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Ever found yourself halfway through a serene paddle only to realize you’re clutching your paddle way too tightly?
Fellow kayakers, it’s time to up our grip game.
These innovative accessories ensure a secure and ergonomic grip, enhancing your paddling performance, reducing fatigue, and more importantly preventing blisters.
If you’re ready to spend more time on the water blister free and want to know the best option, the top pick is the Yakgrips Paddle Grips.
- Yakgrips Paddle Grips For Take-Apart Paddles (Best Overall)
- Yakgrips Paddle Grips For Solid Shaft Paddles (Best For One Piece Paddles)
- Ayaport Kayak Paddle Grips (Best Silicone Paddle Grips)
- Seattle Sports Paddle Grip (Best For Farge Diameter Paddle Shafts)
- Hornet Watersports Silicone Grip Tape (Best Budget)
Top 5 Best Kayak Paddle Grips Reviewed
1: Yakgrips Paddle Grips For Take-Apart Paddles (best overall)
- Length: 6 ¼ inches
- Weight: 2.4 ounces
- Pieces: 2
The Yakgrips paddle grips for take-apart paddles are the best paddle grips in terms of ease of use, comfort, and durability. The soft neoprene fabric makes them much more comfortable to grip compared to some of the other ones, in my opinion.
These padded grips are designed to minimize fatigue and reduce the risk of blisters and calluses.
They are designed to slide over the shaft on two or multiple-piece paddles. Because of this, they won’t work with solid shafts.
The stretchy neoprene fabric means the paddle grips fit tightly around the shaft to prevent slipping while in use. They can be easily removed by wetting the paddle grips. You should also wet the inside of the grips before you try to slide them onto the shaft.
Another great feature of these paddle grips is that they can be washed with mild soap, so you don’t have to worry about them getting dirty.
- Stretchy neoprene
- Easy to remove
- Comfortable, soft grip
- Won’t work with single-piece paddles
2: Yakgrips Paddle Grips For Solid Shaft Paddles (best for one piece paddles)
- Length: 6 inches
- Weight: 3 ounces
- Pieces: 2
These Yakgrips paddle grips are similar to the ones above but they’re designed for one-piece paddles. Unlike the other Yakgrips option, these paddle grips feature a hook and loop closure.
This means you can wrap the paddle grips around the shaft of your paddle and secure the velcro to keep the grips in place. Make sure the seam faces away from you or it could get in the way of your hands.
These paddle grips are made from neoprene and have a lycra cover, providing a soft padding that’s comfortable to hold. However, the neoprene can add a bit of depth to your paddle. Paddlers with smaller hands may notice this more than those with larger hands, as it may make your paddle shaft diameter seem larger.
These can be ideal for paddling long distances as they prevent friction and they don’t slide around on the shaft.
- Made for one-piece paddles
- Soft neoprene
- Hook and loop closure
- Padding may be too thick for some
3: Ayaport Kayak Paddle Grips (best silicone paddle grips)
- Length: 7 inches
- Weight: 5 ounces
- Pieces: 2
The Ayaport Kayak Paddle Grips are made from durable silicone, so they are designed to last a long time. These paddle grips are slightly longer than some of the other paddle grips on the market, giving you a larger surface area to grip.
A great feature of these paddle grips is that they have a non-slip design. So they shouldn’t move around on the shaft while you’re paddling. However, if your paddle shaft is smaller than ⅛ inches (30 mm) then you might struggle to get the grips to stay in place. They also won’t stretch to accommodate larger paddle shafts.
The slide-on design can make them a little tricky to put on. And because of this style, they don’t work with single shaft paddles.
These silicone paddle grips are designed to be comfortable over long distances. They can be easily removed by letting water into the inside of the grip.
- Longer than others
- Durable silicone construction
- Non-slip grip
- Only for ⅛-inch shafts
4: Seattle Sports Paddle Grip (best for large diameter paddle shafts)
- Length: 4 inches
- Weight: 1.3 ounces
- Pieces: 1
This Seattle Sports paddle grip comes in a shorter length than some of the other options. It’s made from silicone for added durability and flexibility, which can be comfortable to hold, helping to reduce friction while paddling.
A nice feature of this paddle grip is that it’s open on one side. This means you can wrap it around the shaft of your paddle and the design helps to clip it closed. Because you don’t need to slide it onto the shaft, this paddle grip can work with solid paddles and take-apart paddles.
However, the design means you may not always get a secure fit on the paddle because the closure system isn’t as secure as some of the others.
This can be ideal for paddles with larger diameters. But it might not hold still on narrower paddle shafts.
It also comes in a pack of one. So you’ll need to purchase two if you want one for each hand.
- Silicone construction
- Good for solid and two-piece paddles
- Ideal for large diameter paddles
- May move around on some paddles
5: Hornet Watersports Silicone Grip Tape (best budget)
- Length: 78 inches
- Weight: N/A
- Pieces: N/A
The Hornet Watersports Silicone Grip Tape is a versatile option for paddlers on a budget, as it can be used to make two or three paddle grips. This is essentially a roll of tape, so you can cut it to size and create a bespoke paddle grip to perfectly fit your paddle and paddling style.
One of the best features of the tape is that it’s made from silicone and is designed to stick to itself. This means there is no glue. It’s self-adhesive.
