A question to those who paddle Krugers

Specifically, those who use a single blade. What size paddle do you use and what size would you recommend as a starting point for a pair of paddlers in a Klepper. June 62-63" and skinny. I am 68" and stocky. I took apart my kayak paddle and found this boat is better suited to a single blade and the Kruger boats appear very similar to Kleppers.

50" or 51"
Zav. I’m 6’-0, paddling with the Kruger seat in the middle notch.

I’ve also used a 54" gooseneck Zav, and like it, but always come back to the 50".

zaveral paddles
I use the same zaveral paddles 49" (light, ultralight) on my Feathercraft K1 expedition as in my Kruger’s Sea Wind, my safari canoe or outrigger canoe. For Feathercraft I would prefer a slightly shorter one. Next time, I will try to make my seat a little higher.


single blade paddle in WaterTribe
doooobrd (Donald Polakovics) completed 1200 miles Ultimate Florida Challenge with Feathercraft K1 Expedition. He used a single blade paddle in addition to a kayak one.

Also, one of the paddlers in a winning tandem kayak (class 1) in the recent Everglades Challenge used a single blade while his partner a double blade paddle.

WaterTribe challenges in my blog: http://race.fit2paddle.com/C741445042/index.html

I like a 48-50" bent shaft Zav
Just spent a few days paddling the French River in Ontario. 48-50" fit me fine. I am 5’10" and 220 and sit in the middlenotch.

rob roy paddle
i use a 50 inch zav in my rob roy, which is similar to a klepper in specs. if you buy a zav, get it uncut. then you can cut it to say 54 or 52 inches, try it out without the handle glued, and then cut further if you want. it’s a great way to size paddles, and much cheaper than buying and trying. but don’t cut too short, you’ll have to order another one.

Hey Chuck! Missed this one somehow.

– Last Updated: Oct-04-06 9:55 AM EST –

I'm 68" as well, but it is more fun to claim 69".

Anyway when I was introduced to short paddles Verlen said there was only one paddle and it was 50" I looked at this short guy handing me a paddle over a foot shorter than I paddled and said "no way!" So I paddled it for a few years even in open solo canoes where I sit higher. Then realized my top hand was too high during normal strokes in the decked/sit low boats. Top hand should be going straight away from the lip/noise area of your face during stroke. I prefer chin as it makes for a quicker stroke. Blade was fully buried so I started looking at shorter handle. Could not bring myself to cut a ZAV or Black Bart so kept wondering and playing with gripping the shaft below the handle, testing. Finally a ZAV exploded in my hands during a stroke after I had dropped it. Repaired at 48". After many outings I find 48" to be about 1/2" short for me. During this time also tried 52". Too long!

So ... Start at 50", maybe 51". Doubt you will go below 49". But there are 46" paddlers, like Chad out there.



French River…
one of my favorite places to paddle, got any photos?


Hey Chuck, Put a bunch of paddling
under you … like a throwable cushion/pfd or like in the Klepper … gets you in a nice position since stability aready there in boat.

Gonna measure mine today but it is WAY shorter than above recommendations. I use it all the time ( when I have time) in the 19.

singel blade
I am about 6 feet two inches tall.

I use a 51, and 52’ inch but find them a bit too long as my upper hand is close to the top of my head when i plant the paddle…too high.

When i paddled up the Missouri in 04 I used MUCH SHORTER paddles at 48 and 48 1/2 which were AWESome! They have a MUCH quicker return and allow for speed and more effiencecy ESPECIALLY WHEN PADDLING against the current. You need a quick return so the current doesnt push you back.

I think these length is good too for downstream too maybe 49-50ish. Your better off going too short than too long.


Ended up picking up a pair
of 48" wood canoe paddles at Wallyworld for $6 each. Figure that is a good place to start.

What a Contrast!
A Kruger boat and wally world paddles. That just brought a smile to my face. For straight shaft paddles I’ve use a longer paddle. If you can’t borrow a bent shaft then Mohawk Canoes makes them for less than anyone. They are heavy, durable, comfortable and cheap.

Just Noticed This Chuck
Had a Mad River Monarch, VK’s predecessor to THE Kruger. Never should have sold it, but I paddle my Sawyer Autum Mist when I want to feel a really good solo hull underneath me. IMHO 49" to 50" bent shaft paddles should be about right for you. If you get a chance, try that double bent Bending Branches Viper; I have to say I like it even better than my Zaveral. Funny, until McWood, I never would use anything but 60" straight, wood paddles. I had been paddling a couple decades, I KNEW what I liked. Thanks to Mick, my favorite paddles are 49"-52", depends on the boat I’m paddling. I have to say, I was really squeemish about “Breaking” that 50 inch barrier in my mind, but my 49" paddles are perfect for a Kruger or Rob Roy type boat. BTW, “Thank you Mick” for putting that first short, light bent-shaft (a Zaveral) into my hands! WW

I’ll Make You an Offer, Chuck
You buy a 49" or 50" Bending Branches Viper or a Zav and if you don’t like it I’ll buy it off you for what you pay for it. WW

An old Klepper not a Kruger
I picked up a 45 year old Klepper last month. The skin is on its last legs but the frame is still solid. Just experimenting until we get the skin replaced and do not want to blow my wad on paddles yet.

Ordered a skin from a company in Poland. Got some pics of the Big Blue Maru here http://foldingkayaks.org/gallery/tsunami?page=10