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Green's Basin Girl
09-24-2010, 11:31 PM
Any recommendations for kayak paddles? I feel the lighter probably the better as I have shoulder problems. The length to get is also confusing. Any buying tips?

Slickcraft
09-25-2010, 05:30 AM
A lot depends on type of kayak, how you intend to use it and your physical size and condition; for some general considerations see:

http://www.kayakonline.com/choosing_a_paddle.html

Assuming this is for flatwater general recreation and given your shoulder issues you could give consideration to:

A thinner blade for slightly less paddling effort.

Not too short a paddle shaft so you can minimize raising and lowering of arms.

A lighter weight material but that will add $$.

A paddle with adjustable feather, a 45 degree feather will minimize shoulder rotation vs. a no feather paddle.

Most important, have someone teach you proper paddling technique using your torso muscles rather than arm and shoulder muscles. In all my years of watching kayak paddlers on the lake I have only seen two or three that had an efficient torso rotation paddling stroke.

So it may be wise to find a knowledgeable sales person and talk it over and then see if you can try before buying.

Sunrise Point
09-26-2010, 09:20 AM
I agreee with alll of the above. Our favorite paddles are "Bending Branches" brand. Ours are made of wood with kevlar? tips and come apart in the middle. They can be put together to allow for different offsets depending on your preference. I prefer my paddles straight, my husband prefers one paddle blade to be perpendicular to the other.

One word of advice, because these are so pricey, they are only used by adults. When we have young ones visiting, they use the plastic paddles.

I found my paddle on Craig's list.

Good luck!

Fishy Cover
09-27-2010, 10:03 AM
I bought a used kayak that came with two aluminum shaft plastic blade LLBean paddles. I was recovering from a broken collar bone and was not happy with these paddles but could not completely understand why. Then I tried a Kevlar shaft Kevlar blade Sting Ray paddle from Aquabound and WOW! what a difference for two reasons: a) the blade shape is more efficient and B) Weight, 30 ounces vs 46 ounces, a 1 pound difference. I bought the Manta Ray because its blade is slightly larger than the Sting Ray blade, but the Sting Ray blade would have been OK.

Weight is so important. The way I think about this is that while a pound is not a lot of weight, if your average kayak trip is say an hour then you would be supporting one pound less per hour and you will probably feel it in your arm and shoulder muscles: I know that I certainly did.

Several web sites have charts to help you find the right size.

Enjoy!