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How To Choose Your Kayak Paddle Holders: Our Simple Guide

Paddling is one of the most fun parts of kayaking. However, there will be times when you may want to take a break from paddling. It could be to rest, fish, take a picture, or just lounge lazily on the yak, and take in the scenery around you.

A paddle holder will come in handy in any of the scenarios above as it helps secure your paddle while keeping it out of your way. If your kayak doesn’t come with a paddle holder, all you have to do is buy an aftermarket paddle holder to enjoy the benefits paddle holders offer.

There are several paddle holders on the market with very varied styles and types. It’s not always easy to know which one will suit you best. That’s why I wrote this little guide to help you choose a paddle holder that best suits your kayak.

Why Use a Paddle Holder?

Here, I’d talk to you about some of the benefits of having a kayak paddle holder attached to your kayak.


The safety kayak paddle holders afford (essentially the security of your paddle) its users cannot be overemphasized as it is one of the primary reasons for having them in the first place.

With your paddle holder in place, securing your paddle, you need not worry about losing it to water while performing other activities, like fishing, whale watching, etc.

Other than the safety it affords on water, your kayak paddle holder also affords off-water safety to your paddle. Since they are already attached to your kayak, there is no need to separate them even during storage, meaning no risk of misplacing the paddle.

In cases where there is not much room for storage, with the aid of the paddle holder that attaches your paddle to your kayak, there is more room for storing other things.


Your kayak paddle holders come in handy not just during the usual kayaking activity, you might need them even outside of the water, especially when moving your kayak.

With your paddle holder attached to your kayak and it holding your paddle in place, your kayak is carried easily to and out of the water with you having your other hand available to carry other things.


It is no longer news that kayaks are watercraft used by some for fishing. When fishing, you most probably are not paddling at the same time, hence you need your paddle to be kept in place without having to worry about it slipping away or not.

Here is where the importance of your paddle holder in fishing comes of note as they offer you the luxury of concentrating on your fishing without having to worry about the paddle.

Types of Paddle Holders


One thing unique to all the grip-style kayak paddle holders is the attractive mechanical way in which they are presented. Just take the YakAttack for example, you just have to enjoy the way the paddle settles comfortably between the grips. Another example is the RAM Roller-Ball which does more than just secure your paddle holder, it’s capable of holding other accessories, like your nets.

This grip-style paddle holder is suitable for both your oval and round shaft. They require mounting tracks and for the three examples mentioned here, each has one for either side.


The name of this type of paddle holder for your kayak is exactly what they look like, they are taco shaped. They may not be the most versatile paddle holders but I tell you they are a really fun product to use. Installing them is pretty easy. They are not conspicuous like those of the grip styles, though they offer you some sort of security superior to some other kayak paddle holders, thanks to the PadLoc style that also comes with a bungee tie.

One major shortcoming for this type of paddle holder is that they may not offer you maximum effect in oval shafts as they would in the rounded ones.


The Clip style kayak paddle holder comes in different ranges; we have really simple ones and those that are highly sophisticated.

Observing a simple clip-style paddle holder like those of Cascade Creek, that just clips to the coaming with no need for any special installation whatsoever, more so, they are suitable for a vast range of kayaks. Not to sound too good to be true, with the use of these clips, there’s a risk of your paddle sliding around inside them.

The YakGear, another clip-style kayak paddle holder, offers at the very least two different clip styles, the first being at the entry-level, while the other is a folding clip which is even more versatile.

The folding clip allows paddlers to have their paddles just beside them for quick reach when paddling needs to be resumed, which is actually a good option but since both clips need to work in some sort of a synchronized manner, it might be a little difficult to manage both at the same time.

Velcro and Cords

For the Velcro and cord types, there is a need to make use of bungee kits for these kayak paddle holders. The bungees are needed for holding your paddles. Like other paddle holder types, there are variations. For example, the Velcro options need no special installation of any sort at all, whereas those of Field and stream need a drill for them to get attached to your kayak.

One unique attribute of these paddle securers is that they are easily attached to fixtures on your kayak and can be hung over the side. Your paddle is held down by two rubber hooks attached to the kit.

The major shortcoming of the Velcro option, especially when it is compared to those of the grip and clip styles. is that opening and closing of the straps to secure your paddles are not instantaneous, as they may require a few seconds.

Assistive or Adaptive

There are not many brands associated with this type of kayak paddle holder, after a series of research, I was able to come up with only one, the Gamut Paddle Holder.

These holders are most suitable for use in sit-inside kayaks, though they can also be used in sit-on-top kayaks. The holder is a t-shaped hinged mount, it comes with two brackets, that offer stability, on the side which helps to hold the mount. It comes with a rotating clevis on top of the mount that helps to hold the paddle in place.

One major advantage of this paddle holder over the other types is that kayakers do not need to support the weight of the paddle at all as the grip is enough to do all, this singular reason makes it most suitable for kayakers with one limitation or the other.

Though it comes with some downsides, it is a little dear, though if we consider the advantage that it affords kayakers with limitations like shoulder problems or those with poor grip strength, I would say the high cost is worth it.

Another is that it might not work well in your sit-on-top kayaks, also installation may require support.

Buying Considerations When Choosing Your Paddle Holders

I’m sure you already know that in deciding the choice of a product, some factors need to be considered before getting one.

The first thing to consider is your paddle shaft. Is it an oval or a round shaft? You must ensure that your choice of paddle holder suits your paddle shaft. The taco-style holders, for example, aren’t well suited for oval shafts.

Your kayak type is another thing you sure need to consider, a sit-inside or a sit-on-top kayak. For example, the assistive or adaptive holders, as earlier discussed, do not work well in sit-inside kayaks, so a person buying this type for a sit-inside kayak is probably making the wrong choice. Another thing to take note of is that, in the installation of paddle holders, some kayaks need to be drilled, I don’t need to tell you that such a type won’t be suitable for your inflatables.

Ease of installation too needs to be considered, if you are someone like me that does not like (unnecessary) stress, you are probably going to go for a product that needs no special installation

Durability is one other thing I pay attention to, before making any purchase. It is (mostly) always better to buy what would last for a long time than what would need to be replaced from time to time.

Ease of use is another important thing that needs not be overlooked. A novice kayaker has no business buying a paddle holder that requires some special skill before use.

Final Thoughts

Every paddler should have a paddle holder mounted on their vessels. Not only will a paddle holder secure your paddle and ensure you don’t have to buy a new one regularly, they also let you go hands-free and keep your paddle out of your way. Get a paddle holder for your kayak if you don’t already have one and be sure to buy a quality one.

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