When you choose a whitewater kayak paddle, your consideration will be different than a usual paddle. A whitewater paddle must be durable, stable and performance-oriented. When you are going for kayaking in whitewater, you have to choose a perfect kayak paddle. But choosing the best one is not that easy. However, you can make it if you consider some factors. In this article, I am going to discuss those factors.
1. Your Height
The most important thing in terms of choosing a paddle is to consider your height. You have to consider the length of the paddle, the size of the blades and the width of the shaft. Smaller paddlers should choose a paddle which has slightly smaller blades and narrower shaft which is easy to grip. The stronger you are, the larger blade you will be able to control. If you use a larger and longer paddle, it would be hard to control and will make you sweat a lot.
For paddlers between 5'8" and 6'1" a perfect paddle size should be 196-200 cm in length. A paddle 192-196 cm in length is suitable for paddlers between 5'3" and 5'8". For paddlers taller than 6'1" a paddle between 200 and 204 cm will work great.
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2. Offset of Blades
Next, you have to consider the offset of your blades. The offset or twist refers to the differences of angles between the two blades of your paddle. Traditional paddles blades are offset at ninety degrees so that one blade can pull through the water while another slices through the air efficiently. For Whitewater kayaking, 30 to 45-degree twist is most familiar. However, many people also use a paddle with no offset. But I would recommend using a paddle with 35 degrees offset for whitewater kayaking.
Kayak paddles are made of various kinds of materials such as aluminum and plastic to fiberglass and carbon fiber. So which material should I choose? Well, it mostly depends on your budget. The price if from $150 to $400 for different materials. But as a whitewater paddler, you have to check for the durability first. And aluminum paddle is the least durable so you should stay away from them. Choose other materials at your budget.
4. Blade Size
The blade size depends on your body fitness. A blade with more surface area will push more water, so you need to stronger to paddle. If you are a small paddler, then it will make you tired and sweat you a lot. I that case you should choose a paddle with small blade size so that you can feel comfort while paddling. Blade size is not a matter of only choosing a paddle for whitewater but for choosing a paddle for any use. There's no especial blade size for whitewater paddle.
The 3 Golden Rules of Whitewater Kayaking
If you want to kayaking in whitewater then you should most need to learn 3 important rules. See this video:
These are some things that you must consider when you are buying a kayak paddle for whitewater kayaking. But still, you may not be able to choose the right kayak paddle if you a beginner. In that case, I would recommend you to purchase a less expensive paddle for the first time.