Looking To Buy Paddling Gear? Our Guide: Part 2

Our customers are not a name buried in a stack of electronic sales - each customer has a unique situation and need. As an online source for high-quality, portable inflatable kayaks, canoes, standup paddleboards and accessory products as well as inflatable kayak reviews, AirKayaks.com is your ultimate resource to buy paddling gear! Today we’re exploring part 2 of our guide to buying paddling gear.

Blade Materials

Fiberglass: In the middle of the price range, these are popular for touring and recreational use, and for good reason. They are relatively light weight and offer excellent durability. Plus, they come in a wide range of colors.

Carbon Fiber: A light weight and distinctive look, carbon fiber is the high-performance choice. It costs more, but if you're headed out on a multiday trip you will appreciate the reduced weight over thousands of paddle strokes.

Nylon/Aluminum/Plastic: These paddles are affordable, durable and require minimal care. They make great spare paddles and can be a good choice for beginners or recreational kayakers. Downsides: They are relatively heavy, and aluminum can feel cold in cool weather.

Blade Design

Feathering: Blades are either feathered or nonfeathered. Nonfeathered blades are positioned in line with each other. Feathered blades are not on the same plane; they are offset at an angle to each other. The main benefits of feathering is that it reduces wind resistance and wrist fatigue. Blades are feathered in such a way that one hand always maintains control of the paddle.

Blade Shape: Most paddle blades these days feature an asymmetrical dihedral shape.

Unlike older symmetrical blades, asymmetrical designs are relatively narrow and tolerate a more horizontal stroke, which requires less energy on your part. The dihedral shape creates a built-in angle, similar to an airplane wing. This allows water to flow smoothly and evenly over both halves of the blade.

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