Best Kayak Paddle – The Row, Row, Row Your Boat Review!

So, you have brought a kick-ass Kayak but what about the Paddle?

After buying your Kayak, your choice of Paddle is the most important decision you need to make. Having the right Paddle can make the world of difference to your experience out on the water. It is the distinction between being a hero or a zero!

But with so many different kayak paddles on the markets, it can be hard to know what’s the best kayak paddle?

Truth be known, the better question would be; What’s the right kayak paddle for me? Remember we are all unique, just like everybody else!

But fear not my Kayaking friends. We have 5 key points to help you on the road to paddle enlightenment.

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In a hurry?  And, the Winner is!..

Don’t have time to stick around to read this amazing article?  Want to know the winner now?  Ok, I will tell you on the condition that you come back and read the full round up later? Deal? Pinky promise?

Aqua Bound – Manta Ray Carbon 

Aqua Bound - Manta Ray Carbon

Our Rating: 5/5 Stars

Why is it better?

  • Excellent mix of materials 
  • Super durable whilst remain light
  • Great performance out on the water.  
  • Available in a number of length options
  • An adjustable feather angle – that perfect stroke can be quickly dialed in.
  • Reasonably priced.  

How to Select a Kayak Paddle – The 5 Paddle Selection Mantras

Carbon Kayak Paddle being drawn through the water

I need you to repeat the Paddle Man’s creed. It should be part of any goods Kayak owner doctrine.

This is my kayak paddle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.

My kayak paddle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my kayak paddle is useless.

Without my kayak paddle, I am useless.

I must strike my kayak paddle true. I must strike straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will.

Ok, lets get one thing straight before we start – its a paddle not an oar. Many novice kayakers seem to not understand the difference between a paddle and oar and use the terms interchangeably.

An oar is used for rowing, is attached to the craft via a mount and pushes the water. A paddle is used for paddling, is single or double ended and is used to pull the water.

Got it?! Good, lets more on.

In the end, the final selection of a kayak paddle will come down to the buyer’s personal preference. That does not mean you should run out and buy the shiny black one that goes great with the colour of your kayak.

It’s an important decision and should be treated with respect and reverence it deserves! If you buy sensibly, a good kayak paddle will long outlive the life of your Kayak. And remember that even a short trip out on the water will see the average Kayaker perform 1000s of strokes. So, make each stroke count and buy wisely.

When come how to to choose the best kayak paddle, if you want to make an informed buying decision, then take note of these 5 paddle buying mantras.

Follow them and soon you will be on the road to Kayak Paddling bliss. Namaste! ·

  • Take a Lesson – A great kayak paddle can’t make up for poor stroke technique
  • Select the Correct Paddle Length – Your height and width of Kayak govern paddle length.
  • Buy the Best Material You Can Afford – The material used affects the paddle weight. Weight directly affects paddle efficiency and performance. ·
  • Pick the Right Blade Shape – The shape of the blade will affect how the paddle displaces water. Shape selection is dependent on stroke style, physical ability, and type of Kayaking. ·
  •  Choose the Appropriate Shaft Shape – The shape of the shaft will affect comfort. Especially on longer journeys.

Take a lesson

Kayak school on the beach

Even if you have been Kayaking for a while, we all could benefit from some stroke scrutiny and education. You may have the best Paddle in the world but if your stroke is garbage then you will be going nowhere fast – literally! Wasting not only your money but an opportunity to be better at your sport – learn how to paddle a kayak property.

Even if your stroke is perfect, understanding your striking style will help you buy a paddle that unlocks your full potential. So, get yourself down to your local Kayak club or speak to someone at your local retail store. You never know you might be able to trail a kayak paddle you had hope to buy….you can thank me later…payment in cake or whiskey!

Selecting the Right Paddle length – Size Really Matters

Yellow bladed Kayak paddle

It’s true the size and length can affect your enjoyment. Well, this is what my wife tells me.  

But what is the right kayak paddle length?  Too short; you risk striking your hands on the Kayak as you take a stroke. Too Long; your stroke efficiency will suffer. You may struggle to keep the kayak straight, due to oversteer. And, your shoulders will not thank you for the extra effort.

What size kayak paddle do I need?

Kayak paddle length is determined by two factors; your heights and the Kayak’s width. The taller you are and wider the Kayak, the longer the Paddle. Simple, right!?

