Whitewater Kayaking: Things to Consider When Choosing the Perfect Paddle

Whitewater kayaking can sometimes be intense, which means you need maximum concentration in this sport. In addition, you need to understand the type of whitewater kayaks that you are using as well as the dynamics of water. If you are a beginner, this intense sport can be stressful and challenging. For this reason, it's important to have the correct type of whitewater kayak as well as the perfect paddle for your kayak. Therefore, when looking for a paddle for your whitewater kayaking, here are a few things you will want to consider.

Type of Shaft

You can choose either a straight or a bent shaft. Most straight shafts are lighter and relatively cheaper. On the other hand, bent shafts are ideal for keeping aches and pains in your hands and wrists at bay. That is, while kayaking, you might hold on too tight to your paddle at some point. For this reason, a bent shaft will allow you to keep your wrists in a somewhat straight alignment that will reduce the pressure on them, hence minimising pain. Shafts with a bent paddle are more expensive than their straight counterparts.

Diameter of the Shaft and Size of the Blade

Your body size should help you determine the correct blade size and shaft diameter of the paddle to use. If you have a relatively small body with small hands, paddles with smaller shift diameters will allow for a more comfortable grip. In addition, go for a paddle with a small to medium blade surface area. On the other hand, shafts with a standard diameter and blades with a medium to full sized surface area can work well for big-bodied kayakers.

Style of Paddling

There are two styles of paddling, including creek boating and play boating. When paddling downstream, you will face a variety of obstacles and features, such as waves and eddies. One of the best ways to manoeuvre your way through such features is by ensuring that your forward stroke is as far away as possible. For this reason, if you will be creek boating along steeper creeks, pick a paddle with a larger upper tip.

Play boating is when, while kayaking along a river, you stop at one place, for instance, at a standing wave and perform a series of technical moves. Regardless of the technical or play boat move you perform, a paddle with a drooping shape will allow you to perform it more easily because they engage the water much quicker.  

For more information and options, consider talking with sales representatives at your local sporting goods store, like Wetspot Water Sports.