Bent Shaft Paddles?

I’m looking for recommendations on bent shaft paddles. I will use it primarily in my solo canoes on flat water or on long stretches on rivers.

I’m looking to spend around $50, but will go up towards $100 if need be to get a good, durable paddle.



zre rec
It is kind of heavy for a zav but at 13 oz still light. Durable, I poled down the last 15 miles of the GeneralClinton Canoe Regatta (the 70 miler) using amy rec.

And they are repairable.Try to get a secondor blem.


Price- Charlie?
If you can even get a blem for the price that he is looking for, how about ordering me a half dozen?



I just read your other post on…
…the racing canoe, and if you are going to get serious about racing, put some extra money into the paddle and get the one that Bald Paddler recommends.



I got my rec
zre new from J&J at the Clinton for about 115 dollars. I could have picked up a couple of used carbon fiber paddles that were lighter for $90.00. I needed the toughness of of the rec wieght though. If you noticed my rec ZRE it looks like I poled the last 15 miles of the clinton with it, because I did. tough paddle worth the money.

OK, I went ahead and ordered the 10 oz ZRE bentshaft for my Merlin 2 a year ago. No, I don’t race and was really only looking to use it on occasion as a spare maybe. As a kayaker new to solo canoeing was NEVER going to use it exclusively when I had my carbon adjustable length kayak paddle that was perfect for the canoe. As a matter of fact the kayak paddle was gonna be my main paddle.

So the new ZRE paddle came in the mail:

Mind you, I winced at the cost of this paddle but figured, I am older and weaker need all the help I can get. A year later, i only use the kayak paddle on very choppy and windy long stretches of open water. And only because my bracing skills to date are not very good with the canoe paddle. I feel more secure with a double blade in those condtions. But can’t wait to put it away and use that ZRE. A box of kleenex is heavier than that paddle. You won’t regret spending the money on something so light and effective especially if you are considering racing.

Sawyer Cedar Egret
I bought a Sawyer Egret bent shaft paddle in western red cedar a few years ago (I believe from Piragis) for just under $100. Very light and efficient. Very pretty too and it has held up well. It makes for effortless all day paddling.


Maybe Foxworx or Sawyer?

I have the Manta single bend and it has a lot of power and pretty light swing weight, but it retails for over $100 unless you find a deal. They have some other pretty nice bent shafts also, but I haven’t used them.


I haven’t used this one, but it’s light and lists for $96.

The Zaveral Medium is a very nice paddle, but not near the power of the Sawyer Manta, if power is more important to you than light weight. I use the Zav Medium with my Sawyer Summersong and the Sawyer Manta or Barton Paddle Company carbon bent shaft (no longer in production) with my Wildfire because of their greater power to move the less efficient boat.

Good luck.

Grey Owl, Bending Branches
My favorite bent-shaft is Grey Owl’s Marathon model. It’s no longer in production, but Grey Owl still has some in stock. There are a few elsewhere on the Web. Grey Owl’s price is US$112, which is outside your range, but it’s my favorite :slight_smile: It’s pretty, and it’s light (for a wooden paddle), and it feels right to me. It’s not as durable as a heavier paddle, but one was my main paddle for seven years of paddling three or more times a week. The only time I did any serious damage to it was when I jammed it between two rocks while paddling upstream in a Class I rapid (dumb). The blade tore, but no material was lost, so an hour of epoxy work fixed it for a few more years.

Bending Branches has several bents that are less expensive. My experience with BB, though, is that the blades are thicker, and the shafts less well balanced, than Grey Owl’s offerings.

– Mark

One to avoid
I love Redtail paddles. Their classic designs and execution make them my favourite flatwater paddle manufacturer . . . but . . . I picked up one of their bent-shafts and didn’t like it. It was very inexpensive, and well made, but it did not compare to the Grey Owls in performance/feel. Oddly enough, I don’t think much of the Grey Owl River paddle either.

I agree the Grey Owl Marathon is nice. Grey Owl’s other bent offerings are also quite good.

More money than you want to spend
But I use a Sawyer Manta double bent almost exclusively and love it. I am partial to wood paddles and the double bent Manta is light weight and durable and paddles very well.