- Top 10 Best Kayak Handles in 2023
- 1. Occult Handle
- 2. Apacai Handle
- 3. Pelican Sport Handle
- 4. Anndason Handle
- 5. Hlogree Handle
- 6. Jiozermi Handle
- 7. Amurs Handle
- 8. Yyst Handle
- 9. Pactrade Marine Handle
- 10. Yyst Handle
- Types of Kayak Handles
- Handle Placement
- Handle Materials
- Comfort & Grips
- Factors to Consider
When it comes to enjoying the serenity of the open water, kayaking has always been a favored adventure. However, even the most enthusiastic kayakers can find themselves struggling with the practicalities of transportation and maneuvering. This is where reliable kayak handles come into play. In 2024, the market offers an array of options designed to make carrying, launching, and handling your kayak a breeze. In this guide, we will delve into the common problems kayakers face with handles, provide insights into choosing the right handle, and present the best kayak handles of 2024 that are bound to enhance your overall kayaking experience.
The joy of kayaking can sometimes be dampened by the difficulty of transporting your kayak from one place to another. Bulky and awkward to carry, kayaks often require two or more people to lift and move. This not only makes transportation a logistical challenge but also limits solo kayakers. Additionally, launching your kayak into the water can be tricky without a reliable grip, leading to accidental slips and potential damage.
When shopping for the perfect kayak handle, several factors need to be considered. The material of the handle plays a crucial role in its durability and comfort. Opt for handles made from weather-resistant materials like rubber or high-quality plastics, ensuring they can withstand exposure to water and sunlight. The design should provide an ergonomic grip, allowing for comfortable carrying and easy maneuvering. Consider handles with non-slip textures to prevent accidents when wet. Compatibility with your kayak’s dimensions is also important, as a well-fitted handle will make the transportation process smoother.
To ease your search for the best kayak handles in 2024, we’ve compiled a list of top contenders who have gained recognition for their performance, durability, and user-friendly designs. These handles are engineered to provide you with a hassle-free kayaking experience, from carrying to launching. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or a casual kayaker, these handles are designed to cater to various preferences and needs, ensuring that your kayaking journeys remain enjoyable and stress-free.
Enhance your kayaking escapades by investing in a high-quality kayak handle that simplifies the challenging aspects of transportation and handling. Our comprehensive review of the best kayak handles in 2024 will guide you through the features, pros, and cons of each option, empowering you to make an informed decision. Say goodbye to the hassle of carrying and launching your kayak, and say hello to more time spent enjoying the water. Join us as we explore the top-notch kayak handles that can transform your kayaking adventures into seamless and delightful experiences.
Top 10 Best Kayak Handles in 2024
1. Occult Handle
Revolutionize your kayaking and canoeing experience with the cutting-edge Occult Kayak Handle. Designed with precision and engineered for performance, this sleek and sturdy handle is your ultimate companion for hassle-free marine vessel carrying. Crafted to perfection, the Occult Kayak Handle is more than just a means of transportation – it’s a statement of style and innovation.
Sleek Design for a Distinct Look
The Occult Kayak Handle redefines aesthetics and functionality. With its strong handle and rope straps, it seamlessly blends form and function. The meticulously designed handle not only offers robust support but also adds an element of elegance to your watercraft. Say goodbye to loose ends and welcome a streamlined design that enhances the overall appeal of your kayak or canoe.
Effortless Assembly in Three Simple Steps
Gone are the days of complex installations. The Occult Kayak Handle boasts a user-friendly assembly process that takes mere seconds. Just follow these three easy steps:
- Fasten the rope through the designated mounting location.
- Pass both rope ends through the central hole of the kayak handle.
- Tie a secure knot and effortlessly snap the cover into place.
With this straightforward installation, you’ll be ready to hit the water in no time.
Built to Withstand the Tides
Kayaks come with their fair share of weight, and the Occult Kayak Handle is designed to tackle the challenge head-on. Crafted from robust plastics, these handles are engineered to withstand the rigors of marine adventures. The included high-quality rope strap strikes the perfect balance between strength and convenience. Whether you’re navigating ocean waves or enjoying a tranquil lake, these handles ensure a secure grip and comfortable carrying.
