The Best Kayak Paddles

Ready to hit the water and cover some distance? Next to your kayak itself, the paddles you choose will have the biggest impact on your performance. This particular piece of equipment will likely be in your hands at all times, so it’s important you choose one that is reliable and feels comfortable to you personally. 

We have reviewed dozens of kayak paddles to identify the best of the best. We considered features such as size, material, and price. 

Best Kayak Paddle Overall
SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle
Introducing the SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle, a durable, lightweight and convenient option for your next water adventure.

The SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle was an obvious first choice. Reviewers rave about its convenience, weight, and stability. High quality and at a fair price, this paddle will take you wherever you need to go in comfort. 

The 5 Top Rated Kayak Paddles

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Kayak Paddle OverallSeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle4.5
Best Aluminum Kayak PaddleMSC Kayak Paddle4.6
Best Budget Kayak PaddleCarlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddle4.4
Best Lightweight Kayak PaddleIntex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle4.4
Best Fiberglass Kayak PaddlePoseidon Paddle
4.7

*Ratings are from Amazon and might change over time.

Best Kayak Paddle Overall: SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle

The SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle is a great choice for both new and experienced kayakers who want a trustworthy paddle at a fair price. Constructed out of aluminum and plastic, this paddle is lightweight and easy to store with 2-piece construction. 

Reviewers rave about the SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle’s comfortable grip and ability to cover long distances in the water. For beginner kayakers, this paddle’s float-ability is especially important for retrieving it when it goes overboard. These kayak paddles are also extremely versatile and can be used well in choppy and calm conditions. 

SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle Key Features:

  • Two-piece construction for easy storage
  • Black molded plastic blades
  • Adjustable drip rings 
  • Lightweight and floats
  • Foam rubber grips 
  • Lightweight aluminum shaft
  • Asymmetrical design with 3 locking positions

Best Aluminum Kayak Paddle: MSC Kayak Paddle 

Best Aluminum Kayak Paddle
MSC Kayak Paddle
Designed for performance, recreation, touring, or whitewater, the MSC Kayak Paddle is a great option for many use-cases.

The MSC Kayak Paddle comes in just about any color and is for both advanced and intermediate kayakers. Going fast isn’t a problem with these paddle’s asymmetrical curved blade designed for paddling efficiently. The three-position system is an especially useful feature, as it allows you to customize the paddle to fit your style perfectly.

Designed for performance, recreation, touring, or whitewater, the MSC Kayak Paddle is a great option for many use-cases. The sturdy construction of anodized aluminum ensures your paddle will last awhile and resist corrosion.

MSC Kayak Paddle Key Features:

  • Anodized aluminum alloy
  • High-tension plastic blades
  • Three-button snap ferrule design 
  • Two-piece construction for easy storage
  • Comfortable foam grips
  • 86″ long

Best Budget Kayak Paddle: Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddles

Best Budget Kayak Paddle
Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddles
The Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddle is an affordable choice for kayakers of all levels

At just around $50, the Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddles is a quality choice and designed with performance in mind. Reviewers love the asymmetrical polypropylene blades that increase stroke efficiency while reducing blade flutter in the water. While this paddle is slightly more expensive than our top choice, it’s performance features make it a budget-friendly choice for entry or advanced kayakers. 

Featuring 2-piece breakdown for easy transportation, drip rings for comfort, and an aluminum and plastic construction made to withstand the elements, the Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddle is a quality choice for a wide range of kayaking activities.

Carlisle Day Tripper Kayak Paddle Key Features:

  • Asymmetrical polypropylene blades
  • Lightweight anodized aluminum shaft
  • Pushbutton takedown to feather blades at 60° or inline for right or left-handed control
  • 230 cm long

Best Lightweight Kayak Paddle: Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle

Best Lightweight Kayak Paddle
Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle
Move with agility in the water with the lightweight and durable Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle.

