BEST KAYAK PADDLE GRIPS – INTRO
Kayak fishing for hours on end can leave your hands feeling sore! The best kayak paddle grips will provide you with a softer and more secure grip on your paddle that won’t give you blisters! Let’s find out why a nice set of kayak paddle grips is an absolute MUST HAVE for kayak fishermen of any level of skill or experience!
Best Kayak Paddle Grips – Overview:
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A lot of people don’t know what kayak paddle grips are, which is why I’ve compiled this article to help you learn more about paddle grips! I’ve divided the article into various sections for ease of reading. I like to keep my posts organized so you can spend less time reading them and more time on the water!
In the first section, I’ve highlighted all you need to know about kayak paddle grips (as opposed to a Kayak Paddle Holder). Here I’ll discuss why you should buy them (regardless of your level of skill or experience as a kayak fisherman) and what to be careful of. After that, I’ve listed the instructions on how to install and maintain your kayak paddle grips – this will ensure that they last for years to come!
Next, I’ve written down all the points you need to keep in mind before buying a kayak paddle grip. It includes what materials to look for, and what type of installation to use. This will help you make the best purchase decision for your own unique kayak fishing style!
In the next section, I’ve linked to what I consider to be the best kayak paddle grips on the market today! These are the grips that did the job for me, and I’m sure you’ll like them too. You can see my thoughts on it summarized in the “My Experience” section. I’ve also included a bullet list of my likes and dislikes.
Now let’s start the guide!
Parts of a Kayak Fishing Paddle
Best Kayak Paddle Grips – Basics:
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Paddling for hours at a time in your fishing kayak can be exhausting! Your hands will get tired, your tendons will overstress, and soon your palms will develop blisters. When the overwhelming friction gets the best of you, you’ll most certainly be wishing you had a kayak paddle grip!
A kayak paddle grip is a sleeve of a durable and flexible material that sticks to the shaft of your paddle. These grips are designed to improve your performance and comfort on the kayak. And they make you a more efficient paddler and thus make your kayak fishing experience just that much more enjoyable.
Kayak paddle grips are also useful in marking the optimal holding position in terms of the placement of your hands upon the kayak paddle. It is especially helpful for beginners who want to learn where to hold their paddle!
But since the product is so small and simple, there is hardly any literature on it, which is why I’ve prepared this guide to help you pick out the best kayak paddle grips!
When buying a paddle grip, you’ll want to be extra careful about the type of paddle you have. If you have a one-piece paddle, you’ll need a Velcro paddle grip. For two to four-piece paddles, you can find some special grips that shrink when you add water on them.
It’s not all too hard to install a kayak paddle grip. But washing and taking care of the grip is highly crucial. Speaking of the best materials, if you want a more versatile grip, go for those based on neoprene. Neoprene is resistant to just about anything.
How to Install a Kayak Paddle Grip
Installing and using a kayak paddle grip may seem easy, but there are some points to keep in mind. Kayak paddle grips are mainly found in two styles: Velcro and slide-on. The Velcro-style is suitable for those who have a one-piece paddle.
For those who use a multi-piece paddle, you’re better off with a side-on grip. Don’t worry – we include links to each of these different types of grips below. We also do some comparing and contrasting!
Here’s how you can install your kayak paddle grip:
- Remove the paddle grips from the box.
- For slide-on paddle grips, wet the inside of the paddle grip.
- Be sure not to wet the paddle shaft itself.
- Then simply slide the grip onto the shaft and leave it at the desired location for a while.
- The material of the paddle grip will stick to the shaft.
- If you want to take it off, simply wet the paddle shaft and pull the grip out.
- For Velcro-secured grips, close the Velcro strap around the paddle shaft at the desired location.
- And you’re done!
- Make sure that you don’t subject the paddle grip to brute force, and wash it regularly in warm water.
Best Kayak Paddle Grips – Important Features:
The first thing you’ll want to consider when buying kayak paddle grips is the material used in them. Grips designed to be entirely soft and comfy. They made to prevent blisters and to survive water, sweat, abrasion, and the sun.
Neoprene is the most popular choice (you see it in tons of different kayak fishing related products, actually). It is perhaps the most durable out of any type of fabric. It can survive exposure to the sun, water, salt (like you will find if you go kayak fishing in the ocean), oils (which are present on ALL of our hands), oxidation, and solvents. What’s more, is that neoprene is tough and resists tearing. It has a similar texture to the rubber and is quite flexible.
Another advantage of neoprene is that it can readily stick to the shaft of your kayak paddle. This makes it ideal for generating a secure grip on your paddle. It is the same material used to make wetsuits, thought you’ll find it in tons of other colors (not just black, like wetsuits).
I wouldn’t recommend going to any other material! But if you do, make sure the material is highly durable, flexible, and sticks to metals when dampened.
The optimal length for kayak paddle grips is about 6 to 7 inches. It gives you ample space to place your hands and get a good grip. More length means you get more palm room. Try going for an 8 to 9-inch model if your hands are too big (of if you are using a longer Kayak Fishing Paddle).
