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Picking the Right Kayak Paddle: Series III

One thing I’ve notice is that most kayakers spend more time picking their kayak than picking their paddle.  And the wrong paddle can impact your kayak adventure in Door County more than you think. 


For years in my kayak talks and articles I suggest people buy the lightest most expensive paddle they can afford.  Lighter paddles are less fatiguing, meaning you can enjoy your time on the water longer and feel less tired at the end of your day.  More expensive paddles use better components and will last longer.  I would suggest trying to find a paddle no heavier than 31 or 32 ounces.  Personally, I prefer to be under 30 ounces.  Ideally, when you are on the water kayaking you should be enjoying all the beauty Door County hast to offer, not thinking about your tired shoulders and arms from a heavy paddle!


For your lighter recreational and touring sit-in kayaks a standard sized blade is what you will be looking for.  For the heavier sit-on-top (SOT) kayaks most will choose a paddle with oversized blades.  These have a bigger bite to help push the heavier SOT kayaks. 


Picking the proper length paddle is also very important and there are tables you can find on-line to help with this.  The correct paddle length is a combination of your height and the width of your kayak.  Most recreational and touring kayaks are narrower and require a shorter paddle.  Most SOT kayaks, along with being heavier, are also wider and would usually take a longer paddle.


Times are challenging and for many the price of products is a big consideration.  Your kayak and paddle are going to last many years, so any investment you make will be a good one.  If you have any questions related to kayaking, I’d be very happy to answer them.  Just email me at

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