Water Blog

Choosing the right kayak paddle for Naples, Florida Kayaking

By Kyle McKenzie | Nov 09, 2019 | Naples

With the arrival of our new kayak gear here in Naples, Florida I decided to write about the different types of kayak gear necessary while kayaking in Naples, Florida.  In this article, I will discuss your kayak paddle.  This is the second piece of kayak equipment after your PFD that we recommend you splurge on. Why you ask? It is the most personal part of your kayak gear.  Your kayak paddle is in your hand 99% of the time while on a kayak trip in Naples!  So when you are ready, take the plunge and buy the best paddle you can afford. Now, how do you know what kayak paddle is best or right for you?  

Recreational, fiberglass touring and Carbon Touring Paddles

There are three basic categories when it comes to kayak paddles. Each type of kayak paddle is designed for the conditions of the area you intend to paddle, the type of kayak you’ll be in and the type of kayaking you plan to do.   There are Recreational, Whitewater and touring paddles. If you plan on kayak Naples, Florida, you want to purchase either a recreational or touring kayak paddle. 

Whitewater Kayak Paddles

There is no whitewater to kayak in Naples.  Whitewater kayak paddles are typically heavier, stronger and made of either carbon fiber or fiberglass. The heavier weight associated with a stronger whitewater kayak paddle isn’t necessary when kayaking the Everglades or Naples.   These paddles will definitely work here, but there is no need to spend the extra money on a more expensive kayak paddle designed for a different type of kayaking unless you plan to kayak surf.

Recreational Kayak Paddles

Recreational Kayak Paddle
Aluminum Shaft Recreational Kayak Paddle

Recreational kayak paddles are going to be your basic $20-$60 paddles, typically equipped with an aluminum shaft and some type of plastic blade.  These kayak paddles are fine for the once a month kayaker, but if you start to kayak any distance at all you will notice fatigue in your arms and shoulders.  These kayak paddles are typically heavy and the paddle blades aren’t always designed for any one type of paddle stroke. These are also the types of paddles that 99% of the kayak tours in Naples, Florida use. These paddles will work and are great starter paddles if you are unsure of how much you will actually kayak. If you can afford it, go the next step up and purchase a touring kayak paddle. Adventure Paddle Tours is committed to your comfort, which is why we have made the switch to all fiberglass shaft kayak paddles on our kayak tours in Naples. To learn more about Adventure Paddle Tours click here.

Touring Kayak Paddles

Full Carbon Touring Kayak Paddle
Full Carbon Touring Kayak Paddle

Touring kayak paddles are definitely your go-to paddle design if you plan to go kayaking in Naples, the Everglades or the Marco Island area often.  Touring kayak paddles are often constructed of lighter, stiffer and less corrosive materials. This is super important if you are kayaking any distances in the saltwater in Florida.  These kayak paddles will also have a blade shape designed for either a high angle stroke or a low angler stroke.  Touring kayak paddles can range from $100 for your fiberglass shafts and up to $400 for a full carbon fiber construction. While on a kayak tour with Adventure Paddle Tours, we teach a low angle stroke. This kayak stroke is typically less stressful on the shoulders and more efficient for longer kayaking trips.  Paddle blades designed for this type of stroke are typically long and slender, whereas a high angler kayak blade will have a boxier designed to push as much water as possible.   

Fiberglass Shaft Kayak Paddle
Fiberglass Shaft Touring Kayak Paddle

All of our kayak tours in Naples, Florida are up to 6 miles long and having the lightest and most fatigue free paddle is important to us.  That is why if you jump on a kayak tour with Adventure Paddle Tours you will be equipped with the best paddles, life jackets and kayaks available.  For our adult kayakers, we use a 34-ounce fiberglass shaft touring kayak paddle, American made by Aquabound in Osceola, Wisconsin.  For our younger kayakers, we provide them with a much lighter carbon fiber shaft, child-specific kayak paddle called the Sharky.  This paddle is also made by Aquabound and it is sure to keep those kiddos happy while on a kayak tour in Naples, Florida.  

Children's Carbon fiber kayak paddle
“The Sharkie” Carbon Fiber Shaft kids paddle

I am a firm believer that you don’t need the newest most expensive gear to get out and enjoy your kayaking in Naples, Florida but again if you want to start kayaking more and more do yourself a favor and buy a kayak touring life jacket and paddle.  Our new kayak specific PFDs should arrive in Naples sometime early next week.  Be on the lookout for a new article explaining why a kayak touring PFD will make you happy and comfortable while kayaking in Naples, Florida!

If you want to paddle the different types of paddles Book a kayak tour today and we will be happy to bring multiple options.

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