Kayak paddles come in lengths ranging from 210cm to 260cm. Typically increasing in size in 10cm increments. Most of the major brands will offer 10cm increments. Although, the budget brands or models might be a little more restrictive. And, may only stock the most commonly purchased sizes

The kayak paddle size guide below gives an example of suggested paddle length, based on Kayak width and Paddler height.

  Kayak Width
Paddler Height < 23 “ 24” to 28” 29”- 33” 34”
Under 5ft5” 210 cm 220 cm 230 cm 240 cm
5ft5” – 5ft11” 220 cm 230 cm 240 cm 250 cm
Over 6ft 220 cm 230 cm 250 cm 260 cm
  Recommended Paddle Length

Information taken from

Though the kayak paddle sizing guide above is an excellent reference there are a few exceptions. An elevated fishing style seat. Or, having a high angle paddling stroke technique can change the paddle length required. If you are sitting on a high fishing style seat you will need to factor in the extra in height. 10-20cm would be a rough guide. Likewise, if you are a high angled paddler then you might prefer a short paddle. This will provide a more powerful stroke, 10-20cm would be a rough guide.

The guide also isn’t suitable for a whitewater paddle, as they often they shorter and heavily dependant of paddling style. For more information of whitewater paddle size, check out or sizing guide

But I have more than one Kayak, does that mean I need a paddle for each?.

Not necessarily!  Several of the major manufacturers offer ‘plus’ editions within their premium product range. These have an in-built telescopic feature that allows the paddle to be extended. For example, by 15cm in 2.5cm increments.

But what if I can’t afford a premium paddle? Or, I want a greater level of expansion?

It’s possible to increase the paddle length from as little as 10cm right up to 40cm. This is a cheaper and more flexible solution than a telescopic shaft. Especially, if you are increasing the paddle length to accommodate a new wider Kayak. A whole lot cheaper than buying a whole new kayak paddle. A word of warning, attempt to buy the same brand and material as your paddle. This way you can ensure a flush fit, similar feel, and level of rigidity.

Buy the Best Material You Can Afford – Buy Cheap, Buy Twice

Man in water sports shop buying a paddle

The material that the paddle is made out of significantly affects both its rigidity and weight. As a general rule of thumb; the lighter and more rigidity, the better the paddle. The difference in weight of a budget kayak paddle to a premium kayak paddle can be just 10-15oz. But this can make all the difference to your paddling ability and experience

Don’t believe me? Go grab two 19.2oz cans of beer and two 12oz cans. Hold one 19.2oz can in each hand and make a paddling motion for a few minutes, repeat with the 12oz cans.

Don’t do this in public, the neighbours might think you have finally lost the plot. Also, wait a few minutes before opening. Don’t want to waste good beer!

Although this is a crude test, I hope it conveys my point. Even the smallest difference in weight changes the swing weight and feel.

What are Kayak Paddles made of?

Kayak Paddles are made up of two major components; the shaft and the paddle blade. Both can be made of the same or different materials. So, it’s possible to mix and match to suit your budget. 

Paddle Shaft Material

Shafts are normally made of one of the three following materials, each of which has it own unique properties;

  • Aluminum Shaft – A great lightweight and inexpensive material which is quite durable. An Aluminium shaft is often used at the budget end of the kayak paddle market. Out of the three materials, it is the heaviest. Another limiting factor to Aluminum is that it conducts heat well. The shaft has a habit of running hot in the summer sun and ice-cold during the winter.
  • Fiberglass Shaft – Found on mid-point kayak paddles, fiberglass is lighter than aluminum. And, as raw material about the same price. What makes it more expensive is the extra labour effort it takes to make a form a shaft. Fiberglass shafts are more rigid than aluminum. They offer a great balance between cost and performance. The only downside is that it can develop fine feather cracks in hot weather or if left in direct sunlight.
  • Carbon Fiber Shaft – The mac-daddy of shaft materials. Lighter, stronger, more rigid and durable than its material counterparts. There is very little to not like about Carbon Fiber… well, except the price.

Paddle Blade Materials – What are the Best Paddle Blades Made From?

A pile of paddles on the beach close up.

