Learn More About Kayak Paddles & Oars
Equip yourself with the right oar or paddle for your boating excursion.
Though they appear similar, consider the differences between canoe oars and kayak paddles when making your purchase: Kayakers maneuver with a two-blade paddle, while canoeists row with a one-blade oar.
Wooden kayak paddles or canoe oars are a popular choice – wood transmits the feel of the water and naturally flexes to absorb shock. Fiberglass paddles and oars are easy to care for, lightweight and durable.
You need a paddle or oar you can rely on: Turn to brands including Quest® and Caviness® for a complete selection to choose from.
Selecting the right oar or paddle is an essential part of boating.
Think about length, materials, shaft and blade type when purchasing your kayak paddle or oar. Wider kayaks tend to require longer shafts, so you can reach the water without straining. Shorter oars or paddles are best suited for boat enthusiasts who make quick, rapid strokes in the water.
Large, wide blades enable you to power canoes quickly and with efficiency, but often require more energy to maneuver. A smaller oar blade translates to less power, but is often an easier alternative if you’re spending long periods of time on the water.
The shape of the shaft is key: Oars and paddles are available with bent or straight shafts. A bent shaft helps position the blade for an efficient, smooth stroke on the water. A straight shaft is ideal for maneuvering around rocks and rapids in rough water.
Your height and size are important factors when you purchase your paddle or oar: Ensure that you can move fluidly and comfortably on the water. Individuals with long torsos may require a longer kayak paddle to reach water, while those with shorter torsos might be more comfortable with a shorter instrument.
Asymmetrical blades on your kayak tend to offer more control for aggressive paddlers, while symmetrical blades are preferred by those who prefer paddling at a slower pace.
Use this method to select the right oar: Your oar should extend from the tip of your nose while seated or kneeling to beneath the water line, including the length of the blade.