Canoe Paddle Buying Help

-- Last Updated: Aug-30-11 5:56 PM EST --

I found this company a while ago that makes canoe paddles. They were based in Canada and were a small company. They made paddles designed for flatwater paddling, and had 5 or 6 different blade shapes ranging from short and wide to narrow and thin . I however cannot find the company and do not remember its name. I think it started with an R but I am not 100% sure. If you know this company please help.

However if you do not know I have found these three paddles as something I would be interested in. They will be used for 10-25 day trips and price is not really an object. I want a paddle that is high quality, easy to paddle and that is well made. My possible picks are



I paddle tandem and switch between bow and stern. I am interested in a long, think bladed paddle such as the options above. I paddle seated and do not paddle Canadian style. I have always heard that long thin paddles were better for long flatwater days but people have said that light carbon paddles make them much less tired. What do you guys think?

Thanks for the Help

I don’t favor “traditional” paddles, but
if I had to choose, I’d take the Edenwood Maliseet.

Might want ta take a look-see at these…

Fat Elmo

Dri Ki
I just ordered an ottertail from Dri Ki in Maine. The paddles have some rave reviews around the net, and the price is stoopid-low for a hand-carved one-piece ash paddle. Mine should be here soon; I’d be happy to post a review when it gets here.

For a traditional paddle, I like Ray Kettlewell’s work.

I would recommend getting 2 paddles
When I bought my canoe I also got a 50" ZRE bent shaft paddle. Trust me after using one of these 10 ounce carbon fiber paddles you will have a hard time picking up a wooden one again. Using one on 10 to 25 day trips will really make a difference on how you feel at the end of the day. When I get near the shore line or paddle in shallow rocky bottom areas I break out my spare wooden paddle so I don’t beat up my ZRE.

Since you also will probably be carrying two paddles on your trips I would get one of the fine wooden paddles for the rough stuff that others are recommending and a ZRE for distance paddling.

Canoe paddle company
Starting with an ®This one comes to mind. Redtail Paddle Co. 79 Front St.

Handcrafted Paddles Hastings, ON, Canada

First of all …
What kind of water are you paddling and what is your general level of proficiency?

I’ve come to like
Grey Owl paddles. I find their “football grip” paddles very comfortable to use - especially with the varnish removed from the grip and replaced with an oil finish. I particularly like their one-piece paddles. I love my Tripper in cherry, though it is more fragile (and more “lively”) than most other paddles I’ve tried. I’ve come to like a paddle that has some flex to it, but that’s just a personal bias that many others don’t necessarily share.

There are many good makers. Just thought because I’ve come to like them very much that I’d throw this maker into the mix for consideration.


– Last Updated: Aug-26-11 11:39 AM EST –

I am a devoted open boat canoe tripper. I do trips in the 5 day to 3 week category all the time.

I am a traditional sort of guy - 60 years old.

Best thing I ever did was to buy a ZRE Whitewater model bent shaft (shallow bend degree). I think it weighs something like 14 ozs. if I remember correctly. I LOVE this paddle. I have much more energy at the end of a long day than I used to have. On a trip I also carry a pure whitewater big straight blade if we are going to be getting into hard class 3 or up. Otherwise, the ZRE is all I carry. Highly recommended. Mine is starting to get a little beat up on the edges but I have taken no special precautions. The thing is tough as nails and does not need to be babied. In fact it is tougher than a lot of other paddles you might consider. I suspect if I sand the edges it will be back to 100%. Got to do that one of these days!

I should add - my tripping buddies all laugh at the thing. The heck with them.

tandem paddles
there are a bunch of good paddle makers out there. You have to decide if you want a animal tail shape like Turtle Paddle makes or Redtail or Tremolo or a shorter wider paddle.

I have a bunch and like them all. GreyOwl, Foxworks, Dogpaddle, Mitchell are some of my favorite. I do like a light bent shaft for sit and switch paddling and have a Zav for that. If you go for a light carbon paddle and intend to use it on rivers make sure its reinforeced on the back face. I broke a Zav on the Missinaibi ten days from any where… it was a rec racing layup.

What you don’t mention is your stance in the boat…sitting kneeling and whether you like to do North Americal Touring technique or a slower cadence paddle on one side only.