Optimal Size for Convenience
The Occult Kayak Handle is carefully crafted with dimensions that prioritize convenience without compromising on performance. Each handle measures 4 inches in length and 7.5 inches in width, offering ample space for a comfortable grip. The package includes two extra-long 16-inch ropes that can be tailored to your preferred length. The gray plastic cover seamlessly integrates with the main handle, offering a cohesive and seamless look.
Ergonomic Comfort for Endless Adventures
Comfort is paramount during waterborne expeditions, and the Occult Kayak Handle delivers. The handles feature four concave notches that allow your hands to slide in effortlessly. The ergonomic design conforms to the natural shape of your hand, ensuring a comfortable grip. The handle’s width is thoughtfully rounded to further enhance comfort without adding bulk. The flush-fitting cover completes the design, offering a handle that feels like an extension of your kayak.
|Just under 1/4 inch
|2 x 16-inch (trimmable)
2. Apacai Handle
Upgrade your kayaking adventures with the Apacai Kayak Handle – a blend of durability, innovation, and comfort. Crafted to redefine your marine experience, this versatile handle takes your kayak or canoe carrying to a whole new level. Let’s dive into the features that set the Apacai Kayak Handle apart.
Comprehensive Package for Convenience
Unboxing the Apacai Kayak Handle is an experience in itself. Each package includes:
- 8 kayak carry handles
- 32 tapping screws
- 32 steel gaskets
Sizes matter, and the Apacai Kayak Handle stands out with its dimensions of 11″ x 1.2″ (L x W). The package ensures you have everything you need for a hassle-free installation, letting you focus on your aquatic escapades.
Double Hole Fixed for Ultimate Stability
Stability and safety are paramount when handling your kayak. The Apacai Kayak Handle is engineered with a double-hole fixed design. Both ends of the handle grip bases feature reinforced double holes, bolstering the stress-bearing area. Each hole is fortified with steel gaskets, enhancing the handle’s stability even during the most challenging journeys.
Ergonomic Non-Slip Comfort
Comfort meets innovation with the Apacai Kayak Handle. The ergonomic design ensures a secure and comfortable grip. On one side, a concave and convex grip offers a tactile experience that keeps your hands in control. On the other side, a specialized anti-sliding design prevents unwanted movements, ensuring your grip remains firm even in wet conditions. Say goodbye to discomfort and hello to confidence.
Premium Material for Durability
Durability is woven into every aspect of the Apacai Kayak Handle. Crafted from high-quality solid PVC and robust PP, these handles are designed to withstand the elements and serve you for years to come. Regardless of the climate, the Apacai Kayak Handle retains its integrity, offering a reliable companion on all your aquatic journeys.
The Apacai Kayak Handle isn’t limited to just kayaks. Its versatility extends to various applications, making it a go-to choice for replacements or customizations. Whether you’re upgrading old handles or enhancing other equipment like suitcases and doors, the Apacai Kayak Handle delivers unmatched performance.
|Kayak Carry Handles
|Apacai Kayak Handle
|Sizes And Packing:
|– Handle Size: 11″ x 1.2″ (L x W)
|Screw Hole Diameter
|Double Hole Fixed:
|Reinforced Double Holes for Both Ends
|Ergonomic Design with Concave and Convex Grip
|Made of High-Quality Solid PVC and Firm PP
|Suitable for Kayaks, Canoes, and More
3. Pelican Sport Handle
The Pelican Sport Kayak Handle – is the epitome of comfort, color, and convenience. Revolutionize your kayak transportation experience with these ergonomic handles that combine innovation and durability seamlessly. Dive into the features that set the Pelican Sport Kayak Handle apart from the rest.
Ergonomic Comfort in Every Hue
Transporting your kayak just got a lot more comfortable and stylish with the Pelican Sport Kayak Handle. These handles are not only functional but also a visual delight. The ergonomic design fits perfectly into your hand, offering optimal comfort during carrying. Whether you’re a seasoned kayaker or a beginner, these handles ensure your transportation experience is smooth and enjoyable.
