Love them or hate them, you simply can’t afford to ignore paddle floats. Paddle floats have come an integral part of kayaking and without them you will find it very hard to do a self-rescue in case your boat gets capsized in the middle of nowhere. Paddle boats makes it super easy to make a reentry into the boat if it gets upturned somehow. Majority of the paddle floats are made from foam like material and thus making them ideal for cold weather condition. Without paddle floats, you will have a hard time getting into the cockpit if your kayak somehow gets swamped. This is the reason why it is essential for all kayakers to have a proper understanding of paddle floats.
Best 5 Kayak Paddle Floats
01. Wisemen Trading Kayak Paddle Float
|Dual air chambers for added safety
|Comes without any packaging
|Quick and easy inflation and deflation
|Might need more user instructions for beginners
|Secure buckle closure ensures paddle blade stays put
|Versatile use: from training to self-rescues
|Durable and reliable even after frequent usage
If there’s one thing every kayaker should know, it’s that safety is paramount. Enter the Wisemen Trading Kayak Paddle Float, an essential tool that I’ve come to rely on during my open water expeditions.
Remember the first time you tried to roll or needed that extra support in the water? This paddle float was there for me. Inflating it? A breeze! Both chambers filled up swiftly, without any hassle. And deflating was just as easy. When it comes to functionality, securing the paddle blade was no fuss, thanks to that quick-release buckle. It’s one of those details that make all the difference when you’re out on the water.
It’s not just about functionality; the float’s adaptability deserves a mention too. Whether I was practicing bracing strokes or just wanting to give snap rolling a go, the float was right there, tucking neatly into my kayak, ready for action. The added bonus? It’s easy on the pocket.
02. NRS Sea Kayak Rescue Paddle Float
|Dual air chambers for enhanced safety
|Screw locks on inflation valves can be tricky
|Drains easily thanks to mesh material at the bottom
|Can occasionally slip off if not tightened well
|Versatile: from safety gear to potential camp pillow
|Could benefit from improved drainage
|Fits a variety of paddle sizes
|Sturdy construction; built to last
The great outdoors, vast sea, and me with my kayak. Sound familiar? If you’re like me, always seeking that offshore kayaking adventure, then gear safety is a no-brainer. And on that front, NRS’s Sea Kayak Rescue Paddle Float has been a loyal buddy.
Right off the bat, its dual air chambers caught my eye. Talk about reliability! Not to mention, the well-crafted design promises durability, ensuring it’s up for the long haul. Draining the float, especially when you have that sneaky water creeping in, is pretty straightforward with the mesh bottom. As someone who’s always on the lookout for multifunctional gear, hearing that this could double up as a camp pillow was a pleasant surprise!
However, like every good story, there’s always a twist. The inflation valve’s screw locks might test your patience a tad, especially in those colder waters. And a word to the wise – give those straps a good tug to ensure the float stays put. All in all, if you’re looking to up your kayaking safety game, this paddle float’s got your back.
03. Riverstones Paddle Float
|Dual air compartments provide flexible inflation
|Initial orientation might stress the mesh
|Mesh screen design enables functionality even when float is on
|Some users might find it tricky at first
|Suitable for learning kayak rolls
|High-quality materials and stitching
|Standard, reliable valves
Let me tell you, the Riverstones Paddle Float is the mate you wish you had sooner. First up, the dual air compartments? Genius! Whether you want it fully puffed up or slightly deflated, you’ve got choices. And that’s the beauty of it – adaptability. I’ve lent it to mates wanting to hone their rolling skills, and they’ve sung its praises. Plus, as an added bonus, it doubles up as an extra float bag for those kayaking adventures.
The mesh screen is a real game-changer. Not only does it make sure your paddle can still work its magic in the water, but it also cleverly allows water to pass through. Word of advice? Make sure the mesh faces the front side of your paddle to avoid unnecessary strain. As for the valves, simple and effective – just the way I like them. And speaking of the float’s design, it’s clear Riverstones didn’t skimp on quality. The materials and stitching? Top-notch.
So, whether you’re a newbie wanting to get the hang of the roll or an old sea dog like me, this paddle float’s got your back. And, let’s not forget its potential as a safety tool. Like I always say, practice with it before you truly need it and keep it within arm’s reach.
