Choosing a paddle

General / Sep 16, 2010

Overall consideration

  • Design – different paddles suit different uses on flatwater, sea and whitewater
  • Construction – materials used for making the paddle determine paddling comfort, weight, cost and durability
  • Length – the paddle length should suit the paddler’s height, strength and the use. A paddle of suitable length will be comfortable to use.

Blade shapes

Keep in mind their are specialist blade shapes for canoe polo, various disciplines of whitewater paddling and competition

  • Touring, wide blade
  • Touring, narrow blade
  • Competition, propellor blade

Materials

    Shaft material

  • Aluminium – strong,
  • Fiberglass – lighter, slightly flexible
  • Kevlar – very strong, some flex
  • Carbon/Kevlar – similar strength to carbon, slightly stiffer
  • Carbon – very stiff, very light

    Blade material

  • Plastic – impact resisitant, flexible, heaviest
  • Fiberglass – lighter, slightly flexible
  • Carbon/Kevlar – similar strength to carbon, slightly stiffer
  • Carbon – very stiff, very light