Robust Construction for Reliability
Crafted to withstand the rigors of outdoor adventures, the Pelican Sport Kayak Handle is engineered from top-tier materials. These handles boast a construction of polypropylene and industrial-grade polyester fibers. The incorporation of heavy-duty nylon eye straps ensures longevity and dependable performance even in challenging conditions. With the Pelican Sport Kayak Handle, you’re investing in a companion that stands the test of time.
Complete Set for Easy Installation
The Pelican Sport Kayak Handle comes as a comprehensive package, sparing you the hassle of hunting for individual components. Each set includes:
- 2 kayak handles
- 4 machine screws
- 4 self-tapping screws
- 4 nuts
This thoughtful package ensures you have everything you need for a seamless installation, enabling you to hit the water with confidence.
Vibrant Colors for Personalization
Stand out on the water with a touch of vibrancy. The Pelican Sport Kayak Handle offers a variety of colors to choose from, allowing you to personalize your kayak to match your style. Whether you prefer bold and vibrant hues or understated elegance, these handles cater to your individuality while enhancing your kayak’s aesthetics.
|Pelican Sport Kayak Handle
|– Ergonomic Comfort<br>- Robust Construction<br>- Complete Set for Easy Installation<br>- Vibrant Colors for Personalization
|Polypropylene and Industrial-Grade Polyester Fibers
|– 2 Kayak Handles<br>- 4 Machine Screws<br>- 4 Self-Tapping Screws<br>- 4 Nuts
|Outdoor Recreation Product
4. Anndason Handle
Experience the epitome of convenience and comfort with the Anndason Kayak Handle. Designed to simplify your kayaking journeys, this handle redefines ease of transportation and storage. Dive into the features that make the Anndason Kayak Handle a must-have for every water enthusiast.
Comprehensive Package for All-In-One Convenience
Unbox the Anndason Kayak Handle to unveil a package designed with your needs in mind. Each package includes:
- 2 kayak handles
- 6 screws
- 2 paddle drip rings
With this comprehensive kit, you have everything required for quick and hassle-free installation, allowing you to focus on your water adventures.
Perfect Size for Universal Compatibility
The Anndason Kayak Handle is engineered to fit most boats, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of vessels. With dimensions of approximately 27.5 x 2.5 cm (10.8 x 0.9 inches), this handle strikes the ideal balance between compactness and functionality, making it a versatile solution for various watercraft.
Padded Grip for Unmatched Comfort
Say goodbye to discomfort during transportation. The Anndason Kayak Handle features a side carry handle with a padded grip, offering a level of comfort that enhances your kayaking experience. This ergonomic design ensures a secure and comfortable grip, allowing you to focus on the journey ahead without worrying about strained hands.
Easier Carrying and Storage
The Anndason Kayak Handle isn’t just a handle; it’s a game-changer for both carrying and storing your kayak. The innovative design ensures that both these aspects of kayaking are made significantly more convenient. The comfortable grip and easy-to-use installation make handling your kayak a breeze, while the efficient design allows for more efficient storage when your adventures are done.
|Paddle Drip Rings
|Anndason Kayak Handle
|2 kayak handles<br>6 screws<br>2 paddle drip rings
|Size (L x W)
|Approx 27.5 x 2.5 cm (10.8 x 0.9 inches)
|Fits most boats
|Side carry handle with padded grip
|Makes carrying and storing easier
5. Hlogree Handle
Introducing the Hlogree Kayak Handle – a fusion of durability, design, and versatility that takes your kayaking experience to the next level. Whether you’re an avid paddler or a leisurely cruiser, these handles redefine how you handle your kayak. Let’s delve into the features that set the Hlogree Kayak Handle apart.
Unmatched Durability and Sturdiness
Crafted from high-quality rubber, the Hlogree Kayak Handle boasts professional-grade construction. These replacement handles are not only durable but also offer a perfect fit, enhancing your grip and making handling a breeze. Experience a stronger and more reliable connection to your kayak, ensuring that your journeys are smooth and worry-free.
Inclusive Kayak Accessories for Complete Solutions
The Hlogree Kayak Handle goes above and beyond by providing you with a comprehensive package. Along with 4 kayak carry handles, you’ll also receive:
- 16 orange D Rings
- 28 M6*18 screws
- 28 M6 Nuts
- 4 round buckles
This thoughtful inclusion ensures that you have everything required for a seamless installation, allowing you to focus on the water.