Looking for a kayak paddle you can take anywhere? The Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle is not only lightweight, it serves multiple purposes. This combo paddle is great for both kayaking or turning into two paddles for boat oars. Whatever your next adventure entails, you can rest assured this paddle will do it all and pack down well for easy travel.

Key features of the Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle include a large black blade, combo paddle, and aluminum shaft. Designed with travel and versatility in mind, these paddles will make your next trip simple and enjoyable.

Intex Dual Purpose Kayak Paddle Key Features:

  • Combo paddle (single for kayak or double for boat oars)
  • 96″ when connected, two 48″ oars when apart
  • Aluminum shaft
  • Oar retainer/drip rings & ribbed plastic support
  • Large black blade

Best Fiberglass Kayak Paddle: Pelican Poseidon Paddle

Best Fiberglass Kayak Paddle
Pelican Poseidon Paddle
These durable fiberglass-reinforced paddles will have you moving easily across the water in any condition.

The design of the Pelican Poseidon Paddle is perfect for all skill levels and sizes. The aluminum and fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene feathered blade ensure you will be moving smoothly in even the roughest waves. The adjustability of the Pelican Poseidon paddles is a true differentiator and includes a push-button connection with 0 or 65° angle adjustment so you can find the perfect fit. 

The Pelican Poseidon Paddle is especially perfect for those just learning to kayak. Adjustable drip rings are made to keep hands dry and comfortable while paddling and ovalization serves as a reference for the correct placement of your hands. 

Pelican Poseidon Paddle Key Features:

  • Impact-resistant fiberglass reinforced polypropylene feathered blade design
  • Adjustable drip rings 
  • Enforced push-button connection with 0 or 65° angle adjustment
  • 89″ long paddle
  • Ovalization – shaft goes from a rounded shape to a slightly oval shape

Who Should Buy a Kayak Paddle

If you are interested in kayaking, a paddle is one of the first purchases you should make. A kayak paddle is arguably the most personal piece of equipment you will use in this activity; it’s a piece of gear that you will be holding and relying on to get further in the water and will dictate the direction you go in.

A kayak paddle is an easy purchase for entry into the sport. Not only is it typically affordable, but it is also nice to have one that fits your size and needs rather than having to rent one while learning. A kayak itself is fairly easy to rent wherever you go. Having your own kayak paddle will give you confidence during your next trip, and the portability of them is a huge benefit. 

Best Kayak Paddle Overall
SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle
Introducing the SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle, a durable, lightweight and convenient option for your next water adventure.

Important Features to Consider

A kayak paddle should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a kayak paddle:

  • Blade shape. There are two major choices to make when deciding on your blade shape – do you want a low-angle or a high-angle paddle? A low-angle paddle is perfect for recreational kayaking in flat water. A high-angle paddle is ideal for speed and requires some skill and precision.
  • Blade material. The material of your blade is entirely dependent on your skill level and the type of paddling you will be doing. Polypropylene blades are essentially made of durable plastic. These blades are affordable and durable, so you don’t have to worry about breaking them on rocks while learning. Fiberglass blades are usually reinforced with polypropylene so they are also durable but more stiff and efficient for covering large distances. Carbon blades are light and durable (also more expensive, typically) while being stiff. If you are seriously invested in kayaking, carbon is worth a look.
  • Shaft design. Aluminum shafts are the most common material due to their durability. Deciding on a bent or straight shaft is depends on your comfort preference. Bent shafts are designed to have a “kinked” section in order to give you a comfortable angle while paddling. Another factor to consider when choosing the right shaft is how easily they break down. If you are planning on hiking a bit, try looking for a four-piece shaft for easy storage. 
  • Size. The simple rule to follow when deciding on the length of your paddle is the longer the kayak, the longer the paddle. The other deciding factor to take into consideration is your height – if you’re taller, you will need a taller paddle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of kayak paddle do I need?

What type of kayak paddle you need depends entirely on your skill level and what you are hoping to get out of it. Everything from materials used to the length of your paddles is worth considering. 

