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Buy a Canoe Paddle

Updated on May 12, 2011

Buy a Canoe Paddle

One of the most overlooked decisions when it comes to buying a canoe is choosing the right paddle. Most people seriously underestimate the importance of making the right choice. A good canoe paddle can make the experience much more enjoyable. There are a few things that you need to keep in mind in order to make sure you buy a canoe paddle that is right for you.

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In large part the type of canoe paddle that you buy will be largely determined by how what kind of canoeing you are planning to do. If you are looking for a paddle for recreational canoeing a small to medium sized blade will be ideal. You will likely want a T-grip or a pear grip as this will be more comfortable for your hand. You can save some money by getting a heavier paddle but most people think it is worthwhile to spend the extra money for light weight one.

If you are planning to use your canoe to take trips you are definitely going to want to make sure that you buy a light weight canoe paddle. You will also want to make sure that it is durable and has some flex to it, composites, fibreglass and wood are good options. To make paddling for long periods easier it is a good idea to get a small blade, beavertail or tulip-shape are usually the best option.

A paddle for white water canoeing should be as stiff as possible, you really don’t want any flex. You will want to get a paddle with a large blade, tulip-shaped or a broad rectangle are the best options. A T-grip will help to give you maximum control.

It is important when you buy a canoe paddle that you know how to choose one that is the right length. It is far easier and more comfortable if you are using a paddle that is the right length. Ideally the length of the shaft should be the distance from the water to your mouth when you are in position to paddle. Obviously this will depend on the canoe that you are going to use and whether you are going to be sitting or kneeling while paddling. The best options is to measure this length but if that isn’t possible most people find a paddle that is 56-58 inches works fine.

The shape of the blade that you are going to use is another important consideration, a long narrow blade is good for cruising since it requires less energy to paddle, but it comes at the expense of control. On the other hand a short wide blade gives you excellent control and is perfect for white water canoeing, the downside is that it takes a lot of energy to paddle.

 The shape of the grip and the shaft are also important as they will go a long way to determining how comfortable the paddle is to use. A T-grip is the best option for white water paddling since it will give you the most control. For canoe trips a pear shaped grip is the best option since it is the most comfortable. There is also a soft T-grip that falls somewhere in between and is the best option for general recreational paddlers. When it comes to the shape of the shaft a round shaft is cheaper but an oval one is more comfortable. They also come in a variety of sizes so you will want to try out a few different ones to make sure that you are buying a canoe paddle that you are comfortable with.

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