Do Kayak Paddles Make a Difference? Read This to Find Out What Difference is Made by Various Kayak Paddles.

Written by Admin

Aug 31, 2022

August 31, 2022

Whether it is river kayaking, lake kayaking, or even ocean kayaking, you are going to need a good set of kayak paddles. There are different types of kayak paddles on the market. The real question is, do they really make a difference?

As kayak paddles come in many different shapes and sizes, it definitely makes a difference in paddling based on kayaker and water type.

Want to learn more about how kayak paddles make a difference in paddling? Read this article to learn more about the various classifications of kayak paddles and how they make a difference in kayaking.

Types of Paddle Shapes

There are a variety of paddle shapes available on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The following are some of the most popular paddle shapes, along with a brief description of each.


Feather-shaped paddles are not perfectly shaped, but they can still be quite effective for certain types of kayaking.

They are typically used for racing or performance kayaking, as they provide good power and efficiency when properly used.

However, they can be difficult to control if you’re not accustomed to them, so it’s important to practice with them before using them in a race or other competition.


Unfeathered kayak paddles are simply paddles without feathers. The blades of the paddle are not cut at an angle, as they are with a feathered paddle, but rather are left straight.

This makes them lighter and easier to maneuver than traditional paddles, but they can also be more difficult to control.

Paddlers who are new to using unfeathered shaped paddles should take care to practice with them in calm water before venturing out into rougher conditions.


Wing-shaped kayak paddles are almost exclusively used for racing and high-performance paddling. They offer a lot of benefits for these activities, including more efficient strokes and better speed and maneuverability.

But they’re not ideal for all types of paddling, so you’ll need to decide if they’re right for you before investing in a set.


A touring kayak paddle is a type of paddle that is designed for use with a touring kayak.

A touring kayak paddle has a longer and narrower blade than other types of kayak paddles, which makes it better suited for cruising and covering long distances.

It also has a curved shaft that provides a more comfortable grip, and it is often made from lightweight materials that make it easy to transport and store.


Asymmetric kayak paddles are designed to provide a more powerful stroke on one side of the kayak than the other.

This is done by having a different blade shape or angle on each side of the paddle.

The advantage of using an asymmetric paddle is that it allows you to generate more power with each stroke, which can be helpful when you need to sprint or paddle through a strong current.

It can also help you to maintain better control of your kayak in windy conditions.


A dihedral kayak paddle is a paddle with two blades, each set at a different angle relative to the shaft. This design helps to keep the paddle blade stable in the water and provides extra power when paddling.

Beginner and intermediate kayakers often use dihedral kayak paddles because they are easy to use and provide a good amount of power.


Square-ended kayak paddles are designed for use with sit-on-top kayaks. They offer a number of benefits over traditional paddle designs, including increased maneuverability and easier tracking.

Square-ended kayak paddles are typically shorter than traditional paddles, making them easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

They also tend to track better in the water, meaning you can paddle straight without having to correct your course as often.

If you’re looking for a paddle that will give you more control over your sit-on-top kayak, a square-ended paddle is a great option.


Types of Paddles Based on Your Activity

Paddles come in all shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to help you move through the water. The type of paddle you use will be based on your activity. Here are some of the most common types of paddles and their uses:


There are a few factors to consider when choosing a paddle for calm water. First, you’ll want to choose a paddle that has a large blade surface area. 

This will help you move more water and make it easier to propel yourself through the water. You’ll also want to choose a paddle with a low-angle design. This will help you cut through the water more easily and reduce drag on the boat. 

Finally, you’ll want to choose a paddle made from lightweight materials, such as carbon fibre or aluminium, so that it’s easier to maneuver.


Whitewater paddles are typically designed with a narrower blade that is curved along the length of the blade. 

This design allows for a more powerful and precise stroke when maneuvering through whitewater rapids. Additionally, whitewater paddles often have a blunt or rounded tip to help prevent the paddle from slipping out of your hands or getting stuck in rocks.


If you’re looking for a paddle that can handle any water condition, then we can suggest investing in a set of adjustable paddles. 

