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Take on the current with quality-crafted kayak paddles and oars for your fishing kayak, inflatable kayak and tandem kayak. Though they appear similar, oars and kayak paddles are not, in fact, the same. Kayakers maneuver the waters with two-blade paddles, while canoeists row with one-blade oars.
Wooden kayak paddles or canoe oars are a popular choice—wood transmits the feel of water and natural flexes to absorb and disperse 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®, Caviness® and Field & Stream® for a complete selection to choose from. Find even more with the full collection of water sports gear at DICK'S Sporting Goods.
The first question you'll need to consider is a simple one: Are you looking for a canoe oar or a kayak paddle? Making the right choice will make your adventure all the more easy.
Then think about length. Wider vessels tend to require kayaks or oars with longer shafts—so you can reach the water without straining. Wide blades help you power your boat quickly and with efficiency, but often require more energy to maneuver.
Shorter-length shafts are better for boaters who make quick, rapid strokes in the water. Smaller paddles tend to translate less power, but they're easier to use if you're spending longer periods of time in the water.
Next, the shape of your shaft is key. Oars and paddles come with bent or straight shafts. What's the difference? Bent shafts position the blade for smooth, efficient strokes. Straight shafts are better for handling rocks and rapids in rough water.
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.