If you are looking for an affordable, entry-level kayak, an aluminum and plastic paddle with a low-angle blade will probably do the trick. If you are looking to cover some serious distance, you may want to consider a paddle with a fiberglass/carbon blade and high-angle paddle since it will be more lightweight and ideal for speed.

How do I choose the right kayak paddle length?

The right length of a kayak paddle is generally dependent on two factors: your height and the height of your kayak. The longer the kayak and the taller you are, the longer your paddle will need to be. Check out our list of the best kayaks to learn more. 

Do kayak paddles float?

Kayak paddles are typically designed to float due to their hollow shaft design. The large volume of air inside the tube of the shaft will allow it to float for a while but there is always the chance that water may seep in eventually, causing the kayak paddle to sink. 

Why are kayak paddles offset? (why are the blades feathered/offset)

Kayak paddles are offset or feathered, meaning they are at an angle to each other, because this reduces wind resistance when the blade is out of the water. This makes paddling much easier and generally allows you to move faster. Most paddles allow you to rotate them so that they can be feathered or matched (aligned with each other). 

Other Kayak Paddles We Reviewed

Best Kayak Paddle Overall
SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle
Introducing the SeaSense X-Treme Kayak Paddle, a durable, lightweight and convenient option for your next water adventure.

We looked at 20 other kayak paddles. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best kayak paddles list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing. 

Lightweight Kayak Paddles

Advanced Elements Ultralite Kayak Paddle

Advanced Elements Ultralite Paddle

Going on a long trip? The Advances Elements Ultralite Kayak Paddle was designed for long treks. This paddle breaks down to 4 pieces and is a packable length of 60 cm to make carrying it as simple and lightweight as possible.e

Key Features:

  • 23.6 ounces
  • Packable length of 60 cm
  • Perfect for backpacking 
  • 224 cm long
  • 4-part paddle

Cost: $46

CISI Sport Performance Lightweight Kayak Paddle

CISI Sport Kayak Paddle

The CISI Sport Performance Lightweight Kayak Paddle is a pricier option, but its carbon fiber construction means it is light and durable. These paddles are especially strong and made to cover distance quickly while withstanding obstacles such as rocks.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight 
  • 2-piece construction for easy storage
  • Carbon fiber paddle 
  • Wing blade
  • Oval shaft 
  • 10 cm adjuster

Cost: $200

HydroPro 220 cm Carbon Fiber Kayak 

Hydro Pro Kayak Paddle

If you travel a lot, you want gear that packs down and is easy to assemble when needed. The HydroPro 220 cm Carbon Fiber Kayak is just this. With a Carbon fiber shaft and 2-piece construction, this paddle is lightweight and packable. Other features including a stainless steel spring button for adjustable angles and 220 cm in length make this kayak paddle a versatile option for all skill levels. 

Key Features:

  • Carbon fiber shaft 
  • Fiberglass reinforced blades 
  • Stainless steel spring button
  • Ultra-lightweight – 2 lbs 3 oz
  • 220 cm in length
  • Push-button feature for adjustable angles
  • 2-piece construction for easy transport

Cost: $60

Kerco Boomba Touring Kayak Paddle

Kerco Boomba Carbon Fiber Touring Paddle

The Kerco Boomba Touring Kayak Paddle is a great choice for long days on the water. Easy storage and drip rings are just a couple of the comfortable features this product has. What’s more, a carbon fiber shaft and reinforced nylon blades ensure you will get a lot of use out of this kayak paddle.

Key Features:

  • 29.3 ounces 
  • Carbon fiber shaft and reinforced nylon blades
  • 2-piece, fault-free snap button for storage
  • 230 cm in length 
  • Drip rings included

Cost: $80

Overmont Kayak Paddle

Overmont Kayak Paddle

The Overmont Kayak Paddle is extremely durable and can handle even the harshest conditions out in the water. Features including feather-shaped blades, double serrated teeth edge, and a leash will have you moving quickly and confidently.

