Kayak Paddle for Beginners


If you are new to kayak fishing, then you will need to consider starting with a kayak paddle for beginners. A beginners model will help you learn how to make your way through the waters. It is all about maintaining a proper balance and gliding your way through the water. You just need to first focus on the basics, and practice to be better on the water. After that, you’ll be formidable opponent for even the fastest of fish!

Kayak Paddle for Beginners – Overview

Kayak Paddle for Beginners

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In this article, I have listed down all of the important details that you need to consider with respect to a kayak paddle for beginners. Our goal is for you to “walk away” with a full understand of a beginner paddle so that you feel comfortable with using it as part of your gateway into kayak fishing!

I have divided the information into several different sections so that it is easy for you to scan through and find out what you are looking for without wasting any time! After all, we want you to get out onto the water as soon as is safely possible! The fish are waiting! By the way, please don’t go onto the water without a fishing kayak life jacket – safety first!

You’ll find a separate section that includes just the basics about how to use a kayak paddle for beginners. There is also a brief checklist on how to use a kayak paddle (easy to use as a quick reference), and a list of the critical features to look for when buying any kayak paddle for beginners.

For those who are interested in a recommendation, I’ve also provided a link to my favorite kayak paddle for beginners. I’ve posted a short review of this model and have denoted some of its positives and negatives. This information is available in the “My Experience” section of this post. Finally, if you are a beginner, then we’d also suggest that you look into installing a kayak stabilizer before you head out onto the water for the first time!

Oh? You want something a little more advanced? Check out our suggestion for the Best Kayak Paddle! You can even learn how to use kayak paddles!

Parts of a Kayak Fishing Paddle

Parts of a Kayak Fishing Paddle

Kayak Paddle for Beginners – Basics

Kayak Paddle for Beginners

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Shortcut to the Best Kayak Paddle for Beginners

If you don’t know much about kayak paddles, it is a tool with which you can push yourself against the water while sitting in a kayak. With this paddle, you can get a kind of propulsion that is necessary to move around in the water. Its important to get a good one, as you’ll spend just as much time with a paddle in your hand as you will with a fishing rod or net.

This paddle will help you to move in the water. So it’s a must-have for kayaking. Using a kayak paddle, you can move on the water with freedom. You can control your direction and speed with these paddles (we’ve included link to a guide that shows how to do several paddling strokes, here). They are the engines of your kayak that run on your muscle power (unless you are using a pedal kayak, of course).

There is nothing particularly complicated about using a kayak paddle. However, you’ll want to have a good understanding of basic technique. Surely, with the right technique (like you learned by visiting the above link), you will be able to generate more power with less effort. Still, most kayak fishing paddles are generally the same, and you need to focus on the basic features to make your choice. For example, what materials is the paddle built out of, how long is the paddle, does it have ergonomic grips, and so forth.

Kayak Paddle for Beginners

But making the right choice can be troubling as there are different types of kayak paddles that you can find on the market. Some are for white water rafting, general recreation, or even canoes! They vary in shape, size, budget, and so many other aspects. You are looking for a KAYAK FISHING PADDLE! If you focus on your requirements and needs, you can narrow down the options significantly, making your decision a lot easier. Of course, this post will help you too.

Any kayak paddle for beginners needs to be light. It will need to enable you to maneuver your way easily. You’ll need to be able to carry it for long hours while you practice kayaking and you won’t want it to tire you! Remember, you don’t need to spend a lot on a kayak fishing paddle because you are not at the advanced level of kayak fishing (at least not yet). Save that for a later stage! 

This is why KFC suggests that you consider buying a plastic or fiberglass based model (with aluminum shaft). It will work out quite well for you as a beginner – and will generally be easier on your pocketbook. You can think about a carbon fiber model once you are experienced because they are expensive!!

How to Use a Kayak Paddle as a Beginner?

If you are new to kayak fishing (or kayaking in general), then you need to follow these steps to ensure that you are using your kayak paddle effectively.

  • Unpack your new kayak paddle.
  • Identify different components from the box.
  • There will be a shaft and one or two paddle heads in the box.
  • Identify these components and connect them with the ferrule.
  • The ferrule either features a screw-in or a snap-button system.
  • Now hold the paddle in your hands and keep the center of the shaft right under your head.
  • Both sides of the shaft should be at equal distance from the center.
  • Both hands need to be 40cm apart when you are holding the shaft.
  • Now start making practice paddle strokes in the air.
  • Make yourself familiar with the strokes.
  • Once you are fully satisfied and comfortable, then it’s time for you to try it in the water.
  • When you have the paddle in your hands, it needs to be at least 30cm away from your body for maximum comfort and ease.
  • Disassemble the paddle when you are done kayaking.
  • Clean the paddle thoroughly and get rid of any debris from every nook and hook of your paddle.
  • Make sure that you air dry your paddle and kayak to protect it from the mold.
  • Store it in a dry and cool place (ideally covered by a proper kayak cover).

If paddling sounds like too much effort, you could always look into getting a fishing kayak with a motor!

Important Features:

Size and lengths

Different sizes and lengths impact performance when it comes to kayak fishing paddles. As a beginner, it is better for you to choose a small and lightweight paddle because it will enable you to be in better control of your strokes. Anything between 220cm to 230cm is a great length of a kayak paddle for beginners. With more length, the weight at the end of the paddles will increase, and you will lose control over your strokes. The paddles with longer handles are designed for experienced kayak fishermen who need more speed and agility! You’ll get there soon!  