Ergonomic Anti-Slip Design for Comfort
Comfort meets innovation with the Hlogree Kayak Handle. The ergonomic handle groove design offers an anti-slip feature that enhances your grip and stability. These handles are designed to prevent slipping, ensuring a secure hold as you navigate the water. The finger grip below the groove adds an extra layer of comfort, making your kayaking experience truly enjoyable.
Effortless Installation for Everyone
Installing the Hlogree Kayak Handle is a breeze, thanks to the included elastic nylon strap paddle holder and kayak rivets with rubber rings. The package also includes additional screws and round buckles for the kayak carry handle, making the installation process a DIY-friendly endeavor. Say goodbye to complex installations and welcome convenience and simplicity.
|Orange D Rings
|Hlogree Kayak Handle
|Durability, Sturdiness, Ergonomic Design, Easy Installation
|High-quality Rubber, Professional-grade Materials
|4 Kayak Carry Handles, 16 Orange D Rings, 28 M6*18 Screws, 28 M6 Nuts, 4 Round Buckles
|Anti-Slip Handle Groove with Finger Grip
|Elastic Nylon Strap Paddle Holder, Kayak Rivets with Rubber Rings, Additional Screws, Round Buckles
|Suitable for Kayaks, Canoes, Suitcases, Luggage, Doors, etc.
6. Jiozermi Handle
Experience the perfect blend of quality, comfort, and versatility with the Jiozermi Kayak Handle. Crafted to enhance your kayaking adventures, this handle is a testament to innovation and design. Explore the features that make the Jiozermi Kayak Handle a standout choice for water enthusiasts.
Precise Product Size for Optimal Fit
The Jiozermi Kayak Handle is designed with meticulous attention to detail. The total length of the grab handle is 11.4 inches, with a plastic grip measuring 4.53 inches in length and a circumference of 3.15 inches. The nylon strap width is 0.98 inches, while the pedestal boasts dimensions of 1.34 x 1.26 inches (L*W). The pedestal hole diameter is 0.24 inches. This precise sizing ensures a secure fit and exceptional performance.
Quality Assurance with Durable Materials
Crafted from high-quality nylon and a combination of PVC and PP, the Jiozermi Kayak Handle guarantees longevity and performance. The use of slightly elastic rubber further enhances its durability. This handle is non-toxic, non-polluting, and tasteless. It’s engineered to withstand cold temperatures and wear, making it a reliable companion for your kayaking adventures.
Ergonomic Non-Slip Design for Comfort
Safety and comfort merge seamlessly in the Jiozermi Kayak Handle. The grooved handle design is specifically crafted to prevent slippage, ensuring a firm and secure grip even during the most challenging waters. The ergonomic arc design enhances comfort, allowing you to hold on for extended periods without experiencing fatigue.
Versatile Applications for All Your Needs
The Jiozermi Kayak Handle isn’t limited to just kayaking. While it’s perfect for kayak paddles, tandem kayaks, and various major brands, its versatility extends to suitcases, luggage, doors, and more. This adaptability makes it a valuable addition to your gear, offering convenience and functionality beyond the waters.
|Jiozermi Kayak Handle
|Jiozermi Kayak Handle
|Plastic Grip Length
|Plastic Grip Circumference
|Nylon Strap Width
|Pedestal Size (L*W)
|1.34 x 1.26 inches
|Pedestal Hole Diameter
|Nylon, PVC, PP, Slightly Elastic Rubber
|Non-toxic, non-polluting, cold-resistant, wear-resistant
|Grooved handle design for anti-slip, ergonomic arc design
|Suitable for kayak paddles, tandem kayaks, luggage, suitcases, doors, and more
|30-day money-back guarantee by Jiozermi
7. Amurs Handle
Discover the ultimate blend of customization, convenience, and value with the Amurs Kayak Handle. Crafted to elevate your kayaking experience, this handle is more than just a grip – it’s a comprehensive solution for all your kayaking needs. Dive into the features that make the Amurs Kayak Handle an essential addition to your gear.
