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Choosing a Paddle

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How to Choose a Kayak Paddle
At AirKayaks.com, we sell only breakdown paddles for portability, typically 2pc canoe or 4pc kayak paddles. These come in various materials, blade sizes, lengths and feathering options.

Paddle Material

  • Aluminum Shaft - Generally the least expensive. Aluminum is sturdy, fairly lightweight. The metal will be colder to touch in chilly weather, and hotter in high temperatures. Susceptible to salt water corrosion if not rinsed off.
  • Fiberglass Shaft - Middle price range, typically a little lighterweight though blade size will make a difference in weight. Better in salt water (less likely to corrode). The shaft will be less likely to heat up or cool off.
  • Carbon Shaft - Most expensive and typically the lightest, though once again the blade size will make a difference.


Paddle length
We generally recommend 230cm or 240cm paddle lengths for inflatables, as they are wider than most traditional hardshell kayaks. In these two sizes, length is more of a personal preference.

Blade sizes
Smaller blade sizes are good for general shorter kayak trips where you are just out for enjoyment. You will need to work harder if you want to really push water, but over time you will use less energy as the blades are lighter. Larger blades will give you more of a stroke but will weigh a bit more.

Blade Feathering
Most blades have three feathering positions - straight, 60 degree lefthand and 60 degree righthand. Many people use the straight position. The offset positions are used to minimize air drag but require wrist movement - as one blade is in the water perpendicularly to maximize pull, the other is in the air parallel to the water, to minimize air drag. Some of the paddles feature an incremental feathering.

If you are still unsure of what size kayak paddle to purchase you can also read our in-depth Guide to Choosing A Portable Kayak Paddle.

At AirKayaks.com, we understand it can be difficult weighing all the options. We’re always happy to answer any questions. Feel free to give us a call at 707-998-0135 or email info@airkayaks.com


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AirKayaks.com — Inflatable Kayaks, SUPs and Paddling Gear
Your online source for high-quality, portable inflatable kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards and accessory products as well as inflatable kayak reviews. At AirKayaks.com, you will find new, used, liquidation and closeout inflatables and gear. We also carry a multitude of kayaking and paddling accessories such as kayak sails, breakdown paddles, inflation pumps, spray skirts, deck bags, paddling safety equipment, angler and fishing gear, PFD life vests, kayak carts, dry bags and more.
Brands include Advanced Elements, Airis, AquaGlide, Astral Designs, C4 Waterman, Cannon, Accent, Chinook Technical, Conquest, Innova, JOBE SUP, Kokopelli Raft, Maxxon, Mistral, MTI Adventurewear, Red Paddle Co, Seattle Sports, Stohlquist, TearAid and Windpaddle.