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I don't want to pay to much $75-100. I have been using a $35 dollar one from academy. It works well but I want something a little better. Also how big of a difference does a paddle make? Mine is not heavy but it's not carbon fiber either.
 

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nathan,

a paddle depends greatly on the type of boat you have, the gate of your stroke, angle of your stroke, body measurements and type of paddling your doing (ie touring, racing, all day or few hours).

if you check out wernerpaddle.com they have a go by paddle fit somewhere on their site. once you get the basic info go to a store and try a few out. most kayak/outdoor shops will let you try several paddles in the water....take your own boat to get an accurate feel for them.
 

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Carlisle Excursion fiberglass shaft usually runs about $100 and is going to be lighter than what you're probably using now. It's not as light as you can go but it's a pretty tough paddle and can take a beating.

Next step up would be a paddle with carbon-fiber shaft and plastic blades from Aqua-bound, bending branches, etc. These typically run from $150-200 depending on the quality of the joint where the 2 pieces meet. I've got 2 of these and absolutely love them! Very light-weight but still reasonably tough too.

Next step up in price is going to be $200-300 for paddles made entirely out of carbon-fiber. SUPER lightweight but may not be as durable for heavy duty kayak fishing applications.

Good luck!
Alex
 
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