Fortunately, boating and kayaking accidents are on the decline. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for the worst. A good quality kayak paddle float attachment can help you re-enter your kayak without outside help.
Consider a few types and models as well as the benefits of a good float. Keep reading to learn more about some popular float attachments and their features for your kayaking journey.
Benefits of Paddle Float Attachments
When looking at paddle float attachments, the best ones offer multiple benefits. Whether you’re new to kayaking or not, a good kayak paddle float attachment can be a lifesaver. If you ever fall out of your kayak or it capsizes, you can use the float to perform a self-rescue.
Consider a few of the most significant reasons to use a paddle float attachment.
Even after years of kayaking, your boat may capsize. And if you’re far from land, it can be hard to swim and bring your kayak with you. Luckily, the best kayak paddle float can help with re-entry to your kayak.
The float can give you the buoyancy you need to push yourself out of the water and back on to your kayak. Paddle float attachments are easy to put on your paddle, so they’re the perfect tool for beginner and experienced kayakers.
When you don’t need to get back in your kayak, you can use it to stabilize the boat. You can attach a paddle float to each side to keep the kayak upright. That’s especially useful if you want to go through rough waters or kayak in bad weather.
Both inflatable and foam paddle floats can help you stabilize your kayak. And if your boat does capsize, you can quickly find the paddle floats. You won’t have to spend time inflating one before you can do a self-rescue.
Perhaps you always kayak in calm, smooth waters. Maybe you never get far enough from shore to need a paddle float. Still, you can use one as a backrest to feel more comfortable. If you do need it for re-entry, you’ll already have it.
Sometimes, having a paddle float on hand can give you peace of mind. You never know when you may need to use it to rescue yourself.
How to Select a Paddle Float
Measure your current kayak paddle to see how big each end is. Then, you can choose a paddle float that’s big enough to fit your paddle blade securely. But it shouldn’t be too large, or else the float may not stay on.
Size can also be important if you don’t have much space for storage. If you need a larger paddle float, you may want to get an inflatable one that you can deflate after you get out of the water. It also won’t take up as much space in your kayak.
However, a foam paddle float is better in the winter or choppier waters because it’s ready to go. You won’t have to spend time blowing up an inflatable paddle float before you can put it on your paddle and get out of the water.
How to Use a Paddle Float
If your kayak capsizes, you’ll need to keep track of it and your paddle. In calm waters, you can use one hand to do this. But if the waters are rougher, you may want to adjust your kayak so that you can stick one foot in it so that it won’t float away.
Now, you can get out your paddle float and inflate it if necessary. Then, you can put it on one paddle blade. Put the other end of your paddle in your kayak so that it forms a T.
Use the float to push yourself up and into your kayak. After you get your upper body out of the water, move your legs to one side and lift each one back into the kayak. Then, you can adjust your position so that you’re back in your seat.
Once you’re safe and secure, you can reel in your paddle and remove the paddle float. Keep it nearby in case you capsize again, especially if the weather isn’t very clear.
Where to Store Your Paddle Float
When you’re kayaking but aren’t using the float, you can store it behind your seat. You can also keep it on the back deck, but it needs to be somewhere quick and convenient. If you have an inflatable paddle float, you may also be able to store it in your pocket or on your person.
When you aren’t on your kayak, you can store your paddle float with your other supplies. That way, you can grab everything you need the next time you hit the water.
Best Kayak Paddle Float Attachments
The best kayak paddle float attachment for you will depend on a few factors. Fortunately, you can choose from multiple excellent quality attachments. Next time you’re on the water, you can have your paddle float at the ready if you need it.
Here are a few excellent paddle floats to consider for beginners and experienced kayakers alike.
Riverstone Paddle Float
The Riverstone Paddle Float is a fantastic option if you want something inflatable. It has dual air chambers and twist air valves to help with buoyancy. You can put your paddle in the mesh pocket and secure it with buckle closure.
This paddle float is a bright yellow, so others can easily see you. Because it comes with a twist air valve, you don’t need a pump to blow up this float. That makes it easy to use in calmer waters when you have time to blow it up yourself.
