If you’re going kayaking, there is nothing more important than safety. When you’re out on the open water alone or with only a trusted companion, you want to know that you’re well-equipped. That means having the best of all your necessary equipment. The boat itself comes first, of course, and a seaworthy kayak that is less likely to overturn is highly important. But many amateur kayakers don’t know their choice of kayak paddles is just as important. A good paddle can make all the difference in keeping your kayak on track. Staying in control of your kayak can help you stay afloat in rough waters, and the best kayak paddles are designed to ensure maximum control and comfort. Here at The Water Whippers, we’ve put together a list of the ten best kayak paddles on the market today. Read on and find the perfect kayak paddle for your next kayaking expedition.

Best Kayak Paddle FAQ

different paddle for kayak in wall

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What Should I Be Looking for in a Kayak Paddle?

What Materials Are the Best Kayak Paddles Made From?

What Are the Types of Kayak Paddles?

What Do I Need to Do Before My First Kayaking Trip?

Where Can I Buy the Best Kayak Paddles?

How We Reviewed

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The following kayak paddles were reviewed based on the following parameters – affordability, durability, materials in construction, ease of use, and suitability for different types of kayaking.

Overall Price Range of This Product

The lowest-priced paddle on the list is $25, but most of the lower-priced paddles are around the $60-$70 range. Most of the more expensive paddles are around the $150-$200 range, but one high-end paddle is around the $400-$500 range.

What We Reviewed

  • Bending Branches Angler Classic
  • Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle
  • Werner Camano 2 PC Straight Paddle
  • AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle
  • Cannon Paddles Escape E Kayak Paddle
  • Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle
  • SeaSense X-1 Kayak Paddle
  • List Element
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Bending Branches Angler Classic 2-Piece Snap-Button Fishing Kayak...
  • CLASSIC DESIGN, ULTIMATE VALUE: The Angler Classic gives you all the bells and whistles that our high-end fishing...
  • ADJUSTABLE CONSTRUCTION: This recreational paddle easily separates into two pieces for compact travel and storage.The...
  • PADDLE FURTHER AND LONGER: The rugged fiberglass-reinforced blades offer a perfect blend of weight and durability,...

Features

This American-made paddle is an ideal recreational paddle geared towards fishing. The shaft and blades are made out of fiberglass, making it a lightweight and easy-to-use model coming in at only 3.11 pounds. Coming in orange and sage green colors, it comes with several unique tools not found in many paddles. The paddles contain a hook-retrieval system to free your line if it gets caught plus a measuring tool to help you measure your catch as you reel it in. The asymmetric  blades have a slight curve for extra power.

Pros

  • The lightweight paddle is curved to be extra aerodynamic
  • Made from durable fiberglass
  • Comes with a hood retrieval system and measuring tool
  • Comes in two colors and a variety of sizes

Cons

  • Not ideal for rough waters or competition

Warranty

It comes with a one-year warranty for manufacturing defects.

Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle - Polypro Blades/Fiberglass Shaft...
  • Blade material: glass reinforced polypropylene
  • Shaft material: wrapped fiberglass
  • Available blade colors: cloud, sunrise, and dark cherry

Features

Coming in at only 1.6 pounds for the smallest size, the Carlisle Magic Plus is one of the most lightweight options on the list. Coming in cloud (light blue) and sunrise (orange) colors, it’s made from fiberglass-and-polypropylene blades and a fiberglass shaft. This results in a durable, easy-to-use paddle with an asymmetric, spoon-shaped curve for additional power. Available in three sizes, it’s the kind of lightweight and strong paddle that can be used just as effectively on a short outing or a long-term rafting trip.

Pros

  • Lightweight paddle with durable construction        
  • Spoon-shaped curved paddle provides additional power
  • Comes in three sizes and two colors
  • One of the most reasonably priced paddles on the list
  • Versatile for long and short trips

Cons

  • Not ideal for performance-level trips

Warranty

This paddle comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee.

Werner Camano Fiberglass 2-Piece Paddle - Straight Shaft Red, 220cm
  • Award winning mid-size blades design offers gentle power and a smooth easy stroke.
  • Advanced dihedral blade design creates stable forward strokes.
  • Light swing weight reduces fatigue.

