Why Do Kayak Paddles Cost So Much?
While somewhat costly, a good paddle can make a huge difference for kayak anglers and others who spend a lot of time on the water. The price of a paddle can range from as a little as $50 to more than $500, depending on your budget. In most cases, a direct connection can be made between the cost of a paddle and the amount of design that goes into it.
Design factors in how the paddle moves through the water and the materials chosen to optimize weight and blade stiffness with strength. The more money you are willing to spend, the better your paddle will perform. If properly taken care of, a good paddle will last a long time and, in most cases, will hold good resale value for those who may want to upgrade to a new one every so often.
It is an important piece of equipment that can make your time on the water more enjoyable, whether you’re classified as a beginner or consider yourself an old pro. The ease at which a quality paddle moves your kayak through the water, while preventing fatigue and soreness, makes it worth every penny. You will probably never see a marathon runner wearing a heavy pair of basketball shoes that were purchased just because they were on sale – a better paddling paddle results in less fatigue while you make several hundred strokes per mile travelled. A paddle that is the correct length, has a comfortable grip, and the right blade for your style of paddling are other important factors to consider as well.
Casual kayakers typically won’t see much of a discernible difference between kayak paddles. Frequent kayakers, however, may notice a marked difference in their maneuverability, stroke power, energy levels, and levels of soreness when switching over to a higher quality kayak paddle. Seasoned kayakers are constantly on the hunt for tips and strategies to paddle with greater efficiency. Fortunately, the kayak paddle can provide a slight boost in paddling productivity without the need for any extreme change in form. For one, paddle blade design can markedly improve maneuverability and power if you get the right model.
Generally, blade shapes are classified under two categories: short, broad blades and long narrow blades. Each type of blade has its pros and cons, so it’s important to match the blade shape with whatever kind of kayaking you choose.
Short, Broad blade
This type of paddle blade is optimized for mobility. Since this kind of blade has a greater surface area, the kayak is a lot more receptive to each stroke. Consequently, kayakers can perform lateral movements very quickly. The greater sensitivity of a short, broad blade makes it the choice paddle blade among surf kayakers. Since they need to react instantaneously to the constantly changing landscape of the waves, this blade can be highly advantageous.
Long, Narrow Blade
This type of paddle blade is optimized for paddle stroke efficiency. Due to its slim construction, the blade is considerably lighter compared to a short, broad blade. A recreational kayaker may not notice this subtle change in weight, but it can make a massive difference on extended kayaking trips. After performing hundreds, or possibly thousands, of paddle strokes the effect of this slight weight reduction becomes more evident as a paddler reaches the final leg of their journey. Every ounce of energy counts when you embark on an all-day paddling cruise, so you may want to consider a long, narrow blade if this is the type of kayaking you prefer.
Lighter, More Durable Paddles Deplete Less of Your Energy
In addition, the manufacturing ingredients used to construct a kayak paddle are primarily responsible for the overall weight of the paddle itself. Therefore, a kayak paddle’s strength to weight ratio can play a major factor in your kayaking trip, especially if you’re planning on trekking multiple hours on rougher waters.