Wandering Around Out There With A Canoe On My Head

Gear To Bring Portaging: Paddles

by Preston
February 22, 2010

What To Look For:

Having a paddle is just as important as having a canoe, and there are almost as many paddle options as there are for canoes. Don’t sweat the details though, you just need a good canoe paddle that will hold up through the trip. Ideally, your paddle should be the proper size for you height. Here’s the good news: Generally, paddles come with the cost of the canoe rental, and the outfitters will help you find the right size.

Why You Need It:

Paddling with your hands, while possible and certainly more of a workout, is not as efficient – to say the least.

How You Can Live Without It:


On The Cheap:

Use the ones included in the canoe rental. Usually, they’re lightweight aluminum shafts with plastic blades and “T” shaped grips.

What Will Make Them All Jealous:

I don’t like the standard rental paddles, myself, mainly because I prefer a pear shaped or fitted grip with a longer blade, because both make longer trips much more comfortable, so even when I rent a canoe I’ll bring my own paddles. You can get some really fancy paddles, custom made and sized to your personal preference. They can be pieces of art. But just like the canoe, the most impressive are those that have clearly been used to paddle to far off regions. When it doesn’t look like they’ll make it through another trip, they make great family room art.

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Preston and Nancy the dog pose with a Paddle in the Park Contest paddle
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