04. NRS Foam Paddle Float
|No need to inflate; quick to deploy in emergencies
|Bulkier than inflatable models
|Multi-functional: back support, seat cushion, signaling tool, and more
|Might occupy significant deck space
|Reflective strips enhance visibility
|Dense and firm foam construction
|Accommodates heavier weights effortlessly
Alright, so let’s chat about the NRS Foam Paddle Float. First and foremost, the no-inflate feature? Brilliant. I’ve done my fair share of cold-weather kayaking, and trust me, you don’t want to be blowing up an inflatable float with numb lips and fingers. With the NRS, I’m up and back on my kayak in no time. Plus, it hugs the paddle just right, no wobble or jiggle. And man, if you’ve not used it as a back support during those long hours of paddling, you’re missing out. Makes a world of difference for the ol’ back.
Now, I’ve heard the chatter about it being bulky. True, it’s a bit heftier than those air-filled counterparts, but for speed and ease? Hands down, the NRS wins. I’ve been that guy in the middle of a bay, watching others still trying to inflate their floats while I’m already back in action. Plus, the bonus is in its versatility – ever tried using it as a cushion on the beach or a makeshift camp pillow? Spot on.
The foam is solid, and those reflective strips? Perfect for those low light situations when you want to be seen. If you ask me, for its price, it’s a steal. Whether you’re a seasoned paddler or just dipping your toes in the water, this float’s got you covered. And hey, safety first, always! Keep paddling, my friends
Understanding Paddle Floats: A Quick Primer
In essence, a paddle float is a buoyant device that you can attach to one end of your paddle. When you’re trying to get back into your kayak after a capsize, this float serves as an outrigger, providing stability during the self-rescue process.
Types of Paddle Floats
Paddle floats can be broadly categorized into two types based on the material used in the production process –
1. Inflatable Paddle Floats
The very best thing about inflatable paddle floats is that they don’t eat up much space. When deflated, these inflatable paddle floats can be squeezed into small compartments without making your kayak heavy. The blade of the paddle is placed between the two compartments of these inflatable paddle floats but you need to inflate the paddle first.
This could be an issue for those paddlers who tend to panic when their boats get capsized. They need to stay calm in such events and try to inflate the paddle floats first before trying to reenter the kayak. Vinyl and Nylon are two popular materials that are widely used for making inflatable paddle kayaks. Nylon is an inexpensive option but it gets worn out easily. This is the reason why it makes sense to opt for Vinyl as it makes the paddle floats extremely expensive.
2. Foam Paddle Floats
The biggest advantage of using Foam Paddle Floats is that they are ready to use. No need to inflate them. All you have to do is to take them out from the compartment and there you go, they are instantly useable. These Foam Paddle Floats can be used for assisted emptying as well. But the problem with these Foam Paddle Floats is that they don’t offer much buoyancy. Moreover, they eat up more space of the tiny compartments.
|Inflatable Paddle Floats
|Foam Paddle Floats
|No (requires inflation)
|Risk of puncture
|No risk of deflation
Tips for Picking the Perfect Paddle Float
- Buoyancy Level: First and foremost, consider the buoyancy level. If you’re a larger individual or have a heavier kayak, you might need the extra lift an inflatable provides.
- Ease of Use: In my experience, when you’re in cold water, trying to inflate a float can be cumbersome. Foam floats shine here, being immediately usable.
- Durability and Quality: Check the materials. Remember, durability can be a lifesaver. Ensure the seams on inflatable floats are well-sealed and that foam floats are made of robust, marine-grade foam.
- Additional Features: Some paddle floats come with extra features like reflective strips for visibility, quick-release buckles, or even dual air chambers for added safety.
Paddle Floats in Different Conditions
As someone who has kayaked in a myriad of conditions, I’ve come to understand that the environment plays a significant role in the functionality of paddle floats.
- Cold Weather: In icy conditions, foam paddle floats have an edge. Your hands might be numb, making inflating an inflatable float challenging. Foam floats offer immediate usability.
- Windy Conditions: In windy scenarios, an inflatable float’s larger surface can act like a sail, making it harder to control. Here, a foam float might be more manageable.
- Choppy Waters: In turbulent waters, the high buoyancy of inflatable floats can be a boon. They provide a stronger outrigger effect, aiding in stabilization.
At the end of the day, choosing the best paddle float, much like kayaking itself, is a deeply personal journey. What works best for one might not for another. The key is understanding your needs, the conditions you’ll be kayaking in, and, most importantly, ensuring you practice regularly with whatever paddle float you choose.