How to Choose the Right Paddle for You

Your Guide to buying the best Paddles


This Paddles buying guide provides a comprehensive overview of the various types of paddles available on the market. It explores the different materials, shapes, sizes, and features available to ensure that you can make the best possible choice for your needs. Consideration will also be given to price, durability, performance, and comfort. With this guide, you can easily compare the different options available and determine which paddles is right for you.

Key features

  1. Material: The material of the paddle is important because it affects the weight and durability of the paddle. Generally, paddles are made from wood, aluminum, fiberglass, graphite, and/or composite materials.
  2. Grip: The grip of the paddle should feel comfortable in your hand so you can maintain control of the paddle as you paddle. The grip should be slip-resistant and padded.
  3. Size: The size of the paddle should be appropriate for your body type and activity. Shorter paddles are typically used for whitewater rafting, while longer ones are usually used for flatwater kayaking.
  4. Shape: The shape of the paddle should be suited to the type of paddling you plan to do. Long, narrow blades are better for flatwater paddling, while short, wide blades are better for whitewater paddling.
  5. Weight: The weight of the paddle should be suitable for the type of paddling you're doing. Heavier paddles offer increased durability, while lighter paddles are easier to maneuver.
  6. Price: Consider your budget when purchasing a paddle. More expensive paddles usually have higher quality materials, better construction, and more advanced features.

See the most popular Paddles on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Usefulness: Paddles are a versatile tool that can be used in various water activities such as kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddleboarding.
  • Durability: Paddles are made of durable materials such as plastic, fiberglass, or carbon fiber, making them suitable for long-term use.
  • Lightweight: Paddles are lightweight and easy to maneuver, even in strong currents or winds.
  • Affordability: Paddles are generally less expensive than other water sports equipment, making them a great option for budget-conscious buyers.
  • Versatility: Paddles come in a variety of sizes and shapes, making them suitable for different types of water activities and different skill levels.


  • Material Quality: Depending on the type of paddle, quality of the material can vary. Cheaper paddles may be made from inferior materials, which can reduce the lifespan and performance.
  • Weight: Paddles can come in a range of weights, from light to heavy. Choosing an overly heavy paddle can tire out your arms quickly, and an overly light paddle may not have the power required for certain maneuvers.
  • Design: Paddles come in a range of shapes and sizes, and have different features such as adjustable shafts or foils to provide performance tweaks. Not all paddles will fit all users, so it’s important to consider comfort and fit when selecting a paddle.
  • Cost: Paddles can range drastically in cost, from relatively inexpensive options to more expensive performance-oriented models. Budget will be a major factor for many buyers, so make sure to find a paddle that fits your budget and still meets your performance needs.

Best alternatives

  1. Kayaks - A type of boat that is typically propelled by a double-bladed paddle and is used mainly for recreational or sporting purposes.
  2. Canoes - A small, lightweight boat that is typically propelled by a single-bladed paddle and is used mainly for recreational purposes.
  3. Stand-up Paddleboards - A type of surfboard typically propelled by a single-bladed paddle and is used mainly for recreational purposes.
  4. Rowing Oars - A type of paddle that is typically used to propel a boat and is typically used mainly for sporting purposes.
  5. Outrigger Paddles - A type of paddle that is typically used to propel a canoe and is typically used mainly for recreational purposes.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Paddle - a long, thin, flat tool used for pushing or propelling a boat in a body of water.
  • Life Jacket - a device designed to keep a person afloat in water, typically worn as a vest.
  • Kayak - a small, narrow, often pointed boat, typically propelled by a double-bladed paddle.
  • Canoe - a light, narrow boat propelled by a paddle, with seats for one or two people.
  • Paddle Leash - a safety device used to secure a paddle to a kayak or canoe.
  • Paddle Float - a buoyant device used to hold a paddle in the water and add buoyancy when re-entering a kayak or canoe.
  • Spray Skirt - a waterproof cover that fits over the cockpit of a kayak or canoe to prevent water from entering the boat.
  • Dry Bag - a waterproof bag used to keep belongings dry while paddling.
  • Paddle Accessories - items like a phone mount, fishing rod holders, and cup holders that can be attached to a paddle.

Common questions

  1. What types of paddles are available? Paddles come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including wood, fiberglass, and graphite. Different types of paddles are designed for specific styles of paddling, such as touring, whitewater, and racing.
  2. What is the best material for paddles? The best material for paddles depends on the type of paddling you plan to do and your budget. Wood is a good choice for recreational paddling, as it is strong and lightweight. Fiberglass is ideal for touring and racing, as it is durable and offers good acceleration. Graphite is the lightest and most expensive option, making it best suited for competitive racing.
  3. What is the difference between two-piece and one-piece paddles? Two-piece paddles are split into two parts that can be connected via a joint. This makes them easier to transport and store but can reduce their performance. One-piece paddles are constructed from a single piece of material and provide greater power and durability but are more difficult to transport.
  4. What size paddle should I buy? The size of paddle you should buy depends on your height, paddling style, and the type of boat you are using. Generally, touring paddles should be 15-17 inches longer than your height, while whitewater paddles should be 10-12 inches shorter. Racing paddles should be your height or slightly shorter.
  5. Are paddles adjustable? Yes, some paddles are adjustable, allowing you to adjust their length or angle. Adjustable paddles are ideal for those who use different types of boats or for families who want to share the same paddle.


Paddles, the First Cat of New Zealand, became an internet sensation after her owner, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, adopted her in 2018. Known for her quirky personality, Paddles has been seen sporting an array of funny outfits, including a miniature pilot's uniform and a tiny green t-shirt with the words 'I Love Naps'. Paddles has also been vocal about her dislike of the vacuum cleaner and is known for hiding when one is in use. Paddles' fame was so great that she even had her own Twitter account until her untimely passing in 2018. Her legacy lives on in New Zealand, where she is remembered as an iconic figure with an unforgettable personality. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.