Canoe book

If you had to advise a relatively new canoer (some experience, but not a lot) to one and just one, “how to” canoe book which inclueded information on what type of canoe to buy with a good description of the various merits of styles and materials, what would that one book be? Thanks. I assure you, I’ll take your suggestions seriously if there is any kind of consensus.

Another one
Paddle Your own Canoe is also very good by the McGuffin’s.

I really like the Path of the Paddle videos.


Bill Mason will convince you that there is only one true canoe, the wood canvas Prospector.

Read everything you can here on this site and you will realize there are as many different types of canoes as there are canoesters.

Then you will have to try and figure out what sort you want to be and select a boat acordingly.

Me? I’m a whitewater, flatwater, bigwater, quietwater, singleblader, doubleblader, poler, straightshaft, learning about bentshaft, openboater, deckedboater.

But I only paddle solo boats so that cuts my needs in half… down to oh 8 or so canoes. Not one of them is a Prospector or even wood and canvas.

Paddle Hard!


Cliff Jacobson
The catalogs idea is very good.

Path of the Paddle is a classic. I’ve read it cover to cover twice and can still pick it up and get absorbed in it most anytime.

Cliff Jacobson is a well known writer and has several good books out, two of which I have and like very much. The one linked to below “Basic Essentials Canoeing” will no doubt have the kind of info. you are looking for. Cliff was a school teacher and conveys his canoeing expertise very clearly.,1494.html

‘Canoeing’ by Gordon Grant is a
handbook that covers a lot. It gets you started. Some discussion of equipment.

The other books are good, too. Grant’s book is our text for ACA classes.

Trailside Guide
I like this one and the McGuffin’s.

Another tack
I agree with Mike, and the others books listed. All are good.

But I’ve got another idea… hook up with the best paddlers in your area you can find. Reading books and catalogs it takes years to become a proficient paddler. Paddling with folks better than you and watching what they do and even letting them teach you can make you a great paddler in just one season.

It’s hard to hook up with better paddlers… but you can hang with some of the p-net folks, or you can privately beep canoeists in your region that you find on the web. You can visit canoe shops and find out who is in the area. You can join the local club. You can contact your local ACA member and find out who lives near you…

But having read the mags for years, and trying to learn from books… I can tell you that I became a much better paddler when I started hanging out with better paddlers and even further improved when I started taking classes from the best canoeists in the country.


Wenonah is good but stay away from
the Wenenoah Rendezvous solo canoe. It’s tippy, hard to paddle and catches the slightest wind.


Look to your left on this page, click

– Last Updated: Jun-09-05 7:17 PM EST –

"Guidelines" has a weath of archived free information on paddle sports.

But nothing beats just getting out and learning from others. Keep an open mind, set goals and stay focused. You'll be smiling before you know it.