Pro Customization for Perfect Handling
The Amurs Kayak Handle is expertly crafted using quality rubber, ensuring durability and long-lasting performance. This heavy-duty handle is designed to make your kayak handling easier than ever before. The ergonomic anti-slip design guarantees a firm and stable grip, making your kayaking adventures both safe and enjoyable. Compatible with most kayaks, this handle is a versatile accessory that’s ideal for replacing old handles or adding extra handles to your kayak. Its applications extend to suitcases, luggage, doors, and more.
Value For Money Combo for Ultimate Convenience
Prepare to be amazed by the value-packed combo that the Amurs Kayak Handle offers. The kit includes:
- 2 kayak carry handles (with screws)
- 4 kayak scupper plugs
- 12 tri-grip rivets
- 6 pad eyes
- 1 8-feet elastic bungee cord
- 2 waterproof gasket rings
This comprehensive package ensures that you have everything you need for a seamless kayaking experience, enhancing your boating and fishing endeavors.
Kayak Scupper Plugs for Dry Adventures
Stay dry during your kayaking escapades with the included kayak scupper plugs. These lightweight and portable plugs keep water out of your kayak, enhancing your comfort on the water. With durable pull handles and robust connect points, these plugs are designed to withstand the rigors of kayaking. Their corrosion-resistant properties ensure they remain sturdy and reliable even in water-soaked conditions.
Easy Installation for Instant Gratification
Installing the Amurs Kayak Handle is a breeze, thanks to its universal fit and reinforced holes. The package includes screws that add to the handles’ security, ensuring a worry-free installation process. Whether you’re replacing old handles or enhancing your kayak with additional handles, the Amurs Kayak Handle offers easy installation at any angle.
|Amurs Kayak Handle
|Pro Customization, Value For Money Combo, Kayak Scupper Plugs, Easy Installation
|Quality Rubber, Aluminum, Water-proof Rubber O-rings
|Most Kayaks, Suitcases, Luggage, Doors, etc.
|– 2 Kayak Carry Handles (with screws) <br> – 4 Kayak Scupper Plugs <br> – 12 Tri-Grip Rivets <br> – 6 Pad Eyes <br> – 1 8-Feet Elastic Bungee Cord <br> – 2 Waterproof Gasket Rings
|Enhances Kayak Handling <br> Ensures Dry Adventures <br> Easy Installation at Any Angle
|Kayaking, Boating, Fishing, Outdoor Activities
|100% Satisfaction Guarantee: Full Refund Within 30 Days
|Follow Manufacturer’s Installation Guidelines
|Get Yours Today
|Elevate Your Kayaking Adventures with the Amurs Kayak Handle!
8. Yyst Handle
Experience a new level of simplicity and reliability with the Yyst Kayak Handle. Crafted to enhance your kayaking adventures, this handle redefines ease of transportation and comfort. Delve into the features that set the Yyst Kayak Handle apart as an essential accessory for water enthusiasts.
Comprehensive Kit for Hassle-Free Installation
The Yyst Kayak Handle comes as a complete package, ensuring that you have everything you need for a seamless installation process. The kit includes:
- 2 kayak pull handles with cord
- 2 pad eyes
- 4 stainless steel screws
- 4 nuts
This all-inclusive kit guarantees that you’re equipped with the essentials to enhance your kayaking experience effortlessly.
Nylon Pad Eye for Durability
Rest assured that rust will not be a concern with the Yyst Kayak Handle. The pad eye, a vital component of the kit, is crafted from durable nylon. This ensures that your kit remains free from rust-related issues, offering long-lasting reliability during your water adventures.
Optimal Handle Width for Comfort
Comfort meets innovation with the Yyst Kayak Handle. The 4-inch wide handle is designed to provide an ergonomic grip, enhancing your handling experience. This width strikes the perfect balance between grip comfort and stability, making your kayaking journeys enjoyable and hassle-free.
Robust Cord for Secure Handling
The Yyst Kayak Handle’s strength lies in its details, and the cord is no exception. The 6mm solid braided cord included in the kit is built to be much stronger than alternatives. This ensures secure handling and a reliable grip, allowing you to navigate the water with confidence.
|Yyst Kayak Handle
|– 2 kayak pull handles with cord<br>- 2 pad eyes<br>- 4 stainless steel screws<br>- 4 nuts
|Pad Eye Material
|6MM solid braided
9. Pactrade Marine Handle
Experience the perfect blend of durability, security, and convenience with the Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle. Crafted to redefine your kayaking experience, this handle is designed to enhance your grip and confidence on the water. Let’s explore the features that set the Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle apart and make it an essential addition to your kayaking gear.