These paddles can be easily adjusted to fit your height and width, making them perfect for all types of water excursions. However, you cannot expect the same performance, just like the paddles are designed specifically for each situation.

Overall, the type of paddle you use will be based on your activity. If you’re paddling on calm water, then you’ll want to use a paddle with a large blade surface area.

If you’re paddling in whitewater, then you’ll want to use a paddle with a narrower blade. And if you’re looking for an all-purpose paddle, then we suggest investing in a set of adjustable paddles.

A Buying Guide For Your First Kayak Paddle

A paddle is one of the most important pieces of equipment you’ll need for kayaking. Choosing the right one can make a big difference in your enjoyment of the sport. Here are a few things to consider when selecting a kayak paddle:


The length of a paddle is an important determinant of its performance because it affects the speed and power of the stroke. 

A longer paddle will provide more leverage and generate more speed and power than a shorter paddle. However, a longer paddle also requires more energy to move through the water, so there is a trade-off between speed and power versus energy efficiency.


There are a few key factors to consider when choosing a paddle based on the material it is made from. For example, some materials may be more durable than others, while others may be more resistant to water and moisture. 

It’s important to consider the intended use of the paddle when making your selection. Additionally, different materials may have different weight and thickness properties. This can also affect how the paddle performs and handles during use. 

Ultimately, it’s important to select a paddle that feels comfortable in your hands and suits your needs for the paddling you’ll be doing.

Blade Choice: 

The blade choice on a paddle becomes key when looking for control and power. If you want more power, you’ll want a blade with more surface area. 

However, if you’re looking for more control, you’ll want a blade that is thinner and has a smaller surface area. Additionally, the shape of the blade can also play a role in your paddle selection.

Shaft Choice: 

There are a few key things to consider when choosing a paddle: shaft length, shape, weight, and grip. Shaft length is important because you want to be sure the paddle is the right size for your height. 

Weight is important because you want to be sure the paddle is heavy enough so that you can generate power through your stroke but not too heavy so that it’s difficult to control. The shape is also a key factor in your shaft choice. 

The grip is important because you want to make sure the paddle has a comfortable grip that will fit your hand size.


The “price” of a paddle becomes a key determinant when someone is looking for an entry-level or recreational paddle. 

Most people don’t want to spend a lot of money on something they won’t use very often. When looking for a performance paddle, the price isn’t as big of a factor because they understand the benefits of shelling out more money.

Overall, there are a few key factors to consider when selecting your kayak paddle. Length, materials, blade choice, shaft choice, and price are all important determinants that will affect the performance and feel of your paddle. 

Be sure to take the time to select a paddle that is comfortable for you and suits your needs. 


Frequently Asked Questions Related to Length of a Kayak Paddle

1. What happens when you use too long of a paddle for kayaking?

When you use a paddle that is too long for kayaking, you will find it difficult to control the boat.

The extra length of the paddle will cause you to reach too far forward and cause the boat to move too quickly. This can also lead to fatigue and instability in your stroke.

To avoid these problems, be sure to use a paddle that is the correct length for your height and build.

2. What type of paddle is best for kayaking?

The best type of paddle for kayaking depends on a few factors, including the type of kayaking you’ll be doing and your personal preference.

For instance, if you’re mainly doing river kayaking, a bent-shaft paddle might be best since it’s more maneuverable. If you’re mostly doing lake kayaking, a straight-shaft paddle might be better since it’s more efficient.

And if you’re just starting out, a plastic paddle might be a good option since it’s more affordable.

Carbon fibre paddles are known to be the most expensive and super responsive in kayak paddles.

Ultimately, the best way to figure out what type of paddle is best for you is to try out different types and see what feels most comfortable.

3. How can I make my kayak track better?

There are a few things you can do to make your kayak track better. First, make sure the kayak is properly fitted for you and that all the fittings are secure.

Second, use a paddle with the correct length and shape for you. And finally, adjust your paddling technique according to the type of kayak you’re using and the water conditions.

If your kayak still doesn’t track well after trying these tips, it might be time to take it in for a tune-up. A good kayak shop will be able to help you out.

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