Features

Coming in fourteen colors and eight sizes, the Werner Camano has a paddle for every need. With most varieties coming in at under three pounds, this paddle boasts a carbon-fiber blend shaft and a fiberglass blade. Its asymmetric dihedral blades have extra strength in the water and are designed for efficient strokes. It’s ideal for lakes and other slow-moving water where you’re using lower-angle strokes. With minimum stress on the body, it’s perfect for frequent use.

Pros

  • Comes in a wide range of colors and sizes   
  • Carbon-fiber shaft and fiberglass blades are highly durable and lightweight
  • Ideal for touring and long-term use
  • Blades designed for efficient use

Cons

  • Comes in two pieces
  • One of the more expensive paddles on the list

Warranty

It comes with a one-year warranty for product defects.

AQUA BOUND Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle, Black CR...
  • MADE IN OSCEOLA, WISCONSIN, USA. Like all Aqua-Bound paddles, the Manta Ray 2-piece paddle is hand-built in Wisconsin,...
  • 2 PIECE CONSTRUCTION. The Manta Ray breaks into two pieces with Posi-Lok ferrule for easy travel and storage
  • Carbon abX resin blades are lightweight, stiff and stronger than glass reinforced blades

Features

This two-piece carbon-fiber paddle comes in three designs – black, black carbon abx, and PosiLlok. Made in the USA and coming in five sizes, the Manta Ray is one of the heavier blades at 3.5 pounds but delivers powerful performance. Ideal for long days or multiple-day trips, its grip is comfortable and designed to prevent blisters. Its Posi-Lok system makes it easy to adjust the angle while still keeping it locked in place.

Pros

  • Performance-level quality at mid-range prices     
  • Posi-Lok system makes it easy to adjust
  • Ideal for longer trips

Cons

  • Only comes in black
  • One of the heavier blades
  • Comes in two pieces

Warranty

This paddle comes with a two-year warranty for manufacturer defects.

Cannon Paddles Escape E Kayak Paddle with Black Fiberglass Reinforced...
  • Great entry level kayak paddle perfect for all forms of kayaking
  • Lightweight and durable fiberglass-reinforced black nylon Escape blades offer enhanced blade stability and easy pull...
  • Heat treated and anodized aircraft grade aluminum shaft with ovalized grips offers a strong paddle with a great strength...

Features

Low-cost and designed for beginners, Cannon makes one of the best entry-level paddles. With an aluminum shaft and fiberglass-and-nylon blades, you’ll get a lightweight paddle that comes in at under three pounds and delivers suitable durability for recreational kayaking. The shaft has a trio of offset angles that can be adjusted, and the grips are designed for comfort and to prevent blisters. Drip rings prevent water from running down the shaft to ensure a strong grip.

Pros

  • Low-cost paddle ideal for beginners
  • Grip rings and offset angles ensure a comfortable grip
  • Lightweight paddle is easy to use

Cons

  • Blades are not the strongest
  • Only comes in one color

Warranty

It comes with a one-year warranty for manufacturer defects.

Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle (4 part)
  • Portable Kayak Paddle
  • Light-weight Kayak Paddle
  • Asymmetrical blades

Features

Coming in at 2.7 pounds, this lightweight nylon-based battle is notable for its unique construction – it breaks down into four parts for easy storage, and takes only minutes to assemble. Featuring asymmetrical dihedral blades for maximum power and control, its round shaft is easy to grip. Ideal for beginners or slower water, it’s a strong paddle for touring on lakes or coastal areas.

Pros

  • Breaks down into four parts for easy storage            
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Construction is ideal for slower water and new kayakers

Cons

  • Only comes in one color and size
  • Nylon construction is not the strongest

Warranty

It comes with a one-year warranty for manufacturer defects.

Sale
SeaSense X -TREME 1 KAYAK PADDLE BLACK 84IN
  • Two Piece Aluminum Construction
  • Lightweight, Black Molded Plastic Blades
  • Adjustable Drip Guards/Foam Rubber Grips

Features

If you’re looking for a budget paddle, this two-piece aluminum-and-plastic paddle will get you into the kayaking game for only $25. Ideal for hobbyists, it features symmetrical dihedral blades effective at slicing through calm water. Good for high-angle strokes, it comes with foam grips to take the stress off your hands.

