The Best Kayak Paddle On Sale – Kayak Reviews

Your Guide:
Andy Bell

Its been a long process but reviewing and deciding on the best kayak paddle was not an easy tasks with so many different brands and models out there we went ahead and dedicated over 50 hours of research and testing to find the best kayak paddle out there this year. We think you will be happy with the results and learn some things about kayak paddles you never knew, some things may really surprise you. So without further ado off to our winner for this years best kayak paddle, the Carlisle Magic Plus.

Quick Summary: Top 10 - Kayak Paddles This Year

Our seasoned editors have picked and rated these products for each specific category and area of expertise to recommend you the best models and products we can. We receive commission from some of these affiliate links.

Our Reviews

Best Overall
This lightweight and durable high - impact glass paddle will make your kayaking experience a truly memorable one.
Quick Specs
  • Length: 220 cm
  • Screen: TF 16 Bit
  • Backlight: No
The Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle is our top pick this year for a couple of reasons. With its fiberglass filled polypropylene blade, which is lightweight, durable and asymmetrical in shape, the paddle allows you to produce smooth powerful strokes.

With a wound fiberglass shaft, you have the perfect combination of the stiffness needed for a paddle stroke and flexibility needed to reduce stress on your joints. Available in sunrise and cloud colors, this awesome paddle comes in three varied lengths of 230 cm, 220 cm and 240 cm.
Best Overall
The AquaBound Sting Ray Carbon 2 Piece Kayak Paddle carbon-reinforced nylon resin blades, making it one of the best choices. One of the basic advantages of the AquaBound Sting Ray Carbon 2 Piece Kayak Paddle, is that it comes in two pieces, which you need to assemble.
Quick Specs
  • Length: 210-250 cm
  • Screen: TF 16 Bit
  • Backlight: No
This helps you carry it anywhere you want. Additionally, with its lightweight carbon fiber blade, it provides you with the perfect combination of smoothness and stiffness.

If you’re on a trip, you won’t find a better choice than Sting Ray! Moreover, this also comes with a 3 hole trouble free snap button ferrule with an option to rotate to 60 degrees. This awesome kayak paddle is quiet, and gives you great efficiency and value.
Best Overall
The SeaSense X – Treme II Mix Kayak Paddle is the best budget product that you’ll get with complete features!
Quick Specs
  • Length: 84", 96" 
  • Screen: TF 16 Bit
  • Backlight: No
If you are looking for a kayak paddle and your on a budget, then the SeaSense X – Treme II Mix KayaK paddle is a great option for you. With its aluminum body and feathered blade design, it helps you to traverse quickly through water. Since it is a two piece kayak paddle, it is easy to carry, lightweight and easy to use. With three available locking positions, it will make your grip easier. What’s more, it is available in two exciting color combinations of Blue/white and orange/yellow, making your paddling experience a colorful one!

How To Choose

Paddle Length

The paddle length must be chosen with care, the length is the most important thing that provides the kayak speed and control. Apart from this, the length of the paddle must be adequate in order to make the rider comfortable while kayaking. Make sure the paddle’s length is chosen according to your height. Height is essential as a inappropriate paddle will not only make you uncomfortable while on the water, but also will decrease your speed and control. The appropriate length of the paddle also heavily depends on the size of the boat.


So, while choosing a kayak paddle, make sure that you have paid enough attention to these two essential factors.
According to surveyed kayak experts the proper sizing's for choosing the right sized paddle are:

For the relatively short riders (Below 5’5”), the appropriate length of paddle will be 200-230cm.

For the riders who fall in the range of 5’6”-6’, the recommended length should be 210-250cm.

And for those who are above 6’, the length of the paddle should be 220-250cm.

Remember one thing, these are only numbers for reference, you can always look for a paddle that suits you, and with which you are most comfortable regardless of size or other factors.


Apart from the length, another factor that can highly affect your performance, is the material from which the paddle has been made. The professional kayak paddles are made up of a variety of materials, out of which the most common and popular ones are fibreglass, plastic, and carbon fibre.

The basic idea behind using the light-weight fibre in making the paddles is simple, it reduces the paddle’s overall weight without actually affecting their performance and toughness.

So, next time while you are out for buying the kayak paddles, instead of purchasing ANY paddle, choose the one which is made up of light-weight, yet strong material which can easily withstand the pressure.

Aluminium - Pros: Cheapest. Cons: Much heavier than other paddle types making you wear yourself out much quicker and worsening the distance paddled for the force exerted

Plastic - Pros: Cheap. Cons: Also heavy and a bit more flimsy then a more expensive paddle leading to more exertion and potential breaks and wear and tear.

Fiberglass - Pros: Lightweight, Less expensive though more expensive than aluminium and plastic. Can withstand more abuse than plastic and aluminium.

