The Simple Truth About the Best Kayak Paddle Under 100 Dollars

best kayak paddle under 100

Last updated on January 7, 2023

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"Aside from the kayak, did you bring a well-performing paddle?"

I know, I know, you don't have to buy a pair because there's already one that comes with your kayak by default. However, free paddles aren't helpful and won't last for long.

As a beginner, you can ride the kayak like a pro - but only if you choose to invest money for a separate kayak paddle. Avoid using a free kayak paddle as much as possible. Negative consequences that it brings are injuring of the arms and shoulders, tipping off of the kayak due to poor maneuverability, poor kayak directional sensitivity, and slow-kayak speed.

But how do you know if a paddle is good? What are the considerations? Which best kayak paddle for the money should you consider buying? Be around for a while and I'll give you a discussion that centers around these questions.

Making sure that all purchases count doesn't make you a penny pincher. In fact, this is a habit that you should be proud of. Ensuring your money's worth for all the things that you buy makes your finances more practical. You'll be sure never to spend more than what you have to.

In terms of buying a best kayak paddle for the money, never try to purchase blindly. Though it's true that most kayak paddles for beginners are cheap, you have to avoid having them because they only result in repeated buying. Repeated purchases are bad because the kayak paddles that you've already bought are hard to sell as second-hand items.

So how do you avoid buying repeatedly? All that you have to do is to put a few meticulousness when buying. There are lots of factors that separate a terrible kayak paddle from a terrific one. Here are some of the considerations that you have to remember:

How to Choose the Best Kayak Paddle under 100 Dollars- Buying guide

Measure The Size of The Cockpit

Always measure the size of the cockpit before buying. To ensure the smooth use of the kayak paddle, its length must not be shorter than the cockpit's width. Drawbacks that you'll experience if the width of the cockpit is greater are awkward paddle strokes, rubbing of the blades on the edges of the cockpit, and reduced performance of the paddle blades.

Plastic or Aluminum?

Users feel divided when they're asked which material is best for a paddle's handle - plastic or aluminum? Most beginners love to use a paddle that makes use of a plastic handle because it's lightweight and easy to keep.

A plastic handled paddle isn't bad. However, it doesn't allow for dynamic use. For instance, the plastic handle doesn't do well for doing emergency maneuvers on moving waters.

So instead of plastic try aluminum. Aluminum handled kayak paddles for beginners are as cheap as plastic ones. However, they're more preferable if you're planning to go kayaking in rivers and streams aside from kayaking lakes and seas.

The Drip Rings and Floater

Inspecting the blades of the kayak paddle is already a common thing that beginners and pros do. Looking at the blades isn't that hard. All you have to ensure is that they're adjustable in three different angles, aren't too narrow, don't scoop water, and aren't very flexible.

But other than the blades, have you considered asking whether or not the kayak paddle has good drip rings and floater?

The drip rings are circular pieces of rubber that wrap around the upper and lower ends of the kayak paddle, just a few centimeters below the blades. Good drip rings are crucial because they prevent the handle from becoming too wet. Simply put, what they do is prevent the water that the blades scoop from snaking toward the handle so that your grip stays firm and comfortable.

On the other hand, the floater is a piece of small inflatable rubber or plain rubber on the handle of the paddle. Commonly, the drip rings and floater are close to each other. All paddles whether cheap or expensive must have a functioning floater. It's common for you to accidentally lose hold of the paddle. And without a floater, the paddle will sink. So will you dive into the deeps and risk yourself drowning just to retrieve it? Of course not, and this is where the floater comes into action.

That's all for the buyer's guide. Why don't we proceed to the review section for you to start searching?

Top 10 Best Kayak Paddle under 100 for Beginners

SeaSense X-TREME 2 Kayak Paddle - Black (96")

Looking for a Paddle that's easy to use in kayaks with small cockpits? If so, SeaSense Kayak Paddle might be what you need. Narrow ergonomic handles with drip rings, two-piece detachable construction, well-contoured feathered blade construction, well-designed center lock, and support ridge - this paddle do well to making beginners love their badly designed kayak.

With its long handle and wide blade, SeaSense provides wonderful thrust regardless of water condition. The long handle ensures that the blade digs deep into the water, and the wide blade ensures that the push that you'll get from each stroke gets the kayak moving fast.

This product is a dual bladed single handle kayak. But you can sequester each end for easy storage. Don't worry because this feature doesn't make Sea Sense shaky. The center lock ensures a loose-free fit so that the opposite ends attach firmly.

  • Long and narrow kayak handle.
  • A blade design that ensures maximum propulsion with each stroke.
  • Detachable ends for easy storage.
  • Support ridge so that paddle blades won't bend or play.
  • The drip rings don't lock properly.
  • Water penetrates to the handle.

