Cadence from Lendal North America

Photo: Matt Stetson
Get your Lendal. | Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $390

Lendal’s Cadence is a high-angle performance paddle. The featherweight carbon construction gives the Cadence a comfortable swing weight and high return on each stroke. Its blades are tough, with a fine entry, and the power transfer is clean and crisp without flex.

The Cadence’s oval shaft is comfortable and allows for natural ergonomics, while Lendal’s Leverlok system offers feather adjustments and up to five centimeters of length extension on the fly. According to Lendal, the Cadence is designed to inspire confidence in novices, but also provide a paddle capable of tackling the most challenging waters. This is the lightest paddle in the Lendal lineup, weighing just 625 grams.

Crystal X from H2O Paddles

As precious as crystal. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $187

The H2O Crystal touring paddle features an eye-catching, transparent nylon blades that combines performance and aesthetics. The Crystal’s blades are a new generation of transparent, high-performance polyamides—an aerospace-grade material—promising to be long-lasting and offering maximum feedback on the water. At the Paddlesports Retailer tradeshow in 2018, sales manager Shillion Mongru showed off just how tough H2O paddles are when he repeatedly smashed the blade with a hammer—with not even a scratch to show for it. According to H2O, the Crystal offers the benefits of a full carbon unit but at a fraction of the price.

Weighing in at 800 to 950 grams, the Crystal features a Fast Ferrule and uses click-locking technology for on-the-fly feather adjustments in 15-degree increments. It’s available in lengths from 210 to 240 centimeters.

Kalleq from Gearlab

Gearlab Kalleq paddle
Fitted to perfection. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $438

Gearlab’s newest offering launched at last summer’s Outdoor Retailer tradeshow in Denver, Colorado. The name of the 800-gram Kalleq comes from the Inuit word for lightning, and it boasts the ergonomic efficiency and lowered wind resistance of a traditional Greenland blade.

Gearlab’s paddles feature innovative swappable paddle tips, which means paddlers can choose between flat tips or rounded tips—the flat tips provide greater stability when pushing off rocks in shallow water, while round tips extend the blade by a centimeter, extending paddle and stroke.

The Kalleq is 13.5 percent lighter than Gearlab’s top-selling Akiak paddle, and its edge width is reduced almost in half. The new, sharper edge of the Kalleq improves efficiency and paddling stability. Gearlab has also redesigned the Kalleq’s internal structure to improve strength and durability, highlighted by diamond pattern carbon weave along its length.

Tango Fiberglass from Aqua-Bound Paddles

Photo: Matt Stetson
The only dance you’ll ever need. Photo: Matt Stetson
Price: $274.95

Combining beauty and performance, the Tango from Aqua-Bound is an excellent choice for paddlers looking to connect form and function at an affordable price. The Tango’s multi-laminate fiberglass blades are hand-crafted using high-pressure compression molding and come in three attractive, hi-visibility color options.

Along with its all-carbon shaft, this Tango Fiberglass paddle has a light swing weight and weighs just 737 grams. The Tango Fiberglass is available with Aqua-Bound’s 100-percent carbon Posi-Lok ferrule system, which clicks into position firmly and securely.

The Posi-Lok features corrosion-free construction, convenient dual-button release and infinite feathering angles. Available in lengths from 210 to 250 centimeters in increments of five centimeters.

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  1. It’s always great to read gear reviews and having read the last two on “best kayak paddles” I feel you’ve left out an amazing brand that has more than one model that easily contends or out performs some of your aforementioned paddles. Nimbus Paddles from Quadra Island on Vancouver Island (British Columbia, Canada) is a small shop run by two pretty amazing guys who produce top notch paddles. I’d love to see you cover their product and see what you have to say about their paddles.


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