Kayak paddles come in a variety of styles. One of the most popular types is a two piece adjustable paddle. These paddles break down for storage and can be easily assembled on site.
Two piece paddles include some method for adjusting paddle angles. These allow kayakers to choose to offset paddles or to align them together.
Offset (feathered) paddles can be important in windy situations. As the kayaker digs in with an offset paddle, the opposite paddle is parallel to the wind, causing less wind drag.
On the next stroke, the kayaker rotates the paddle slightly, aligning the blade with the water for maximum thrust. With feathered paddles, the opposite paddle is now aligned correctly to slip thru the wind easily.
Paddle length is another important consideration. When selecting the proper length paddle, kayakers consider their body size, upper body strength, kayak width, and other factors. A paddler may need more than one paddle when using multiple craft. Most paddles are fixed-length although some models are adjustable.
Paddles normally include a moveable rubber deflector on the shaft to reduce dripping. Other paddle accessories include safety leashes and grip pads for comfort.
For maximum comfort and efficiency, kayakers should always make sure the seat, foot pedals, paddles, and leash are set and adjusted correctly. Taking a few moments to get comfortable with your kayak can really pay off in the long run.