Best Kayak Paddles for 2023

Canoes and Kayaks

Kayaking is an exciting sport that can help improve your fitness and provide real enjoyment. But sometimes, it can be challenging to find the best kayak paddles right for you without extensive research beforehand. 

Every paddle has different benefits and downfalls, so it’s essential to be aware of certain features before purchasing the best kayak paddle. This article will help you determine the best kayak paddles in 2023 and provide recommendations on what to look out for when shopping.

Best Kayak Paddles: How To Choose The Right One?

Kayak paddles are essential for kayaking and often don’t get as much attention in the purchase as the kayak does. Choosing the right paddle for you can mean the difference between a bad day out on the water and a great day. 

There are many different factors to decide upon when choosing a new paddle from the overall length, blade and shaft material, number of pieces it comes in, blade design, etc.

To find out more, head across to our article Choosing the right kayak paddle guide.

Best Kayak Paddles For 2023

1. SeaSense Xtreme-1 Kayak Paddle

Length: 84in / 96in
Weight: 2.4 lbs

The SeaSense Xtreme 1 paddle is an excellent way for beginners to get started. It has a two-piece shaft and also comes in two sizes: 84 inches and 96 inches. In addition, it’s lightweight and durable, with excellent foam grips and an ergonomic design that makes it easy to use on the water.

SeaSense Xtreme -1 kayak paddles also feature a black aluminium shaft and strong black molded plastic blades, making it an excellent choice for recreational kayaking. However, some smaller beginners may find it a little heavy to hold on longer trips because of the aluminum construction. 

Adjustable drip rings add to your comfort as you can position them according to your comfort and liking. As a result, this reduces water from dripping on you or into your vessel. Similarly, the blades are adjustable via the shaft with three locking/feathering positions.


  • Ideal entry-level paddle for beginners
  • Adjustable drip rings
  • Adjustable feathering


  • Aluminum shaft makes it a little heavy little heavy
  • Square ends

2. Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle

Length: 220 / 230 / 240 / 250cm 
Weight: 2.5 lbs – 2.6 lbs

Are you going on a kayaking trip and looking for the best kayak paddle for around $125? Well, you have just landed at the right place.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kayaker, the best paddle for you is the one that meets your needs and feels good to hold. The Carlisle Magic Plus paddle ticks both of those boxes.

Buying an expensive kayak paddle for a one-time or two-time use is not worth it. Neither is buying the cheapest paddle you can find if you want to kayak every weekend. Lying somewhere in the middle is an excellent range of paddles at around the $125 mark.

The Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle has a polypropylene blade reinforced by fiberglass and a ribbed fiberglass shaft that provides a textured grip.
It has three different lengths: 220, 230, and 240 cm, and its weight starts at around 2.5 lbs. Consequently, this is not the lightest paddle going around. 

Moving on the blades, you choose to put them inline or spread them up around 60 degrees, all according to your choice. The paddle has a rubber drip ring to help you stay protected from water when out paddling.


  • Ribbed shaft
  • Powerful blade design
  • Adjustable 60 deg feather angle


  • A little heavy
  • The rubber drip rings are a bit flimsy

3. Werner Camano Kayak Paddle

Length: 220 / 230 / 240 cm 
Weight: 1.7 lbs
 2 – 4

The Werner Camano kayak paddle is a premium kayak paddle made for touring style paddling and comes in several lengths, shaft versions, pieces, and colors. It currently retails around the $450 mark.

You usually get what you pay for and with Camano kayak paddles high price tag comes a high-performance paddle geared towards intermediate and experienced paddlers who won’t balk at the price.

This kayak paddle comes in two pieces with a carbon blend straight or bent shaft with fiberglass blades. In addition, it also comes in other versions, including a carbon blade model (Camano Carbon), an adjustable length model (Camano Adjustable), and a four-piece option model (Camano 4-piece).

The medium size dihedral-shaped blades offer efficient paddling over long distances. Especially true for paddlers with a broader stroke.

Whilst I have never owned a Werner Camano, I’ve used one on many occasions and would definitely say it is my favourite paddle. Overall it’s pretty hard to fault this paddle, except maybe the for the price. If you’re a serious paddler and want a serious paddle, this is it.


  • Durable and impact resistant
  • Variety of options
  • Lightweight


  • Expensive

4. Aqua Bound Manta Ray Kayak Paddle

Length: 210 / 220 / 230 / 240 / 250cm
Weight: 1.85lbs
 2 or 4

Running in a close second to our favorite paddle, the Werner Camano, is the Aqua Bound Manta Ray kayak paddle. This paddle benefits from a 100% carbon fiber shaft, meaning it’s super lightweight but also seriously tough.
The two-piece Manta Ray also has carbon fiber blades providing extra might in the water. As a result, it is well suited for touring or extended paddling time on the water.

Other features include a Posi-Lok ferrule system, enabling easy yet secure adjustments to the feathering angle. Adding to this is the ovalized shaft, which provides a comfortable grip.

The large size blades with their dihedral design assist you in maximizing power and pulling more water faster. The blade design makes this kayak paddle suitable for high-angle paddlers and great for heavier watercraft. Additionally, drip rings minimize the splash coming into your yak near the blades.

Aqua Bound Manta Ray kayak paddles are made by paddling enthusiasts locally in Wisconsin, USA.


  • The oval shaft
  • Its lightweight
  • Adjustable feathering


  • Ribbed carbon shaft is uncomfortable for sensitive hands

5. Bending Branches Angler Classic Kayak Paddle

Length: 220 / 230 / 240 / 250 / 260cm 
Weight: 2 lbs

The Bending Branches Angler Classic kayak paddle combines lightweight and durability, featuring a straight fiberglass shaft and reinforced fiberglass blades. Designed for the keen angler in mind, it comes with a hook retrieval system built into one of the blades for freeing your line from snags. In addition, it has a measuring tool built into the shaft for measuring your catch.

This Bending Branches paddle comes in 220, 230, 240, 250, and 260 cm, making it ideal for kayaks of varying widths.
This paddle comes in a 2-piece paddle with a 3-hole locking ferrule system that locks securely and provides a firm feel, similar to a one-piece shaft.

Made in Wisconsin, USA, the Angler Classic also features an oval pressed shaft for better grip and minimizing fatigue.


  • In built hook and line retrieval system
  • Various lengths available
  • Fish measuring system on the shaft


  • A bit weighty

To find out more information on kayak paddles, head across to our article Choosing the right paddle guide.

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