But when you wrap it around your paddle shaft, you need to overlap the layers so that the tape sticks to itself to create a secure attachment.
This budget-friendly grip can be ideal for kayak paddles, SUP paddles, and canoe paddles. Because it wraps around the shaft, it will work with a variety of different paddle shaft diameters and works with both one and multi-piece paddles.
This paddle grip tape is designed to work with fiberglass, carbon fiber, and aluminum paddles. A downside is that it’s tricky to remove once you’ve wrapped it around your paddle.
- Versatile grip tape
- Universal fit
- Difficult to remove
How To Choose Paddle Grips For Kayaks
Why Use Paddle Grips For Kayaking?
One of the main purposes of buying paddle grips is to protect your palms from blisters. These can prevent kayaking blisters by reducing the amount of friction from the paddle.
Paddle grips are also designed to reduce fatigue and provide better grip compared to holding a bare paddle.
This means you should be able to have a firm grip of your paddle, even with wet hands, allowing for more efficient paddling and more fun on the water. Remember, though, to keep a loose grip while you’re actively kayaking.
Find out how to paddle a kayak.
They can also reduce the pressure and stress on your tendons and muscles, which helps to keep you kayaking for longer.
As well as being useful for blister-free paddling, paddle grips can add a layer of insulation to your paddle. So if you paddle in very cold conditions, a set of paddle grips could help to keep your hands warmer.
Paddling gloves can also provide some of the same benefits and can be worn in addition to using paddle grips. Paddling gloves can also help to keep your hands warm and dry to prevent blisters from forming on the pressure points.
Video: Yakgrips Kayak Paddle Grips
Types Of Paddle Grips
There are typically two types of paddle grips. One type is designed to be used with paddles that can be dismantled, such as two-piece paddles. The other type is designed to be used with one-piece kayak paddles.
If you have a one-piece paddle, you’ll need the paddle grip to wrap around the shaft.
If you have a two-piece paddle, you can use a paddle grip that slides over the dismantled end of your paddle. You could also use a paddle grip that slides on or wraps around the paddle.
Paddle Grip Materials
The best material paddle grips are made out of will usually be down to personal preference.
Many paddle grips are made from neoprene or silicone. Both are durable materials that can be low maintenance and weather-friendly.
While both materials are considered soft, neoprene is generally more cushioned and offers more padding. However, because of this, the padding can add extra thickness to your paddle. Some paddlers might find the extra padding means reduced control and grip.
There is also the option of silicone grip tape, which is designed to provide a better grip without the bulk of other types of grips.
The Fit Is Important
How the paddle grip fits on your kayak paddle is important. If the grip is too loose on the paddle, it can slide around while you’re paddling. This can affect your paddling efficiency and can be frustrating.
While many paddles have a similar standard diameter, usually 30 mm (or ⅛ inches), it’s possible to get paddles with both larger and smaller diameters than this.
Some paddles will be oval rather than round, which could present another issue regarding the fit. Not all good kayak paddles will be the same shape or size.
This means it may not be the case of a one-size-fits-all paddle grip. Some paddle grips will have a universal fitting, so it can stretch or be adjusted to fit different diameters or shapes of paddles.
But it’s a good idea to measure the diameter of your kayak paddle before you choose your grip.
Some paddle grips will also work with other types of water sports or boating activities, such as canoe paddles or rowing boat oars if they’re flexible enough.
Easy To Remove
Most paddle grips can be easily removed after you install them. This gives you the freedom to use the same grips on different paddles, whether you rent a kayak and paddle or use multiple kayaks for different activities.
Kayak Paddle Grips: Often Asked Questions
Why Are Kayak Paddle Grips Important?
Kayak paddle grips can give you a better grip of your paddle for increased paddle control and more efficient kayaking.
They can also reduce friction between your palms and the paddle, reducing blisters.
Can You Replace Kayak Paddle Grips?
Yes, kayak paddle grips can be easily replaced. Over time, many grips will wear out through use and damage from the elements.
This means they may not offer the same protection or comfort as they did when they were brand new.
Do Kayak Paddle Grips Prevent Blisters?
Like paddling gloves, kayak paddle grips can help to prevent blisters. However, this may not prevent blisters completely.
But they can reduce the chance of getting them by reducing the amount of friction from the paddle and giving you a more comfortable surface to grip.
How Often Should You Replace Your Kayak Paddle Grips?
You should replace your kayak paddle grips when they are no longer performing as expected.
If they have become worn out, misshapen, or the materials have weakened, then it could be a good time to replace the grips.
How often you do this will depend on how frequently you paddle and where the paddle grips are stored.
Conclusion: Get A Grip?
If you’re ready for a blister-free kayaking adventure, the top kayak paddle grips, in my opinion, are the Yakgrips paddle grips for take-apart paddles. These are easy to install and remove thanks to the stretchy fabric. And they’re padded for extra comfort to minimize the risk of blisters and fatigue.
If you’d prefer silicone, the Ayaport paddle grips are a fantastic choice. These grips are also easy to install but they’re longer than most, which can be useful for longer-length paddles and large hands.
Remember to check the diameter of your paddle before you choose the right paddle grips for your kayak paddle. You should also double-check the fit and style to make sure it’s right for your paddle, which can be particularly important if you have a single-piece paddle.