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Kayak Paddle Drip Rings – Do They Work?

Mark Armstrong
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You may have heard people talking about drip rings for kayak paddles but what are they and do you really need them?

That’s what this article is all about…confirming whether or not they work and if they might be useful to you and particularly your style of paddling.

Kayak Paddle Drip Rings - Do They Work? - Pinterest ImagePin

What Are Kayak Paddle Drip Rings?

Drip rings are rubber rings that can attach to either end of your paddle. They’re designed to prevent water from running down the shaft of your paddle and onto your lap.

However, some people might argue that drip rings for kayak paddles don’t always work as intended, and that you should expect to get at least a little wet while paddling.

Although, your paddling technique can also affect how much water will drip onto you.

Typical Drip Rings
Seattle Sports Glow in The Dark Seawall Drip Rings for Kayak PaddlesPin

Do I Really Need A Drip Ring?

You may or may not be bothered by water dripping on you while you’re paddling. If it’s a hot day it may bother you less, than if it’s winter and you’re trying to stay warm and dry. So whether you need drip rings for your kayak paddle will likely be down to personal preference.

> Drysuit vs Wetsuit

If you have a low paddling stroke you might be less likely to suffer drips. But if you raise your paddle higher, the laws of gravity will cause water to run down the shaft, so the more vertical your paddle is the more likely water will land on you.

Some people may find that drip rings don’t work and that they seem to scoop up more water than if they weren’t there at all. However, it could just be how they’re set on your paddle.

Setting them at the ends of your paddle above where the water line will be may give you better results. If the drip rings enter the water, you might find that they will scoop it up.

A good way of setting your drip rings is to use your hands to measure one or two hand widths along from your blade. If the drip rings are set too close to you, the point at which the water will drip off them might be on your yak, so you’ll need to find the perfect position specifically for you and your kayak.

Video: Drip Rings 101

Some paddles will come with drip rings already attached but you can also make your own out of various materials, including pool noodles.


Now that you know a little more about drip rings for kayak paddles you can decide whether or not they might be useful for you. If you have a high angle stroke you might benefit from them in order to stop the water running down and onto your lap.

As long as the drip rings are set in the right place they can help you to stay dry but it’s all about what works for you.

> Basic drip rings to buy

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1 thought on “Kayak Paddle Drip Rings – Do They Work?”

  1. Drip rings DON’T work and are potentially dangerous during kayak rescues. They interfere with deck lines when stowing paddle’s on a kayak’s deck. I rip them off my paddles any chance I get! Don’t buy em.


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