Kayak Paddle blades are made of one of the three following materials, each with different properties; ·

  •  Plastic Blades – Although different plastics are used, the plastic of choice is Nylon. Why? Nylon blades are super cheap and easy to mass manufacture using injection molding techniques. It offers a low-price blade choice and is predominantly used on budget kayak paddles. The major downside to a plastic blade is that they are heavy, thus increasing the swing weight. They’re also not as rigid as the other blade material. Resulting in the blade flexing under load, reducing paddle efficiency.
  • Fiberglass Blades – A great option when budget and performance are key. Fiberglass blades are lighter in weight than plastic. And, a lot more rigid, this vastly improves the blade efficiency and comfort of the Paddler. Yet, unlike plastic, Fiberglass blades can quite easily be damaged if you strike a rock or river bed.
  • Carbon Fiber Blades – You will need to dig a little into your pockets if you want Carbon Fiber blades. Super-strong, lighter than the other two materials and solid as a rock. It’s no surprise why this is the material of choice for professional-level Paddles. Carbon Fiber blades rigidity gives maximum power conversion thus improving stroke efficiency. Downside? Carbon blades are not cheap.

All of the above paddle materials can be further enhanced with a foam core. A foam core increases the blade buoyancy. Which causes it to rise through the water quicker and easier on the return stroke.

Blade Style – Let the blade do the work

Kayak Paddles 101 - Part 2: Blade Shapes

Individual blade design will be relatively unique to the manufacturer. Many will claim their double ridged, triple channelled, unique asymmetric ratio is the best thing sliced bread. And, if you buy their paddle it will see you propelled through the water like a jet ski. I have no reason to doubt their claims. But, in reality, these design features are simply subtle nuances on two key blade shapes.

Without boring you all with the details of fluid dynamics and drag physics. Let’s say for simplicity that there are two distinct paddling technique styles. High angle paddling and Low angle padding. Depending on your style, you either need a short and wider blade head or a longer narrower blade head. Although high and low angle paddling are not actual blade shapes, the terms are often used to describe the blade. 

What is a High Angle or Low Angle paddle?

  • High angle blade – This type of Paddler strikes the water closer to the Kayak. A narrower, near-vertical and downwards motion. The full tip of the blade enters the water first. The blade shape that best suits this technique is shorter and wider. This allows the paddler to grab a large volume of water, propelling the Kayak forward with force. It is a physically demanding technique and better suits the athletic Kayaker.
  • Low angle blade This type of Paddler strikes the water wider to the kayak. A broader, sweeping and shallower motion. It sees the paddler reaching way from the Kayak to grab the water. The tip and blade edge enter the water together, a moment similar to running a knife across a tub of butter. To support this technique the paddle blade is longer and narrower. This provides less resistance and a larger surface area. It’s a more efficient and less physically demanding technique. And, is better suited to those who plan to spend extended periods out on the water.

Shaft Shape 

Kayak paddle and shaft

When it comes to shaft shape you have two choices; Straight or Bent. Selecting the right shaft shape can boost the paddling experience. Choose smart to ensure you don’t get shafted

In life, you are constantly told to keep on the straight and narrow. The same rule applies to the best kayak paddles. For most people selecting a straight shaft is a solid choice. And, there is very little need to look at anything else. Yet, those with a more powerful stroke. Or, those who regularly are out on the water for long periods, it might be time to bend it like Beckham.

Why a Bent shaft? By bending the shaft, you change Paddler’s wrist position. Sequentially this reduces the pressure on the joint. Which in turn, lessens the likelihood of soreness when paddling for a long period. But, bent shafts are not for everyone. I find them pretty uncomfortable and much prefer straight. Before buying a bent shaft paddle, I highly recommend that you try one out first. It might save you a lot of time and money…. oh, and discomfort.

Best Kayak Paddles – Top 5 Kayak Paddles for Every Budget

WERNER – Kalliste Kayak Paddle

WERNER - Kalliste Kayak Paddle
  • Award: Best Carbon Kayak Paddle
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
  • Price: 3.5/5 Stars

How do you review a paddle named ‘The best’? According to Wernner, Kalliste means ‘The best’ in Ancient Greek. Unfortunately, this isn’t what my Greek friends tell me, it means ‘Most beautify’…. someone might need to tell Werner. Awkward!

When you first learned the meaning of the name, where you left thinking, wow that’s a bold statement? Well, it is! And, you are not alone as this was my initial reaction. But I guess these are the kind of statements you need to make to stand out in the premium paddle market.

Werner Paddles Kalliste Touring Paddle

The Kalliste is without question a Premium paddle. And, we all know that means it comes with a premium price tag. In fact, they charge extra for the tag…ok, that was a joke, I hope? But what does digging that little bit deeper into your pockets buy you?

