The paddle can sometimes be the most overlooked kayaking accessory. But not all kayak paddles are created equal and it’s definitely a big mistake to overlook the principle accessory you’ll use to maneuver your kayak on the water.
The best kayak paddles come with a wide range of price tags and some can even cost upwards of $400. The good news is that you can find a solid kayak paddle for much less than that.
We’ve researched a wide variety of paddles to bring you our list of the 10 best kayak paddles under $150. We’ll also provide our top pick for the overall best kayak paddle and provide some tips on how to choose the right paddle for your unique paddling purposes.
Table of Contents
- 1 Buying Guide
- 2 Best Kayak Paddles Under $150
- 3 Our Pick – Carlisle Magic Mystic
- 4 Enjoyed 10 Best Kayak Paddles Under $150? Share it with your friends so they too can follow the Kayak Help journey.
Before we get into reviewing our picks for the 10 best kayak paddles under $150, let’s dive into the features and specifications you can use to compare paddles. Use these tips to ultimately narrow down your choices and pick the best paddle for you.
The two most important measurements for determining the right kayak paddle length for you are your height and the width of your kayak. Using the table above, you can start to get a general idea for how long of a paddle you need.
But, for starters, keep in mind that some paddle manufacturers advertise the length of their paddles in inches while others utilize centimeters.
So make sure to pay attention to the unit of measurement when you’re looking closely at the lengths of the best kayak paddles under $150.
That being said, the primary activity you’ll be partaking in with your kayak will play a role in the length of the paddle you should choose.
If you’re a recreational kayaker just heading out for a casual paddle, you’ll want a paddle that’s as close to the length prescribed in the table above (depending on your height and the width of your kayak).
However, some touring kayakers actually prefer shorter paddles because they are often lighter and allow you to minimize effort when you’re paddling long distances.
On the other hand, kayak anglers often prefer longer paddles because it gives them added reach when they need to retrieve hooks or deal with a snagged fishing line.
So you should also factor in your primary kayaking activity when deciding how long (or short) of a paddle you should choose. But if you’re new to kayaking, we highly recommend using the chart above to determine the ideal length of your kayak paddle.
Weight is the second consideration when choosing a new kayak paddle. The photo above provides us with a nice guideline for breaking down the lightest (and heaviest) kayak paddles on the market today.
Starting from the bottom, kayak paddles with an aluminum shaft and plastic blades are often the heaviest options out there. These paddles, however, do offer exceptional durability and they are often the most affordable options out there.
Kayak paddles with a fiberglass shaft and fiberglass blades tend to be lighter than the aluminum-plastic construction.
But they also tend to be much more affordable than the carbon fiber-nylon construction composition, so this can be a nice middle ground if you’re looking for a lightweight paddle at an affordable price.
Finally, kayak paddles with a carbon fiber shaft and nylon blades are typically the lightest designs on the market these days. But, unfortunately, finding paddles built with these materials for under $150 can be quite difficult.
You should also keep in mind that some paddle manufacturers will use a combination of these materials that differ from the three construction compositions pictured above.
For instance, you might have a paddle with blades made from a blend of plastic and fiberglass, which makes the paddle lighter and more durable while still remaining affordable.
The ability to change the feathering angle is another important consideration when choosing a kayak paddle.
The feathering angle refers to the angle of the paddle blades in relation to one another and changing that angle gives more experienced paddlers the ability to change to right or left-handed control.
For beginners, you should probably prioritize a paddle that’s going to be durable enough to stick around through your learning curve.
But if you plan to kayak for many years to come, you’ll want to choose a paddle that offers at least a 60-degree feathering angle so that you can progress as you learn which hand you prefer to use for optimal kayak control.
Best Kayak Paddles Under $150
The two-piece design of this paddle gives you the ability to adjust it to multiple feathering angles, depending on your preference.
You can keep the blades aligned at a zero-degree angle or adjust it up to 60 degrees for right or left-handed control.
This paddle features an aluminum shaft and plastic blades. That makes it durable enough to handle occasional bumps against rocks or other debris without chipping or cracking.
That being said, the aluminum shaft on this kayak paddle means it’s not the lightest paddle out there for long-distance kayaking. It actually weighs a total of 37 ounces, which is an average weight for beginner kayak paddles.
This is a two-piece paddle design that collapses for easier storage. When collapsed, each section of this paddle measures approximately 48 inches in length, so you won’t need a full eight feet in length to store this paddle.
The blades also include support ridges down the middle for additional strength and durability. And you’ll be able to choose from three separate feathering angles with this paddle, depending on your preference.
If you’re a beginner, keep the blades aligned at a zero-degree angle or adjust it for either left or right-handed control. It also includes ergonomic foam grips for added comfort. The paddle weighs a total of 43 ounces.
The asymmetrically curved blades provide smoother and more efficient paddle strokes when you’re using this paddle. And that anodized aluminum shaft is corrosion-resistant and breaks down into two pieces for easier storage.
