Boat paddles are an essential device to help you propel and stir your boat. Whether you are sailing on a dragon boat, a kayak, swan boat, canoe, or raft, these paddles may make the difference between your enjoying your water sports or not… so select your boat paddles carefully when you go shopping for one.
Before we proceed to see what is available, remember that boating experts all advice you have at least two paddles at any time – the spare paddle should also be of very good quality.
If you use a boat or pleasure personal water craft that requires the use of a paddle, there are factors you need to consider when buying a paddle to reduce the work of propulsion and unnecessary strain on your muscles.
Buying Boat Paddles? Factors to Consider
Each time you use a paddle, whether singularly as with a kayak paddle, or in groups as with dragon boat paddle or a swan boat paddle, you align your self, the boat and the paddle in a way that all three work as a single unit to move the boat and stir it in your desired direction.
With each push on the water for the boat to glide, the only part of the three interlocked component is your shoulder, and wrist. To prevent strain and avoidable wear and tear on your system, you need to consider the following when selecting a boat paddle.
- Synthetic, Wooden or Aluminium? The best paddle is the one with the least weight and greatest strength. Synthetic boat paddles are what offers this combination. For kayaking for example, you should be using a kayak paddle of less than 2 pounds, and the synthetic Carbon Fiber Dragon Boat Paddle offers the best paddling functionality for a dragon boat.
Generally, a paddle with fibre glass in its shaft and blade is considered to be the best for boat paddling – it is light weight and strong! A paddle of over 3 lbs is too heavy.
While aluminium paddles with plastic blades may be cheap to buy, they are considered to be of a low quality paddle in terms of strength, and surprisingly, may not even be the lightest.
- Length. This depends on your height, and how you seat in your boat. If you seat low in a boat, you will need a long boat paddle. If you seat out tall, then you will need a medium or short paddle. If you are not already sure of the length of paddle to use, try one between 6 feet and 9 feet, and you will be able to pick the right one.
- Paddle Blade Type. Curved paddle blades or blades that tends to grip the water will require loads of power to wade them through water. Wide blade surface area helps to provide speed, when compared with the narrow blades that provides steady movement, and can be used to paddle a boat over very long distance with less energy.
Determine what you want in your paddle. For speed, then a light paddle with broad blade and less curves will be ideal. For Distant trips, a narrowed bladed paddle may be just what you want.
- Shaft Type. An oval shaft is generally easier to grab. Some may prefer a round shaft, as it needs less twisting of the wrist. Drip rings can be used to keep the shaft dry, irrespective of what type of material is used to make the shaft. For wooden shat, you can improve the grip by using sand paper to create some roughness on it.
- Feathered? Paddles could be feathered right or left handed. Feathered paddles are thought to provide some mechanical advantage as well as less resistance when you are paddling with the wind against you.
Non-feathered boat paddles offer less resistance when the wind is on your side. It also causes less strain on your wrist.
On the whole, the best way of selecting a boat paddle is selecting one that you are comfortable with in both good and bad wind and wave conditions.
Where to Buy Boat Paddles
Get your boat paddle here. If you can not find the exact type of paddle you are looking for here, then try BoatersWorld Boat Paddles Section, or use the search facility below.
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