Unparalleled Durability with Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)
The Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle is crafted from highly durable Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR), ensuring long-lasting performance even in challenging conditions. This durable material guarantees that your handle withstands the rigors of water adventures, offering a reliable grip and peace of mind on the water.
Comprehensive Kit for Hassle-Free Installation
The Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle comes complete with everything you need for a seamless installation process. The kit includes:
- Stainless steel 4pc screws
- 4 pc nuts
- 8 pcs washers
This all-inclusive kit ensures that you have the essential components for a secure and stable installation, allowing you to focus on enjoying your kayaking journeys.
Universal Compatibility for Various Watercraft
Whether you have a sit-on-top kayak, a sit-in kayak, or a canoe, the Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle is engineered to cater to your needs. Its versatility makes it suitable for a wide range of watercraft, ensuring that you can enhance your grip and convenience regardless of your vessel type.
Reinforced Design for Enhanced Security
The Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle goes the extra mile to ensure your security and confidence on the water. The end webbing is doubled and stitched, adding an extra layer of strength and security to the handle. This reinforced design guarantees that your handle remains securely attached, giving you the assurance you need during your kayaking adventures.
|Pactrade Marine Kayak Handle
|Highly durable Thermoplastic Rubber (TPR)
|– Stainless steel 4pc screws <br> – 4 pc nuts <br> – 8 pcs washers
|Sit-on-top kayaks, sit-in kayaks, canoes
|End webbing is doubled and stitched for extra strength and security
10. Yyst Handle
Discover the perfect blend of comfort, durability, and versatility with the Yyst Kayak Handle. Designed to enhance your kayaking experience, this handle offers a comprehensive solution for your grip and convenience on the water. Dive into the features that make the Yyst Kayak Handle an essential addition to your kayaking gear.
Premium Material for Delicate Comfort
Crafted from high-quality 600D Nylon and professionally customized slightly flexible rubber, the Yyst Kayak Handle offers a luxurious and comfortable grip. The delicate hand-feel enhances your handling experience, making it easier and more comfortable to maneuver your kayak. The durability of the material ensures that this handle stands the test of time, providing reliable performance throughout your water adventures.
Ergonomic Anti-Slip Design for Confidence
Safety and grip combine seamlessly in the Yyst Kayak Handle. The handle groove design is specifically crafted to prevent slipping, ensuring a secure and stable hold on your kayak. The ergonomic finger grip design below the groove enhances your comfort and confidence, allowing you to enjoy extended kayaking sessions without fatigue.
Versatile Application for Various Watercraft
The Yyst Kayak Handle’s versatility knows no bounds. It’s designed to replace old handles or add extra handles to your kayak, making it fit for most boats. Whether you have a kayak, boat, canoe, or any other watercraft, this handle enhances your grip and convenience, allowing you to focus on enjoying the water.
Thoughtful Sizing for Optimal Fit
The Yyst Kayak Handle’s dimensions are meticulously designed for optimal fit and comfort. With a length of 11 inches, a nylon strap width of 1.0 inches, a pedestal size of 1.26 inches, and a pedestal hole diameter of 0.23 inches, this handle strikes the perfect balance between grip comfort and stability. This thoughtful sizing ensures that your grip is secure and comfortable throughout your kayaking adventures.
|Yyst Kayak Handle
|Quality 600D Nylon / Slightly Flexible Rubber
|Delicate and Comfortable
|Strong and Durable for Long Time Use
|Handle Groove Design for Enhanced Grip
|Finger Grip Below Groove for Added Comfort
|Suitable for Most Boats
|Replacing Old Handles or Adding Extra Handles
|Length: 11 inches, Nylon Strap Width: 1.0 inch
|Pedestal Hole Diameter:
Kayak Handles Buying Guide
Kayak handles are an important part of your kayak setup. They allow you to carry and control your kayak more easily. When choosing kayak handles, there are a few key things to consider:
Types of Kayak Handles
- Molded Handles – These are handles that are built right into the kayak mold. They are usually made of plastic or composite materials. Pros are they are sturdy and permanent. Cons are they can’t be changed or customized.
