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5 Best Kayak Paddle For The Money [Reviews And Comparison]

Picking a right-sized kayak paddle is very important, otherwise you will find it very uncomfortable to steer and hold. If you cannot determine the right type of paddle, you probably will not get the desired speed as it would be difficult to move the kayak. Also, the paddle might feel too heavy. 

Therefore, choosing the best kayak paddle for the money is a must and you need to make sure that the paddle meets most of your kayaking needs.

We have come up with this article to help you pick the most suited paddle. For those who wants to jump straight to our final verdict, here are our top picks.

best value

  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Flexible, easy and smooth strokes
  • Value for money - Under $150


  • Lightweight Aluminium Construction
  • Sturdy & Durable
  • Easy to Store and Transport
  • Best for inflatable kayaks

Table of Comparison - Top 5 Value For Money Paddles

We have summarized a comparison table below for your easy reference. However, it is important to note that the positions are in no particular order of importance.

ProductSpecifications & FeaturesOur Rating

AquaBound Manta Ray Carbon
5 sizes: 210cm - 250cm

2 piece construction

100% Carbon

Posi-Lok ferrule system


Price: $$$$$

More Details

Carlisle Magic Plus
3 sizes: 220, 230, and 240 cm

Material: Fiberglass-filled polypropylene

4 piece construction


Price: $$$

More Details

Advanced Elements Compact Touring
Lightweight at 2.7 lbs

Packable length 25.5"

4 piece construction


Price: $$$

More Details

Shoreline Marine
3 position system

96 inches


Price: $$$$$

More Details

SeaSense X-Treme II
Size: 84 & 96 inch

3 lock position

2 piece construction


Price: $$

More Details

5 Best Kayak Paddle For The Money

1. AquaBound Manta Ray Carbon - Our Top Pick

best kayak paddle for the money

If you are looking for better power while paddling on moving waters, the Aqua-Bound Manta Ray Carbon is the best choice.

This paddle is made of carbon and just weighs less than 30 oz. It offers extra power and pulls, suitable for big sized kayaks. It is a very good paddle for all paddlers, especially the agressive ones.

The blades are beefy and have a size of 7.25 x 18 inches. They are made using abX carbon infused with nylon. This material makes the blades very sturdy, durable and offer superior performance along with low swing weight. The shaft is made of 100% carbon and is available in 5 sizes, 210, 220, 230, 240 and 250 cm.

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2. Carlisle Magic Plus - Best Paddle Under $150

The Magic Plus is the best touring kayak paddle that you will ever come across. It is the perfect paddle for both beginners and intermediate paddlers. It offers performance characteristics at a budget price. If you are looking for the best budget paddle, then this model here will be the right one for you.

The blades of the Carlisle Magic Plus are made from fiberglass-filled polypropylene. It is very durable and also has a lightweight construction.

The shaft is made using flexible fiberglass to offer easy and smooth strokes. The blades have a spooned shape to offer powerful strokes in the water.

It is an ideal paddle you can use to spend a long day on the water. It is not so stiff and offers the necessary strength and stability to reduce the strain on your shoulders and joints.

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3. Advanced Elements Compact Touring - Best Paddle Under $100

If you are looking for a quality, portable, and lightweight kayak paddle that is suited for use on touring kayaks, then you should opt for the Advanced Elements Compact Touring Kayak Paddle.

The best part about this paddle is that it is designed to offer easy and quick paddling for all the adventurists.

It can be separated into four parts and this makes the paddle very easy to store and transport. There are snap buttons that connect to the parts of the paddle and lock them in place to offer solid push in the waters.

The blades are asymmetrical and are dihedral that offers great paddling efficiency. It is the lightest paddle that offers you comfortable paddling for a long time without stressing the shoulder and joints.

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4. Shoreline Marine - Best Paddle for Beginners

If you are looking for the best paddles for kayaking that are longer in size while suitable for marine kayaking, then the Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle is an ideal option. These paddles are suited for sea kayaking beginners.

This is a long paddle about 96 inches and hence it offers the best low angle strokes when you use it in water. The shaft of the paddle is made using lightweight aluminum that is corrosion resistant. The blade of the paddle is a hard plastic one.

