canoe or kayak paddle

My wife and I are renting canoes for an easy week trip down the Upper Missouri. We have limited canoe experience; only a previous week trip, 30 years ago, in the Boundary Waters lakes.

Should I take my two high quality 220 cm carbon kayak paddles? Or use the rental single blade canoe paddles? I have never tried a kayak paddle in a canoe.

You may find the 220 too short for
a canoe. I don’t but I have 38" arms.As far as control goes, the kayak paddle will be best . There is a learning curve on a single blade. Then there is " Your other left!" Crunch!

the 220s likely are too short
so you will get wet.

You get far better control on a river with a single blade. Tandem double blading has a different learning curve than a single double blade. I am assuming that you both have not done tandem kayaking.

With your background you already know boat behavior. Canoes behave just like kayaks.

I take experienced kayakers in canoe class. They catch on extremely quickly.

Agree - most likely too short
During my first season of learning to solo-paddle a canoe, I relied quite a bit on a double-blade paddle. I used a 230-cm paddle and it required a very high-angle stroke compared to what most double-blade canoers prefer.

Much is made of the long length of time it takes to learn single-blade techniques, but “basic” boat control with canoes is MUCH easier for two people than for a solo paddler. From a beginner’s perspective, basic course control is best done by having the two people always paddle on opposite sides (don’t switch sides to steer), and the stern paddler steers by rudders and sweeps. When both paddlers end up switching sides to steer, things don’t usually go all that well, though you’ll probably get where you are going. If the bow paddler uses draws and pries to assist turns, there won’t be any easy water you can’t negotiate, and you’ll look like pros compared to the other rental boaters.

Why no both?
Though we (couple of youngish geezers) mostly kayak we have begun to enjoy tandem canoe outings just as much lately. We take both kinds of paddles, usually a 230 cm kayak for the bow and a 240 cm for the stern paddler plus a pair of straight canoe paddles.

Depending on conditions we switch off – for easy straight sections with nice flow sometimes lily dipping with the double blade is relaxing and if we hit a stretch of mild rapids or it gets windy on a lake we grab the canoe paddles and drop to our knees. Also helps exercise different muscles, staving off stiffness. At times each of us will be using a different paddle from the other.

We always take spare paddles on anything more than a local day trip, so it makes sense to have them be a different style as well.

Are you renting solo “canoes”?
If so, the 220 should work fine.

In a “standard” tandem canoe, the 220 is likely to be too short. I now prefer to use a 220 in my tandem canoes, but I have switched out all of the stock seats for contour cane seats that have lowered the paddling position and center of gravity almost 2".

I’d bring both paddles, and use the rentals in low or rocky water.

Have a good paddle!

one double canoe, one kayak
There are 3 of us, so we will rent one double canoe and one single kayak. Thanks for all the advice. I will bring one double paddle for the kayak, but leave the other kayak paddle home because, as advised, it is probably too short for the canoe.