You’ve been kayaking for a little while now and are advanced enough to understand that your paddle isn’t quite cutting it anymore.
You have a straight shaft paddle that may be easy to use but is not the most efficient.
Time to upgrade to a bent shaft kayak paddle!
Yes, there is a bit of a learning curve involved, but once you get the hang of it you will wonder how you ever got by with a straight shaft.
In this guide I will go over several options for your paddle including the best value kayak paddle with a bent shaft.
Read on to see what they are all about!
Bent Shaft vs Straight Shaft
What exactly is a bent shaft kayak paddle?
These types of paddle have several bends on either side of each hand grip area making the shaft look something like a crank handle of a car jack to change a tire.
This different shape is to extend your reach when planting your paddle at the beginning of a stroke. This gives you the ability to pull much more water with the same amount of effort.
If your wrists have had injuries before you started kayaking, then a bent shaft paddle may help you minimize the risks of further injuring your wrists. If you have carpal tunnel, for instance, then you can still paddle a kayak with a bent shaft kayak paddle.
The best kayak paddle grips are ones that can also be used on bent shaft paddles like these ones from YakGrips on Amazon.com.
Pros And Cons Of A Bent Shaft Paddle
Of course, not every product is an upgrade for everybody and each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some things to consider before you set out to buy your bent shaft kayak paddle.
- More efficient paddling
- Easier on your wrists
- Makes crossing lots of water easier
- Works for many different heights and positions
- Usually more expensive than straight shaft
- Learning curve involved to master
- Hard to use paddle grips
Our Top Picks
Werner Camano Fiberglass Bent Shaft Paddle
- Continuous weave, low angle design
- Advanced dihedral power face
- Carbon blend shaft
- Average weight: 964g (34 oz.)
- Designed to feel like a straight shaft
If you are a kayak fisherman that wants and easy and efficient way to paddle, then this should be at the top of your list.
For starters, the design of these best kayak paddle grips is unique in that it feels like a straight shaft paddle. That means there is less learning curve to figure out how to use it. You get the ease of a straight shaft with the benefits of being easy on your wrist since it is a bent shaft.
The low angle design will give you a smooth stroke and very quiet. This angle is perfect for fishing since it is not so disruptive on the surface of the water so you can more easily sneak up on your fish.
Lightweight and durable, you won’t feel fatigue even after a long day paddling after the fish.
Make sure you add on the best kayak paddle leash to keep your paddle from floating off. This one from Amazon.com is a great choice for any paddle.
The best part about this paddle is that I find it to be the best value kayak paddle for bent shaft since Werner straight paddles are roughly the same price. There isn’t much extra cost to upgrading if you are already a Werner fan.
For the best kayak paddle grips for bent shaft paddles make sure you check out the link from earlier in the article.
AQUA BOUND Whiskey Carbon Bent Shaft
- Hand-crafted carbon blades
- Compression-molded to increase strength
- Very lightweight at 25.5 ounces
- Infinite feathering angle adjustability
- Posi-Lok ferrule with corrosion-free construction
With a carbon fiber shaft and blades, this is one durable and lightweight kayak paddle. Be warned that it is a high angle paddle so if you are thinking of using it for fishing, then keep that in mind. It is meant as a high performance paddle and not just for dinking around chasing minnows. This is for the guys that need a high level of attitude to keep up with some rough scenarios.
Because of that I wouldn’t classify this as a best value kayak paddle. It is fairly expensive.
It does make touring quite easy though even though it really shines when you need to punch through waves. It pulls the water nicely and efficiently on the forward stroke so you can make good time if you want to cover a lot of water. It does have a very smooth stroke so don’t think it only takes on rough jobs.
Overall, this is an expensive paddle, but you’ll get a lot of use out of it making it a good value anyway. Make sure you use the best kayak paddle leash with this one as you don’t want to lose it!
AT Paddles Geronimo Glass Bent Shaft
- Shaft Material is Fiberglass Blend Duraweave with Innegra, Full Control Grip
- The Blade Material is Fiberglass Duraweave
- Sort of lightweight at 39.5 ounces
- Reinforced Tips for Abrasion Resistance
Now, we have a best value paddle for bent paddle enthusiasts. This one is very affordable and still gives you plenty to love. Now it is not as light and durable as the Aquabound and Werner brands versions, but it holds itself up well. If it were made out of carbon we would be talking about the same price point.
The blades are more durable than nylon and have an abrasion resistant tip for when you find yourself paddling through reefs or in the rocks.
Add the best kayak paddle leash and you have a great paddle combo.