Key Features:

  • Two-piece heavy-duty construction 
  • Feather-shaped blades 
  • Double serrated teeth edge design 
  • Three locking positions
  • Hollow Aluminum Shaft Tube
  • Includes leash

Cost: $35

Fiberglass Kayak Paddles 

Aqua Bound Sting Ray Hybrid Kayak Paddle

Aqua Bound Sting Ray Paddle

The Aqua Bound Sting Ray Hybrid Kayak Paddle is a simple and comfortable paddle for all skill levels. The reinforced fiberglass blades are extra strong and lightweight while minimal blade flex gives you extra speed.

Key Features:

  • 2-piece paddle construction for easy travel and storage
  • Reinforced fiberglass blades for strength
  • Ovalized paddle shaft for comfortable grip 
  • Drip rings included
  • Minimal blade flex

Cost: $150

Cannon Paddles Escape E Kayak Paddle

Cannon Paddles Escape

The Cannon Paddles Escape E Kayak Paddle is a great entry-level piece of gear for all types of kayaking. The fiberglass-reinforced blades enhance stability and allow you to easily pull yourself through the water.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight & durable fiber-glass reinforced black nylon blades
  • Heat-treated & anodized aluminum shaft
  • 2-piece paddle
  • Three-blade offset angle settings

Cost: $70

Ocean Broad Kayak Paddle Alloy Shaft

Ocean Broad Kayak Paddle

The Ocean Broad Kayak Paddle Alloy Shaft is perfect for touring or recreational kayaking. This paddle’s moderate length makes it a versatile option for the whole family and its detachable 2-sections are ideal for storage.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum alloy shaft
  • Fiberglass reinforced PP blade
  • 230 cm in length
  • Bungee paddle leash included
  • 3 locking position angles 
  • Drip rings

Cost: $45

Harmony Sea Passage Kayak Paddle 

Harmony Sea Passage Kayak

The Harmony Sea Passage Kayak Paddle works well in rough and still water and for both high and low angle paddling. If you are looking for a quality paddle with versatility, this could be a great choice. 

Key Features: 

  • Great for both high & low angle paddling
  • Moderate-size asymmetrical blades
  • Ferrule made of injection-molded plastic
  • 2-piece construction for easy storage
  • 225 cm long

Cost: $110

Winnerwell Two Piece Kayak Paddle

Winnerwell Kayak Paddles

The Winnerwell Two Piece Kayak Paddle comes in multiple colors and is both lightweight and durable. The asymmetrical, spooned blade shape with a flexible fiberglass shaft creates smooth and powerful strokes every time.

Key Features:

  • Fiberglass-reinforced nylon blade 
  • Fiberglass shaft 
  • Right & left-hand oval grips 
  • 2-piece paddle
  • Three-blade offset angle settings

Cost: $70

Carbon Fiber Kayak Paddles 

Aqua Bound Sting Ray Kayak Paddle

Aqua Bound Sting Ray Carbon

The Aqua Bound Sting Ray Kayak Paddle has a design you can trust. With a 2-piece paddle construction, Carbon sbX resin blades, and an ovalized paddle shaft design, you will be all set for your next big adventure.

Key Features:

  • 2-piece paddle construction for easy travel and storage
  • Carbon sbX resin blades 
  • Lightweight, stiff, and strong
  • Ovalized paddle shaft for a comfortable grip 
  • Drip rings included 

Cost: $200

Backwater Paddles Assassin Carbon Fiber Paddle

Backwater Kayak Paddles

This paddle doesn’t mess around. With an ABS injected nylon blade, serrated teeth edge, and a hook feature, the Backwater Paddles Assassin Carbon Fiber Paddle is prepared for whatever obstacles are thrown at you.

Key Features:

  • ABS injected nylon blade
  • Hook feature to grab your line, waterfowl decoy, dock, or tree limb
  • Serrated teeth edge 
  • Drip rings 
  • 250-260 cm

Cost: $165

Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle

Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle

 

The Leader Accessories Kayak Paddle will fit pretty much anyone’s needs. With 7 colors and 5 different sizes, there’s a paddle to please everyone in the family. 

