What about paddles, anyway?
The great thing about recreational paddling is that it takes very little equipment. Next to the kayak itself, a paddle is your other big choice. Many of the rules that apply to choosing a kayak apply to choosing a paddle. The first rule is that there are none. There are all kinds of fancy equations people have come up with to choose the right paddle for you. The reality is, there are lots of things to consider. How long is your upper body? Your arms? What's your paddle stroke like? How big is your kayak? What type of paddling activity will you do most? How does the paddle feel? What's your budget? Do you really want a $300 carbon fiber paddle for your $400 roto-molded kayak? Listen to the advice of trained paddlers around you, then make your own decision. Like buying a kayak, buying a paddle is best to do after a "test-drive." Most paddlesports shops have demo gear available, and many will credit the cost of a rental to the purchase of equipment. Shop around, find a dealer who can provide both the product and service you require. A good dealer can be your best resource.
Video: How to Choose the Right Kayak Paddle
The kayak paddle is your connection with the water, and so it's important that you choose one that fits your body and your style of paddling.