-- Last Updated: Dec-31-12 8:39 PM EST --
This is a short, wide recreational sit-on-top. First question is what kind of paddling will you do? Rivers, surfing, flat water, etc. Fishing, piddling around? Knowing that, then maybe you can make a better decision as to blade size and shape, and the length of the paddle. It's a wide boat, so it should not be too short.
The amount you want to pay for a carbon paddle is unrealistic. You may be able to find a used one for that price--if you're lucky. A new full-carbon paddle is generally in the $400 range. There are cheaper models that have a carbon shaft and blades made of something else like fiberglass, plastic or even wood.
Feathering is having the blades at different angles to each other, like 60° or 90°. The purpose is to help reduce wind resistance when you are paddling in windy conditions. The idea is to allow the blade that is out of the water to "slice" through the wind, rather than face it flat. Believe me, it makes a great difference. Most paddles nowadays allow you to adjust from even bladed to feathered, right hand or left. So no worries there.
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