Another bent canoe paddle question.

Better to err on the short side or long ? I plan to use it in only one boat and I don’t want to cut it down or have to try and sell it if I blow it. I’m thinking 4" shorter than my favorite straight for the boat. Sound right?

I am no expert, but I play one on P-Net
I have a 50" BB that is too short for me in my Magic, even with my low seat mounting height. It was sized using the “sit-on chair-measure-from-seat-to-eyes” method. So much for that.

I lucked into an on-sale Bell VooDoo in 52" that feels pretty good.

My straight shaft BB is cut down from 58" to 56", and is still a bit too long - might be better at 55".

So yeah, 4 (or 3) inches shorter then a straight is a good place to start.


Shaft length vs. blade length.
I may end up driving up to Mitchell and have them tell me which one to buy so as to stop second-guessing myself.

Take your boat
While the formulas are simple places to start, the nose-to-water measurement is a better indication.

I just glued the grip on a Zaveral Rec blade, 7 deg, that I ordered long so I could experiment. I started off with 56" OA, cut 1" off before trying it yesterday, and cut another inch off today. I figured that if I used a 55 or 56" straight in the Magic and a 52" Mitchell/Bell 14 degree then a 7 deg would fall somewhere in between.


Yep. Will do.

What boat
what position what weight what height? I use a 51 zav in my solo but feel it is too short. In a Diller J-Boat it is just right in a comp cruiser(in the bow) it is way too long paddling with a 160 lbs stern paddler. It is just a little to long in the front of a 3x27 pro boat. I love my Zav but Which boat, which position and which partner are all factors. I suspect it is the only time that quad-tri-quadraticalmathimatical formula is used in Mathematics: and then it will still be wrong…

MRC Indy

– Last Updated: Apr-11-10 9:57 PM EST –

6' - 210# - good reach seated.

Final measurements
BB 50" 14 deg: Still too short

Bell VooDoo 52" 14 deg: Just right

Zav 54" 7 deg: Final cut & epoxy grip. 55" was too long for non-sit & switch.

BB 56" 0 deg: Still a bit long. Maybe if I get motivated…


That formula works well for me
57/58 and 52/53