The Riverstone float measures 12.5” by 24” and weighs 12.5 ounces, making it easy to carry and store.
- Easy to use
- Good quality
- Great for self-rescue
- Doesn’t collect water
- Holds air well
- Valves can leak
Seattle Sports Dual-Chambered Paddle Float
Another great float to consider is the Seattle Sports Dual-Chambered Paddle Float. It features an extra-large air capacity to give you more leverage when pushing out of the water. You can blow up each chamber with air to help with kayak re-entry.
The float uses reflective binding and has a clip-on safety tether. Reflective tape can help others see you when it’s dark out, and the safety tether keeps your kayak from floating away.
It’s also a bright yellow, so it’s easy to see at any time of day. The float inflates quickly and easily.
- Easy to set up and use
- Helps with stability
- Perfect for self-rescue
- Extra safety features
- Durable material
- Twist valves are not secure
- May be a little big
NRS Foam Paddle Float
Sometimes, a foam float is more convenient, so consider the NRS Foam Paddle Float. It has a nylon outer shell and uses EPE closed-cell foam for better flotation. You can put your paddle in the nylon fabric pocket, and the reflective tape can add extra visibility.
The foam measures 18” by 8.8” by 3” and can handle many uses. While it’s orange and not yellow, it’s still bright and easy to see in the water.
You can keep the float in your kayak for quick access, and you won’t have to spend time inflating anything.
- Quick to set up
- Great in choppy waters
- Adds stability
- Easy to store
- Not the best floatation
- Hard to take off
NRS Sea Kayak Paddle Float
The NRS Sea Kayak Paddle Float is another inflatable option. It features a nylon outer shell and a grab loop to help you stabilize yourself. You can use the twist valves to blow air into the float, and it has two chambers, so that one is a backup.
This float can displace 14 liters of water, so it can help you get back into your kayak more easily. It also has reflective tape and is yellow, both of which can help with visibility.
You can use the buckles to secure the float to your paddle. Then, you can quickly re-enter your kayak.
- Well constructed
- Worth the price
- Works well in deep water
- Fits many paddles
- Easy to use
- Hard to fold up for storage
- Needs better drainage
Wiseman Trading Paddle Float
The Wiseman Trading Paddle Float is excellent if you’re on a budget. It’s inflatable and has dual air chambers with twist valves so that you can blow it up yourself. You can also use one chamber as a backup or for extra flotation.
This float measures 12.5” by 24” and weighs 12.5 ounces, so it’s not too big or bulky. It’s also a bright red to help with visibility in harsh or dark conditions.
The float is very stable and great for beginners and more experienced kayakers. You can quickly secure and remove your paddle when necessary.
- Good value
- Great quality
- Easy to use
- High visibility
- Can be hard to blow up
Harmony Blade Aid Paddle Float
Another inflatable option to consider is the Harmony Blade Aid Paddle Float. It uses a durable fabric that can withstand salt water, and you can inflate it with an auto-valve to help keep your hands free to hold on to your kayak and paddle.
As you blow up the float, it will lock to your paddle, so you don’t have to fuss with it. It’s also easy to deflate when you’re done using it.
The yellow color makes it easy to see when you need to find it or so that others can see you’re in trouble.
- Works well
- Easy to use
- Good quality
- Very secure
- Can take time to deflate
Sea to Summit Inflatable Paddle Float
The Sea to Summit Inflatable Paddle Float is another excellent choice. It uses durable nylon and has a high visibility print, making it easy to find when you need it and easy to see in dark conditions.
This float also comes with a safety whistle you can use if you can’t get back to safety and need help. There’s also a mesh pouch that can assist with water drainage.
You can use the same valve to inflate and deflate the float. When inflated, it measures 16” by 11” by 7”. It measures 15.5” by 3.5” by 2” when in storage.
- Can velcro the float to a kayak deck
- Easy to grab and set up
- High visibility
- Safety whistle
- Not the best quality
Choosing a Paddle Float
Selecting the best kayak paddle float attachment is challenging but essential. You never know when you might fall out of your kayak and need to rescue yourself.
All of the products here are fantastic, so compare a few that stand out to you. That way, you can have some life-saving equipment next time you hit the water.