Carlisle Paddle Gear Day Tripper Aluminum 2-Piece Kayak Paddle (Black/Silver, 240 cm)

You need to be in the most comfortable riding position for whitewater kayaking. Feeling any uneasiness in your arms, legs, and body aren't good. Braving the rapids needs a lot of concentration. And if you don't put importance to this, you're risking yourself to potential accidents.

That being said, use a kayak paddle that helps you focus. I suggest getting a Carlisle Tripper Kayak Paddle. This product makes you think about nothing else but riding skillfully as the kayak mows the rapids.

Carlisle Tripper has exceptional paddle blades. The manufacturer made them using polypropylene material. I think this is a smart move on their part because polypropylene resists shocks well, doesn't abrade with wetting, and holds itself well against acidity. Simply put, the durability of the blade won't give you worries.

I also love the aluminum handle. They follow an oval design that allows for easier and firmer gripping. You'll be fine using this product without any gloves because it doesn't slip. But the handle isn't blister-free so wear gloves nonetheless.

Also, don't ignore Carlisle Tripper if you're looking for variety. It comes in sizes that are perfect for whitewater kayaking and recreational kayaking.

Carlisle Paddle Gear Day Tripper Aluminum 2-Piece Kayak Paddle (Black/Silver, 240 cm)
  • Asymmetrical polyurethane blades - durable against acidic water, moisture, and shocks.
  • Available in different lengths.
  • Aluminum handle with oval design - get gripping without gloves.
  • Pushbutton takedown for lefthanded users.
  • Not a great paddle for speed.
  • The handle doesn't have rubber padding.

A jack-of-all-trades kayak paddle is what you need if you're having trouble determining your kayaking needs. Where to kayak, how to kayak, and how many hours to spend kayaking are some of the questions that you'll have to answer to find the paddle that best fit your needs

It's alright if you don't have a clue as of the moment. Right now, all that you have to do is get a kayak paddle that's wonderful for general use. And speaking of such a kayak paddle, you might want to try Leader Accessories.

Don't know what kind of handle suits you? No problem with that. The handle of Leader Accessories is made out of three materials - aluminum, carbon, and fiberglass. Together, these materials ensure that the weight of the handle fits your arm strength. Furthermore, they also make paddle strokes strain-free.

The paddle blade is made out of plastic. And I'm not very fond of it. However, I can still forgive the manufacturers because they made it wide. At 18.5 x 7.5'', the blade provides wonderful thrust for recreational and sea kayaks.

Being available in blue, white green, white, yellow, and black, Leader Accessories doesn't compromise your personal tastes. But not to sound haughty, I recommend that you get the blue and green varieties. The blue and green versions of this product are extremely useful because they're adjustable. This means that they're a safe purchase even if you didn't measure the kayak's cockpit.

  • Has push buttons for adjusting the angle of the blade.
  • Three-material handle - carbon, aluminum, and fiberglass handle.
  • Available in different colors - green and blue is the best because they're adjustable.
  • Drip rings don't work very well and the hands might get wet while using this paddle.
  • The plastic blade isn't effective for kayaking on the rapids.

No matter how good a kayak is, it's downright useless if you never get accustomed to it. And for this reason, the decision which paddles to get is purely personal. Most say that a heavy paddle is better since it provides the best propulsion and stroking position. However, if you're a user with weak arms or suffering from a condition that affects arm strength, I believe that a heavy paddle isn't the best.

You should try using a lightweight paddle instead. Though it's not excellent for speed, a lightweight paddle displays top-notch performance for chill and relaxing kayaking. You won't have to employ a lot of strength when paddling. That being said, you can cruise for a long time without straining the arms and torso

NaviSkin is an example of a lightweight kayak. It's has a very minimalistic design. It has slim blades, ergonomic handle grips, and a short handle. Honestly, I'm not fond of this product for heavy-duty kayaking. But if it's for a cruise along calm rivers and streams, Naviskin does more than a job well done.

  • Duck palm blade design - for smooth cruising.
  • Drip rings for keeping the hands dry.
  • Lightweight construction.
  • The duck palm blade design is great for calm waters but has poor directional performance for whitewater.

Attwood 11768-2 Asymmetrical 2-Piece Heavy-Duty Kayak Paddle with Comfort Grips, 7 Feet

Are you planning to learn kayak fishing? If that's the case, the first thing to teach yourself is that you can't use random kayak paddles in the market.

A blade that is designed for a stable thrust, a handle that's anti-slip even without gloves, a handle that's comfortable on the hands and dries quickly, and an overall design that doesn't allow snagging on debris - these are what you should look on a paddle for kayak fishing.

