Carbon Fiber Kayak Paddles
When you are looking for the lightest and stiffest material, choose a carbon fiber kayak paddle. Of all the materials used for paddles, carbon is hands down the lightest weight for the least amount of fatigue on the body. Carbon can be an expensive material but depending on your specific paddling needs, it can be totally worth it. If you’ve had any injuries in the past, planning to cover multiple paddling days in a row, or just want to be gentle with your joints, ligaments and back, a carbon paddle may be just what you are looking for. And of course, if you only buy “the best” then purchasing a carbon paddle is a no-brainer.
Carbon can be used in different ways in a paddle. Sometimes it’s a 100% carbon shaft that easily shaves off several ounces with blades made of other materials to give you a hybrid paddle. Other times you’ll see a 100% carbon paddle made with 100% carbon shaft and blades. This is easily the lightest paddle and offers a stiff and flutter-free paddle stroke. Once you paddle with a 100% all carbon paddle it’s really hard to paddle with anything else! If cost is a concern, you’ll also find paddles with carbon shafts, but the blades are a blend of carbon with another material, like with Aqua-Bound’s abX carbon reinforced nylon. These blended blades still keep the weight down compared to hybrid paddles but also helps lower the cost of the paddle.
Carbon is a material that is popular for both flatwater kayaking as well as whitewater kayaking. You will see a selection of bent shaft paddles and straight shaft paddles in the categories of flatwater and whitewater paddles. Bent shaft paddles are great for keeping your wrist in a neutral paddling position which helps alleviate wrist and shoulder fatigue. The bent paddles do weigh more than their straight shaft counterparts due to the additional material used to build the paddle’s bend. Werner Paddles offers a great selection!
You’ll also find that carbon paddles come in different shaft configurations. The flatwater/touring paddles will come in 2-piece configuration or a 4-piece breakdown. Sometimes the 2-piece paddles will also offer adjustable lengths so that you can vary the length of the paddle or an adjustable ferrule that would allow you to adjust the blade off-set so that the paddle can cut through the air just as easily as it does the water. This is a really handy feature if the winds kick up while you’re out on the water. The whitewater paddles are usually 1-piece or a 4-piece breakdown paddle. The 1-piece paddles offer the standard 30 degree offset with a right hand control (RHC). Some of the breakdown whitewater paddles may offer an additional offset so you’ll want to check the page technical specifications.
Carbon kayak paddles make your time on the water more enjoyable. They offer a lighter weight than other materials and yet provide a stiffer flutter-free stroke. While they may cost a bit more, you will save the wear and tear on your body. If you need help finding the best carbon paddle for your specific needs, just give us a call!