Well, it buys you a paddle that weighs around the same as a pair of men’s jeans, I am not even kidding. This feather-light paddle is a mere 23oz. That’s 40% lighter than our ‘budget buy’ recommendation, the Bending Branches Whisper 2. Simply wow! But before you all reach for your credit cards, depending on the retailer, it’s also 3 times more expensive.

But 23oz that’s too light, right? You would lose precision and power in the stroke?… Wrong!

I borrowed a buddy’s Kalliste for a 3-hour river trip. I can tell you, this is one of, if not, the best handling kayak paddles I’ve had the pleasure to trial. My stroke is already powerful but the Kalliste turned the volume up well beyond 10. That day, I motorboated up and down the river. Best still, I felt I could have turned back around and done it again.

This isn’t just a super light paddle, it is a well designed and constructed paddle. Everything about this paddle has been carefully researched and crafted. The midsized blade provides the perfect compromise between raw power and fatigue beating sleekness. The blade shape and construction displaces water effectively. This reduces drag on the return stroke. It’s a pleasure to be out on the water with.

The shaft comes with many options to suit most paddling styles or paddler preference. Straight or neutral bent? Standard or wide diameter? A Ferrule which the feathering angles can be changed from 0c° – 60°, in 15° increments, which helps reduce wind resistance. The Kalliste is available in sizes from 220cm to 240cm.

Technical Summary
  • Paddle Material; Carbon Fiber with a foam core
  • Shaft Material; 100% Carbon Fiber
  • Lengths; 210cm – 250 cm
  • Weight; 23oz (652g)
  • Blade style; Mid/Low Angle Paddling(20.5” x 6.3”)


  • Lightweight
  • Excellent power delivery
  • Adjustable feathering angles
  • Well balanced


  • On the expensive side
  • Limited range of paddle lengths
  • No telescopic feature

So, do I like this paddle? Yeah, just a bit…ok, I like it a lot! My only real complaint, other than the price, is the restrictive sizing. Or, the lack of a telescopic feature. If the Kalliste had these features then it would need to be rebranded as the ‘Zeus’….I can feel a new line in the making. 

AQUA BOUND – Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

AQUA BOUND - Manta Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle
  • Award: Best Kayak Paddle
  • Rating: 5/5 Stars
  • Price: 5/5 Stars

Looking for a lightweight paddle that doesn’t mean re-mortgaging the house? Or, selling a kidney? Well, the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon maybe it.

Positioned in the middle of the Paddle price range. A mixed-material paddle that offers an impressive balance between price and weight. Weighing 29.5oz/836g, there is no argument that it’s light.

But, let us address the elephant in the room! This is not a pure Carbon Fiber paddle, nor do Aqua-Bound claim it to be. But there appears to be some confusion online due to the name.

So, let’s clear things up. The shaft is 100% carbon, oval in shape which helps reduce the possibility of joint strain. I prefer an oval shaft over a round or bent. But oval might not be everyone’s cup of tea – so please go and hold one first.

Manta Ray Series from Aqua-Bound

The blade, 18” x 7.25”, is made out of injected model Nylon with a veneer of Carbon Fiber. Why? Nylon is a little too flexible. The Carbon Fiber top layer increases the rigidity. Which brings about a noticeable rise in power over a Nylon only blade. This big bladed beauty does shift some water.

The shaft top layer is Carbon Fiber wrap, rather than webbed. This gives the shaft a texture like a sports racket or bicycle handlebars. For some, this might be a point of endless irritation and loathing. For others, it might provide the extra grip that they have always desired.

Coming in sizes from 210 – 250 cm, in 10cm increments, there is a length to suit most heights and width of Kayak. The 2-piece construction allows the blade face to be adjusted from 0° to 60° offset. This helps reduce the wind drag on the non-leading blade. Blade shape is focused on high angle paddling , so is better suited for the power focused paddler. Or, those who kayak on fast water or have bigger kayaks

Technical Summary
  • Paddle Material; Nylon core with a Carbon Fiber top layer
  • Shaft Material; 100% Carbon Fiber
  • Lengths; 210cm – 250 cm
  • Weight; 29.5oz (836g)
  • Blade style; High Angled (18” x 7.25”)


  • Lightweight
  • Oval Shaft to help reduce wrist strain
  • 60° adjustable shaft offset
  • Durable


  • Fiber wrapped not webbed – no easy on wet hands
  • An oval shaft isn’t for everyone

Overall, if you are looking for that carbon lifestyle but on a lemonade budget then Aqua Bound – Manta Ray Carbon is an excellent choice.   It has a taster of all the key benefits of carbon at a fraction of the costs.  What I love most about the Manta Ray product range is that it comes in a range of materials to suit everyone’s budget. If you cannot afford the Carbon, well the hybrid fiberglass is a cheaper alternative (link), which also a great paddle. 

