Kayak Gear Recommendations


Recreational and racing paddlers use shorter paddles (210-220cm) with wide blades. This is the common genero paddle sold in big-box sports stores like Dicks or Bass Pro Shops. But for long-distance trips, use a longer paddle (230cm) with thinner blades. These are marketed as “touring” paddles and sold in smaller, specialized kayak outfitters.


This may seem counter-intuitive. After all, the idea is to move the most water so that the boat goes farther. Right? Well yes, but remember that on a thru-paddle, you are paddling for hours a day, day in and day out. A short, wide paddle moves a lot of water but is exhausting. A longer paddle gives you a longer stroke, and a thinner blade pushes less water. This combination allows for easier, sustainable paddling for the long haul.

Long Lasting and Durable  Does Not Equal Heavy and Bulky

The Sea-Line bag on the right is a heavy-duty dry bag marketed to boaters and made from PVC vinyl. This type of heavy bag used to be the standard for waterproof equipment, but attitudes and gear have changed. PVC is toxic and bad for the environment and so many dry bags are now touted as "PVC free." But some consumers continue to buy these PVC bags because they believe that the heavy material is more durable than lighter sil-nylon. That just isn't so. I used thin sil-nylon bags on my CT thru-paddle and they lasted the entire trip.

Zip Ties = D Rings

D-rings are for hooking small pieces of gear to belts, deck bags, et cetera. Plastic zip-ties are a great substitute.