Our Readers’ Favorite Blog Content of 2023

6-minute read

We put out a wide variety of paddling content every year. Here are the top 10 blog posts with the most reader traffic in 2023.

"2023 Readers Favorites" with image of sea kayakers among ice bergs

Go ahead and relax with a cup of your favorite beverage for some fun reading. Enjoy!

1. 23 Top Tips to Get You Stand-Up Paddleboarding Quickly

Stand-up paddleboarding (or SUP) is a fantastic full-body workout. Plus it’s just a fun way for people of all ages to get on the water. Almost anyone can give it a try.

Here are three of the 23 tips we offer:

  • Find a good spot to launch—Choose a nice warm day in calm conditions at a sandy, shallow beach to give yourself every advantage when you’re a novice.
  • Start on your knees—This gives you a chance to get the feel of the board and how it moves in the water while keeping a low center of balance. When you feel confident paddling on your knees, go ahead and stand up.
  • Practice climbing back on your board—Once you know you’ll be able to get back on your board, falling off isn’t such a big deal. Be sure your leash is attached, though, so your board stays close by!

Read the other top tips.

2. How to Choose: Sit-on-Top vs Sit-In Kayaks

When it comes time to choose a kayak the options can be a bit mind-boggling. There are several questions you should ask yourself before making your decision to be sure the model you buy will suit your needs and desires.

One of the most basic choices is between a sit-inside model and a sit-on-top model. Each shines for the purposes it’s designed for—paddling style, water environment and the paddling focus (for example, will you use it for recreational paddling, fishing, the family cabin?).

You’ll be most happy with your purchase when you’ve considered the right questions and chosen accordingly. Comfort, performance and stability are just three things to keep in mind.

To find out which questions to ask, read the full blog post.

3. Kayak Paddle Feathering: What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

This is one of our readers’ most-asked questions: “What is paddle feathering?”

This article goes over what feathering is and when you might want to feather your kayak paddle. We also explain the difference between the ferrule types (where the two halves of a kayak paddle come together) and how each type impacts your feathering options.

There’s a video included, too, so you can see a visual of paddle feathering.

Read all about kayak paddle feathering.

long shot of a kayaker at sunset

(Photo courtesy of Andrew Strain)

4. Kayak Paddles: High-Angle vs. Low-Angle

Beginning kayakers often treat the purchase of their paddle as an afterthought—“Oh yeah, I need a paddle, too!” Just like different kayaks suit different paddling styles and purposes best, so different paddles suit different styles and purposes best.

But go into a paddle shop and you’ll discover a confusing array of paddle styles available! A basic difference is high-angle vs. low-angle—each has a specific blade shape.

Should you buy a high-angle or low-angle paddle?

Keep reading here to find out.

5. When Is It Too Cold to Kayak?

If you’re in the north like we are (Wisconsin, USA) the short answer is: When the water is frozen solid! But there are many times and places when the water is still liquid but special care needs to be taken with cold-weather kayaking.

The point of this blog post is that it depends on your gear because safety is #1. Cold weather and cold water kayaking can be life-threatening in emergency situations without the right precautions.

Follow the advice of one of our Ambassadors who kayaks in Norway through the winter!

6. Bent vs. Straight Shaft Kayak Paddles

When would someone opt for a bent shaft kayak paddle over a straight shaft model? That’s what we discuss in this blog post.

Each of these shaft types has its purpose and advantages. For example, straight shaft paddles are almost always less expensive than a similar bent shaft. And bent shafts are less fatiguing for long days on the water for most people who use them.

Take a look at more on these two shaft styles.

7. New to Kayaking? Don’t Make These 11 Mistakes

For beginning kayakers who look forward to enjoying their first few times on the water we bring up eleven situations you may not have thought about. Avoid these mistakes for more fun and for your own safety.

One of them is: Don’t start out on a busy waterway. If you’re constantly having to dodge bigger, faster boats and are getting caught in their wake, you won’t have as much fun as in quieter, calmer waters. And you won’t have to wonder if the folks driving those bigger boats are looking out for your little kayak.

Read through the 11 mistakes many new kayakers make.

long shot of a paddle boarder at sunset

8. How to Paddle Board in Windy Conditions

We wish the weather was always perfect when we take out the paddle board. But we know it isn’t! Sometimes what starts as a nice calm day ends up blustery. How do we deal with wind?

We cover three topics that relate to paddle boarding in the wind: tips for handling wind, deciding when it’s too windy to go out, and safety factors to keep in mind when the wind picks up.

What to know about wind when SUPing.

9. How to Kayak on Rivers and Current

Rivers and current are a different kayaking environment than flatwater (lakes) with a specific learning curve. Here we have Aqua Bound Ambassador Ken Whiting (a veteran river paddler) take us through the basics of river kayaking in his video.

We cover water hazards that are common in rivers, what a capsize can mean, what to do in waves and more. One of the most important considerations is your personal skill level, and we cover that too.

Read and watch about kayaking in rivers.

10. All You Need to Know to Choose a Kayak Paddle

The final blog post in our roundup of our readers’ top 10 for 2023 is all about how to choose a kayak paddle.

We cover the different materials paddles are made with, their shapes and how that affects paddling. Why length matters and how to size a paddle to suit you properly. Finally, why the cost range? What makes a paddle more affordable and more expensive, and why that will matter to you?

Get your kayak paddle education here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Top 10 list. See you in 2024!

Do you have paddle questions our friendly Customer Service Team can help you with today? Contact them: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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