If you’re getting into kayaking, you might put a lot of research into finding the right vessel.
Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing a proper paddle, though. Ideally, you’ll end up with the best boat and paddle for your needs.
However, a perfect paddle can enhance the functionality of a substandard boat, and a shoddy paddle can negate the benefits of even the most expensive kayak.
Do you need a 230 cm kayak paddle or a 240 kayak paddle? Is there that big of a difference between them?
Let’s dive in and see which one will be best for you.
Benefits of the Right Size Kayak Paddle
A paddle that fits perfectly will allow you to be more comfortable, use less energy and spend more time on the water. Although it is such an important decision, it does not have to be hard.
If you are paddling correctly, most of your paddling power comes from the big muscles in your torso as you twist your upper body, not from your arms pulling the paddle through the water. But the position of your arms determines how the power in those muscles gets transferred to the water and, ultimately, to moving the boat.
The length of the kayak paddle is directly related to the proper form to paddle correctly.
When you have the one that works best for you, you’ll know it. A kayak paddle can help you navigate effortlessly over the water. It can help you transform your muscle energy into efficient power for your boat without wasting energy. It also allows you to steer effectively.
All of this translates into a better experience for you. The right size paddle reduces fatigue and soreness. It’s comfortable to hold and doesn’t give you blisters.
There may not be a huge difference between a 230 cm kayak paddle and a 240 kayak paddle, but the difference between a 240 kayak paddle and a 260 kayak paddle is going to be noticeable.
Low Angle vs High Angle Paddling
High-angle paddling is more vertical. It’s easier with narrower kayaks, and is used for speed. Whitewater kayakers and aggressive, fast kayakers use the high-angle strokes much of the time.
High-angle paddling is more vertical. It’s easier with narrower kayaks, and is used for speed. Whitewater kayakers and aggressive, fast kayakers use the high-angle strokes much of the time. If you plan to fish out of your kayak you will likely be using a low angle stroke since it is quieter and less likely to spook the fish.
The blades of high-angle kayak paddles are shorter and wider than low-angle paddles. They’re designed to catch and hold the water for aggressive strokes, propelling your kayak forward faster.
The blades of low-angle kayak paddles are more long and narrow. This allows you to pull the blades through the water easier, meaning less fatigue. Less fatigue means more time on the water.
Bent Shaft vs Straight
There are some people that have a very specific preference over the type of shaft in addition to its length.
Some like straight shafts and others like them bent for a different grip style.
One benefit of a straight shaft is the familiar feel. We have all used straight shaft at some time and it is what most of us are used to. Other benefits are lighter weight and lower cost. If a good technique is used and a paddler holds the paddle loosely with relaxed hands, most people can paddle all day pain-free.
The bent shaft always keeps the wrists in an ergonomically correct, straight alignment, putting less pressure on the small tendons and ligaments of the wrist. You paddle farther and harder with less pain. Although bent-shaft paddles are more expensive, that investment can mean spending more time on the water and having more fun.
Aluminum, the most wallet-friendly shaft material, is durable and serviceable. It can also get really cold or hot, so you might want to glove-up before you grab it in cold weather, and you should stow it in the shade when it’s hot out.
Carbon and fiberglass shafts are durable, strong and lightweight. Pairing one of those shaft materials with a lightweight composite blade material creates your most lightweight and efficient paddle option—and the price will reflect that level of performance.
Carbon fiber is the most expensive option so if you are on a budget you should look into the fiberglass ones. They cost more than aluminum, but if you are serious about kayaking then you will quickly outgrow an aluminum shaft paddle.
Best 230 cm Paddle – Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle
Carlisle’s Magic Plus 230 cm kayak paddle can take all of the punishment you dish out while giving you a great day on the water.
Designed for efficiency, the Carlisle Magic Plus Kayak Paddle sports asymmetrical, slightly curved blades that produce smooth and powerful strokes. Fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene blades are lightweight yet durable for years of dependable service.
The lightweight fiberglass shaft features an ergonomic grip area for better paddle control and less fatigue. It weighs only 35.6 ounces which is much less than an aluminum shaft paddle and less than many other fiberglass based ones.
Of course, a carbon fiber version could be lighter, but the cost would be miles away from this affordable 230 cm kayak paddle option.
Slight spooning in the blades grab more water, providing the power needed when paddling a typical 10-to 12-foot recreational kayak. It’s an ideal length for different types of paddling and preferences.
Best 240 Kayak Paddle – AQUA BOUND Eagle Ray Carbon 2-Piece
This refined, low-angle 240 kayak paddle is nicely matched to today’s sea kayaks. Design is easy on the shoulders and wrists, helping you cover serious mileage.
A combination of carbon shaft and fiberglass-reinforced nylon blades delivers a high strength-to-weight ratio; slight shaft flex gives paddling comfort. This way you are less likely to feel fatigued and can spend more time on the water.
Smooth, flutter-free bite and pull with an asymmetrical dihedral blade face optimized for the low-angle paddling style. Expect a slow to medium speed with this paddle. If you are looking for long distance paddling without the need for speed, then you can cover big distances for fishing for instance.
To customize the paddle to how you prefer, there is adjustable feathering in the following increments: 0/30/45/60 degrees (right or left).
Overall, this is a very good carbon fiber paddle that doesn’t cost nearly as much as you might pay for other brands.
Best 260 Kayak Paddle – BENDING BRANCHES Angler Scout
The Angler Scout provides all the necessities as well as the dual tape measure built into the shaft along with the hook-retrieval system built into the blade. If your primary focus is on fishing then this is a great 260 kayak paddle to get you out on the fish.
Since you need to be stealthy and quiet to sneak up on the fish, then a long paddle like this one that uses low angle strokes is ideal for fishing.
Sturdy epX Engineered Polymer blades bookend an ovalized, aluminum shaft giving you a strong, tight paddling stroke.
The Angler Scout comes with a snug-fitting 3 hole snap-button ferrule that is adjustable for feathering angles 0° and 60°, L or R. This paddle is available in lengths from 220cm to 260cm, in 10cm increments.
If you’re serious about kayaking then Bending branches is a brand that you can trust to be with you all throughout your time spent kayaking. This 260 kayak paddle is no exception.
From 230 cm kayak paddles to 260 kayak paddles, the right length for you is not going to be an issue. There are so many great kayak paddles that will suit your torso height, paddling style and preferences.
If you have any questions about the 230 cm kayak paddle or any of the others then drop a line in the box below and I will get back to you ASAP.