The vast majority of recreational canoeists don’t give their canoe paddle a second thought. They simply buy a few canoe paddles at the same time as their canoe and that’s where their focus on paddles ends. This is unfortunate since a properly sized and specified canoe paddle can drastically change the enjoyment of canoeing almost immediately. Factors such as the size, materials, and features of each part can affect the canoe paddle’s overall efficiency
and therefore desirability. Here is a guide for those things to consider when you are about to choose and buy a canoe paddle.
Contrary to what you’ve heard about canoe paddles, size does matter. It makes absolutely no sense at all for a 6 foot 2 inch person to use the same size canoe paddle as a 5 foot 4 inch canoeist. Or worse, to have a child with their small hands to use the same paddle as an adult. Canoe paddle size
affects posture, efficiency, fatigue, and stroke
. There are a few different ways to figure out what size canoe paddle you’ll need. Learn these methods so that you can make an educated decision the next time you buy or rent a canoe paddle.
There doesn’t seem to be much to a canoe paddle. At first glance they are not very long, are held on one end and the other end is in the water. However, built within this simple instrument is the ability and freedom to propel oneself across the surface of the water with ease, grace, and power. Seen in those terms, a canoe paddle’s three main parts, the handle, the shaft, and the blade, are of critical importance. Learn about the different design and performance features
of these parts to help you decide which differentiations in paddle design best meet your needs.
The materials that go into making a canoe paddle affect so much more than merely the price. Design features such as weight, balance, flexibility, rigidity, and durability are all affected by the materials of the different components of a canoe paddle. There are three basic classifications of materials for canoe paddles. First, and most basic, are called aluminum paddles. Aluminum paddles are made of an aluminum shaft and a plastic handle and blade. These are also called plastic paddles. The next type of paddle material is wood. Wood canoe paddles can be made of one type of wood or layers of different types of wood. The final canoe paddle material designation is composite canoe paddles. These paddles are made of different composite materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass. Learn all about the benefits of canoe paddles made from each of these materials
4. Putting it All Together
So, the next time you’re ready to buy a canoe paddle use the above guidelines to help you make the optimal decision. In Summary:
- First, know what size canoe paddle you want.
- Next, determine if there are any specific features you want built into the three parts.
- Lastly, figure out what material you want and still meets your budget.
Happy Canoe Paddle Hunting!