the kayak paddle. In short, the length of your kayak paddles will depend on the width of your kayak. The wider your kayak, the longer your paddle needs to be.

Additionally, you also need to take into account your height as well. If you are a tall person you will need a long kayak paddle to match.

As an example, a short person under 5 ft in a 23-in wide kayak will need an 82.7-in paddle. That same person in a 32-in wide kayak will need a 94.5-in paddle to achieve the same paddling efficiency.

4. Material

The build material of the kayak paddle is very important. Most manufacturers try to give you value for money when purchasing a kayak paddle, even if it is a budget paddle.

Indeed, even the most affordable kayak paddles still come with an aluminum shaft that will not break easily. Moreover, aluminum is corrosion-free so you can use it even in saltwater if you want.

In addition to the aluminum shaft, you will also find a hard plastic blade in those budget kayak paddles. As long as you use it for paddling, regardless of whether it is saltwater or freshwater, the plastic blade should be durable and long-lasting.

However, if you want to have the best kayak paddle for the money then you definitely need to go with a model that uses the best quality materials in its construction. Normally, this is a carbon shaft fitted to a fiberglass blade.

Those 2 material combinations are the best when it comes to kayak paddles as they offer excellent durability, comfort, and good hydrodynamics when paddling.

5. Shaft

The shaft is one of the most important parts of the kayak paddle since this is the part that comes into direct contact with your hands. It needs to be solidly built so as to be durable.

Moreover, the handle of the shaft must be coated with a soft and comfortable material so as to diminish and fatigue. This is a very important aspect, especially if you are planning to use your kayak paddle for an extended period of time.

6. Drip Guards

Drip guards are circular pieces of plastic that are placed before the blades of your kayak paddle. This prevents water from flowing upwards and reaching your hands or flowing into your kayak.

It is more of a convenience feature rather than a security one. However, it is still a good idea to look for a kayak paddle that comes with drip guards.

Conclusion

As we have seen in this kayak paddle review, there are different types of kayak paddles that suit different needs and purposes.

Whether you are looking for a sports kayak paddle that is built to give you maximum speed and efficiency or a simple and budget recreational model, you will find it here.

But, keep in mind that if you are willing to spend a little bit more money then you will get a more heavy-duty kayak paddle that has better durability and efficiency. However, this review is proof that there are still high quality and heavy-duty kayak paddles that can be purchased on a budget.

Finally, if you have still not decided on which kayak paddle to go with, then we recommend that you go through our review one more time.


Thanks for letting us know!
Was this page helpful?
Related Reads

Photo: buyersguide.paddlingmag.comWhitewater kayaking is fun. But you need the right gear to enjoy this fun sport, and this includes getting the right kayak. Whitewater kayaks are available in different styles, shapes, […]

Photo: intexdevelopment.comWhat We Like Easy to paddle for beginners Material is tough and more resistant to punctures Comfortable cabin with nice seat and footrest Inflates and deflates fastComes complete with […]

Photo: SevylorWhat We Like Sturdy and heavy-duty material Spacious cockpit design Comfortable and adjustable seat Lots of storage areasIncludes several rod holdersInflates and deflates fast and easilyWhat We Don’t Like […]

What We Like Sleek and pleasant finish Highly durable material Includes several rod holders Spacious and comfortable seat and backrestEasy to transportBungee cord help keep gear secureWhat We Don’t Like […]

Photo: Perception KayaksWhat We Like Super comfortable and spacious cockpit Provides superior stability in the water Includes a nice and comfortable seat Durable overall constructionPlenty of storage spaceEasily customizable designWhat […]

Photo: kajakkbutikken.noWhat We Like Lightweight enough for one person to carry Comfortable seat with enough padding Roomy cockpit accommodates most adults Does not fade, crack or peel easilyAccommodates different rider […]

Photo: Sun DolphinWhat We Like Lightweight and easy to carry Provides lots of storage for gear Spacious and comfortable seating area Easy to get on and offEasier tracking and paddlingIncludes […]

Photo: LifetimeWhat We Like Feels more stable and tracks well Can hold a lot of weight Provides lots of storage space Accommodates different rider sizesComfortable backrest includedLightweight and easy to […]

Photo: SevylorWhat We Like Super-fast setup Heavy-duty material Guaranteed not to leak Easy and comfortable to carryTakes up more weightProvides adequate storage spaceWhat We Don’t Like Included paddle feels a […]