Canoe grip. Poll please.

You did ask, if I had my choice…

For my bent shaft (I don’t race anymore, so I rarely use it), asymmetric palm, fat on top for pushing down, rules.

Otherwise, a t-grip (still like the werners, not crazy about my old sawyers) is what I use. But this is because at least 90% of my canoe paddling is whitewater.

That said, I am shopping for a new paddle 'cuz I find that sometimes I don’t have time for a river run, or I am with friends that only do easy rivers. Then I switch from a saddled solo to a short tandem, heeled over. Canadian, Bill Mason, ‘traditional’, omering,freestyle, whatever you call it, it is amusing and stylish. For that, I want a symmetrical, sanded and oiled pear.

Now, if I could only unclip the t-grip from one of my paddles and clip in that pear grip, I would be happy.

I dont think so
Canadian (Lakewater), Omering, FreeStyle are three entirely different disciplines.

Amusing…hardly…what a brush off. Practice and dedication are required to do them all well.

asymmetrical palm
My favorite grip is (was) the asymmetrical, deep, narrow one on the early-'90s Grey Owl Marathon (which was a light wooden bent-shaft). Later models were less deep, presumably because the deep ones were hard to make. By “depth” I mean the dimension that one’s hand wraps around from heel of hand to base of fingers to tips of fingers. The Marathon was deep at the top but tapered to a very fine connection to the shaft. I found that it filled my hand nicely but let my fingers curl most of the way closed. The narrowness let my thumb sit comfortably along the side.

I also like symmetrical palm grips, but my current paddling doesn’t give me many opportunities for palm rolls. I find a wide one rolls the nicest but isn’t comfortable for my thumb.

– Mark


– Last Updated: Mar-12-08 9:52 PM EST –

While I would argue that they are overlapping subsets, not entirely different, that wasn't the point of my comment.
What is really more important is that I find I like pretty much the same paddle for all those subsets, any differences are minor. That was my meaning.

I find my needs in a whitewater paddle are very different, especially the grip.

The T-grip for WW…I do sand it a little for shape. Flatwater is a flatter, rather rectangular pear with a more broad neck? to it, with some shaping for a relaxed, light grip.


WhiteH2o= T, the rest= palm


ZRE works best for me

I use a variety of paddles with different grips, but the paddles most often seen in my hands are those with t-grips, whether it’s white water or not.


second for
Nashwaak pear shape. I like pear shape generally for comfort and torque. T gives you more control but I rarely find that benefit off-sets my love off comfort and power.


T-grip for Solo
I mostly solo, which involves active, secure and precise movement by the grip hand. To achieve this, a T-grip works best for me.

palm NM

Wow, thanks for all the replys and email
The grip I have been messing with and most of the guys use down here for Outrigger is what I called the ‘football’ shape above. I liked the ZRE palm grip a lot ‘till I saw this thing. It has the relaxed feel of the Zav but you can still ‘tighten up on it’ if you need to hang on for a sec.

For now gotta’ pick one to go with since these things are molded. Hoping to have a few inches of shaft adjustability @ the top and this would lend itself to future adaptations.

VERY early stages right now but research is great.

Thank you again.

outrigger? darn.
If you made a light (of course) straight shaft touring or freestyle paddle with a symmetrical grip and symmetrical blade faces (foam core!) you would have my order tomorrow. Give Zav a good run for their money.

Adjustable length canoe paddle shaft
sounds interesting and very desireable.

Palm and Pear
To be honest, I’d have to go out and get the paddles and study on the grips to see if I could tell the difference in a palm and a pear grip. Maybe someone has already explained that on this thread.

Anyhow, my two favorite grips are the pear grip on my Grey Owl Guide, and the Palm grip (asymetrical) on my Fox Worx Guide. The former is a traditional paddle akin to a beavertail and I use it mostly kneeling, heeled over Canadian style. The latter is a bent shaft and I use it more sitting with a sit and switch style. I also use it kneeling, however, and it is my favorite paddle. The Fox Worx grip is very comfortable and easy to get control with. Its a 10. The Grey Owl pear grip is an 8 or 9.

Yep, This one is killing me to hear…
A long time ago, I made this perfect powerface and I loved how it felt. It was butter smooth and you could slip it around @ will but then ‘lock it in’ on demand. I did it with zero offset with the tgought I would modify it later since that part is not hard to do. I thought I was onto something but then made the if-i-knew-then-what-know-now mistake of showing to my outrigger buddys who did not think much of it …“Make it flatter” was all I heard. In a unprecidented move by me, I didn’t even save it. I even had this perfect oval shaft for it. Fast forward 7-8 years and after speaking with half a dozen serious freestyle paddlers / having them design their dream paddle profile has me slapping my forehead everytime I hear another decsription like above.

Freestyle Paddle?
You use the term “freestyle” paddle. Can you describe one for me? Is it straight or bent? What kind of grip does it have? Is it beavertail, tulip, or flat tipped? Are the shoulders sloped or full? What shape is the dihedral in cross-section? What shape and thickness is the shaft? what is the ideal weight? What might the ideal blade specs be? Of what material is it made? Thanks

I can’t for the life of me…
figure out why you’re trying to bait me.

If you have a point to make, make it. Don’t feign questions so you can manipulate the answers to make your point. It just doesn’t seem polite.

So enlighten us, pagayeur, what exception is it exactly that you take with the term “freestyle paddle?”

Symetrical pear for most…
“T” for WW, assymetrical palm for bent shaft.

The symetrical pear seemd to be the currently non-existent and unavailable option in straight shaft composite paddles these days. but one that would work well.