The design of your fishing paddle needs to be simple. The shaft needs to have an ergonomic design to keep your hands comfortable. Remember, you will spent a lot of time holding onto it! Moreover, your paddle heads should be large in size. You will be able to get better propulsion with large paddle heads.

Kayak Paddle for Beginners


Different materials are used to manufacture kayak fishing paddles. Some use metals, while others use metal alloys or even plastic-based materials. Carbon and aluminum are pretty common materials used to construct high-quality kayak fishing paddles that are designed for experienced fishermen. 

These heavy kayak paddles are designed to provide speed and precision. Since you are new to the game, your kayak paddles need to be light but durable. For this, you should consider buying plastic or fiberglass kayak paddle heads with aluminum shafts. These paddles are a lot easier to control and maneuver while you sharpen your skills in the craft.

Kayak Paddle for Beginners

Easy to Assemble

Your kayak fishing paddle should be effortless to assemble. No special tools needed! You need to look for the paddles that have snap-button closure or screw-in mechanism. It will allow you to connect your shaft with the paddle heads with ease. You don’t want to waste your time assembling and disassembling your paddle when you can focus on sharpening your skills on the water. The fish don’t care how hard you had to work to put your paddle together!!

Buy the Best Kayak Paddle for Beginners:

Buy on Amazon

The Pelican Kayak Paddle (depicted above) is the best kayak paddle for beginners. It features an aluminum shaft with fiberglass paddle heads, and you can also adjust it according to your requirements. Being 226cm long, these paddles are a perfect size for beginners who are learning the craft of kayak fishing. 

Now, just in case you want to know a little about why we’ve come to this conclusion, I am going to add some in-depth details about the features of this kayak fishing paddle that make it an obvious #1 choice!

As I have mentioned above, the best length of a kayak paddle for beginners needs to be between 220cm and 230cm. The Pelican Paddle is 226cm, which is ideal for a newbie. The ideal materials for beginner kayak paddles are aluminum (for the shaft) and fiberglass (for the paddle heads). The Pelican Kayak Paddle features both of them! The company has made the paddle more secure and durable with reinforced polypropylene coating on the heads to make them more durable. Durability is key for beginners!

Kayak Paddle for Beginners

The shaft is made of aluminum and is extremely lightweight. This shaft also features adjustable drip rings. These rings will assist you in keeping your hands dry to improve your grip. There is a push-button connection with an angle-adjustment of 0 to 65 degrees. Adjustability is great and actually keeps you from fatiguing as you’re able to align the paddle with your particular body and stroke type!

This kayak paddle allows you to place your hands on the shaft correctly. It is because there is a slight indexing where the shaft goes from round to oval shape on the areas where you should grab the paddle. This ergonomic design assists you in grabbing the shaft correctly. The longer your hands are comfortable, the longer you’re able to stay on the water!

Best Kayak Paddle for Beginners: My Experience

I have found that this is the best kayak paddle for beginners by a long shot. It is because the Pelican Paddle checks all the boxes when you consider its features for the beginners. Yes, there are other great models on the market, but this one has been extremely popular with anyone I’ve suggested it to and has served as a great “jumping off” point for those looking to get into kayak fishing!

The best feature of this kayak fishing paddle, at least in my opinion, is the ovalization of its shaft right where you need to place your hands! This ergonomic design allows you to quickly grab your shaft right from where you need to grab it. You don’t have to keep the center of the paddle under your nose each time you start kayaking. It is a huge convenience for beginners.

The shaft itself is made of aluminum, which makes the paddle sturdy yet lightweight, which a kayak paddle needs to be for beginners. Additionally, the paddle heads are made of fiberglass to keep the weight of the paddle on the lighter side to make steering convenient for the beginners. Again, at 226cm long, it is right in the “sweet spot” in terms of length for beginner paddlers.


  • 226cm shaft length, ideal for beginners.
  • Aluminum shaft with fiberglass paddle heads.
  • The paddle heads have reinforced polypropylene coating.
  • Ergonomic ovalization of the shaft for easy gripping.
  • Adjusting drip rings to keep your hands dry.
  • Push-button link for angle adjustment.   


  • Not as well suited if your kayak width is 29″ or more.


I hope that this post has been very useful for you in finding out what features you need to look for when buying a kayak paddle for beginners. I have provided you with all of the important details that you need to know about the features to find when looking for your first kayak fishing paddle. I have also provided you with my recommendation, which is the Pelican Kayak Paddle that we’ve linked to above, just in case you want to skip the research and put your trust in our hands.

That particular model has all of the features necessary to make it the #1 best kayak paddle for beginners. It is made with the right kind of materials to keep the paddle sturdy and lightweight. Moreover, it has an ergonomic design that guides you in where to place your hands when gripping the shaft. The length of the shaft is ideal for the beginners, and it will allow you to balance maneuverability with agility on the water.


So do you think I’m correct with respect to my recommendation as to the best kayak paddle for beginners? Let’s hear your side of the story! Have you had any luck with any other kinds of kayak fishing paddles? We’d love for you to share your tips and tricks with this kayak fishing community! You can leave your comments and suggestions below! We read and reply to every comment!

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