One which I suspect to be a great paddle for kayak fishing is Attwood Asymmetrical Heavy Duty Paddle. The handle for this one isn't too light or too heavy. Its weight is just enough for you to do strokes that drive the blade into the water but not too deep so that debris -such as grasses, branches, and rock - snag it.

This product's length is also compatible with most fishing kayaks. At 6.1'', this product is more than excellent for taking you cruising along seas, rivers, and lakes.

In connection, I'm surprised that the asymmetrical design of the blade isn't built for speed. Instead, it emphasizes control and you can use the blade to put the kayak to a quick halt.

Attwood 11768-2 Asymmetrical 2-Piece Heavy-Duty Kayak Paddle with Comfort Grips, 7 Feet
  • Wobble-free center lock for detachable design.
  • Has a length that suits the cockpit size of most fishing kayaks.
  • Ensures comfortable paddling regardless of the users' size.
  • Asymmetrical blade design for better navigation.
  • Support ridge on the blade is too attenuate.
  • Drip rings are too near the blades and dip into the water sometimes too, so they fail to function well.

Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle with Polypropylene Blades and Wrapped Fiberglass Shaft, 220cm - Ahi

So far, all the paddles that I presented come in plain colors. They look attractive nonetheless if you're not into fancy appearances. But if you're emphasizing beauty instead of functionality when choosing, I'm sure that the previous paddles might have failed to snatch your interest.

That being said, I searched for a very beautiful kayak. And my search led me to Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle. In terms of function, this one isn't very different from the previous Carlisle kayak paddle that I reviewed.

The glass-filled polypropylene blades and the wrapped fiberglass shaft are the features of this paddle worth explaining.

Being glass-filled, the polypropylene blade is flexible. However, they don't bend so much that paddling becomes a hassle. Due to the glass filling, the blade stays firm once underwater so that it doesn't scoop water and bring it to the kayak after raising. Furthermore, the manufacturer etched aquamarine graphics on the surface of the blade - the image is somehow similar to foamy sea waves in action.

On the other hand, the handle hold does well against slipping and uncomfortable gripping. This is due to the coating which even prevents the handle from becoming hot when leaving this paddle exposed under the sun. The same is also true if you use this paddle in a cold environment.

Having said that, I think that this kayak does well for normal kayaking and cold kayaking.

Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle with Polypropylene Blades and Wrapped Fiberglass Shaft, 220cm - Ahi
  • Temperature resistant coated fiberglass handlebar for easy gripping.
  • Graphic etched glass-filled blade.
  • Eye-catching overall design.
  • The blade displays the same performance regardless of the angle.
  • Push button for adjusting the angle of the blade isn't very friendly on the fingers.

Propel Paddle Gear 96” Rounded Blade Kayak Paddle | Durable Material | High Impact Handle | Lightweight & Durable Kayak Gear

If you're a beginner, it's better to use kayaking equipment that is simple to use. You'll only end up taking lots of time to get the hang of things with too much complex stuff. This is especially true for kayak paddles. Sometimes what you need is a paddle that doesn't have complexities for better speed, grip, directional stability, etc.

The Shoreline Marine Kayak Paddle falls perfectly under the domain of simple yet excellent paddles. The handle and blade are straightforwardly made. Grips, handlebar, drip rings, center lock, and other components - there is nothing else special about these aside from the fact that the manufacturers did well in making sure that they work to provide a top-notch paddling performance.

You won't have trouble using this product for kayaking in calm waters. However, I doubt that you'll have fun using Shoreline Marine when the kayak is at the rapids. The blades bend easily against rocks and the currents.

  • Lightweight yet robust handle.
  • Non-slip handlebar grip.
  • Reliable center-lock.
  • Blade construction is too lossy or thin.

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic 2-Piece Snap-Button Fishing Kayak Paddle; (Black Shaft/Orange Blade - 260cm)

Having kayaking equipment that does more than one task is golden if you're a kayak fisher. After all, how could you wish for more if you have an item that helps you save cockpit space? With more cockpit space, you'll find it easier to position your body and feet. It's also easier to do more powerful strokes because of the additional room.

Try the Bending Branches Angling Kayak Paddle if you want to do other tasks aside from paddling. This paddles handlebar is engraved with measurements. And as a result, you may measure the fishes that you catch with this product. Moreover, the paddle blade comes with a jagged edge so that you can use it as a hook retriever.

I want to emphasize this product's bright red color. It does well in providing visibility. So aside from being a multi-purpose kayak, this one also serves as a wonderful kayak for a safe kayak fishing experience.

BENDING BRANCHES Angler Classic 2-Piece Snap-Button Fishing Kayak Paddle; (Black Shaft/Orange Blade - 260cm)
  • Multi-purpose kayak paddle.
  • Has a very reflective coloring.
  • The hook retriever system is somehow useless because the line slips on the blade easily.