This sea kayak paddle is designed to offer you tireless and pain-free arms and shoulders for the long trips. The blades are contoured at the base to offer greater paddling efficiency.

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5. SeaSense X-Treme II

The SeaSense X-Treme II Kayak Paddle is another popular paddle that is offered with a length of 96 inches. This makes it a perfect paddle that suits wider kayaks.

This paddle is also for those who love to paddle for long hours tirelessly. As it is made of lightweight aluminum shaft, it does not cause any serious shoulder pain and joint pain when paddling for hours.

The foam grip on the shaft offers very easy and comfortable grip of the paddle. The drip guards are adjustable and this ensures that not much water is pushed onto your head when stroking.

The blade is made of plastic. It can be adjusted in three positions so that you can use feathered or straight blades.

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Buying Guides

Professional kayaking is only possible when you have good quality kayaks and kayak paddles. You need the best paddles that go with your specific kayak to give the best kayaking experience.

If you combine the wrong paddles with the kayak, maneuvering the kayak will be difficult and it may result in accidents. The relaxation and comfort received from any kayaking trip depend on the quality of the paddle you use.

Kayaks are used for different purposes and based on that the paddles used may vary. To select your best suited paddle, you need to consider the purpose of the paddle.

1. Purpose of Kayaking

Depending on the purpose of kayaking, the kayaks used vary. They include:

  • Recreational kayaks which are wide and stable and require less effort to paddle. 
  • Touring kayaks are longer and have a single sealed bulkhead. These kayaks are for experienced paddlers who can paddle for long hours. They are mainly used in protected water bodies.
  • Sea or ocean kayaks are suitable for kayaking in the ocean or large bodies of water. They have two sealed bulkheads. They are suitable for kayak camping trips or long kayaking trips.
  • Whitewater kayaks are for paddling in streams, rivers, and creeks where rapids for whitewater. Whitewater kayaking is most dangerous and different paddling techniques are used.
  • Sport or fishing kayaks are designed for activities like, racing, fishing, camping, scuba diving, etc. They will have specific equipment fitted on them.

Depending on your idea of kayaking you need to select the paddles that offer required strength, performance and cost effectiveness.

2. Types of Paddles For Kayaking

All Purpose Paddles

Whether you are looking for a paddle for fishing or for whitewater or for sporting need, the all-purpose paddles with carbon fiber shafts are the best options. 

The best kayak paddle for fishing are made with carbon shaft and nylon blades with reinforced carbon. This offer higher quality and durability. They are also very light in weight and the kayaker will have greater control of the paddles. It is easy to achieve the required speed with these lightweight paddles.

These all-purpose paddles are available from different online stores. Some of these brands have paddles with adjustable shafts so that they can adjust the length of the shaft according to their physique and type of kayak.

Best Fiberglass Paddles for Adventure

Any adventurous kayaker or sporting kayaker looking for best white water paddle can opt paddles with fiberglass shaft and blade. You need to opt for models with larger blades and lightweight shafts.

This fiberglass paddle glides through the water easily providing great speed and smooth maneuverability. This is a good option for people having toured kayaks as they offer better tracking capacity.

One can select the convenient blade size according to their age and physique. Models which have feathering or unfeathering button are extremely useful. Selecting the paddles with drip rings help to keep the kayaker dry.

Best Sea Paddle

Best ocean kayak paddles are the ones which are able to withstand the force of turbulent and treacherous waves. Paddles with aluminum alloy shaft and asymmetrical dihedral blades are the right choice for this purpose. These paddles can also be used for whitewater kayaking.

The dihedral blades help to keep the kayak stable and easy steering.   You can opt for blades, fixed at 60 degrees. Do not go for the feathering option as it will not be highly efficient in turbulent waters.

Look for models which come with four parts and offer portability and durability. To further improve the stability of your kayak, we recommend you to get the best outrigger.

Best Tour Paddles

The best tour paddles should have a comfortable shaft length. What happens when you use too long of a paddle for kayaking is that it becomes cumbersome and tiring for the kayaker.