AQUA BOUND – Eagle Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle

AQUA BOUND - Eagle Ray Carbon 2-Piece Kayak Paddle
  • Award: Best Light Weight Paddle
  • Rating: 4/5 Stars
  • Price: 4/5 Stars

I wouldn’t typically include a paddle within the same product family. Or, a paddle with such similar features, but I couldn’t leave the low angle paddlers out of the action. However, the range offers such a great bang for the buck, it would be foolish to not include the low angel variant. So, meet the Aqua-Bound Eagle Ray Carbon. Say hello everyone!

The Eagle Ray, like its Manta Ray cousin, is a two-piece paddle. It comes with a 100% shaft and injected model Nylon blade with a carbon top layer. This marrying of materials provides extra strength and stiffness to the blade head.

Choosing Your 'Ray Series' Kayak Paddle from Aqua-Bound

Does it offer the same stiffness at the Manta Ray??? I would say yes, well nearly!

Is it better than a pure nylon blade, without question!

It has all the benefits of its cousin, along with the possible dis-benefits. Such as the taped styled carbon shaft. It will bother some people; others will love it. My advice, once again, is go and hold any paddle that you plan to buy. The Eagle Ray is heavier than the Manta Ray, weighing in at 30.3oz (858g). This could be due to the increased blade size of 20” x 6.25”. But what’s less than an ounce between friends? At this price point, nothing!

It comes in sizes from 210 – 250 cm, in 10cm increments, there a length to suit more heights and width of Kayak. I would have liked to have seen 260cm. Especially for a paddled aimed more at low angle paddling, touring Kayak market. But this isn’t a deal-breaker. 

Technical Summary
  • Paddle Material; Nylon core with a Carbon Fiber top layer
  • Shaft Material; 100% Carbon Fiber
  • Lengths; 210cm – 250 cm
  • Weight; 30.3oz (855g)
  • Blade style; Low Angle Paddling (20” x 6.5”)


  • Lightweight Carbon Fiber shaft
  • Blade design better suited for low angle paddle paddling
  • Durable


  • Limited range of paddle lengths
  • Fiber wrapped not webbed – no easy on wet hands
  • An oval shaft isn’t for everyone

Overall, if you are budget conscious, low angelled, paddler then this is an excellent choice. The Aqua Bound – Eagle Ray Carbon is a decent paddle that is competitively priced, with respectable features and performance.

BENDING BRANCHES – Whisper 2-Piece Snap-Button Recreational Kayak Paddle

BENDING BRANCHES - Whisper 2-Piece Snap-Button Recreational Kayak Paddle
  • Award: Best Budget Kayak Paddle
  • Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
  • Price: 4.5/5 Stars

On a tight budget? Or, need an inexpensive buddy boat paddle? Then Bending Branches’ Whisper is your go-to Paddle.

Renowned for being one of the bestselling Kayak paddles in the world. This USA made paddle is doing something right to keep the orders coming year on year.

Sometimes I struggle to break free from the mindset that budget means bad. Or, that budget means poor design and manufacturing.

Is the Whisper made out of inexpensive materials? Yes! Does that make it a poor paddle? No! Is it well designed and excellently manufactured? Yes!

I remember my grandfather saying; a poorly fitting expensive suit looks cheap. A well-fitting cheaper suit looks expensive. This is the best way I can describe the Whisper.

ACK Product Focus: Bending Branches Whisper Dream Paddle

The Whisper executes budget with precision. Weighing in at 37oz it’s only 7oz heavier than some of the more expensive carbon hybrid kayak paddles. And, all for a third of the cost. The ferrule is adjustable for feathering of 0° and 60° left or right. The aluminum shaft is ovalized for comfort. It comes with two rubber grips which should keep the heat conductivity issues at bay. Although, I would still buy a set of gloves.

The 18” x 6.75” size blades are neither unadulterated high or low angle. The midsize proportions deliver a well-mannered ratio between power and ease of paddle stroke. But if pushed for an answer, I would say it’s better suited to a high angle paddler.