Picking the right paddle for kids is important. As much as possible, they should use a kayak that greatly compliments their physique. You're exposing the kids to non-fatal and fatal dangers if you give them a random kayak on the market. With a kayak that's very heavy or hard to grip, the kids can ram into other kayakers or tip over.

For the youth, a paddle that you should consider buying is the Pelican Boats Kayak Paddle. This kayak's handle is short and fits the arm length of most kids. Also, it's very lightweight. Pelican even reinforced this product's lightness by making the blade light as well.

Kids can also detach the ends of this kayak easily because the center-lock tightens and loosens without a lot of pressing and twisting. The design of the blade is very undemanding. It allows the kids to do strokes without minding technique.

  • Lightweight construction.
  • Allows kids to do simple strokes.
  • The ends are easy to detach and store.
  • Doesn't have grips so kids have to use gloves.
  • Design of the drip rings allow water to slide toward the hands.

Intex Boat Oars for Intex Inflatable Boats, 1 Pair, 54in

The Intex Kayak Paddle made it on my review of the best kayak paddle under 100 for kids because it's very cheap. You can put all your bets that this product is the most affordable if you're planning to buy a paddle for more than one kayak. But even though it's cheap, you may still expect something from this product's features.

Intex Kayak Paddle comes with a rubber grip on the handle's center lock. As a result, you'll be gripping this paddle in its middle. If you're using a short kayak, this allows for faster paddling. However, the way that the blade cuts into the water might be reduced. However, there are still rubber grips on the lower and higher-end for using this product the conventional way.

There are no rubber drips. So expect the handle to be a bit slippery. However, you can manage by using anti-slip kayaking gloves. Also, the design of the blades is very clean. With a non-complex feather design, this paddle manages to provide a good thrust with the slightest paddling strokes.

Intex Boat Oars for Intex Inflatable Boats, 1 Pair, 54in
  • Three grip design on the handlebar.
  • Clean feather design of the blade.
  • There are no drip rings.

How to Paddle a Kayak- What Beginners Need to Know!!

Answering Your Kayak Paddle FAQs

Why Is A Feathered Blade Design Important?

A feathered blade design separates good kayaks from bad ones because it allows the user to control and move the kayak at any stroking angle. Simply put, it ensures that all strokes are comfortable and efficient.

How Do I Know If The Kayak Compliments My Physique?

To determine, measure your height and arm length. The general rule is that the paddle must be a bit taller than you. Furthermore, your arm length must be half of the paddle length. You wasted money if you bought a kayak that doesn't meet these criteria.

You have to think about weight too. A kayak that suits you shouldn't be too light or too heavy. Try getting one having a weight that you're very comfortable with. Basically, you feel a bit of heaviness in your arms while paddling but not enough to make them tired.

Is It Okay To Buy A Secondhand Paddle?

Buying a secondhand paddle is fine. However, I am certain that you won't have a great time using it. Most of the used paddles that you'll find online are disposed objects that owners deem useless.

So where do you find secondhand paddles? I think eBay is where you'll find cheap secondhand paddles. Avoid other platforms because most are where scammers dwell. Apart from eBay, you can try Amazon too.

You should search for and get a brand new paddle. By doing so, you can rest easy knowing that the purchase you made is according to your preferences and needs.

Are There Mountable Kayak Paddles?

There mountable paddles that you may place on the aft side and the starboard side of the kayak. However, I didn't feature them here as I will do so in a separate article. Going back to the question at hand, most mountable kayak paddles come in separate pieces.

Using them takes a different level of hand and arm coordination. Therefore, if you're a beginner, I suggest that you try riding the kayak for a few months and gain experience before buying.

Can I Buy Replacement Drip Rings for My Kayak Paddle?

Replacement Drip Rings are as common as the daffodils that you find on roads and hillsides. In fact, they might be better than the default drip rings the paddle. Most of these fit on any kayak brand. Thus, you can easily replace the drip rings of the paddle as soon as they get worn. Common signals that tell you to replace the drip rings are loose-fitting, wearing down of the drip rings themselves, and excessive water on the handle.

Final Verdict

Yes, you do need a good paddle for your kayak. A bad one will make it hard to get anywhere and since we're talking about how expensive kayaks are (over $1,000), getting the right equipment is important so that our boating experience isn't ruined by an inadequate or faulty boat accessory. I'm not saying this because I want more people to buy my book on 10 Best Kayak Paddles Under 100 Dollars For Beginners but rather just wanted to provide some helpful advice if you were looking into buying something like this in the near future. So what's your favorite?

Remember that nothing can go wrong with the right paddle. The right paddle will help you avert accidents and discomforts. Furthermore, it also ensures that your first kayaking is one that you'll remember for the rest of your life.

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