It’s really important that lighter weight people — less bulky, less strong individuals, and most all ladies — have the right paddle or they won’t have as much fun and could possibly end up injuring themselves.
A couple features that distinguish a ladies paddle are a small blade, and a relatively flexible, small diameter shaft. The combination of these two things allow lighter weight paddlers to develop a high cadence stroke without the fear of injuring and overloading shoulder muscles, arms, and lower back. It’s really important that women don’t just grab the paddle their husbands or boyfriends use, or a rental paddle that is 1.5 or two pounds heavier.
The paddles we like to recommend for women are really lightweight, with small blade sizes — generally 83 to 90 inches in surface area, and relatively narrow, say between 7 and 8 inches wide. The shafts are quite narrow, so they are easy to grip with smaller hands. And they’re also more flexible. All these characteristics mean less load on the shoulders.
Examples of these paddles are the Quickblade Flyweight and the Kialoa Pipes. These are outstanding choices for ladies and both feature narrow diameter shafts and small blades. The Pipes is a 100% carbon paddle, ultra light with an ovalized shaft for superior comfort and grip. The Flyweight All Fiberglass paddle — with a fiberglass shaft and fiberglass blade, is a little heavier and is priced really well, while the Flyweight FG/CA, has a carbon fiber shaft and a fiberglass blade, and the Flyweight All Carbon, weighs in at a miniscule 15 ounces!
I encourage everybody to get the best paddle that their budget allows. You’ll have more fun. Your paddle is like your ski boots. It’s a critical piece of equipment that connects you, and you make contact with. Comfort is important. If you have a lightweight paddle that you like, you’re going to want to go paddling. If you have a big, clunky paddle that is oversized and fatigues you when you go out, you’re less apt to want to go paddling.
Let us help you choose the perfect paddle for you!