To keep costs low, the Whisper is only available in the most popular lengths, 210cm, 220cm, 230cm and 240cm. Sadly, if you’re super tall and have a mega-wide kayak then you might need to look elsewhere for a budget paddle – sorry!

Technical Summary
  • Paddle Material; Polypropylene
  • Shaft Material; Aluminium
  • Lengths; 210cm – 240 cm
  • Weight; 37oz (1049g)
  • Blade style; High Angled (18” x 7.25”)


  • Super budget friendly
  • Oval Shaft to help reduce wrist strain
  • Mixed paddle blade profile.  Although more suitable high than low angle paddling
  • Adjustable ferrule
  • Best selling paddle in the USA


  • On the heavier side
  • An oval shaft isn’t for everyone
  • Aluminum shaft can run hot/cold

Overall, there is a very good reason why the Bending Branches Whisper is the best selling paddle in the USA. Its a great entry level kayak paddle, that offers premium features on a shoe strip budget.  After all, not everyone needs a super light carbon paddle. I personally own a Whisper, I use it as my backup/buddy boat paddle.  Not had a complaint so far.

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Ace Kayak Paddle

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Ace Kayak Paddle
  • Award: Best Fishing Kayak Paddle
  • Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
  • Price: 4/5 Stars

From the makers of the bestselling paddle in the world, the re-designed Bending Branches Angler Ace is a hidden gem of a paddle. It could happily be the best paddle in many classes. Its primary intention is to meet the needs of the angler. Equipped with a built-in hook retrieval system on the blade edge and tape measure on the shaft.

There will be no more excuses for the one that got away or long stories of fish being ‘this big’…. Nice try Buster!

Its Carbon Fiber shaft and Carbon Fiber reinforced Nylon blade mean this paddle is a mere 30oz (850g). The Ferrule extends by 15cm, in 2.5cm increments. Permitting the angler to adjust the paddle length to suit their seat height. As well as, the paddle blade offset.

Angler Ace from Bending Branches (Official Product Video)

It’s hard to find things wrong with this excellent paddle. If I was being super picky, I would say the number of branded stickers makes the paddle look busy and garish. But I am informed that this is the ‘in’ thing. Who am I to argue with the cool kids?!

Is there a better Fishing kayak Paddle, yes maybe…which one?? the Bending Branches Angler Pro Carbon. But I don’t think most people would be willing to pay double the price for 4oz less in weight. Or, the extra blade rigidity that full carbon provides. 

Technical Summary
  • Paddle Material; Nylon core with a Carbon Fiber outer layer
  • Shaft Material; 100% Carbon Fiber
  • Lengths; Telescopic 230-245cm and 240 -255
  • Weight; 30oz (850g)
  • Blade style; High Angled (18” x 7.25”)


  • Lightweight
  • Budget friendly Carbon Fiber shaft
  • High angled blade
  • Adjustable ferrule
  • Telescopic
  • From the maker of the best selling paddle in the USA
  • Hook retrieval system in paddle head


  • Over branded, makes the paddle look garish
  • Not cheap – but definitely worth the money

Overall, the Bending Branches Angler Ace is, without question, the smart angler’s choice. And I would go as far as to say, the smart choice for anyone looking for a cost-effective, lightweight, telescopic carbon paddle.

Conclusion – What Is The Best Kayak Paddle

We have reviewed the best kayak paddles on the market today, and you can see kayak paddles come in all different shapes, sizes, materials and prices points.  

Does the fact that it is three times the price make it better than a cheaper alternative?  No!  Premium features can be obtained without selling a kidney or refinancing the house.  

After all, do you actually need a full carbon paddle?  Most people don’t need a performance kayak paddle, and the extra benefit it brings is often overshadowed by the massive jump in price.

For most beginners and intermediate hobbyists a hybrid material paddle will be more than suitable. And, there are some great buys out there.  If you don’t believe me then just read the reviews above.

Our personal favorite is  Aqua Bound’s Manta Ray Carbon, which has been awarded best kayak paddle.  Why? Well it provides the key features found on the higher priced paddles, such as carbon, durability, lightweight and power. Yet, it’s a fraction of the cost of the most expensive, the full carbon Werner Kalliste.

But all said and done, you couldn’t go wrong with any of the top 5 kayak paddles reviewed above, they are all excellent paddles in their respective classes.