- Deck Rigging – This refers to ropes or webbing tied to the deck to create handles. Usually easy to install and adjustable. But can loosen over time.
- Bolt-On Handles – Metal or plastic handles that bolt onto the kayak deck. Offer more options for customization and can be stronger than deck rigging. But they add weight and hardware that could come loose.
- Carry Handles – Special padded handles made just for carrying the kayak. Offer comfort but take up deck space.
Where you place handles on your kayak affects how you’ll carry and control it. Some key placements:
- Side Carry Handles – For balanced carrying. Usually molded or bolt-on.
- Bow & Stern Handles – For lifting each end and transporting. Deck rigging works well here.
- Thigh Brace Handles – Webbing loops to grip with your thighs for better control.
- Perimeter Lines – Rope around the deck to remain secure if you capsize.
- Plastic – Lightweight but can degrade over time.
- Metal – Durable but adds weight. Stainless steel resists corrosion.
- Composites – Mix of materials like carbon fiber or fiberglass. Very strong but expensive.
- Webbing/Rope – Lightweight and easy to install. Nylon or polyester resists stretching.
Comfort & Grips
Look for padded and ergonomic handles when possible. Eva foam and rubberized grips maintain comfort for extended carrying.
With the right selection of comfortable and secure handles, transporting your kayak will be much easier. Always inspect handles for signs of wear before each use.
Factors to Consider
- Intended Use – If you will primarily carry your kayak long distances, prioritize lightweight but durable handles. For whitewater kayaking, choose handles that allow you to maintain control.
- Kayak Material – Fiberglass and composite kayaks can withstand rigid bolt-on handles. For inflatable kayaks, flexible deck rigging is better to avoid punctures.
- Weight Capacity – Make sure to choose handles rated for the fully loaded weight of your kayak model, with a safe buffer. Going over capacity can cause handles to fail.
- UV Resistance – Handles exposed to sunlight regularly should be resistant to UV degradation. Plastic can become brittle and rope/webbing can fade.
- Corrosion Resistance – Metal handles like stainless steel resist corrosion but can still occur over time, especially in saltwater. Rinse handles after use.
- Storage – Some handles fold or detach when not in use for easier storage. If storing the kayak outside, remove unneeded rigging.
- Emergency Use – Handles as perimeter lines serve as emergency grab points if capsized. Practice using them to be prepared in an emergency.
- Aesthetics – Match handle colors/styles to your kayak for a coherent look. Or use contrasting colors for easy visibility.
Choosing the right kayak handles involves balancing durability, function, comfort, and appearance. Evaluate your needs and kayak setup to select the best handles for safe, easy transport.
Do Kayak Paddles Make a Difference?
Yes, using performance or touring kayak paddles can make paddling easier since they are lighter weight and reduce fatigue. The lighter swing weight also lessens joint strain.
Why are Kayak Paddles Notched?
Some paddles have a notch cut into one of the blades to aid in retrieving fishing lures. It allows the user to place the fishing line into the notch and use the paddle to push a snagged lure off an obstruction.
Do you Point the Kayak Paddle Blades up or Down?
A: For proper paddle orientation, you want the shorter side of each blade on the bottom and the blades perpendicular to the ground. Point your large knuckles up.
What is the Difference Between a Kayak Paddle and a Canoe Paddle?
A: Kayak paddles typically have blades on both ends, while canoe paddles only have a blade on one end. Kayak paddles are also smaller/lighter since they are designed for use while sitting vs. kneeling/standing in a canoe. The asymmetric blade design of a kayak paddle makes it more efficient for paddling on one side of the boat.
What are Some Common Mistakes for First-Time Kayakers?
A: Choosing big or busy waterways for your first trip, kayaking on rivers, starting in cold/windy weather, and choosing waters with steep, rocky, or mucky shorelines. Don’t sign up for multi-day trips as a beginner either.
Is a Sit-in or Sit-on Kayak Easier to Paddle?
A: Sit-on kayaks are often easier since they have an open cockpit, allowing more freedom and ease of movement while paddling. Sit-ins have a closed cockpit.