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Best Kayak Paddles

For Surfing - Buying Guide

Best Options and Reviews

Published November 12, 2021 | Updated April 10, 2022

It’s not enough that have the best kayak, without the right paddle, the waves will just break your oars and wash you away. The best kayak paddle for surfing isn’t like the others. It should be made with quality materials that can withstand strong current and fight the waves to prevent it from toppling the vessel. Here’s the thing: paddles aren’t made equal. You have to be meticulous in picking one.

Before you dive on the commercial options I reviewed, like the other guides, take time to read some tips that you can keep in mind while scouting your prospect paddles.

The Best Kayak Paddle For Surfing - Buying Guide And Reviews 2022

Best Kayak Paddle Buying Guide

Get the right length

The length of your paddle largely depends on your kayak’s size as well as your height. If you’re under five feet, you should go for a 210 cm for a boat that has the width of fewer than 23 inches. On the other hand, taller paddlers whose height is more than six-feet should get a paddle of at least 220 cm for a boat with no more than 23 inches in width.

There are in-between sizes on this that you can easily find on the internet or the guide that the manufacturer will give you. In case you are caught between two paddler lengths, the rule of thumb is to go for the shorter one.

Check the blade

The design of the blade will affect how well it could push the water to your advantage. An asymmetrical-shaped blade has different sizes on both sides that help in pushing the water uniformly. You can also find a dihedral blade that has a rib on its center used for equal distribution of the water when paddling. This gives makes it the best kayak paddle for surfing.

Narrow blades, on the other hand, are best for long trips as these are lightweight and works well on continuous days of paddling tours. But if you want to get speed, go for a wider blade that will give a powerful stroke and push on the water.

Aside from these, there are specialized blades for fishing like the J-shaped one that’s utilized for retrieving hooks and fishing lines.

Bent or straight shaft?

It’s not only the blades that have varying designs but also the shafts. Most of the time, the shaft is just a straight pole that holds the blades but it can also be bent. Bent types have kinks on it that allow easy angling during a powerful maneuver. This also gives added grip for the paddler that reduces strain and discomfort.

Straight paddles, on the other hand, are good options for beginners. But if you want to level up your game, transitioning to a bent type would be a wise move, however, see to it that you practice at least a day before the scheduled kayaking trip.

Low angle or high angle?

The angle of the blade affects the speed of the tracking. Low-angle ones are used in a slightly tilted manner with the hands maintained below shoulder level. This is for relaxed kayaking, usually for recreational purposes that doesn’t need much speed.

If you’re thinking of getting the best kayak paddle for surfing that will make your boat more of a speeder, a high-angle one is the best. Many kayakers train to have precision in using this to avoid the fatigue that usually comes with the massive strokes using this paddle.

If you’re not yet sure what angle you want, go for the low-angle type and start from there.

Paddle material

Even if you have the right design and size, the material will still be the biggest factor in making it last long during surfing sessions. Nylon is the most common choice although it’s not the most durable. If you have the budget, might as well get a fiberglass one or carbon types.

Fiberglass is the middle range material that can give you reasonable durability without the tendency of cracking during strong waves. But if you’re willing to have a few couple of dollars out the window, get a carbon-fiber paddle. This is the top-dollar and top performance paddle that’s ultimately strong.

Best Kayak Paddle For Surfing

Carlisle Magic Kayak Fiberglass and PolyPro Paddle

If you’re in for a good start, the Carlisle Magic Kayak Fiberglass Paddle won’t disappoint you. This is made of polypro blades and fiberglass shaft that’s lightweight at 35 oz. It comes in 220, 230, and 240 cm lengths for your preference. You can also choose between two colors of sunrise and cloud for added aesthetics on your best kayak paddle for surfing.

This is an asymmetrical paddle that will allow you to produce powerful yet less tiring strokes. With its price and quality, it’s an unbeatable paddle that can take all the beating during a surfing trip. This is a good option if ever you’re having trouble using carbon-fiber oars. It cuts to water smoothly but users whose height is below five feet might not enjoy using this.

Seattle Sports 060295 SeaWhisper Carbon-Fiber Paddle

Like what I said, if you’re willing to spend good money for a paddle, might as well invest on the Seattle Sports 060295 SeaWhisper Carbon-Fiber Paddle. This has an adjustable part in the middle to suit users looking for 230 cm to 240 cm oars. The Seattle Sports paddle also has the unique Dorsel Blade Design. This is a small fin near the shaft that you can use to retrieve floating items off the water.

However, this paddle isn’t as light as the Carlisle magic but still worth the purchase if you’re looking for quality.  It’s just a matter of learning a technique and getting used to it.


The best kayak paddle for surfing is one that will give you excellent tracking without the strain. It’s up to your preference and budget which one you’re going to get but it’s important that you invest in quality more than ever. Do you have a choice in mind? Let’s discuss it in the comment section below.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

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