Wood - Pros: Less expensive though more expensive than aluminium and plastic. Can withstand more abuse than plastic and aluminium and possibly last longer then fiberglass. Cons: Weight

Carbon Fibre - Pros: Extremely lightweight great for getting the most out of your paddle and taking long trips. Cons: Much more expensive than other materials listed.

Design of the blade

Have you ever noticed the different shapes of the paddles? No, they are not just for making them look good, but they also enhance their productivity too. The common and the most popular designs that the kayak paddles are available in the market are as follows:

(1) Feathered
(2) Non-feathered
(3) Wing
(4) Touring
(5) Asymmetric
(6) Square-ended


All these shapes are specially designed for different purposes and you should know the ideal usage of the kayak paddle. Moreover, if possible, try to consult with the experts for their advice while purchasing the kayak paddle for yourself. Correctly chosen kayak paddle can not only help you perform better, but also will reduce the wrist and arm fatigue that can be caused due to wrong paddle.


Ideally, the kayak paddle should be light-weighed so as to provide easy handling and better control. Apart from being light-weight, it is essential that the paddles are strong enough to resist the wind and water flow effectively. A carefully chosen kayak paddle can effectively enhance the performance and level of comfort while you are in water.

Now, in addition to the above things, a few more things that can help you choose the best kayak paddle are:

Brand name

Frankly speaking, a well-established brand maintains a standard and sells the product according to its market reputation among the buyers. This standard makes the product superior than most of the other brands of lesser value.

Our Top 5 Kayak Paddle Brands of 2018 are:
1. Aquabound
2. Werner
3. Carlisle
4. Shoreline


Moreover, you can expect a better product from a reputed company which has been dealing with the category of the product for the past years. Therefore we can say that choosing a kayak paddle from a company that has a good reputation and is known for kayak paddles is essential since it is easy to get a bad quality kayak paddle.

Other Considerations

Low Angle Vs High Angle Paddle Stroke

There are differences between a high angle paddle-stroke and a low angle paddle-stroke a lot of people have no idea that there are actually two different techniques when your kayaking that you can use.
To make it simple for you we will explain and show you so you can see what they look like.
Low Angle Paddle Stroke. As we use a proper low angle paddle the blade design you will notice in comparison to  the other has a blade that is a lot longer and narrower and what that does for you is it gives you less fatigue over hours of time paddling- if your paddling from point a to point b and it might be miles and your doing a trek the better blade design would be the longer and narrower since it would provide you less fatigue over time.
The low angle paddle-stroke in the water is done by pushing the hand in correlation to the shoulders at a more horizontal angle, the lower angle is a more relaxed cadence.

The high angle paddle-stroke uses a paddle with a wider blade design and its a little bit shorter. The reason is as you are paddling it uses a-lot more aggressiveness as your dipping the paddle blades a lot closer to your boat.

The pushing hand extends much higher and the high angle is a power-stroke through the water and gets you moving almost like a sprint.


Feather Angle

Customizable feather angle makes it easier for the rider to change the way he rides the kayak and they can easily cope with the different situations while kayaking. Alot of people dont know what a feather is when choosing a paddle. The feather of a paddle is the angle of the paddle tip in relation to the other paddle tip, for example twisting the tip facing upwards would give it a feather of 90 degrees.
Some people choose split paddles which is great since they give you great variability with shaft length and shaft feather. I would recommend that you might want to start experimenting with the feather you use. The old adage of having quite a big feather from 45 to 50 degree feather is fine and the old theory was that you could slice through the wind if you paddled with a feather that's 60 to 90 degrees the only problem with that is that wind directions change over time so that could then mean you would get side wind and you would lose any advantages of that.
The disadvantages of having a feather is that you have to do a lot of rotation with your wrist when your touring that could cause a lot of problems especially if you get a tight wrist and cant continue.

See what works for you the less feather you get the less rotation you will need to do with your wrist. The wind problems will always be the same you should find that if you got any wrist problems you'll find that experimenting with dropping your feather down a bit may resolve your problems. Find out whats comfortable for you!


Reviews are another way to know about a product’s reliability and value. By reading the reviews, you can easily get an overall picture of the things buyers liked about the product and what the possible areas of improvement are. So, make sure that you have thoroughly gone through the paddle’s review before making a purchase.

Apart from reading the online reviews of the product, you can also consult with the other kayak experts who are living near you.

kayak paddle reviews

The thing that you should keep in mind while relying on the online reviews is that the reviews should be written by genuine users rather than those that are doing false marketing for the product. Some reviews can be too good to be true. Ex. “This box of Kleenex IS AMAZING, IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE. Sometimes I lie in bed at night and think how lucky I am to have these Kleenex” This could be a paid review. As a rule of thumb I usually just compare negative reviews between products.

This lightweight and durable high - impact glass paddle will make your kayaking experience a truly memorable one.

feathered vs unfeathered

About the Author Andrew Bell

Andrew is a seasoned kayaker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He began kayaking as a way to reduce work stress but quickly became an avid kayak fisher and lure expert. He currently enjoys both lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences.

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