Pros

  • Lowest-priced option on the list
  • Easy for beginners to use
  • Ideal for recreational kayaking
  • Foam grips add comfort

Cons

  • One of the heavier paddles
  • Symmetrical paddles don’t add any power

Warranty

This paddle comes with a limited lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects.

Werner Kalliste Carbon Bent Shaft Kayak Paddle
  • Performance core blades are mid size to offer the best combination of gentle power and light buoyant strokes.
  • Dihedral face creates smooth forward strokes.
  • Exceptional for longer paddle outings.

Features

If you’re looking for a high-end performance paddle, this carbon-fiber paddle is one of the best options on the market. Featuring a bent-shaft design for a more ergonomic feel, you’ll find that the lightweight paddle is easy to hold even after long hours on the water. Its carbon blades feature an asymmetric dihedral design with Dynel blade edges for extra resistance. The ferrule system allows you to switch the angle to suit your paddling style.

Pros

  • Bent shaft makes it easier to hold
  • Highly durable and lightweight carbon construction
  • Dynel blade edges provide an edge in the water
  • Adjustable ferrule system allows for customization

Cons

  • Most expensive paddle on the list
  • Only comes in one color

Warranty

It comes with a one-year warranty for manufacturer defects.

AQUA BOUND Sting Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle, Black CR...
  • MADE IN OSCEOLA, WISCONSIN, USA. Like all Aqua-Bound paddles, the Sting Ray 2-piece paddle is hand-built in Wisconsin,...
  • 2 PIECE CONSTRUCTION. The Sting Ray breaks into two pieces with Posi-Lok ferrule for easy travel and storage
  • Carbon abX resin blades are lightweight, stiff and stronger than glass reinforced blades

Features

If you’re looking for a super-lightweight paddle ideal for touring, the Aquabound Sting Ray is an ideal choice. Coming in at just over a pound and a half, it has a 100% carbon fiber shaft combined with a durable carbon-reinforced nylon resin blade. That provides a stronger and stiffer paddle than the fiberglass you normally see at this price range. Specifically designed for longer trips on slower rivers or flat lakes, this is an ideal choice for veteran recreational kayakers.

Pros

  • Lightest paddle on the list
  • Highly durable shaft and paddle
  • Lower-priced than many similar paddles
  • Ideal for long-term paddling

Cons

  • Not suitable for rougher waters

Warranty

Comes with a two-year warranty for manufacturer defects.

Carlisle Expedition Fiberglass Touring Kayak Paddle (Gold, 220 cm)
  • Carlisle's translucent gold fiberglass shaft is durable yet lightweight, making it easy on the arms.
  • Use the pushbutton takedown to feather the blades at 60 degrees or inline for right- or left-handed control.
  • The 17-by-7-inch fiberglass blades provide good power and a light swing weight, so you move more efficiently with every...

Features

Touring paddles are designed for longer trips, and this lightweight paddle is ideal for an all-day adventure. Made entirely from high-quality fiberglass in both the shaft and blade, it weighs just over two pounds and comes in three sizes. A push-button joint lets you set your own angle – sixty degrees or inline. The asymmetrical dihedral blades give you extra power as you travel. Perfect for experienced kayakers who like calmer water.

Pros

  • Made from high-quality fiberglass
  • Lightweight construction is ideal for longer trips
  • Asymmetrical dihedral blades provide added power and control

Cons

  • Can only be set at two angles
  • Not ideal for rough water

Warranty

This paddle comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee.

The Verdict

Man is enjoying paddling the kayak at the ocean using the kayak paddle

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Whether you’re looking for a recreational, touring, or performance paddle, you’ll find a strong candidate on this list. The best performance paddle on the list, the Werner Kalliste, provides strong performance at a high price. If you’re just starting out, you’ll get a strong performance for rock bottom prices in the SeaSense X-1. Most paddles on this list are between the two ends of the spectrum, and in that area, one stands out. The Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle is reasonably priced and delivers versatility and comfort. It’s an ideal paddle for both beginners and veteran kayakers and gets our endorsement as the best kayak paddle on the market.

Featured Image by Pexels from Pixabay

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