Key Features:

  • Carbon shaft
  • Enforced push-button connection 
  • Three locking positions 
  • Water-resistant ring design to prevent water flowing down shaft
  • 7 colors available

Cost: $80

Ocean Broad Kayak Paddle

Ocean Broad Kayak Paddle - Carbon

Lightweight and durable, the Ocean Broad Kayak Paddle is made of high-quality carbon fiber and fiberglass reinforced PP. This kayak paddle is an ideal length and weight for you and your family.

Key Features:

  • Carbon fiber composite shaft & fiberglass reinforced PP blade
  • 33 oz
  • UV-stable PP blade for stiffness and durability
  • 230 cm
  • 2 detachable sections for easy storage
  • Free bungee leash

Cost: $100

Marine Kayak Paddle

Best Marine Kayak Paddle

The Marine Kayak Paddle has everything you could need in an entry-level paddle – and more. These paddles are designed out of quality carbon and fiberglass blades and include drip rings and a 5-foot leash in case they go overboard.

Key Features:

  • Carbon fiber shaft and reinforced fiberglass blades. 
  • 33.5oz
  • 234 cm long
  • Lightweight 
  • 2-piece construction for easy travel 
  • drip rings 
  • Includes 5-foot leash 

Cost: $100

Plastic/Aluminum Kayak Paddles

Airhead Kayak Paddle

Airhead Kayak Paddle

This kayak paddle is perfect for someone just learning. Lightweight and affordable, the Airhead Kayak Paddle features curved blades and 2 section construction so you can take it apart and travel with ease.

Key Features:

  • 7 feet long
  • 2-section paddle for easy storage
  • Curved blades for paddling efficiency
  • Lightweight aluminum shaft

Cost: $50

Bending Branches Bounce Snap-Button Kayak Paddle

BendingBranches Kayak Paddle

Designed for the every-day paddler, the Bending Branches Bounce Snap-Button Kayak Paddle is both durable and compact. Among other stand-out features, this paddle’s blade shape and surface area eliminate blade flutter and keep you moving quickly.

Key Features:

  • 2-piece construction for compact travel and storage
  • Polypropylene blades for durability
  • Blade shape & surface area eliminates blade flutter
  • Slip-resistant grip
  • Ovalized shaft
  • 230 cm long

Cost: $80

Harmony Gear Drifter Aluminum Paddle

Harmony Gear Drifter

Another affordable entry-level kayak is the Harmony Gear Drifter Aluminum Paddle. Featuring asymmetrical blades, fiberglass reinforcement and a 0 to 60° offset, you can easily adjust this paddle for ultimate comfort.

Key Features:

  • Asymmetrical blades 
  • Fiberglass reinforced blades
  • 0 to 60° offset
  • Aluminum shaft

Cost: $45

Maxshade Covers Fishing Kayak Paddle

If fishing is involved in your next kayak adventure, the Maxshade Covers Fishing Kayak Paddle is worth considering. This paddle is designed for intermediate to advanced users and features a shaft with laser-engraved scale and angle adjustment as well as a weedless line/lure retrieval slot.

Key Features:

  • 86-95″ in length
  • For intermediate to advanced users
  • Three-position system 
  • Shaft with laser-engraved scale & angle adjustment
  • Dock hook blade cutout
  • Weedless line/lure retrieval slot

Cost: $50

Seaflo Kids Kayak Paddle 

Seaflo Kids Kayak Paddle

Taking the kids kayaking? The Seaflo Kids Kayak Paddle is perfect for your little one. Featuring a curved blade surface, this paddle will give your kids the confidence to move quickly across the water.

Key Features:

  • 50″ length 
  • Detachable shaft
  • Lightweight – .9 lbs
  • Curved blade surface for paddle efficiency

Cost: $30

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Morgan Miller