Kayak paddles have a blade at each end. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and can be made from many different materials.
Plastic paddles: Most beginner paddles have plastic blades. They are inexpensive and durable. However, they are heavy and can be difficult to use compared to lighter and more expensive paddles. Wooden paddles: Wooden paddles are quite heavy and require moderate maintenance. The varnish of the paddles will have to be maintained otherwise the paddles will soak in water and be damaged. Carbon or fiberglass paddles: Carbon and fiberglass paddles are lightweight and strong, but they are very expensive. These paddles are rigid and can help the kayaker develop a more powerful stroke.
Parts of the paddle
Paddle blades: Paddle blades can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. Asymmetrical blades, usually used for hiking or running, enter the water more cleanly when you paddle forward. Large symmetrical paddles can cross the water quickly and are best suited for beginners. The feather is used to describe the angle (how much the blades are twisted) between the two blades of a kayak paddle. Some paddlers find it easier to combat the wind resistance against the blade when paddling, while others find it not natural to use a feathered paddle.
Paddle rod: Most paddle rods are round. Some are oval or have handles so that the paddler can feel in which direction the blade is turned. Some of the more expensive paddles have curved rods that put less emphasis on wrist movement. The majority of paddles are divided, which means they break down into two parts for easy storage.
Choosing a paddle
Knowing the kayaker's paddling style will help in choosing a paddle. Low angle: Most recreational or hiking kayakers use a low-angle paddle stroke. These paddles will have longer and narrower blades. The blade has a raised center line and two sides that move away from the center, making the paddle easier to pull into the water. High angle: More aggressive kayakers will use a high-angle paddle stroke that propels the kayak forward more effectively. These paddles are shorter and have shorter and wider blades. Other important factors to consider when choosing a paddle include the width of the boat, the size and strength of the kayaker. A wider boat or a seated kayak will require a longer paddle. The larger the kayaker, the longer the paddle will be. In addition, a heavier or stronger kayaker will need larger blades. Taking the time to choose the right paddle for each kayaker will make the weather on the water more comfortable and enjoyable.