For beginning kayakers and for long kayak tours, paddle length of 72 inches will be ideal. Go for paddles with an aluminum shaft and asymmetrical aluminum blades for comfortable kayaking.

3. The Shape of Kayak Paddle

Kayak paddle shapes vary according to the purpose for which it is used. The basic shapes are flat and symmetrical, curved and asymmetrical and the Aleutian and Greenland style.

Different manufacturers offer a different combination of these paddles shapes according to the function and design. 

Symmetric blades are suitable for whitewater paddlers and for touring paddlers who prefer high strokes. Paddler looking for speed and power should opt for wider paddle blades with a shorter shaft.

Dihedral paddles reduce flutter by directing the water flow to the outer edge. The Greenland style comes with long and narrow blades suitable for kayakers with low angle stroke.

4. Paddle That Offers Value for Money

There are different paddle brands which offer the right value for your money. Select paddles which offer the best combination of features required.

You can find fishing or adventure paddle types from reputed brands. To know which the best one for your need is a trial is the best method. 

Once you get a clear picture of your kayaking needs you will be able to decide on the required shaft length, the shape of the blade and the material of the shaft and paddle. Go for the paddles which fit your paddling style, lightweight, and durable.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What paddle size do I need?

There are a lot of factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing the right paddle size for the kayak. The first thing to look into is the width of the kayak. It will be based on the height of the paddler and the width of the kayak.



5 ft 5"

A paddler with a height of 5 feet and 5 inches and kayak width of less than 23 inches needs to go for a 210-cm paddle. The kayak width of 24 to 28 inches means that you should use a 220-cm paddle, for a kayak width of 29 to 33 inches, use 230 cm and for above 34 inches use the paddle that is 240 cm long.

5 ft 5" - 5 ft 11"

A 220-cm paddle will be suited for a kayak width that is less than 23 inches. You need to get a 230 cm, 240 cm and 250 cm paddle for kayak widths of 24 to 28 inches, 29 to 33 inches and above 34 inches respectively.

6 ft and above

Since the kayak width sizes of less than 23 inches, 24 to 28 inches, 29 to 33 inches and above 34 inches, you should go for paddle lengths of 220 cm, 230 cm, 250 cm, and 260 cm respectively.

2. How do I hold the paddle?

It is very important to know how to hold the paddle before starting the paddling.

  • As paddle blades are mostly asymmetrically, you should make sure to hold the paddle upside down do that it travels through the water smoothly.
  • The best carbon fiber paddle blades for touring are always feathered. This means they will be pointing in different directions. You can feather the paddle to the left or the right depending on whether you are a right-handed or a left-handed.
  • The main paddle control hand is the right hand. So, your grip needs to be fixed and should not be changed when you are stroking the paddle through the water. The angle of the blade can be adjusted using your right hand.
  • The left hand must be holding the shaft of the paddle in a loose manner. This will give the right hand to twist the shaft to the desired angle to help with turning the kayak. It will also help in rolling and bracing.
  • The best paddling technique is to have the right hand flexed and the left hand looses on the paddle shaft. This allows you to try out a variety of strokes and paddling maneuvers.


AquaBound Manta Ray Carbon Paddle

Our Rating

In order to find out the best kayak paddle for the money, we tried out all the reviewed paddles and compared their pros and cons.

We have come to a conclusion that the most comfortable and efficient paddle that suits our paddling needs while falling within our budget is the AquaBound Manta Ray Carbon Paddle.

This paddle is perfect for both novice and advanced paddlers. It is made of high quality carbon and this makes it a lightweight contention.

The carbonized shaft and blades are guaranteed to last long. This is a paddle that works wonders for high angle paddlers and for those paddling on moving waters. We are giving this paddle a rating of 5 out of 5 stars.

Douglas Keister

I am an adventure fanatic that loves nature and adventure sports like kayaking, camping and water sports. I have been doing this for almost 10 years now and have learned quite a few tricks. With my experience, I hope to provide you with the most reliable and accurate information for your next adventure.

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Virginia Colglazier - September 23, 2018

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    Admin - September 23, 2018

    Thanks for your comment, glad that you enjoyed it.

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