Keep in mind that Neoprene paddle grips designed to be flexible, which means that the length is adjustable to some extent. Neoprene can generally stretch up to 6 times its original size. But depending on how the product has treated, the stretching ability may be smaller.
Side Note: Using a high quality Kayak Paddle Grip Tape is also a good option for the protection of your hands from blisters!
Kayak paddle grips will have to face a lot when you’re out kayak fishing – just think of all of the elements that you are exposed to (water, heat, sun and so on). This is why frequently cleaning and maintaining them is highly important. Look for a kayak paddle grip that’s designed to be easy to clean and wash!
Many newer models are designed to dry as quickly as they get wet. It not only prevents the unwanted musty feeling, but it also helps to maintain the health of the grip. Most kayak paddle grips are washable with warm water and a mild detergent. You don’t HAVE to wash them after each use, but you also wouldn’t harm the grip by doing so – the choice is yours!
Using harsh chemicals will be detrimental to the material – just stick with the good, ole’ fashioned basis cleaners. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean your kayak paddle grip.
Color and Cover:
Once you’ve considered all that, it’s time to look at some special features. When buying a kayak paddle grip, take note of the color. The color will not only make your paddle look cool, but it will also make the grip more visible at a glance. So a bright color like yellow or red is preferred for paddle grips. This will help you stand out a bit on the water, becoming more visible to other watercraft and improving your safety and the safety of those around you!
Another thing you should consider is the cover material. This soft cushiony fabric is what you will actually be gripping, and it will be on top of the neoprene. A spectrum of fabrics can be used here, including waterproof polyester and nylon.
One or Two-Piece Paddles?
Finally, consider what type of paddle you have. If your paddle breaks down into two, three, or even four pieces, then you want a non-Velcro paddle grip. These grips are designed to shrink when wet and stick to the paddle.
If, however, you own a single-piece paddle, you should go for the Velcro ones. These have a strip of Velcro to attach them to the shaft of the paddle. It’s not too hard to understand this, but many people forget to check the type of installation.
Buy The Best Kayak Paddle Grips:
For Take-a-part Kayak Paddle:
For Solid Shaft Kayak Paddle
In my experience, no kayak paddle grip has performed quite as well as the showcased model. It is the most durable kayak paddle grip, and it fits just about everything I mentioned in the buying guide.
First thing first, the kayak paddle grip is made from neoprene. As I’ve mentioned before, neoprene is the best choice of material here. It’s highly resistant to water and sunlight, and can even survive damage from sweat and oxidation. It means your paddle grip will last for up to a year even with extremely heavy and routine use!
It will eventually succumb to the elements, but one year is a pretty long time, especially if you are using it all of the time. As compared to that, some cheaper kayak paddle grips won’t even last you a week! So this is a good bang for your buck!
Moving on, when it comes to cleaning, these grips keep things simple and straightforward. The cover material is tailored to dry quickly – perfect for the wet conditions you’ll encounter while kayak fishing!
If you want to wash it, you can simply use warm water and a mild detergent or cleaning agent. Not recommended to use any harsh chemicals like bleach, as they will harm the fine weave of the fabric.
The grips themselves feel soft and quite comfortable – even when wet! Paddling with it does not hurt your hands, and the cover designed to be slip-proof. It doesn’t cause blisters and stays cool during the summer. It also stays very playable in the winter – it doesn’t get brittle feeling like some grips do!
When I used these particular paddle grips, I immediately noticed a difference. My hands weren’t sore even after hours of paddling. And my hands wouldn’t slip, as would be the case when my paddle shaft got wet. This was a welcomes change and resulted in my becoming a more efficient paddler (and becoming far less tired when doing so).
Cleaning and maintenance were a breeze, as well. Just a bit of water and detergent did the job. However, I did notice that the grips with the Velcro weren’t quite as secure as the slide-on ones (though it was a pretty close contest on that particular front). Overall, these grips feel very comfortable when I use them!
To summarize everything, here’s a list of my thoughts:
- Feels light and comfy (great for those who squeeze their shafts tightly).
- Does not cause blisters.
- Resists water and sunlight (great for longevity).
- Great for use in all types of water.
- Easy to clean and maintain (just use basic detergent).
- Highly secure fit.
- Velcro version isn’t all too secure (but, when compared to other velcro styles, does come out on top).
And that’s it for the guide! I hope you found the information useful, and that now you know more about kayak paddle grips than you did before. Perhaps you’re even interest in checking out what I consider to be the Best Kayak Paddle Grips on today’s market!
Whatever choice you make, just know that you will be FAR better off by using an aftermarket paddle grip than you would be by just using whatever cushioning or grip comes with the kayak paddle from the factory!
The one paddle grip that worked for me, time and time again, and regardless of season or temperature, is the model that I have showcased for you in this post. I chose this one mainly for the high level of durability it offers. And also because it feels so soft against the skin on my palms.
So did you like my recommendation? What are your own experiences with the grip? Tell me all about them in the comments below! We read and reply to every comment and LOVE interacting with the kayak fishing community!