You’ll also be able to adjust the feathering angle of the blades for right or left-handed control, depending on your preference. This also means you can keep the blades aligned at zero degrees if you haven’t practiced feathered paddling.
The feathering angle adjusts to 60 degrees and the drip guards on this paddle help to keep water out of your lap or the cockpit of your river kayak. The length of this paddle measures 230 centimeters and it weighs a total of 40 ounces.
The shaft design of this paddle is also great for beginners still learning where you should place your hands when paddling.
The shape of the shaft actually transitions from a rounded shape to a slightly oval shape where you should place your hands, which is called ‘indexing.’
The blades can also be adjusted to your desired feathering angle for right or left-handed control as you gain experience with more advanced paddling techniques. It actually features 360-degree angle adjustments for superior customization.
The Symbiosa also features a fiberglass shaft with nylon blades that help to reduce the paddle’s overall weight. In fact, it weighs a total of just 33 ounces, which makes it one of the lighter paddles on this list!
With a weight of just 33.5 ounces, it’s a super lightweight kayak paddle. That lighter weight can come in handy if you’re looking for a kayak paddle under $150 that won’t tire you out on longer kayaking expeditions.
It features a two-piece shaft design that breaks down in half for more compact storage and it comes with its own five-foot paddle leash that helps you keep it connected to your kayak in dicey weather conditions.
The Best Marine kayak paddle also includes an asymmetrical blade shape that makes it ideally suited for low-angle kayak touring. So this is a great paddle to pair with one of the best touring kayaks!
The added length of this paddle is best suited for kayak fishing because many of the best fishing kayaks offer wider cockpits than kayaks of other styles. But this paddle also features adjustable angles for feathered paddling.
The angle of the blades can be adjusted for right or left-handed control, depending on your preference. The dihedral design of the blades themselves makes your kayak strokes smoother and also helps to keep you more stable in your fishing kayak.
You’ll also notice that the blades on this kayak paddle have a small notch in the top edge.
This notch can help you retrieve your fishing line or handle fishing hooks at a safe distance, which can help to keep your hands safer and available for other things while you’re on the water.
Another feature that makes this paddle great for kayak fishing applications is the inclusion of a tape measure on the paddle shaft. This allows you to measure your catch without having to load an additional ruler into your kayak fishing accessories kit.
Adjustable drip rings on the paddle shafts help to reduce the amount of water that drips onto your hands or into the cockpit of your kayak and the 260-centimeter length of this paddle makes it ideal for paddlers over six feet tall or kayaks more than 34 inches wide.
This Pelican Catch paddle also allows you to adjust the feathering angle from 0 degrees to 65 degrees, depending on your need for right or left-handed control and the fiberglass shaft with nylon blades helps to keep the weight of this kayak paddle down to its relatively minimal weight of just 34 ounces.
This paddle offers a two-piece aluminum shaft that includes two large, anti-slip grip areas that help you identify where to put your hands while paddling and the blades are made of durable, contour-molded plastic.
The two-piece design gives you the ability to adjust the feathering angle of the blades to your desired set up. So you can keep the blades aligned at zero degrees or adjust them for right or left-handed control.
The KP224 also features rugged construction so that it can deliver superior performance for years to come and it only weighs just over 34 ounces, which is pretty lightweight for an aluminum shaft paddle.
9. EMSCO Sport
The aluminum shaft on this paddle boasts anodized construction for better resistance to both corrosion and abrasions and the blades are made of a unique blend of high-impact polypropylene and fiberglass material.
That blade construction helps to improve this paddle’s stability and durability. In addition to making the blades impact-resistant, it also improves their ability to withstand tension and mechanical elongation.
The EMSCO Sport paddle also comes with a two-piece design so that you can collapse it down for more compact storage and the asymmetrical blades make it easier to dip them deeper into the water for extra power and maneuverability.
10. Overmont Angler
This kayak paddle offers a length of 230 centimeters, which makes it ideal for paddlers of many different heights and fishing kayaks between 28 and 32 inches in width.
The paddle itself boasts a two-piece aluminum shaft that collapses for storage and adjusts to your preferred feathering angle.
On the bottom edge of the kayak’s blades, you’ll also find a small section with a serrated edge. This blade design makes it easier to retrieve hooks and remedy snagged lines while you’re out on the water.
The Overmont Angler kayak paddle also features blades made from a combination of polypropylene and glass fibers. This improves their strength while also keeping the overall weight of the paddle to a minimum.
Our Pick – Carlisle Magic Mystic
At a length of 230 centimeters, this paddle is also great for taller paddlers or those of you that have wider kayaks and because many of the best recreational kayaks for beginners offer wider designs, this paddle will help you avoid hitting or rubbing your hands against the gunwales of your kayak with every paddle stroke.
That extra length will also help you perfect your support/brace strokes as you practice different kayaking techniques.
And with the ability to feather the angles or the blades for right or left-handed control, this paddle will remain effective for you even as you gain experience and improve your kayaking skills!