Canoe grip. Poll please.

If you had your choice.

“T” top, Palm grip ( a-la-ZRE ) or a mixed style ‘football’ style grip ???

If / when you have time, please let me know your paddling styles, preferences + any reasons for preferences … I will not forget you : )

Working on some new stuffs.

Thank you.



T grip
for whitewater, pear shaped, symetrical palm grip for everything else.

A big T grip gives the ultimate in control when the need to really grab some water takes priority.

Mostly I paddle flatwater or moderately moving streams and for that I like the symetrical pear grip. It is very comfortable and allows for palm rolling. All of the subtleties of freestyle are easily available.

Marc Ornstein

Dogpaddle Canoe Works

Custom Paddles and Cedar Strip Canoes

Palm Grip
I am a hit and switch paddler using a bent shaft from a seated position. I prefer seated for 2 reasons:

  1. my knees get sore after only a short time of kneeling regardless of the type of pad i have used (I am 61 years old)
  2. my primary reason for paddling (even when tripping) is to fish. I always have a rod at the ready and often will stop and fish awhile. Fishing is more comfortable while seated.

    I prefer bent shaft because I feel I can get better power with less effort and most of my paddling is flat water.

Palm grip
Pear shape. I got my son a Nashwaak, its just about perfect. Too bad Jeff is no longer making them.

I keep thinking about getting a double paddle for my canoe…



– Last Updated: Mar-12-08 8:15 AM EST –

a T grip fer WW an' since ah' likes ta palm roll me paddle on cruise a symedroolcal pear fer everythin' else. Ah' particularly take a hankerin' ta de smaller "Racine" type of grips. Thanky kindly.

Fat Elmo

t grip most of the time

– Last Updated: Mar-12-08 9:13 AM EST –

I like the T grip for controlling blade angle. Primarily using correction strokes on WW, and lots of bracing. Occasional flatwater I switch between my curved blade T-grip AB edge, and a palm grip long shaft woodie. Sometimes fun to stick with the t-grip even on flatwater just to play with blade angles.

Nothing beats a T grip for WW. I now have a BB Expedition Plus, and while the grip is OK I think it could be a bit wider. T-grips I have loved: Norse, early Mitchells. T-grips I have hated: Clement, Hurka, Kober.

Asymmetrical pear grips are growing on me. For my flatwater paddle a smallish pear is very nice. Seems so sweet when just noodling along.

My Bell VooDoo/Mitchell Leader came with a ginormous (SP?) asymmetrical pear grip, which actually turned out to be very comfortable. I did perform some surgery to make recesses for my thumbs, but I find that the big grip allows a very loose hand grip even when pushing hard.


I also like symmetric pear-shaped best for overall comfort and versatility.

T Grip for straight, pear grip for bent
I like the Mitchel T grip and the Werner T grip that was on my old Nantahala. The Mohawk T ain’t bad either.

That is my preference for whitewater, fooling around and my lame atempts at freestyle. Basicaly any time I want to use both faces of the paddle.

I also like the ZRE pear grip quite a bit. It’s as comfortable as can be. It does not work as well for palm rolls but neither does the bent shaft.

For what it’s worth I kneel 90% of the time and paddle everything from Class III to the Atlantic to the little pond down the street. I prefer control and manuverability to most anything else and I do not race.

I use a combination of ZRE paddles, so I guess their palm grip is what I use which I find very comfortable.

I do mostly flatwater sit n switch and slower rivers.

I have tried several other paddles over the years and find myself gravitating to a Zaveral Power Surge Outrigger (9.5" wide blade) the most as it gives me great propulsion and is also very quiet.

Pear Grip
Pear Grip, Bent Shaft (I use Zaverals)

Paddling my Prospector tandem, I’m usually

Seated 85% of the time

Kneeling 15%

Paddling the same boat solo I kneel 90%, sit 7% and stand (poling) 3%.

Tee for me, most certainly!
For rapids and twists,

for stretchin’ fingers and wrists,

like for Tommy and Jim

it’s the best for control that exists!

But when I sit, hit-n-switch,

(thanks Topher) Mitchell Leader double-bent I twitch,

and my asymmetrical pear-grip

guides my top hand without glitch.

And suprise, suprise, toppin’ pole

why, Mid-Atlantic-Style, bless my soul,

from plumbin’ parts in hardware aisles

PVC tee-junction-n-caps for grip-n-shoals


You have Mail…

– Last Updated: Mar-12-08 10:53 AM EST –

Just make the Handles replaceable, so I can add any handle to any paddle...make each sold handle of your choice supplied with each paddle, additional handle designs available separately......

Flattened football, asymmetrical.
Shoot me an email and I will send some photos of various homemade grips.

All kinds
T grip for ww for the most control

Symmetrical Pear for FreeStyle, especially the Cobra grip(thats Charlies Cobra). Palm rolls are awkward with a dedicated grip.

Variable grip for the Northwoods stroke.

The variable and the palm can be worked in one paddle.

grip and stationing
I definitely prefer a oversized drop T-grip. What some call a hot dog grip, but fatter. I find the shape gives more precise control and the larger size and drop shape ( closer to the human hand shape) reduces fatigue.

As for stationing. In solo canoe I kneel somewhere around mid ship depending on conditions and goals and always with a straight shaft. HTH.


palm grip
especially the one from the Bell VooDoo/Mitchell Leader paddle.

I only prefer a T-grip for difficult situations on whitewater where I sure don’t want to lose my top-hand grip on my paddle (nothing to do with blade angle control).

offer different options
I do like the zre grip for bentshaft paddles and the symmetrical pear shape on straight shaft paddle.

I love
my Dogpaddle with a symetrical pear grip. It fits in my hand like a glove. I can palm roll all day without fatigue.


The ZRE grip works fine for me.